Playtime: 25-30 hours
Right, sooooo... at this point, you're probably wondering, "Why was this posted such a comparatively long time after your reviews of the two previous titles?" Umm, well, would you believe me if I told you that it's an intentional stylistic choice made to emulate the considerable time gap (which is borderline nonexistent compared to the quality gap, hoo boy...) between the releases of The Godfather parts II and III in a needlessly pretentious metatextual fashion? 'Cause that's totally what happened! It's not as if I kind of forgot to write it, or anything. It has nothing to do with my being an interminably lazy hack, so just leave it, okay?!?
Oh yeah, games! Specifically, this game. It is the third game in a trilogy of games, could you tell? And how good of a game is this game, not just in and of itself, but in comparison to the earlier series games that are also games? Your games. My games. Game's games. Game game game. Well, game your gaming game hole and lemme game ya about the game!
Yep, so ain't no two ways about it: this is the best in the trilogy. Insomniac keep going from strength to strength in terms of making the games progressively more enjoyable on a consistent basis, to the point that upon consulting my Mind Palace for material for this very review, no one singular instance of lengthy and egregious badgamedness was conjured forth. This isn't to say there wasn't the occasional neglible patch of fun-dampening non-funnage... but that's a game for ya. They's all got 'em. But how can you know if you're actually having fun if there's no contrast, you know?
There's finally a much-needed second weapon wheel to cut down on stop-start menu fiddling, that horrid bane of the PS2 era o'er which only the truly damned would ever shed a tear. The RPG elements are a lot less grindy... although, speaking of grinds and tears, let's actually shed some of the latter for the much-missed rail grinding mechanic, which is nowhere to be found here. Another delicious quality-of-life improvement is the automatic equippage of the Swingshot in the vicinity of grappling targets... heck, it's even been merged with other traversal tools just to prove a point!
...Oh, and the shader work is genuinely impressive for its time! Joy! ...Yeeeeeeah, you can kinda tell how important graphics usually are to me by the way I shoehorned that in there, huh? Obviously, we're still a few light years away from the gameplay convenience revolution of the PS3 era... but considering where the series started, my overall impression is, that revolution has already been televised, in part at least.
Even the story and character aspects have finally found their footing! It's hard to put my finger on just what it is, but this is the only one I was on board for... and, uhh, not bored with. Just the central conceit of Clank now playing a dapper spy robot (still a better Bond than professional sad sack charisma vacuum Daniel Craig, fight me) on space TV with Ratchet as his long-suffering butler is an endearing setup. When robots declare war on organics (and given our track record, who can blame them?) the Galactic Space Rangers--whose new roster includes some familiar faces--call on a certain galaxy-saving duo to aid in their Wars among the Stars. With this much more focused and dramatic plot setup, the series is finally able to reach some level of parity with the epic Saturday morning cartoon goodness of its brother-in-platf...arms, the Sly Cooper series. That's high praise, right there.
My only major gripes with the game is that the focus on actual platforming is noticeably scaled down, and the somewhat repetitive battle missions aren't quite the cat's bananas that could potentially fill the resultant hole in my heart. Might be for the best though considering the series' platforming will never be quite up there in the top tier anyway?
The Revenge of the Sith of the trilogy it indubitably is, but ultimately, it doesn't quite oust the PS4 game as my series favourite. Y'know, intangibles 'n' stuff. It's been the best of times, it's been the blurst of times... in all, I'm happy I gave the original games a try, and I'm looking forward to experiencing the rest of the trophy-supported games down the line.
Yes, happy... that's what I am.
And may all your Yaksmases be smelly!
Final Rating: 8/10