Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
Review by CrimsonGear80
"Butterscotch Sniker Doodles!"
Insomniac Games decided to take time out of their busy schedule making 60-player online and 8 player co-op modes to bring fans of the galaxy's two greatest heroes a Mini-sode, if you will. Available exclusively from the Playstation Store (although a Blu-Ray release is planned for Europe), Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty is a very nice surprise for fans to tide them over until the next true R&C game. So despite being a lot shorter than it's forbearers, is Quest For Booty still just as impressive?
Despite being called Ratchet and Clank, Clank is noticeably absent from this adventure. QFB takes place almost immediately after last year's Tools of Destruction ended, with Clank being kidnapped by the mysterious Zoni. Ratchet does some digging around on the Iris supercomputer and finds out that a pirate named Angstrom Darkwater holds the key to finding the Zoni home world. So Ratchet and Talwyn (Ratchet's new lady friend he met in Tools) go off searching for Darkwater in the hopes to save Clank. Great characters, a funny script and snappy dialogue: everything that you would expect from R&C is here. However, as is probably to be expected here, the story is shallow compared to it's bigger brothers. I'm also disappointed at the complete lack of Captain Quark T_T. Still, the story ends with another cliffhanger (again, expected), but with a surprise return from a series favorite
Being a smaller, downloadable title, QFB will take Ratchet to a total of four new worlds to explore: A pirate fleet, a tropical island, a dark cove, and a guarded treasure vault. The levels, as always, are well designed and easily navigated using in-game maps. QFB changes things up a bit and makes platforming and puzzle solving the main focus. The puzzles in the game are very cool and satisfying to solve, from starting wind generators by using Ratchet's magnetic boots to get to the top of them, to disabling the booby-traps in the treasure vault. Although Ratchet is without Clank's help, he still gets a couple of new tricks with his Omni-Wrench to help him out. The first is a Kinetic Tether that can be used by holding R2 towards something you can use it on (an icon will be displayed) and pressing square to latch on. You can then use the right stick to manipulate the object you are latched onto, which include spring jumps, extendable bridges and moving platforms. The second new ability is being able to use the Omni-Wrench to pick up objects like rocks to smash open gates or glow-in-the-dark bugs to help light his way in dark places. All of this is very well-done and is definitely the strong point of QFB.
Still, that doesn't mean that Ratchet won't still need to blow **** away! Ratchet will get to use about a quarter of his weapons from ToD, including the Tornado Launcher, the Nano Swarmers, and the Magma Combustor. Like ToD, you can choose from two different control configurations: a normal third-person control scheme or a more shooter-friendly (and more recommended) lock-strafe scheme. The controls are still as tight and responsive as ever, so no one should have any problems with them. About 95% of Ratchet's opposition come from undead robot pirates. Yep undead robot pirates. Gotta love Ratchet and Clank! Although you shouldn't expect any epic battles like in ToD, there are a couple of standout combat moments, like a beach-head stand-off and the fun final boss battle. It should also be noted that Talwyn stays by Ratchet's side for most of the game helping you take out enemies, although her little pea shooter isn't all that useful. I also found QFB to be a harder game than ToD, as Ratchet doesn't level his health up that much and enemies are a little bit more aggressive. As always, you can level up Ratchet's health by killing enemies and his weapons are improved through continual use. Bolts are also still the main R&C currency, but don't expect to use them at Gadgetron vendors, as there aren't any in QFB. Bolts will still come into play, so make sure you still get plenty of them.
While I like the ToD weapons and I understand that this is a scaled back title, I would have liked it better if Insomniac could have at least added one new weapon for Ratchet to play with (or at the very least, added in my favorite ToD weapon, the Flamethrower). Also, don't expect any of the variety from previous games like space battles and such, as QFB is limited to just platforming and combat. Again, I know it's meant to be a smaller and quicker R&C experience, but it's still a little disappointing.
Screw downloaded titles, Quest For Booty is overall one of the best looking PS3 games out there! It is easily on par with Tools Of Destruction, and actually features cleaner-looking graphics and some more impressive textures. The worlds are just as artistic and large in scope, and animations and effects are still top-notch. The darker areas of the game also feature some very impressive lighting effects. Character models are excellent, the in-game and cartoon cut-scenes are fantastic, and the game runs at a smooth 60fps at 720p. The bar has been raised significantly. Pixar-like graphics may just be right around the corner
Like all R&C games, we get the typical synthesized and whimsical music score, only this time more pirate-themed. Explosions and sound effects are still solid, and like ToD practically drown out the score during combat heavy moments. Voice acting is great and the dialogue is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. No complaints about this DD 5.1 mix.
I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE!
The biggest complain about QFB is that despite three difficulty levels and hidden weapon mods, there is next to no replay value here. No staple-of-the-series challenge mode, no gold bolts, no skill points, no hidden weapons, no nothing. Throw in the fact that the game will last anyone between 3-4 hours to defeat, and you've got a recipe for disappointment with a side of sadness.
Despite all this, Quest For Booty was made to please R&C fans who have to wait until next fall for their next piece of true gaming goodness, and in that regard the title succeeds. All the series staples have been packed into this tiny game and it is easily worth the 15 bucks to anyone who loves these games. If you're a newbie trying to get into the series, then I strongly suggest you at least play Tools of Destruction first before finding some booty.
+R&C platforming and combat is as fun as ever
+New Omni-Wrench abilities are pretty cool
+A little more challenging than Tools of Destruction
+Weapons, despite being from ToD, are still fun to use
+Very nicely designed puzzles
+15 bucks is a steal for R&C fans
-The game is only 3-4 hours long
-Next to no replay value
-At least one new weapon would have been nice.
-Not a lot of gameplay variety
-Newcomers may need to play ToD first to get the most out of it
-No Captain Quark! *Cries*
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/28/08
Game Release: Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty (US, 08/21/08)
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