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Hello, and welcome to Ratchet Galaxy, the #1 French fansite about the Ratchet & Clank universe.
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So, what is Ratchet Galaxy ?
The Ratchet and Clank Blu-Ray Movie was just released last month, coming forth to a not-so-positive review. In truth, it's hard to blame them: the movie may look visually pleasing, but there's only 2 bonus features, and no deleted scenes! The bonus features are interviews of Kevin Munroe, James Arnold Taylor, and Bella Thorne talking abut the movie, the game, and the message it sends to kids.
Meanwhile, Japan gets the ultimate Ratchet and Clank experience: a bundle of the movie, ps4 game, and a comic book all in one! Pre-ordering the Bouncer also includes a custom Japanese PS4 theme for Ratchet and Clank fans. All that's missing now is the classic black eyebrows.
In terms of actual deleted scenes, Kevin Munroe posted one on his instagram. Ratchet continues to mourn after being rejected by the Galactic Rangers. When asked about the deleted scenes ever being shown to the public, Kevin Munroe answered: "Yeah...not sure if we'll ever get to see see them. Probably just a producer's call at this point." Only one can hope as there are over 5 deleted scenes in total, not counting any we don't know about yet.
Interestingly enough, Rainmaker's main concept artist, Tony Washington, posted concept art of the entire Ratchet and Clank Act scenes in the movie. Most of these are paintings, renders, and even unused concept designs of certain characters. Drek and Grimroth looked quite different in the beginning.
Lastly, the Ratchet and Clank Official Guide Book was released last week! The book is an info-surplus of all things Ratchet and Clank. It also gives you the complete translation for the Solonian Language. Insomniac Forum's Kbabz has given an In-Depth Review of the Guide Book, but not all 112 pages.
There isn't too much in terms of new info, but it does show the full-body view of Ratchet's protosuit, and Chairman Drek. Grimroth found a baby lombax crashed landed by his garage, and named him "Ratchet" for his gift of fixing machines. Grim's twin brother "Felton Razz" prides himself as a "professional chillaxer," who left the Polaris Galaxy for a fishing trip to Pokitaru, and never came back. Brax Lectrus was a professional wrestler in the "Grapplemania," before becoming a Galactic Ranger, and Cora built a dreadzone fusion rifle one day while eating breakfast! All that and more as the Ratchet and Clank Guide Book gives you a complete tour of the Solana Galaxy.
That concludes any and all news on the Ratchet and Clank Movie/Ps4 game. Who knows where Insomniac Games will take our duo next? There have been rumors that something Ratchet and Clank related would be announced at PAX this year, however, it is unlikely, considering that Insomniac has their hands full with a Marvel Spiderman game. Until then, stay tuned to Ratchet Galaxy.
With Ratchet and Clank's theater run in the USA complete, the Bluray and Dvd will now be available next month on August 23rd! There doesn't appear to be any additional scenes, even though the movie has shown some content not in the film, such as Qwark's watercooler scene. There are only two bonus features: RaC: A Hero's Journey, and RaC: Leveling Up. Both of which are behind the scenes talks with the directors.
In addition to the Blu-ray, there will also be an Official Guide Book for the Ps4 game. Several pages have been revealed, including the index, which showcases over 100 pages of info on heroes, villains, planets, vehicles, and even a translatable Solanian Language!
Can't get enough concept art for the game? Just head over to Artstation.com, and take a look at all of the amazing work Insomniac Games has done for the game! There's also a cool animation breakdown sequence featuring Ratchet's walk cycle, and a blocking-to-spline pass of a scene from the movie.
There has also been some interesting concept art from the movie. Artist Tony Washington did some concept art and paintings for certain images inside the film. One of the characters, named Stig, was supposed to be a 5th ranger in the movie. Voiced by Alessandro Juliani and donning bright-curly hair, he would have been a love interest for Elaris. However, he was taken out of the film due to being unnecessary. Lastly, Ratchet and Clank go out in a 4th of July bang, proving once and for all...
Last month, Ratchet and Clank kicked some asteroid with a feature film, and a Ps4 re-imagining game. While fans enjoyed the film, it fared poorly around critics and non-fans. That didn't stop the Ps4 game from becoming the best selling Ratchet and Clank game of all time--ranking #1 for the 3rd week in a row! Now Shaun McCabe, who's been with the series since Going Commando, breaks his silence on how Insomniac Games brought this gem to life.
Originally, the game's release window was 2015, which gave Insomniac only 10 months of development time. They needed to start creating the worlds from the movie: Veldin, Aleero, and Quartu. Then they could move around and add other levels, like Nebula G4, and Gaspar. Shaun still says that there were 2 new levels, but unless you count the Deplanetizor, all other worlds are returning.
Creating a movie-tie-in game became much easier when told by Captain Qwark. They were free to improvise the story as they went along. TJ Fixman and Brian Allegier worked hard to make the story fit in with the movie, but tell a different version of the events, all while making sense. Animators worked hard on in-game cutscenes, but the real enemy in play was...TIME. If you're wondering why the cutscenes looked rushed, it was because of the time constraints. They even cut some story content out of the game to enhance the flow of the plot.
Insomniac tried to use as many Ps2 assets as they could for original development. But they soon found out that they couldn't grab anything out of the Ps2 games. Instead, they went to Idol Minds for the HD trilogy on the Ps3. This helped simplify the work of building everything from the ground up. Insomniac didn't think they would be able to use movie assets in game, but were pleasantly surprised with how smooth they ran in the game engine. A few tweaks was all they needed to get them functioning perfectly. However, some Ps2 characters were re-designed to give off a more modern look.
When word of the movie's 2016 delay came out, Insomniac Games found themselves having more breathing room in development. However, it was not without challenges. Sparing all the technical jargon aside, they were able to add new features, and polish the existing features as well.
With the movie's release, came lot's of concept art. From backgrounds like Kerwan and the Deplanetizor, to character sketches like Victor Von Ion and Dr. Nefarious, it's all able to be viewed on my Ratchet and Clank Tumblr. There are even some character model concepts of certain robots, if you dare to venture that far...
So what's next for Ratchet and Clank? Shaun McCabe said he's not quite sure. They are still cleaning their hands from this entry and delving into VR games. A movie sequel is out of the picture, but with the overwelming success of this PS4 game, it seems a sequel is more than likely. But what would it be about? We will let the fans decide. Vote now on this weeks poll to see what fans are truly craving for in the future. Reach for the stars Insomniac, reach for the stars...
For any upcoming news on Ratchet and Clank, stay tuned to Ratchet Galaxy.
Ratchet & Clank fans know him well, consciously or not. He is the talented composer behind the latest Oddworld games, and has been working on Insomniac Games' most popular franchise since 2010. In 2012, he even adressed us some nice words for our 5th anniversary.
I am obviously talking of Michael Bross ! From R&C: All 4 One to R&C PS4, passing by Full Frontal Assault and Into The Nexus, Michael has reinvented the series' musical identity by brilliantly mixing electronic sounds and orchestral instrumentations, while providing each episode its own themes and unique atmosphere.
Currently crumbling under hours and hours of hard labor, he is about to complete his work on Insomniac's next big project : Edge Of Nowhere ; despite his busy schedule, Michael generously accepted to answer our questions.
1 - Ratchet & Clank PS4 is your fourth contribution to the series. How do you keep your music fresh while remaining faithful to the saga's identity ?
The story is always unique and that is the main driver in developing new ideas and approaches for the music. Also, I’m constantly listening to new music from other artists and searching for fresh ideas that are inspiring. Those types of ideas will seep into my work, either consciously or subconsciously.
When it comes to consistency across the series, luckily, I’ve been involved long enough where I’ve developed an intrinsic sense of the Ratchet & Clank “sound”.
2 - This new adventure re-tells the origin story of the duo with a new approach, both different and nostalgic. How does that translate into the music ? What was your main philosophy about it ?
Of course, I wanted to capture that recognizable Ratchet & Clank "sound" that is so essential to the franchise, but while this game is based off the original, there are a lot of new, fresh elements in this game. It really is it’s own game, and so there are new music ideas introduced, too.
Still, any time I work on a new Ratchet & Clank title, I do go back and listen to some of the music from the original games and find concepts that could be absorbed into new work being created.
3 - As for Into The Nexus, you recorded the music with a real orchestra. Was it a choice you felt necessary or a logical continuation made possible by Sony ?
The team at Insomniac recognized that using live orchestra as part of the soundtrack for Into The Nexus brought some extra magic to the experience, and so I think it was an easy decision for them to do the same thing for this game. This game’s music is epic in nature and an important part of that palette is the orchestra, so it just made sense to use live orchestra to make it special.
4 - What does a symphonic orchestra allow you to do, that synthetic music can not accomplish ?
As composers, we can now do amazing things with sample-based (what you called “synthetic”) creations these days. I have one sample library alone that contains over 1 million samples of various expressions and articulations of a string section that I can use to create a music track.
Still, something special is created when using a live orchestra. There’s some kind of magic and lightning that can’t always be captured with sample-based work. It has something to do with bringing all of those talented musicians together in one room. It’s a wonderful energy.
5 - For a saga such as Ratchet & Clank, how do you find the right balance between character/story-oriented and player-oriented composition ?
To me, it’s all about emotion and energy level and so my approach is more based around that than story vs. player composition. However, there is an important consideration for the player-oriented music. Each player’s time spent in an area will be unique, so I think about how music can be effective to accommodate this.
Really, it’s about creating compositions that can potentially loop for a long time and not get boring to the ears. There are certain compositional tricks that I use for that.
6 - Have you ever considered writing very specific and individual themes for both Ratchet and Clank, that would resonate across the different games you worked on ?
Some of that happens already though there are variations from game to game. If you look at Qwark and also Clank especially, you will hear some consistency in thematic elements there.
7 - In the same order of idea, don't you think the saga would deserve its own recurring main theme such as Halo or Uncharted ? Or is it better in your opinion to treat each game on its own ?
That’s been discussed between the Insomniac team and I more than once. In the end, it’s decided that we continue the tradition of creating a new theme for each game. I know that many game franchises use a consistent theme across all their games, but we decided to follow a different path.
8 - What aspect did you enjoy the most about working on Ratchet & Clank PS4 ? Any anecdotes ?
I and my team worked hard on this soundtrack. On occasion, I’d visit Insomniac’s studio to meet with the development team and look and play the game. But mostly I work remotely and do not get the chance to see the game’s daily development. Instead, Insomniac provided video captures where needed so I could understand context. So, I didn’t really get to see the whole game in one piece until the very end of development.
What really blew me away when I finally did was how well it came together. I was very pleased with how the music supported the action. Also, the sound design and the visual elements are the strongest I’ve seen in the franchise so far. I believe the fans will be happy with the results, but they can decide that for themselves once they play the game.
9 - Having now been working in the videogame industry for many years as a composer, how do you perceive its evolution ? Are videogame composers given more attention and recognition than before ?
Much has changed. There is really more power in the hands of game creators now than there ever has been. It used to be cost prohibitive to make a game. A game developer needed a lot of money and resources, but these days it’s cheaper to develop games due to the proliferation of inexpensive but powerful tools like the Unity and Unreal game engines. We’re seeing a lot of creative and interesting trends in indie game development. It’s really an exciting time to be working in games now.
Yes, certainly, as more people play games, composers are getting more recognition.
This also has a lot to do with how social media has developed.
10 - Would you have some words for Ratchet & Clank fans eagerly looking forward to play the game and listen to your newest work ?
I’m truly grateful to be able to be involved on the project and to share it with you.
My hope is that you will enjoy the experience!
We hope you enjoyed this interview and invite you, if you wish so, to let some impressions and words to Michael below, in the comments section.
>> Michael Bross official website
Few people truly realize the soul, patience and perseverance needed in such a creative profession, and that is why, as much for his kindness, his generosity and his devoted work, we would like to highly thank him !
Ratchet and Clank have only been on the Ps4 for a few weeks, and it's already the fastest selling game in Insomniac history! Let's find out why this charming return to the basics is the best thing to ever happen to our galactic duo.
The game's plot can be confusing at first. Captain Qwark is narrating the story based on his incorrect version of the events, based on the holofilm, based on actual events. This creates a 4th-wall breaking inception of a storyline, which can get hilariously comical at times.
In terms of cinematics, both movie and in-game cutscenes are used. The storyline can feel a bit rushed, only because Insomniac shows us the bones of the plot, leaving everything else to gameplay. This is expected--after all, Insomniac Games wouldn't want to show us the entire movie before it hits theaters.
Fact--not opinion--this the best looking Ratchet and Clank game ever. And quite possibly the best looking Ps4 game ever (all that dark grey gets old in gaming real fast)! Every world is beautifully re-designed from the ground up, and each planet feels alive. Even though Insomniac Games said that there were 3 new planets to the game, there weren't any. Not that this retracts from game at all, but it's curious as to why they said that. The game plays in 30fps, but it is stable enough that the player will not notice.
The gameplay is very well-rounded in this installment. Players can choose between Classic, Default, or Lock-strafe for controls. All of Ratchet's moves return, including extra segments such as space combat, swimming, trespasser locks, and even hoverboarding! All of which have been updated with modern controls.
In terms of new gameplay, Clank missions have been greatly altered. When the tiny robot isn't running away from Victor Von Ion, he's using his brain to solve traversing puzzles. Gadget-bots can now be accessed with the quickselect for greater mobility. There many more Clank missions in this game than the first one, and each level gets more involved. The last level is quite tricky, but so worth it upon completion. A Crack in Time may have Clank beat, but this new gameplay is a definite 2nd place.
What would Ratchet and Clank be without weapons? Our duo now has an arsenal of 14 weapons; 15 if you pre-order the Bouncer (which is so worth it!). Most weapons are from the movie, which originate from Tools of Destruction, but there are a few Ps2 weapons. There are also 2 brand new weapons, and a RYNO. All weapons can be upgraded with raretanium, and leveled-up to V5 before challenge mode.
Final Score: 9.5
Insomniac Games has combined best of every single Ratchet and Clank into one game (and movie) that becomes the ultimate Ratchet and Clank experience. And I’d say they’ve succeeded! Though the in-game cutscenes were a bit rushed, the game is extremely polished, and is quite possibly the best Ratchet and Clank game ever!