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A fascinating interdimensional journey, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart offers players a superb gaming experience with engaging action, lovable characters, and top-notch humorous writing. I had only played A Crack in Time before to this, so I am now excited to play more of the series after finishing it.
Rift Apart's extensive arsenal of weaponry is one of the game's most notable qualities. The sheer range and creativity of the weaponry at my disposal attracted me as soon as I began my adventure. I found myself using every weapon in my armory since each one seemed distinct and had a distinct function. The Lightning Rod stood out as my particular favorite among all. It was easy to make foes and bosses submit to my will due to to its powerful rate of fire and ability to obstruct enemy movements.
Speaking of combat, Rift Apart has excellent level design. The game successfully balances difficult confrontations with expertly designed locations. Combat is given an additional degree of strategy by the placement of objects like the red boxes that explode, keeping confrontations from getting simple and dull. Since it enables players to approach each encounter in their own special way, the game is kept engaging and fresh throughout.
One of the game's biggest highlights is the introduction of Rivet, a fascinating and lovable character who serves as a parallel version of Ratchet. It was a lot of fun exploring her character. A unique dynamic between the two playable characters was formed and gave the story more depth by allowing viewers to see this other version of Ratchet with plenty of screentime together. Kit's presence as Clank's counterpart also enhanced the added depth and comedy, all in all making for an excellent cast of characters that kept me interested in their journey.
Rift Apart's narrative may not be ground-breaking, but it still succeeds in engrossing players in an exciting multiverse adventure. The game tackles the idea of numerous realities effectively and weaves it into an exciting narrative. It provides a far more enjoyable and interesting experience than most multiverse stories in media, more specifically with MCU movies. The ideal duration of the narrative ensures that it doesn't drag on unnecessarily while yet providing a rewarding and pleasant experience.
Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is a game that shines in its focus on detail and capacity to build an engrossing universe. An excellent gameplay experience is provided by its enormous selection of weaponry, memorable characters like Rivet and Kit, and skillfully designed level layout. The graphics are also absolutely riveting. It definitely takes advantage of PS5 hardware, and it makes me happy that Insomniac didn't settle for a cross-gen game. It is also worth praising how this game is understandable to newcomers like me, as I wasn't confused about anything happening. Rift Apart is a must-play that will leave you itching for more adventures in the Ratchet & Clank universe, whether you've been a longtime fan of the series or a beginner like myself.
Trails in the Sky is an underrated JRPG that needs to be hailed and recognized for its outstanding story and compelling characters. One of the game's strongest substances is the relationship between Estelle and Joshua. It's uncommon to witness such strong rapport between two mostly alone characters in a genre that favors ensemble casts with several characters. Their interactions are authentic and realistic, allowing you to feel their affection grow deeper as the game continues. The writers behind this game clearly put a lot of work into crafting the detailed dialogue and it shows.
In a genre dominated by male heroes, Estelle is a breath of fresh air. She embarks on her journey as an impressionable young woman with little life experience, but as she crosses the nation and interacts with new people, she learns priceless lessons about accountability, selflessness, and the value of family. She doesn't hesitate to face challenging circumstances, and many around her are motivated by her bravery. Her bond with Joshua is undoubtedly at the heart of the plot, and it's a joy to watch them interact with each other. Her progress and evolution throughout the game make her adventure all the more enjoyable, and she's certainly become my new favorite protagonist in a videogame.
The music score is also worth addressing in greater detail. The OST was composed by Falcom Sound Team jdk and is a testament to their widely praised brilliance. The music is eclectic and covers a wide range of tones and themes, from energetic fight tracks to somber piano compositions. Each track fits wonderfully in its own scene, and they're all memorable in their own way. The game's opening theme, "Sora no Kiseki," is very catchy and sets the tone for the game, and Factory City Zeiss is one of the most vibe-filled bops I've heard in a JRPG.
The combat system in the game is turn-based, similar to that of most classic JRPGs. While it isn't extremely unique it is serviceable and takes some strategic thought. You can customize your party members' abilities and equipment, and there are a range of foes with varying strengths and weaknesses. However, it can feel repetitive at times, especially since most battles boil down to using the same tactics over and over again.
While the graphics may not be up to modern standards, it's crucial to remember that this is a 2004 game. So, while it is a flaw, it is not surprising, and the game's aesthetic more than compensates. It's also worth noting that, despite the presentation being filled with chibi models, the actual dialogue box artwork for each character is so visually appealing that it's heartbreaking to see the Evolution version of the game replace these images. They have an incredible appeal that should have been preserved.
Despite the previous points, the most significant flaw is the story's unbelievably sluggish pacing. And this is not stated lightly. Over half of the game is mainly focused on introducing the world and its characters, and it honestly can feel like nothing is really happening. I found myself often asking "Where's the plot?" several times, or "when does it get juicy" all the way to the end of Chapter 2. Despite these criticisms, the pacing is justifiable, as the immersion in this game's world and its characters is essential for later context near the end of the game's story. The narrative is captivating and dramatic once it gets to the point and it does not slow down at all. The story addresses challenging topics like political corruption and familial ties, and it tackles these topics with maturity and complexity. The finale is satisfying and enthralling, and allows the perfect amount of room for the second chapter to follow. If you stay around for the entire journey, which I almost didn't, it's a good payoff.
Trails in the Sky is an absolute must-play for JRPG enthusiasts. Its strong characters, outstanding musical score, and incredibly relevant themes more than compensate for its weaknesses such as the rough pacing and hardly serviceable combat. It's an excellent introduction to the Trails series. Just tackle the slow start with patience and you'll be rewarded with a fascinating trip filled with some of the most diverse and colorful characters and world-building you'll ever see.
I don't have a lot to say about Tetris Effect: Connected. It's essentially a re-release of the original Tetris Effect with some bonus modes added and new platform availability. If you haven't experienced either versions of this game, it's worth giving it a shot for the first level alone, which will either hook you, or turn you off immediately. The OST is breathtaking and perfectly compliments the unbelievable amount of particle details flowing around on the screen. Tetris Effect was my introduction to the ever-evolving genre of Tetris games, and I don't regret any second I spent in this game. It's a captivating experience when you find the right mood and time of the day to sink into it, as it's definitely a dopamine supplier.