Ratchet & Clank Trilogy Review

July 26, 2014

There’s a lot of love out there for the Ratchet & Clank series, and as far as I’m concerned it’s well deserved. The original three PS2 games were some of the best platformers of that generation, standing proud alongside Naughty Dog’s Jak & Daxter series, and the following trilogy on PS3 was an amazing follow-up as well. Since then, the series has dipped and dived with experiments that haven’t completely worked, like Full Frontal Assault and All 4 One, but the main entries of the series that had developer Insomniac’s complete attention still stand the test of time.

That’s probably why Michael gave the Ratchet & Clank Trilogy four stars back in 2013, as it featured Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked & Loaded and Ratchet & Clank 3, all re-done in HD for the PS3. Now, the same trilogy has been brought to the PS Vita, joining the Jak & Daxter Collection that the console received last year as well.


In terms of the actual content of the games in this re-release, not a lot has changed from the initial version on the PS3, as detailed in Michael’s review. However, what has significantly changed is the performance of these games.

On the Vita, the resolution on these games is significantly lowered, and aliasing is much more prevalent than the PS3 release. The frame-rate can also became incredibly choppy on a dime, although this issue seems to show up more in the later games, and by comparison the original Ratchet & Clank runs much more smoothly with less action on the screen. Video cutscenes are kept at their original 4:3 aspect ratio, but their quality can be absolutely shocking, especially in Ratchet & Clank 3 where glitchy borders and video artefacting can be seen all over the original fun, cartoony visuals.

The Vita itself is a fine device to play these games on, and with dual analogue sticks, movement and camera control works just as well as they did back on the old faithful PS2. What the Vita lacks are the extra two shoulder buttons of its larger PS2 and PS3 controller brothers, which is a problem in Ratchet and Clank 2 and 3, which introduced strafing as a key part of their combat gameplay. The strafing function has been remapped to the rear touchpad, and it’s not just an inconvenience to get it to activate, it’s damn near impossible. Maybe it’s just my Vita, but I was unable to get strafing to function at least 80% of the time, and while controls can be remapped somewhat in the menu, whichever function that gets shuffled onto the rear touchpad might as well be forgotten.


Still, while the quality of this portable port is questionable, the fact remains that all three Ratchet & Clank titles are solid platformers, and there is a very decent amount of content in here for your money. What’s even better is that Ratchet & Clank Trilogy is a cross-buy title, meaning if you find yourself getting too fed up with the Vita’s controls or performance, your purchase of the game also qualifies you for a downloadable copy on PS3, which is certainly the superior version of the two. On a console with big releases few and far between these days, Ratchet & Clank Trilogy is a decent purchase, but an even better one on PS3.


Three of the best PS2 platformers | Great humour, fun weapons


Performance issues | Control issues

Overall Score: