By Justin Hoeger
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)
RATCHET & CLANK FUTURE: A CRACK IN TIME
The latest in the always dependable "Ratchet & Clank" series sees the heroic duo still separated after the events of "Tools of Destruction." The action is just as fun as ever, and the game looks absolutely gorgeous.
Ratchet scours the galaxy searching for the abducted Clank, collecting new items such as hover boots, and battling robots, monsters and minions with various weapons (several of which can now be customized).
Ratchet can also fly around several star systems, shooting down enemy ships, landing on tiny planetoids to search for items and upgrades, and heading down to larger worlds for more expansive missions.
Meanwhile, Clank is stuck on an enormous machine called the Great Clock, and learns to manipulate time and create temporal copies of himself to solve some brain-twisting puzzles.
PlayStation 3; $59.99
Age Rating: 10-plus
RABBIDS GO HOME: A COMEDY ADVENTURE
Those crazy critters from the "Rayman Raving Rabbids" return, sans Rayman himself. "Rabbids Go Home," the bug-eyed weirdos' first game of their own, is just as strange as one might expect from a game starring them: The Rabbids decide they want to go to the moon and start building a pile of stuff so they can reach it.
The player, controlling a pair of Rabbids wielding a shopping cart, is out to collect this stuff – each level is filled with small pieces of stuff and has one large piece, like a big clock or something. It's kind of like a twisted take on the "Katamari" games – there are many obstacles on the way to the goal, but overcoming them often rewards the Rabbids with more junk.
Collecting enough stuff rewards the player with gifts that can be used to customize the Rabbids and opens up new areas packed with stuff to pile up.
Nintendo Wii; $49.99
Age Rating: 10-plus
A good dungeon crawler has three things: loot, monsters and skill trees. "Torchlight" has these things and a few extras to sweeten the pot.
Players choose from one of three classes (melee-centric Destroyer, arcane Alchemist or long-range Vanquisher) and venture into the deep, randomly generated mines under the town of Torchlight to find their fortune – or their end. A trio of skill trees per character allows players to customize their abilities as desired.
Players also choose an animal companion – cat or dog – who serves as an ally in battle, changes into different forms by eating captured fish, and hauls excess loot to the surface to sell it off while the player continues to adventure in the deep.
PC (Torchlightgame.com download); $19.95
No age rating
(c) 2009, The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.).
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