We all know that Crash Bandicoot is set to be digitally remastered and is making its comeback next year. While this is good news for fans that followed the franchise since its first launch back in 1996, some of us are too eager and couldn’t wait to experience the nostalgia its gameplay will bring us.
To somehow satisfy that urge for a platformer game, you’d be glad to know that Ratchet & Clank (also a remastered version from its original 2002 release) is now on PS4 and we’re here to give you a few reasons why it could be your Crash Bandicoot fix — for now.
Do note that this article is intended for those who aren’t all that familiar with Ratchet & Clank. For those who do, you already know that these two games share a lot of similarities in certain aspects, but at the same time still has that unique feel to each of them.
We all know that Crash Bandicoot brings colorful, eye-candy locations in every stage. You start off in a jungle, go past the snowy trails of the Arctic, then later on find yourself racing across a desert on a mine cart.
Crash using portals to travel to a variety of places
This diverse offering is also present on Ratchet & Clank. The game takes place on different planets around Solana Galaxy and Ratchet visits them not using portals, but his very own Space Cadet aircraft. This allowed the game designers to get creative and build different worlds and that’s exactly what they did — showing colorful and thematic places to give a variety of moods for each level.
Additionally, one of the main elements that complete the Crash Bandicoot environment is the use of boxes scattered throughout the stage. These boxes contain apples which function as the point system of the game. Basically, collect 100 apples and you get 1 extra life.
The same formula of breaking boxes is seen when playing Ratchet & Clank. Although instead of apples, what you get are screws and bolts (since the story tells us that Ratchet was originally a mechanic). The more of those you get, the more points you can spend buying more powerful guns.
Boxes are scattered throughout each stage. They even have a TNT box that counts down and explodes when you activate it just like in Crash Bandicoot.
Crash collects apples…
…while Ratchet collects screws and bolts
As far as gameplay goes, there are a lot of parallel elements on both games. To give a few examples, you try to collect gems for each stage in Crash Bandicoot while Ratchet & Clank has golden screws that you collect and they are strategically hidden in certain areas throughout the game.
We also had fun when Crash was on a motorcycle racing his way through specific stages. Ratchet & Clank twisted it and “futurized” it further by using hoverboards. Just like Naughty Dog’s game, there are also aerial and water stages adding more variety to its gameplay.
Another noteworthy element, for us, is the part where you’re going to be controlling a secondary character in certain stages. Again, just like in Crash Bandicoot when you get to control Coco which is the female bandicoot.
You control Clank, a self-aware Zoni robot. His gameplay usually presents a puzzle type of game in order to move on with the story. What’s more interesting, though, is that there are parts where you’d have to keep on running towards the screen because a huge robot (voiced by Sylvester Stallone) is chasing you — exactly how you play that stage where a giant boulder is rolling behind you.
Crash running from a rolling boulder ala Indiana Jones
Clank running from Sly the robot
Those, in addition to how much the two main characters look and run the same way, are just some of the many similarities that you would notice playing Ratchet & Clank. Because of those familiar elements combined together, it’s almost like playing Crash Bandicoot when it comes to gaming experience.
As we’ve mentioned at the beginning of the article, despite the many parallel experiences in both games they still have their own charm that give them a unique characteristic from each other. Personally, I felt like the entire game with its storytelling was done a lot better by Insomniac Games rather than Naughty Dog.
After finishing Ratchet & Clank, it felt like a really satisfying platformer that gives you the gameplay you want but with a twist to it. With this game, you wouldn’t need to wait until Crash Bandicoot comes in 2017 to be able to feel like your 1996 self once again.