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Published November 21, 2017

A lot of games, past and present, give gamers the ability to be able to backtrack to certain stages and levels. Often times, the gamer can make this work to their advantage whether it is backtracking to get a weapon, an item, a clue about a special power or an ability that’ll make future bosses a cakewalk. However, the real trick to this is being able to tell the difference between when backtracking is necessary and when it is not.

In many of the Sly Cooper and Crash Bandicoot games, backtracking is necessary in order to obtain certain items that’ll allow you to beat the game with a 100% or get access to hidden levels that is inaccessible out the starting gate.

C. Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Second best reward in the game!

In games like Ratchet and Clank, some levels require the use of certain abilities, gadgets and weapons in order to get certain in stage recognition in the form of skill points that can be applied to unlocking certain content. All in all, many gamers do know when backtracking is necessary and when it is not; here’s my opinion regarding that.

Monetary gain

Sly 4

I could say that returning to previous levels is impractical in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, but who am I to say when backtracking is necessary and when it is not. But, returning to previous levels in Sly Cooper 4 is matter of choice but one that I encourage. You should definitely backtrack because the treasures that you find might seem worthless or almost worth nothing except a couple hundred dollars, it’s still worth it to do.

Sly 4

Yeah, you’ll need this

Personally and from experience, wait until after you get your Thief Costume in Salim Al Kupar’s time period which is the second to last level in the game. The reason, many treasures will require the use of all 5 of your costumes in order to unlock certain doors.

Sly 4 Sly 4

The monetary gain is more than enough reason to backtrack because the money you gain from the treasures will keep your gang up to date on their gadgets and abilities. As I mentioned, it is a matter of choice; if you want to then do but if you don’t want to then don’t but it is in your best interest to because those abilities and gadgets get very expensive but do come in handy.

One thing though, always keep in mind the importance of the value of the treasures per level; the money you get from collecting these treasures add up. Trust me.

Gain extra strength

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters and Ratchet and Clank games have one thing in common, extra strength await those who are willing to backtrack. There are many times in games when backtracking is necessary and when it is not. For example, using a superpower to gain extra strength or to gather the blueprints/components of a super weapon like the RYNO is worth it; every gamer knows that the RYNO being worth the backtrack is an understatement!

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus  Ratchet and Clank Tools of Destruction

Lengthening your life and special ability meters should not be a secondary priority because staying alive takes precedence so backtracking to levels that makes this possible should not be ignored. There were too many times in games where I sought to race to the end of the game without backtracking because I felt I was good with my present equipment; I was wrong.

The lesson, don’t make my mistake. Take the time to backtrack because it will become necessary in order to last til the endgame and beyond. Ultimately, games that allow you to backtrack, do it and consider it a blessing because there are games where backtracking is impossible or not allowed. Star Wars the Force Unleashed, for example.

Time Trials of Perfection

Crash 3

Crash Bandicoot games are well-known for their time trials which serve two purposes. One, to gain access to the 5 hidden levels on the upper floor of the time chamber. Two, bragging rights. Interestingly, the gamer has to decide when backtracking is necessary and when it is not in the Crash Bandicoot games based on their choice to complete the time trials to obtain the relics; they’re worth it, the relics are.

The time trials in the game can make backtracking to certain levels a drastic mistake and an ill-advised course of action. However, the possibility of getting a Platinum Relic on certain levels make the backtrack worth it; it is to me because obtaining a platinum relic from a time trial has motivated me to strive for perfection in the time trial or close enough to it where getting a platinum relic gets easier and easier.

I used to think that the time trials were not worth doing because they were too hard; there are shortcuts in levels that’ll make getting the platinum relic easy. My advice, do the time trials even if you don’t get a platinum because they’re worth it and the achievement you gain is worth more than the value of the relic itself.

Skill points

Ratchet and Clank 1 Ratchet and Clank 2

Skill points are the main reason why I play Ratchet and Clank games especially Tools of Destruction because it supports the concept of when backtracking is necessary and when it is not. Many skill points such as in Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando – Nothing to see here – is worth the backtrack to Planet Todano because it is one of the easiest skill points to get; just destroy all 4 rockets in the starting area.

Likewise, in Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time, a skill point titled – Son of Kaden – isn’t worth the backtrack because being able to get to the finish line in 45 seconds or less is an impossibility so it is a skill point that I wouldn’t bother with let alone backtracking to the races for. For the record, all skill points that require a race is not worth it so spare yourself the hours of frustration.


When backtracking is necessary and when it is not is a matter of choice by the gamer, it is within that gamer’s best interest to backtrack because whether it is gaining extra strength or monetary gain or even to work toward completing that time trial for the sole purpose of getting that platinum relic warrants backtracking.

Skill points in the Ratchet and Clank games might not seem like they’re worth backtracking for, but they definitely are and I would encourage you to do so; you’ll be thankful when you unlock that cool in-game content. If you have any questions or want to leave a comment about my post then please feel free and I’ll respond to you within the hour.






  1. AndreaAndrea

    This post reminds me of my brother and my son. They are hard core video gamers and they love everything video games. This was very cool to read and even to see Crash Bandicut 🙂 That was so awesome, good memories playing with my kids. I will make sure to forward this site to them so they can also enjoy your content. Thanks for sharing. 

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Thanks Andrea, I would really appreciate that because I think it is important for all gamers to have that all important resource if and when they need it. Crash Bandicoot was awesome, Crash Bandicoot 2 and Wrath of Cortex are my favs. Please, forward my site to your brother and son; they’re also welcomed to leave feedback on my pages as well. 

  2. LizLiz

    Very valid point.  In past games I’ve played, having the extra health or better weapon really made up for my lack of skill while progressing from level to level.  It also helped me stay in the game longer.  When I could get further and stay in longer, my skills developed better.  Not to mention my excitement about the game and my abilities increased too.  

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Yeah Liz, it’s all about enjoying the journey and I’ve done some backtracking myself and while it wasn’t always ideal, it was still worth it to some Nth degree; I’m currently working on Dragon Quest XI along with other PS4 games and I feel like my skills with them are improving even though I’m self-taught. So keep at it and feel free to reach out to me via WA when you need help with gaming.

  3. BrandonBrandon

    The nostalgia is real! 

    I was a huge Crash Bandicoot player when I was younger and it’s pretty cool seeing stuff I could have done or as you say, ‘backtrack.’ I will browsing around for awhile now to bring back those memories! I am pretty sure I saw something on Final Fantasy X so I am going to be checking that out. 

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Hey Brandon, by all means, do because I was just playing Final Fantasy X a little bit ago and I even have a page with Final Fantasy X tips and strategies so check that out when you get a chance and I’ll have you know that backtracking for the Celestial Weapons are TOTALLY worth it; I made it a rule to not even face Sin without my Celestial/Ultimate Weapons. 

  4. DonnieDonnie

    All I can say is WOW!! I thought that by really looking deep into he world of gaming I would understand why so many people get involved. You guys ROCK. The amount of effort you have put in this website just blows my mind. I really appreciate all the twists and turns you put into every bit of info. I think you guys could even teach an old geezer like me how to get my game on.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Thanks Donnie, at the end of the day it’s all about having fun with and while gaming; you’re never too old to game and you’re never too old to learn. I love my website and the info on it because I want every gamer to get as much out of their games as I do; I’m dedicated to helping gamers have fun with their games.

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