Okay! The first thing my daughter and I did was play Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction all the way through.

The astute of you in the audience will realize that this means we have a Playstation 3 now. Yes, we bought a little something something for ourselves.

Ratchet & Clank Future 1 is…well, it’s just a culmination of everything Insomniac has learned over the last four years. For instance, they found out that people didn’t like drowning in Ratchet & Clank 1 so they removed that element from all future games. They found out that people REALLY liked their weapons levelling up in Ratchet & Clank 2 so they kept that element for all future games. They found out that people preferred grindrails to multiplayer-style missions in Ratchet & Clank 3, so grindrails are back and missions are out. And they found out that people always love the arena so that’s back as well.

So anything bad about it? Well, I wish they’d find a way to make the early weapons more competitive. You start with the Combuster (gun) and the Grenade Glove (bombthrower). By the end of the game, both of these are obsolete even at level five and you’ll simply never fire them again, not when you now have weapons that can lock on or fire a spread of three missiles or leech health over time, etc, etc.

Also, all three of the original Ratchet & Clank games told their own mostly self-contained stories. This game is obviously the first of a trilogy, and thus you should not expect any story resolution at the end.

Still, overall it was great. My daughter, who hadn’t really been into R&C before, now wants to buy all three of the original games again (our copies are old and unreliable) as well as play Age of Booty (the bridge game between Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time). And of course, she’s dying for A Crack In Time because she wants to know what happens next in the story. (Plus the demos of that game are very impressive, especially the Clank demo).

So basically she’s Lombax crazy. How crazy? Later in the weekend she saw me watching a Youtube video series of a guy playing through Master of Orion. When she expressed interest, I suggested she play Galactic Civilizations 2, which resulted in me losing my computer for the rest of the evening as she tried it out. She barely got into the game because she spent so much time creating her own custom race and custom ships. The race she created? The Lombaxes, of course.

So while she played that, I played Brutal Legend. Boy, did that game throw us a curveball or what? The RTS elements feel a lot like Sacrifice (which I have already expressed less than enthusiasm for) and far too often I’ll suddenly get “BRUTAL VICTORY” or “BRUTAL DEFEAT” and won’t really understand how it happened.

So I’ve been doing lots of side quests, which are fun and give you fire tributes, which lets you talk to Ozzy, which is always fun. I’m hoping that by upgrading my own combat skills I can overcome my lack of control over my units in the RTS sections and make it through the game.