Blog » Into the Nexus

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus is the first Ratchet game I’ve ever played. Got it free from a friend and have been thoroughly enjoying myself. Platforming-wise I’ve always been a Nintendo boy and it’s interesting to see how Playstation thinks platformers should operate. Ratchet is so much bouncier than Mario. It seems like he runs with his whole body rather than being a steadicam on legs.

She's so evil and yet I just want to pinch her cheeks!

There’s also guns. I guess Ratchet having guns is kind of the differentiating factor of the entire series. I have a space pistol, space grenades, space shotgun and a space robot turret guy. The weapons are interesting in visual design and execution rather than a whole new method of killing. Haven’t discovered any Needlers, for instance.

Playing a long-established franchise with no knowledge of its history is an odd sensation. Ratchet is apparently a Lombax and the last of his kind. He declined an invitation from Emperor Something-or-Other to go to another dimension to be with his people. There was also a device called the Great Clock that I imagine chimed ominously. You have minor romantic tension with a female creature named Talwyn Apogee. I’m sure there must have been one Ratchet and Clank game where Clank got all huffy and left, eventually leading to a rekindling of their friendship. Captain Quark is a doofus space hero, though before learning that I wasn’t sure why Ratchet was acting so apprehensive toward the guy.

Your mission is to recapture the criminal Vendra Prog. Quick, what does that name conjure in your mind? Evil space frog? Tall, Severus Snape-esque villain? It’s actually a space witch the size of a child (see above right) but with an oversized head and curly red hair that should fit neatly into Nights’ hat thing. She’s a fantastic villain. Pulls great evil faces, has a classic evil plan, taunts Ratchet with his failures, and yet is motivated by an abusive childhood rather than a maniac “destroy the world” dream. Ratchet and Clank are likable enough, but I keep playing to see more of Vendra. She seems like Invader Zim’s archnemesis.

Complaints? Not many. The shooting is good, the platforming is fine, the dialog is above average. The other Ratchet and Clank games have sexual puns for titles but this one is as edgy as a soccer ball in the middle of something. I will admit to being really confused in the opening cinematic as bizarrely-spelled nouns rained on my poor head. And it’s really easy to get overwhelmed in combat. I haven’t found a good combat loop that ends with me healed. If I’m not really careful I’m limping along at 6 HP until I can find another blue box to smash.

I’ve also been playing Final Fantasy XII again in a weird celebration of repetition. I’ve found save files indicating I’ve spent a total of 130 hours on this game so far. And yet I’m compelled to break in my new living room furniture with another run. Try to hunt all the marks this time, catch all the espers.Surely that’ll only push me to 200 hours.

Huh. Why did I scoff at Pokemon again?