Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus...Finished!!!


This past Christmas, I received Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus as a gift, and was looking forward to a lengthy playthrough of one of my most favorite franchises in video games. Two invested weekends later, and I'm done. Is that right?

I'm both disappointed and pleased that the game is quite short. Let's break it down, shall we?

Disappointed


My sentiments exactly.

Ratchet and Clank games have been known to span across several planets in each of their games, covering different terrain, themes, and gameplay elements. So, to play a game where the content feels so minimal makes me do a double-take under the hood and exclaim "that's it?" I was half expecting the map itself to scroll a little to make room for more planets, because surely that one screen isn't enough to show 8-10 planets.

Even when I was fighting the final boss, I wasn't convinced I was near the end of the game. In most every Ratchet and Clank game, there's always the "battle arena" planet full of challenges that I like to hold out for later, like saving dessert for last. Except I blew through a large plate of appetizers without the main course.

Even the weapons wheel deceived me. I was only missing perhaps 2 more weapons, but even with those purchased, I'd still have 5 more empty slots. Perhaps they would be unlocked if I purchased more weapons, but I would have to earn bolts from PLAYING MORE OF THE GAME!!!

Pleased


Weapons are still the highlight of the game.

On the other hand, this turned out to be the perfect-sized game. As a working father now, I don't have the luxury of more time to play epically-long games. In fact, the game's plot (aside from the constant battling) works out to be a simple animated movie plot - which is ironic since the game also comes with a trailer for the upcoming Ratchet and Clank animated movie.

I also didn't realize it until just now, but Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus served as an epilogue to the "Future" series. This makes a lot more sense, because it has many references to the previous games in this series. And, in that greater sense, it's a fitting game to close up this sub-series with.

For the record, I finished the game in Hard Mode, which delivered me more deaths per level than I've ever dealt with in previous Ratchet and Clank games. And the brief game consolidated everything that was great about the gameplay into a concise, surprisingly satisfying experience. What's more, now that I'm finished with the game, I can start another game on Challenge Mode!

Final Thoughts


For once, I'm of two opinionated minds on the same game. And that's not bad. To gamers who are looking for a lengthy challenge, don't pick up Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus; you'll be severely disappointed. But for gamers who don't have much time on their hands, it's the perfect game to idle your time conservatively.
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