Monday, August 4, 2014

Game Diary - Ratchet, Rogue and... Joel.

I wasn't particularly thrilled with Rogue Legacy when I tried it out on Tuesday.  I let it smack me around for an hour or so, and then decided to check out the Ratchet & Clank collection on my Vita.

The good news is, the Ratchet & Clank collection performs beautifully.  If there have been any technical hiccups, I haven't noticed, even in the thickest stadium brawls.  I went straight into Going Commando (the second one), because the first R&C lacked the ability to strafe, which kinda' became the cornerstone of the gameplay ever after.

In Going Commando, they've mapped the strafe button to a very particular spot on the rear touchpad, such that it tends to be my right-hand middle finger that activates the strafe function. At first glance, this is, inherently, a bad thing.  I'm strafing for 90% of the time I'm in combat, it needs to be on something a bit more reliable - like, say, a button. The controller layout menu doesn't give any real detail about where you need to touch it to activate strafing, so I spent - not figuratively, but literally - a half-hour trying to figure it out before I Googled my question and found some help.

With your right-hand, feel about an inch and a half from the edge of the rear touchpad, and about a half-inch to an inch below the top.  It's about there.

I hope I have spared you similar suffering.

Fortunately, once getting used to it, it becomes second-nature and doesn't hurt the experience at all - it's just... odd to me that they wouldn't so much as include the ability to map it to a shoulder button.  You've got to hand it to Gearbox - at least they let us muck with the controls all they wanted in the Borderlands 2 port.

The good news is, the Ratchet & Clank trilogy remains the Ratchet & Clank trilogy - that is to say, an absolute pleasure.  I had to (figuratively) tear myself away from the game to put more time in to Rogue Legacy, which I felt a need to give a second chance thanks to Chamberlain's inability to utterly fail at the game.

The thought that real, actual people could play Rogue Legacy and enjoy it re-ignited my curiosity, and I dove back in.

Having now invested... oh... I'd say four hours or so in it, I'm prepared to say I like Rogue Legacy, but I don't love it.  I don't feel it's so much challenging as it is obtusely hard - and, yes, I know if I keep throwing myself against the spikes of its difficulty and going splat, I'll come home with a bit more gold to upgrade my fortress (and so, my heirs), buy new swords and armor and hey, that rune system is pretty cool!

And while it's fun, it's not like super-awesome-you've-got-to-try-this fun.  The game succeeds at leveraging the nostalgia factor - running around in a 2D platformer with a weapon and attacking curiously-powerful monsters who really take a chunk out of you when they so much as touch you - yeah, man, that feels just like the old days. That's cool - but it's not deliriously cool.

If you want something great to play on your Vita, you should get the Ratchet & Clank collection.  Those games are like ten years old and they're still fucking awesome.


over a year later, with multiple playthroughs of the original release under my belt, The Last of Us has not yet grown stale, and Remastered is an unnervingly-gorgeous way to enjoy the game.  Still loving it.

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