The EZA Community Top Insomniac Games!
Fantastic! Very, VERY happy to see the first Resistance make it. I remember being so taken with the picture you see above, having one of the most bizarre and captivating skull designs in an old war-stylized landscape. And the concept of a world where WWII never happened, replaced instead of an alien invasion and the lore of it is FASCINATING: An alien strain inside a meteorite that crashes in Russia, slowly spreads and takes over, causing countries and continents to go dark. Long dormant tech from ages long past is dug back up and brought online, taking over the world from the inside out...
At the time, the fusion of 50's era weaponry and setting with alien tech was incredibly unique and to this day, is a concept that holds up well. I remember being propelled by the opening, as you jump from a VTOL and run right into a Chimera Hybrid squad and by this point, Asia had already fallen and England was the last bastion of the already conquered Europe.
As I mentioned in the Resistance 2 post, the narration style of Captain Rachel Parker, detailing the last three days Nathan Hale was officially seen alive (ya know, the not redacted kind) instantly had me wanting to see his story through. Granted, Nathan being a mute protagonist in this game is weird when I feel he was cast well in the sequel, but it still having Parker and Lieutenant Stephen Cartwright in Nathan's ear during gameplay at the beginning of levels or critical plot points gave you the sense of the mission, making you believe Nathan's the only one who can combat the Chimera menace. And I forgot to say it in the Resistance 2 post but: Henry Stillman's broadcasts as you progress, as he slips closer and closer to madness is a DAMN fine replacement, and it's a totally optional world builder. Always chills me to hear him losing hope.
The Chimera themselves were all memorable as they were introduced. The aforementioned Hybirds, the terrifying crawling Leapers, the towering Titans, the annoying and long limbed Grey Jacks, and the quadrupedal Howlers all had their own unique way to be taken down, but nothing tops the major bosses: The Stalker tank, The spider-esque Widowmaker and the flying Angel. Gruesome in design and tough as hell to kill, they intimidate me to this day and I dread taking them on whenever I do a series replay.
The weaponry also left an imprint, as is a common theme from Insomniac. The Bullseye's alternate fire of tagging enemies and shooting around corners/obstacles felt really good to use. The Auger, with its ability to see through walls, felt OP as can be, with the trade off of ammo being incredibly rare. The Hailstorm spitting out so many bullets with an alternate fire of firing a hovering drone of shooting constant bullets make you feel like a powerhouse. But something that's absolutely awesome is the New Game Plus exclusive weapons: The Reaper Carbine, one of the few you could actually dual wield, is an SMG that on a first playthrough, is only used by the Longlegs that jump around in the tunnels. But in the first level of New Game Plus, it's on the ground in a doorway of the main path and the auto-targeting allows you to pinpoint 2nd only to the Fareye Sniper Rifle, but with more ammo and higher fire rate. You even get a Flamethrower, the L11-2 Dragon, with handles leaper pods, Menials, and a great CQC/Crowd Control options if you don't have grenades. And the grenades! I read above dislike of the Hedgehogs, but those are (to me) awesome, because it's a two way street, ripping EVERYTHING to shreds, you AND Chimera, requiring patience, wits, and skills. And the Air Fuels are also neat because they stick to surfaces and you hear a brief "Wheeeeeee" before the air ignites and everything close catches fire.
Resistance: Fall of Man was one of the first "horror" games I played, as you're alone quite a bit throughout the game, in a derelict factory, cavern system, and Chimera buildings as the Chimera step out from behind pillars or jump at you through windows and container tanks. Many times I had the shit scared out of me, terrified of going forward into the darkness. This doesn't mean it's the same gameplay all the time, as there's a level dedicated to driving a jeep around to assault pop-up outposts, and even piloting a tank through the streets just wrecking shop on all the Chimera forces. And something else that's really neat: About three times (though there could be more, but I can't remember more than that), you'll come across three bodies throughout the story, but their different: garbed in black with radios playing military callsign and jargon, which you'll soon realize the group is American. In England. Watching and documenting YOU. And they have a star on their helmet with four letters: S-R-P-A. And when you see the post-credits scene, it all makes sense, with a perfect transition to the seqeul.
All of this combines together to create one of my favorite games of all time. So much so it's 12th of my top 100. As also shown above, the 2nd overall game on my Insomniac list. Which of course means it's my favorite of the franchise. More massive shout-outs to @DIPSET and @Shoulderguy for their votes, especially considering I didn't think it would make the list. Again: I'm VERY pleased.
DIPSET last edited by
Couldn't have said it better myself. R: FoM gets so much right out of the gate. It's a shame the series never really fully hit it's stride.
It's ripe for a reboot with a more thorough vision that is trying to be it's own thing as opposed to a COD or a DOOM3.
#10: Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time | 15 Points
#1: 1 (bruno_saurus)
#4: 1 (Nimbat1003)
HM: 4 (JDINCINERATOR, Brannox, NeoCweeny, Sentinel Beach)
Release date: NA: October 27th, 2009 | AU: November 5th, 2009 | EU: November 6th, 2009
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Platformer Adventure
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is one of my favorite games. This was one of the first games that got me back into being a dedicated Playstation owner again after a brief stint with the 360.
Memories aside, this game is gorgeous. I do love how this game closes out the Future saga narrative wise. All three games definitely build upon one another and A Crack in Time nails the ending in my mind.
Gameplay wise, I do highly enjoy the side small planets you get to explore if you want to step away from the story a bit! They each offer fun challenges and views of space. Clank gameplay wise offers fun time based puzzles, which can get confusing sure, but I don't find them annoyingly confusing. And at least Clank is a novice in all of this time-shifting just like you.
Weapon wise, there might not be as many new weapons as Tools of Destruction, but a new weapon I love in this game is the Sonic Eruptor! A machine attached to a frog-like created. You fire it with sonic waves from the frog itself. But, you can make more powerful sonic waves by waiting until the frog's cheeks are larger, which I love that concept a lot!
This is overall, definitely up there with Rift Apart as my favorite Ratchet & Clank game, I feel like either could be switched as time goes on, but right now, A Crack in Time is up there for me.
DIPSET last edited by
A Crack In Time was awesome and pretty much the last R&C game I liked since it went a bit bananas with All 4 One and the remake.
I feel like most of the popularity for A Crack In Time > Tools of Destruction came from the PS3 install base being a lot bigger than it was back in 2007. I think a lot of people jumped on PS3 late when 360 sort of stopped making games and ACIT released right around then.
JDINCINERATOR last edited by
I appreciate games that have double-entendres like A Crack in Time and it is one of the best Ratchet & Clank games to boot. I can still recall the "need more Zoni" request that has stuck with me all these years because of how it sounds. I do wish that I had completed A Crack in Time but from what I played it was a fantastic R&C offering.
@dipset I concur, though Insomniac has said they have no interest in making another, and it's not surprising (even though it's a massive bummer). I mean Sucker Punch said the same thing about Sly and Infamous and it makes me sad great PS2 and PS3 franchises are tossed aside as relics, despite their high quality.
Another fantastic Ratchet & Clank game, as it's my 5th favorite in the series (I'd say it's in my "Great" tier), and it's number 7 of my 20 Insomniac games list. Currently, it resides at my 48th favorite game of all time.
Much like I did for the Tools of Destruction entry, I'm going to pull from a previous comment in our Countdown threads, but since this was in a bullet point fashion, I'm going to expound upon each topic:
"While I get why many consider this their favorite of the franchise, I prefer others more (The reboot, Tools of Destruction, and the original), but that doesn't mean I'm not very high on it... The franchise may have had quite a few games before this, but the PS3 is where (the franchise) really hit its stride. There's so much about this game I love:"
- The juggling of multiple antagonists between Vorselon, Nefarious, and eventually Azimuth."
So what I meant here is, while I appreciated the fact Dr. Nefarious is the big bad, I liked the change ups with Vorselon and Azimuth, the former not being around as much as I would've liked (though I appreciated he serves as post-game), and the latter providing an excellent compelling foil to Ratchet. The climax in the Great Clock is fantastic because of his history with Ratchet's father and his one-track minded endeavor to restore the Lombaxes to the galaxy/universe AND the fact he's not an enemy for much of the game. Sure, he attacks you the very first time you encounter him, but only until you free him from Vorselon does he become antagonistic.
- "While I enjoy the dynamic between the titular two the best when they're together, this proved each can have unique and engaging gameplay and scenarios independent of one another."
I believe the time focused puzzles with Clank change up the pace quite well, and Sigmund is a likeable character (Shout out to Nolan North. Blew my mind when I found out he voices him). Ratchet's segments have a good bit of variety, but personally speaking, I feel there are a couple of, not necessarily boring, but not as fun, like Krell Canyon. In addition, the planets and locales in ToD are better to me both in terms of art and level design, and for a majority of the journey, I miss Clank for being so used to him as Ratchet's backpack.
- "The exploration of each system, flying to planets to find puzzling platform sections for Gold Bolts, Zoni, and side quests from NPCs, is freeing. There are so many planets across the franchise I really enjoy, but it's nice not having a linear path to explore every now and then."
I still standby the fact the smaller planets within systems are a nice break, though most do feel a little too simple (Except the post game-system. Those three or four are TOUGH). However, just the simple act of flying a space ship, and the agency of choosing to carry on with the main story or go goof off in optional areas is well done.
- "The story is really solid, seeing Clank come into his own, how his origins was more than coming off the assembly line in the first game, and the heartbreaking fate of Orvus. Plus, again, Nefarious."
This is where I feel A Crack in Time is at its strongest: When you're with Clank. However, you spend more time as Ratchet (understandably) so I wish I had equal feelings on the story moments, but Clank's segments are just, to me, better. But don't get me wrong: As I just said above - When you're Ratchet and coordinating with Azimuth, it's compelling, always driving you forward as you carry on Ratchet's quest to find Clank while juggling his longing to reunite with his race.
- "Sadly, this would also be the last really good/great game of the series for awhile with the weird experiments that were All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault. Thankfully Into the Nexus and the Reboot proved the formula is still fantastic."
I also stand by this as well, and while I don't foresee the games above will make the countdown (Sans the Reboot as it's already here), I'll talk about them once the countdown is over.
Overall, A Crack in Time is amazing and yet another game I highly recommend to people (though because of story reasons, I would recommend playing a couple others first). Shoutouts to @JDINCINERATOR, @NeoCweeny, @Sentinel-Beach, @Nimbat1003, and @bruno_saurus!
NeoCweeny last edited by
A Crack in Time is a fantastic game. I will always have more fondness for the original PS2 trilogy but I can't deny that a Crack in Time is one of the best in the series gameplay wise.
#9: Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage | 16 Points
#1: 1 (DIPSET)
#3: 1 (Sentinel Beach)
#5: 1 (NeoCweeny)
HM: 1 (Shoulderguy)
Release date: NA: November 2nd, 1999 | EU: November 5th, 1999
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 1
Brannox last edited by Brannox
I was curious to see where any Spyro games placed and which we would see first. Of the 20 games I've played, Spryo 2 sits right in the middle at 10th overall. And despite being halfway, it's currently my 65th favorite game of all time.
For a while, of the original trilogy, it was my favorite. I really like Avalar and the hub worlds based around three of the four seasons are fun to explore, with interesting secrets. I'll never forget the feeling of discovering how to get atop the main tower in the 2nd hub world Autumn Plains because I rammed into a breakable wall I didn't know was breakable, or the time I decided to fall into the waterfall in the Winter Tundra to discover a secret cave with an Orb.
Overall, I feel the individual levels themselves get a little less interesting as you progress. I'm a fan of Glimmer, Colossus, and Hurricos, in Summer Forest, the warring worlds of Breeze Harbor and Zephyr in the Autumn Plains, and the futuristic Metropolis from Winter Tundra. But all the others don't grab me like many others across the other two games.
However, three areas that Spyro 2 improved upon the original are Bosses, Abilities to return to previous areas, and the story/characters. While the original does have bosses (One for each Dragon Realm), Spyro 2 made them an event, which I appreciate. I love how swimming (which was lethal in the first game), climbing ladders, and headbashing really integrated gems in two ways: You got to have gems to pay Moneybags for them, but you need to be thorough finding enough and once you've paid, you gotta go back to get more gems, orbs and keep up your count to purchase the next ability.
And of course the story. While the first is bare bones, this sequel introducing Hunter, Elora, and the Professor as fun Allies to thwart the contemptable Ripto is a nice addition to just going after Gnasty Gnorc. I think it's odd the Talisman quest stops 2/3rds of the way through, but it ultimately doesn't matter, because the actual act of playing and 100% completing it feels so good.
And gameplay being such a big improvement can't be overstated. In addition to the aforementioned swimming, climbing, and headbash, hovering is CRUCIAL in making flying much better. I love the original, but one of its biggest flaws is when gliding and you're juuuuuuuuuust short of a ledge and instead of implementing a slight boost, you drop straight down. As for 100%ing the game, the Guidebook does a great job of keeping everything ordered, showing you each level, how many gems and orbs you have, and the nifty ability to warp to levels you've previously visited, regardless of where you are. However, while Dragon Shores is a brief neat post-game place, it and the SuperFlame I feel are not satisfying rewards for finding everything in the game.
With the Reignited Trilogy, there's no better version/way to play this and the other original Spyro games, so while there's no need for me to ever go back to the original version, I still have fond memories of it from my childhood.
Ya know, writing all this out has me wishing Xbox will greenlight a Spyro 4 like how Crash got once the acquisition finalizes.
NeoCweeny last edited by
Spyro 2 is my least favorite in the trilogy. It's still an amazing game and has some memorable levels. I like that it's a lot different than the first game but I think the third one took every from Spyro 2 and made it better making Spyro 2 the least interesting game in the trilogy in retrospect.
Sentinel Beach last edited by
My favourite Spyro here, cool. Brannox actually said pretty much all that I would have. It's just one of the best PS1 games, I really really love it, and playing the Reignited Trilogy showed me that the magic is still there, no question about it. Autumn Plains with its atmospheric, calm music is my favourite place in the game.
Shoulderguy last edited by Shoulderguy
I've only played about two hours of the Spyro 2 remake and that was enough for it to receive my last Honorable Mention. I liked the first Spyro more, but Spyro 2 was still an enjoyable simple platformer and I definitely would consider revisiting it at some point. Since I haven't finished it, it's not ranked on my 1999 GOTY list.
#7: Spyro: Year of the Dragon | 17 Points
#1: 1 (NeoCweeny)
#2: 1 (DIPSET)
#4: 1 (Sentinel Beach)
Release date: NA: October 10th, 2000 | EU: November 10th, 2000
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 1
#7: Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal | 17 Points
#2: 2 (NeoCweeny, Nimbat1003)
#3: 1 (JDINCINERATOR)
Release date: NA: November 2nd, 2004 | EU: November 12th, 2004 | AU: November 18th, 2004
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 2
JDINCINERATOR last edited by
I think over here in the UK it's just Ratchet & Clank 3. Every time I hear the "Up Your Arsenal" bit I can't help but think "Up Your arsehole" instead. Be that as it may Ratchet and Clank 3 fired on all cylinders and is one of the best threequels out there.
Brannox last edited by Brannox
@jdincinerator ...That's uh.... exactly why the subtitle is what it is. Double entendres are a hallmark of R&C game titles.
DIPSET last edited by DIPSET
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage
So this game along with F1 2000 were some of my earliest video game memories. I think Spyro 2 is the game that made me fall in love with video games.
It isn't rose coloured nostalgia glasses though. I think this is one of the best PS1 games and one of the best 3D platformers ever made. I prefer it over other classics like SM64, Sunshine, or Banjo. Unlike other games from it's era, the graphics, art direction, and overall control really hold up.
I think the atmosphere takes Spyro 2 into another world. The hub worlds of Summer Forest, Autumn Plains, and Winter Tundra have this soothing tranquility to them. The ambient noise peppered with subtle SFX of gems and magical-fantasy other-woldness teases your sense of wonder like it's baiting you to spend time, explore, and find those secrets.
I think Spyro 2 has the best realms in the series. Some levels are pretty big and intricate. Most levels have really distinct atmospheres.
My favourites are:
- Sunny Beach
- Skelos Badlands
- Fracture Hills
This Stewart Copeland composed soundtrack is just incredible. Overall, this game is just v-i-b-e-s... it's hard to explain but when you're in this world, you feel very in the moment, sheltered from outside noise. Here are some examples that hopefully give you a small taste:
Spyro 2 Colossus Monk Chant
Spyro 2 soundtrack - Glimmer
Two three-quels coming in on the countdown!
Starting with Spyro: Year of the Dragon, for me, it's my least favorite of the Insomniac trilogy (despite the fact it resides as my 76th favorite game of all time). In the Insomniac library, I have it 11th out of the 20 I've played.
Personally, I actually don't like the times you have to play as the other characters. While I appreciate they add some twists to the story and world, their respective gameplay for each character is annoying. Don't get me wrong: I like Sheila's and Bentley's personalities, but Sgt. Byrd is TOO much James Bond and Agent 9 needs to CALM. DOWN. Still, it's funny to see all four of them attack Moneybags once you pay for their freedom.
The quest for the Dragon Eggs is perhaps my favorite story hook of the three games, and the hub areas are also the trilogy's strongest with all four pertaining to a time of day. Many of the levels within each hub world are also quite interesting, as Sunny Villa and Cloud Spire are my favorites in Sunrise Spring, Icy Peak and Bamboo Terrace top Midday Gardens, Charmed Ridge is a fusion of Romeo & Juliet with a fairy tale twist for standing out in Evening Lake, and the Desert Ruins is the coolest homage to Tomb Raider as part of Midnight Mountain.
Another thing I greatly appreciate in YotD is the mini-game variety. Hovertanks, Swimming, Boating are all cool, but my favorite bar none is the Skateboarding. I remember in the Enchanted Towers park hitting several twisting back/front flips off the megaramp to get massive points for the eggs and it feeling so cool. Speedways are fine (as they're pretty much the same across all three games), but having the opportunity to play as Sparx is a nice distraction, but like the four companion characters, it isn't as fun as I would like it to be.
I touched on how I appreciated bosses being a little more refined (despite there being fewer) in Spyro 2, but Spyro 3 really shines in this area. Each monster you take on before going to the next hub world is gruesome and evil looking, a credit to the art design of making them memorable encounters, in addition to the unique mechanics you have to leverage for victory.
Another aspect I think is neat is once you find all the Eggs and Gems, you unlock the best post-game of the trilogy; ramming Moneybags and the Sorceress' Treasure Vault. The former is quite cathartic as you have two games of him ripping you off built up and you get to just ram into him several times as he tries to run away. Doing so recovers every single gem you paid to him in this adventure plus a dragon egg he foolishly tells you he's keeping for himself. Satisfying. Pertaining to the vault, it's a really difficult set of challenges that make you feel everything is earned and allows you finish with additional eggs and gems beyond the max counter in the guidebook tells you in the whole game, all culminating in a rematch with the Sorceress for a true ending to the adventure.
While I may not like it as much as the previous two, I still think it's a fantastic time and well worth completing.
Moving on to Up Your Arsenal, this is a Ratchet and Clank I categorize as "Good" in my personal tiers of the franchise. It's 9th on my ballot of 20 Insomniac games (of which I think it's a little funny the middle of my list has a little bit of a run on our countdown here), my 7th favorite Ratchet & Clank, and currently my 63rd favorite game of all time.
For me, I'll always appreciate Up Your Arsenal for introducing Dr. Nefarious and him being the lasting villain of the series. His quest to annihilate the "squishies" is humorous, and I like the robot pop-star Courtney Gears "subliminally" calling on robots to exterminate organic life to be quasi-thought provoking as well about what songs are REALLY saying... In addition, I also like the "Klunk" hook, where Ratchet doesn't know he's traveling with a doppelganger Clank for a brief while. Anyway, overall, it's a fun story, especially at the outset where you have to (unknowingly) recruit Captain Qwark, regain his memory, and create the "Q-Force," to which he ultimately abandons by faking his death and you track him down.
However, I have many nitpicks regarding UYA that I don't enjoy about it: First is the HUD Color. The yellow really stands out and not in a good way, as the prior to games' had UI design that felt cool. Here, it's brash and is irksome to look at. Another big negative for me are the missions where you have to lead the robotic forces into base assaults and other similar tasks. I understand they help break up the pace, I don't think it's for the better, as many take place in pretty bland locations, and what you're doing most of the time isn't all that engaging. Rilgar and Aridia, a couple of my favorite places in both the original and the reboot are entirely dedicated these missions and is a bit of a bummer, because these side-missions have very little opportunity in the way of exploring. Which transitions me to my next point: I actually think the planet roster isn't all that great. To be clear, there are some standouts like Aquatos (how about that immense maze of the sewers huh?), Annihilation Nation being part obstacle course, part coliseum, and Holostar Studios, but overall many of the other locations aren't that fun to navigate through, especially when there are those dedicated to the base assault missions as I just mentioned.
Thankfully, the weapons make up for this as they're all fun to use. Granted, there are not as many new additions to the series like what Going Commando introduced, but there are some gems: The Spitting Hydra, which loads more rockets to fire the longer you aim, the Disc Blade Gun firing homing buzzsaws that fly back into your gun so long as your looking at them, and the Rift Inducer which fires a black hole drawing in enemies with additional arcs of lighting firing off are highlights. Some Going Commando weapons also return to wreak havoc like the Bouncer and Plasma coil, so on the whole, the weapons are fun to level up and use with perhaps a couple misses (I don't like the Plasma whip or Lava Gun as examples).
Two side things I want to highlight are the Qwark Vid-Comics and the language mini-game. The former are super neat with their 2D platform run-and-gun design and the art combined with the narrator really seal it together. Trying to get every Qwark token or beat the par time is always fun. As for the language mini-game, it's a nice rhythm style game to make sure you can fool enemies you're one of them, but sadly I don't think they're utilized enough as they're only a couple of major story beats where it's necessary to do.
While I may not like it as much as several other R&Cs, it's still a real good time, with its strongest aspects being the story and characters and having a fun suite of weapons to use along the way.