A Wrench, Descending
The new Ratchet & Clank is a marvel, further proof that Insomniac is the surest thing that platform has going for it. You’ll travel to lush, hitch-free worlds where the brutal load times found in other Playstation titles are nowhere to be found. It’s something everyone with the system will be playing, and it’s executed at a level that should generate jealousy in the non-owner. I don’t know if it’s enough to make someone pick it up, but we’re moving into that territory. I imagine it largely depends on whether they’ve heard the sound it makes when you pick up bolts. I know that our desire to obtain bolts is second only to our desire to obtain even more bolts, and this is due largely to its captivating jingle slash jangle.
Every time you play a demo, and there’s something not quite right about it, you think “Oh, maybe they’ll fix this before release” but they never do, and you pop in the final only to be greeted by the same issues. The R&C demo (technically, the “R&CF:ToD” demo) was a few ebullient, engaging scenes marred by some fairly vicious graphical tearing. I expected this tearing to persist in the final product, but I was having so much fun with it that I didn’t care. Imagine my surprise when the retail disc retains the amusement I described earlier, only it runs like a Swiss watch. What a profound luxury it must be to focus on a single platform.
I’m not sure if retailers really know what to do with Eye of Judgment, and my calls around town the last few days have proven this out. Most places have no idea what game I’m even referring to, and as recently as Tuesday I heard that the title had been cancelled again. Even if a store has it, and that’s a long shot, there’s no place around here that sells the cards. Sony’s also shipping a forty dollar version of the camera without the game included, so I don’t really know what kind of investment they have in the product internally. Coupled with the fact that copied cards play just as well, the CCG element of the equation might not be the engine of commerce they’d hoped.
As for copied cards, it’s not as bad as it seems from a game balance perspective. That is to say, it’s bad, but it’s not catastrophic. You can only have three of any card in your deck, and the most powerful cards are limited to one either by deck or by race. It’s going to tip the odds, but there is no “Win” card that one may scan and claim victory.
In any case, it may be awhile before I’m able to play from home as the Playstation 3 I purchased doesn’t even turn on. I’ll pause while Playstation stalwarts have a laugh at my expense.