Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Review by MetalGearManiac
"Going up your arsenal has never been this much fun!"
The Ratchet and Clank series started with the original R&C back in 2002. Mixing crazy galactic action with neat gadgets and weapons to help along the way, Ratchet and crew burst through some of the top games to make it's mark on the PS2 world. The inevitable sequel came a year later and blew us all away again. The graphics had been enhanced, the levels were bigger, and the new weapons got the benefit of a new evolution system, as did the health. Once again, Ratchet was able to push through the other big games released that year, and luckily, didn't get concealed by big releases. Now, it is 2004. It looked like trouble for the crew. Two of the four most anticipated games (GTA: San Andreas, Metal Gear Solid 3, Halo 2, Meteroid Prime: Echoes) of the year were coming to PS2. I myself was worried that with the hype going with these games, that poor Ratchet would get lost in the rush. They didn't, thankfully, and Ratchet and Clank are back in full swing in there best adventure yet.
The story starts similarly enough. A new villain disrupts Ratchet and Clank's new life with his plans for galactic domination. Once again R&C have to stop him. This game tells a gripping story, while keeping the mood light and humorous. The re inclusion of old faces, along with new faces makes the game fresh, while letting series veterans to see some of there old allies back.
This is the most important part of Ratchet and Clank. The gameplay has kept it alive for three years and it keeps R&C going strong. While it may seem simple at first, you will soon recognize multiple ways to go about each engagement. At first you may think, "Ok an open area, hmmm...... I'll rush them with my plasma whip" *seconds later* "*&@# I died. Hmmm..... Ok now I'll drop a holo shield and snipe a few of there heavy units, then finish them with my wrench. And so on and so forth. Each battle is a new opportunity to try different things and make use of different weapons. Speaking of weapons, you get even more to play with in UYA. Each of the 20+ weapons (with a few exceptions) has eight (five during your first playthrough) evolutions. Each is different from the last and it keeps the battles fresh and fun, and eliminates the need to keep buying upgrades. UYA's gameplay experience is one that many games can imitate, but few can duplicate.
The original R&C was recognized for having an exceptional graphics engine and brilliant color palette. The new game continues to do the same. The graphics engine has evolved with the times to provide better graphics and more vibrant, lifelike worlds. One world set in the jungle has a darker look due to the canopy above you, while one set in a spaceship has a more synthetic feel with the overhead lighting. The lush textures of this game combine with the lighting effects that differ from level to level provide an eye-popping area that's pleasant to look at.
The sound in this game is exceptional and, with the graphics, helps to create a fun atmosphere to play in. Each of the weapons sound like they should. For example, after firing an electric gun, you can here the faint crackling of electricity in the air. The 3D sound engine allows you to identify the direction of the shots before even seeing them. My only complaint is that the game should have more background noise. In the jungle level, it would be nice to hear the rustling of the native wildlife, or the clanking of machinery in a manufacturing center. But these are minor complaints in an otherwise great aspect of this game.
Buy or Rent:
This game is wonderful for someone who likes a deep game, of just a casual gamer. It is a wonderful experience not worth missing out on.
Overall *NOT AN AVERAGE!*
Ratchet and Clank's third adventure is there best one yet. This near-perfect game is full of plenty of features to both bring first timers in, and to keep series fans happy. Five years from now gamers will still remember the famous Lombax and robot that changed the face of action games forever.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/05
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