playing the first ratchet&clank again after sinking so many hours into the other games, this feels like a totally different beast compared to the later games in the series. not even meaning the whole expanded (and weirdly handled) lore and epic cinematic angle the more modern games went for, i mean even compared to Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal, R&C1 feels pretty different just in how it plays.
while the games after R&C1 would be more of "shooter with platformer elements", R&C1 itself feels more "platformer with shooter elements". yeah, obvious difference is that there's no strafe, but the game in general just feels more slower-paced than the later titles. weapons feel more like tools instead of solely a means to blast enemies, and you end up figuring out which weapons are best for which stages/enemies. the health system also makes things more challenging; all enemies take away a single sphere of health, but the amount of spheres you have (8 at max) gives combat a lot more of a risky venture, especially if you're just going to do a wrench-only run. ratchet can't rely on armor, he's only got clank, his weapons, and his natural lombax agility.
doesn't mean R&C1 is "bad" by any stretch, though it is weird to come back to after being so used to the later games. and i'm gonna be real, i don't think mikey kelley ratchet is as mean as people make him out to be; definitely a jerk to clank at times, but the guy nearly got stuck in a deathtrap because clank blindly trusted people, give him a little slack.
that being said, R&C1 isn't without its shortcomings. wasn't a big fan of hoverboarding (especially since the skillpoints related to it were nightmarish), flying segments are pretty dull, and honestly the whole game itself can be really merciless at times with the scarce checkpoints it gives. though the top offender goes to clank's slow-ass gameplay, and it took until the ps3 era for clank's areas to not feel like a complete slog.
still a fun time overall, and the presentation, music, writing, and visuals still stand proud alongside the rest of the series. okay maybe this game has a leg up on the later games' writing. look, i'm still iffy on the whole direction of making ratchet "the super special last of his kind" thing. let the guy just be a lil mechanic who likes guns, that's what i know him best as.
also tesla claw goated

Reviewed on Mar 17, 2023