Review by Warhawk
"Up Your What!?"
Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal is the third installment of the Ratchet & Clank series. When you see Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal you may wonder if it's like the previous two installments of the series, I would have to say yes, while there may be others that may try to persuade you into thinking that it isn't. It seems that each game Insomniac kept on trying to make each installment in the Ratchet & Clank games felt better than the previous games and while I've heard some say that it this game seems to be a rehash of the previous games or they focused too much on the online part of the game. To the fans of the this series may or may not like those but we all know that no matter what some may say about this series, this is one of those that most people found quite enjoyable to play such as myself. After picking up this game about 2 weeks ago and I have to say that it's better than Going Commando.
The story for Up Your Arsenal I have to say has to be more story driven than that of the previous Ratchet & Clank games that the people who enjoyed the series up to this point. I like how a couple plot twists end up pulling into play of this new game in the series but unlike the previous two games instead of trying to do everything just with Ratchet & Clank you'll have do something different this time around on trying to save the galaxy. After the events of Going Commando, Clank got all the glory while Ratchet ended up being his butler/driver, but there's still a greater force out there waiting to do away with the "living". The brains behind this operation is the only Dr. Nefarious but according to what is said there is only one person who managed to beat him and manged to survive. You probably guessed it, Qwark but now he has gone monkey, you have to find him and it goes on from there.
Even though that the gameplay hasn't really changed but there is a new controller configuration that may make the gameplay feel a bit more confortable for most people playing this game. The gameplay is still solid through the single player and a couple rounds in the offline multi-player it still feels solid through that part of the game as well. The only problem that I had with the gameplay was when I was going through the sewers to find the rest of the crystals the frame rate seemed to drop a bit to where it took a little longer for me to get through that portion of the game, luckily that was the only time in that part of the sewers when it happened to me. I just hope that Insomniac managed to get basically 98% of the bugs worked out before the game was released.
The graphics of Up Your Arsenal seem to be improved over the previous game Going Commando and the newer enemies along with any new characters look nicely done. Each of the planets that you'll visit throughout the game have that unique attention to detail and I believe that's one of the first things that most people may notice when they first get this game that are a fan of Ratchet & Clank. As for the Qwark vid-levels even though in 3D but as side scrolling game looks nice and even the enemies in those are good even though that they are not that big compared to when you play through the other parts of the game.
The sound of this game seems to be a lot better than that of the last two Ratchet games due to each of the weapons being upgraded more than once making more sound then the previous version of that particular weapon. Another thing that I noticed was that while on Planet Florana as you walk through the parts where grass is you'll notice that when you jump then land back on the ground you can hear the grass move when Ratchet hits the ground. Not only that but you can also hear it like that as you're walking through the parts of the planet where grass lays and like I said about the weapons each of them have their own unique sound even when they upgrade to the next level making them sound more real.
The difficulty seems to be up there like in the first Ratchet & Clank game especially with the final boss fight(s) where it seems that the boss is just as tough as the final boss fight from the first Ratchet & Clank game. The reason that I didn't give this part a perfect 10 was due to some parts of the game seem to be a bit easy while other parts of the game are quite challenging enough for some of us who are trying to go through the game a few times. Some people such as myself may take about a good 22 - 24 hours to play through the game once depending on how skilled we are trying to get through and beat the game on the first time through. Other than that it seems that the difficulty seems to be played well through throughout the entire game except for some parts seeming a little easy like I mentioned.
As for the controls of the game can be varied if you are used to control schemes that are featured in the Ratchet & Clank games. There's a new control scheme in Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal which from what I heard is better to use than the usual third person control scheme that some of us may be so used to using but it's usually hard for some of us to change to new things like myself, just like two quick select menus that you can look through which is a change as well as the new control scheme for the game. Overall the controls haven't changed significantly and I think that it's a good thing that Insomniac didn't change the controls that much.
REPLAY VALUE: 9.8/10
Just like the previous installments of Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal is just like that, but now there's a new bolt to find called the Titanium and some of them may keep you trying to get them over and over and over again. While you still got skill points  to get throughout the game which should provide a challenge as you try to get all the Titanium Bolts along trying to level up your health along with a good 10 levels of your weapons which can be a rather pain for some but challenging for others.
Although most of us will say that Up Your Arsenal is an improvement over Going Commando but according to some they feel that Insomniac put a lot of time towards the Online part. All I have to say is that how would they know they don't work at Insomniac so what would they know exactly what Insomniac had to do to try to keep the game as fresh as they could along with possible sacrifices made such as taking a few things that some were expecting to see in this game weren't in there. I do have to say one thing is that Insomniac seemed to overdo themselves with this game because I have enjoyed every single minute that I have played so far and as for the final boss of this game is much better than a pushover over final boss [to some people pushover final boss] since the fight was more of a fight. As for seeing anymore Ratchet & Clank games we'll just have to wait and see what goes on if there's going to be anymore on the PS2 or will they wait until the PlayStation3. I just hope that Insomniac doesn't end up selling the franchise and have another developer end up taking it then messing it up like what happened to Spyro because most of us probably don't want to see that happen to Ratchet & Clank.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/11/04
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