Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault (Vita)

As with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault is one of Sony's Cross Buy titles, meaning a purchase of the PS3 version nets you the Vita version for free. However, unlike Sly 4, the Vita version of this game was delayed for several months with an offer of the HD version of Ratchet: Deadlocked for free to compensate for the wait. Now that the handheld port of the game has been released, I decided to take a separate look at it due to the massive delay to see whether or not it was worth the wait. After completing the campaign, I would say that it was well worth it.

I'll admit I haven't checked out the multiplayer at all, partly because I don't know another person with a copy of the game to help me test it out, but from my experience with the single player, I would say that it's a decent port. All comments that are not about controls and graphics can be found in my original review of the PS3 version of the game, so let's take a look at what's different. The graphics, while not as impressive due to system limitations, look pretty decent for the platform; nothing stands out as being ugly-looking or anything, but you can tell there's some attempt at helping the game look close to its console counterpart. At times there isn't as much detail and some textures look a little pixelated, but you can tell the dev team was at least trying. There's some slight lag when too many things are on the screen at once, but it's not unbearable and it goes away rather quickly.

The controls are pretty much the same as the PS3 version, though slightly different. It doesn't make any attempt to take advantage of the Vita's touch features, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since those features are not required for a game to work. One of the main differences is that, to make up for there being no L2 or R2, the way you use the Hoverboots is moving forward and pressing O at the same time. This change isn't awkward and actually works for the limitations the system has in terms of button layout.

Overall, the release of the Vita version of Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault is well worth the wait. It's not as visually impressive as the PS3 version due to hardware limitations, but it still looks pretty close to it. The Vita version's controls are easy to handle and aren't very awkward, making it easier to handle. If you have any interest in picking up Full Frontal Assault, make sure to pick up the PS3 version, since you get two more games (including the Vita port) for free. Having this version of the game is also a better investment than Size Matters or Secret Agent Clank.

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