Monday, February 15, 2010

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time - a quickie

I booted up R&C:ACT over the weekend just to have a try - 720p sigh, the graphics are pretty much the same as before; but there was one weird bit in the battle arena partnered with Quark where he looked cel-shaded; not sure if they cut the polygon count to allow for so many enemies.

Still annoyed at the lack of a target lock, though the auto-aim is a bit better. It crashed on me twice in the Past Fongoid Village, heading to Dr Nefarious the elevator would start then drop to a black screen. I waited, it did nothing; so I popped the disc. Up came the default "Please Wait" that you see upon properly exiting a game and back to the default PS3 menu. I cleaned the disc, stuck it in and swore at the lack of a decent save as I started just back from my 'get oil' quest and had to battle through he same rooms to get to the same elevator. Which promptly did the same thing.

Swore again and went through, but this time I didn't use a Mr Zircon, a robot battle-buddy that can help. So I entered the elevator without Mr Z hanging about at my shoulder and cut-scene. Hmmm.

The time games with Clank are just beautiful little puzzles. The basic premise is that when standing on a time-pad you can record your actions, then stand on the second pad and run the previous action. In simplistic terms this means you can record yourself standing on a button to open a door, then re-run that action while the present you can run through the now open door. In its more complex versions you get more pads.

So button 1 allows access to button 2 which lowers a lift, you go up the lift and access button 3 which lowers another lift then you need two Clanks to stand on buttons 4a and 4b to open a door.

So First Clank operates button 1, Second Clank operates button 2, Third Clank stands on the platform, then Second Clank steps off button 2 to raise the lift and Third Clank steps on button 3 to lower that lift, then steps off to raise it, then moves to button 4b. But then you have to overwrite certain actions so as to get First Clank to step on button 1 then move to the lift that Third Clank has now lowered then wait as that is raised to walk to button 4a to open the door. Except now you have to overwrite Second Clank into present Clank so he can travel up the lift too and walk through the now open door. Add into the mix that any of your past selves can use slow-time bombs and it probably sounds really complicated, but once you get into it it's really fun and so fair has been the most fun part of the gameplay.

Outside gameplay the funniest bit is watching the GrummelNet weapon vendor's preview animations of their weapons in action; very reminiscent of BioShocks Plasmid videos with the same sense of humour.