3D platform heaven

I finished up Ratchet & Clank yesterday, in order to start the sequel, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. It’s been sitting on our coffee table for two days now, taunting me, because Nate got it for x-mas.

I wasn’t too thrilled with the ending cinema or anything, but all in all, the first Ratchet & Clank is a damn fine game. After you beat it the first time through, there are new options and things that open up, so if I didn’t have the sequel sitting here to play, I probably would still be at it, trying to collect all the gold bolts and gold weapons and stuff.

So about 11pm I started the new one, and I went to bed when my eyes just couldn’t stay open anymore. I literally can’t remember the last time I was that engrossed in a game. The sequel is basically more of the same, but it looks cooler, and everything is just a little bit better. Essentially, it’s just an extremely well done sequel. The cinemas are if anything actually funnier than the first one, and gameplay is–wonderfully–exactly the same as the first one.

The thing that has most impressed so far me was this level where you’re running around a satellite trying to destroy these towers. The satellite is a sphere, and when you go to your map view, the game actually just zooms out and you can pan around the whole sphere, zooming in and out and stuff. It was fucking amazing. I kinda wish the whole game were done that way. I hope there are more levels like it.

Anyway, I have to go back pretty soon here and revisit my top 100 sci-fi video games… to add these puppies in at the top somewhere.

[updated a few minutes later to add this next part]

I wanted to add something about how I’m so glad the developers stuck to the “more of a good thing” approach rather than delving off into some other concept entirely as with that other 3D platform game we all know and used to love. Not only that, but R&C is more puzzle based and doesn’t rely as heavily on the actual platform jumping that gives the whole platformer genre its name. (Despite this lack of love, many of my favorite games are in this genre.)

Anyway, I hate getting stuck on a part of a game where you have to memorize some huge and silly sequence of jumps just to progress to the next point in the game. Nintendo hardly ever resorts to that kind of BS, (and when they do, it’s one of the later levels that you almost never need to complete to beat the game). And of course Nintendo invented the genre with Mario64. Hats off to ’em.

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