Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty

Tools of Destruction left me wanting more, so I picked up Quest for Booty. It really seems like a game designed to simply tide you over before the release of Crack in Time. As a stand alone game, it really doesn’t add anything of significance new to the series and it is extremely short, probably 4-5 hours in length. In fact if anything it seems like the deleted scenes of the previous video game packaged together.

All things being equal though, more of the same of Ratchet & Clank is not a bad thing.

Three stars.

Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction

I’ve always thought of Ratchet & Clank as a kid’s game – and I’ve steered clear as a result. However, after I was given a copy of Ratchet & Clank with a strong recommendation to play I figured I’d give it a go to break in my new PS3. Ratchet & Clank is like the video game equivalent of a Pixar film; a kids game that appeals to adults. It’s a relatively simple game, but the gameplay is addictive and lots of fun. I’m converted. Kids games rock.

Four stars.

2012

This movie is crazy, frantic, and laugh out loud ridiculous. I don’t think anybody would go into this movie taking it seriously, and that’s a good thing. The characters are paper thin and the story is insane, however the special effects are great, the pacing is solid, and the action is great. It’s a silly film, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s really not worth thinking about it all that much.,

Three stars.

Crackdown

Crackdown takes the open world sand box concept of GTA and removes any semblance of story from it. It tries to focus exclusively on mayhem, and the result is a bland game with repetitive one-dimensional missions whose objectives lack context.

The game itself has more dimensions to it, insofar as there are varied side missions, but I find that in general side missions complement the main story campaign of a game, and on that front Crackdown was completely lacking. By the end I found it almost a tedious effort to get to the end of the main campaign so that I could declare the game “completed”. I had plenty of other things to do in the game, but after 15 hours or so playing I really didn’t want to touch it ever again.

Two stars

Could the new Prince of Persia movie be the first video game movie not to suck?

I honestly cannot think of an example of a movie adapted from a video game that hasn’t completely sucked. I find myself too often lulled into some stupid and unjustified belief that because I liked a game, I would therefore like a movie version of it, but always somewhere along the way, the movie makers don’t “get” it, or for some reason it just doesn’t work as a movie.

Certainly with modern games, there really is less and less of a reason for the movies to be so damn awful. Games often have characters with personality and a narrative structure. More often than not however a games concept is usually little more than a rip off of a concept you’ve seen before, (often originally as a movie) such that a movie version of the game brings nothing new to the table and ends up seeming quite derivative.

Prince of Persia has a fresh enough concept to it (albeit not entirely original), and more importantly it has a significant amount of money behind it. This buys a good director, big name actors, but doesn’t guarantee quality by any means. Will be interested to see how it goes.

Jerry Bruckheimer, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mike Newell – this movie has hope.