The Average Gamer

Ratchet & Clank Trilogy Review (Vita)

The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy is a trilogy consisting of the first three Ratchet & Clank games from the PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3 era. Honestly, it’s all pretty straight forward. R&C is a platform series originally developed by Insomniac Games, developers of the original Spyro The Dragon trilogy, but ported to the Vita for this collection by a generically named company you’ve likely never heard of (Mass Media Inc.). What’s the difference between this trilogy and the trilogy released on PlayStation 3 in 2012? None. It’s identical.

That’s no bad thing, however. I poured a solid 30 hours into the R&C Trilogy released on PS3, and thoroughly enjoyed having it on the go for tedious train journeys. It actually made me feel as if this should have been the lead platform for the trilogy originally, and not the PS3.

The console version was great, but replaying older platformers to me is something I’d do during sweaty bus trips or waiting in painfully long lines at the Post Office – not sat in front of my super awesome huge TV with a device able to play the newest games in full HD.

Plus, with the utmost respect to the R&C series, playing the original trilogy is not a necessity to be able to get to grips with the later games. This is not a Metal Gear Solid epic where skipping a single game can completely destroy your understand of everything ever.

No, the original trilogy is either for people who already played Ratchet & Clank games and simply want MOAR, or are looking for a good 3D platformer on their Vita. This trilogy fulfils either of those needs.

For what newcomers there may be to the series, here’s a basic premise: a strange Fox/Lynx animal hybrid mechanic teams up with a wise-cracking talking toaster to take on a robot scientist and his cowardly super-villain sidekick. You must do this by platforming around with a socket wrench and laser gun, collecting nuts & bolts to upgrade your wrench and laser gun, and using an arse load of innuendo. Seriously, a lot of innuendo. If you’re not sold by the time you reach this sentence, then it’s probably not your thing.

Of course, we must ask the important question: Is the port/upgrade good enough? Yeah, I’d say it’s passable. There’s a lot of strange aspect ratio jumps. The menus are in 4:3, the cutscenes appears to be in something between 4:3 and 16:9, and the gameplay itself is full (Vita) screen.

Thankfully all the gameplay is in perfect, upgraded and smoothed, ratio and resolution. So overall it’s not a deal-breaker. It does seem odd they didn’t re-aspect the menus as they did the game. Also, you can only switch between games in the trilogy by hard closing the game and rebooting. Grrr.

The controls are solid, though I’d recommend keeping on auto-targeting, but this one of many Vita games I would say damn near requires the use of a third party grip (non-affiliate link). If you haven’t already they’re worth having a gander at. Ever since I bought mine I don’t know how I ever used dual stick controls on Vita comfortably before.

The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy also uses the back touchpad as L2/R2 emulation, so without the grip it can be as fiddly as hell trying to dual analogue stick and strafe using the touchpad. It’s like trying to use chopsticks with only your thumb and pinky.

I will confess there was a thin line between whether or not the Ratchet & Clank Trilogy was going to get an ‘Average’ or a ‘Great’, but after some careful deliberation I believe it barely squeaked by. The eventual conclusion was that the price tag sealed the deal. At time of writing it’s sitting at a comfortable £19.99 in most places, which for three games of this calibre and length you’re looking at some serious platforming for your money. Buy this and the Jak & Daxter Trilogy for a combined £40 and you’ll be set.

Ratchet & Clank Trilogy is available now for PS Vita, in stores and on PSN.

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