Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Review by MrSkip
""Where does he get those wonderful toys?""
Man, have I been away from the platformer genre for too long. Otherwise I would've been able to keep up with such an excellent series that is Ratchet and Clank. Premiering in 2001 from Insomniac (the good folks behind the first three Spyro games) along side Naughty Dog's Jax and Daxter. Ratchet and Clank have definitely given gamers a reason to be proud to have a Playstation 2. And who could blame them with the weapon bonanza, destroy anything that moves, run and gun gameplay with it first two entries in the series. While I've only played demos of the first two games and never thought much of it. Playing the full-blown third entry has now made me an RnC fan and what a way to be introduced to the series as Insomniac has pulled out all the stops for this one.
Skinny: After saving the universe from a dastardly company in the last game (did my research :P). Things haven't been looking up for Ratchet since then. Mainly due to the fact 1) there's no real threat to the worlds at the moment and 2) people around the universe see him as the lowly butler in the TV show Secret Agent Clank that stars his robotic bud. That all changes however when a new villain named Dr. Nefarious is plotting an attack on all living things (or squishies as he refers to them) that don't have nuts and bots in them. Once again it up to our favorite Lombax and his android to stop him along with a few returnee from past adventures, standard cartoon good vs. evil story that not really engaging but very humorous to watch nonetheless.
Play Dials: Some good pick up and play controls. You can move with either the sticks or the D-pad with the buttons used to shoot, jump, change weapons, strafe, duck, and go to first-person as well as other different in-game activities as they come up. If you've played the first two games, you'll be right at home but if you're new you'll get the hang of it in no time.
Core: Whoo-wee! Talk about the world being your playground. Albeit, a very destructive playground as the majority of the game is to destroy anything that comes at you in various way, and check out the selection of weapons and gadgets at your disposal, each with its own unique function and use. However they don't come cheap. As destructive as they are, you have to shell out the funds you find in the stages and receive from downed enemies plus find vendors to get the really heavy-duty stuff. Also your ammo goes up really fast and certain enemies take a lot of shots, so you also need to use your head at points to conserve what you have. It's worth it though for the experience (which up you life points) and weapons upgrades you gain as the game rolls on. Still if the single campaign isn't enough to keep you satisfied, then check out the new multiplayer that you can play with some friends or go online with up to eight players. I wouldn't know how the online plays as I have no adaptor or broadband but for those that do, give a check out and share the destruction with folks from across the globe.
Eye-Candy: The worlds are nicely done, full of life, and extremely detailed. And the animations for the characters, cut scene and in game, look very slick. Some colors in certain areas look a little bland but overall, Insomniac has crafted a good-looking game.
Core: Music is very dramatic and sci-fi, nothing memorable but gives the game its flavor. The sound effects for the weapons are very spot-on though and you can tell the difference between them. Voice acting is absolutely on par with the characters each giving them different personalities and characteristics bringing the story to life plus the little intercom announcements in some of the buildings (Like the Starship Phoenix and the weapons warehouse on Planet Daxx) are a nice touch. Props to Insomnia on this as well.
Final Call: A nice addition to an excellent trilogy with great a great mixture of platforming and run and gun play that even requires you to think sometimes. Can't say if its for everyone (to which I tell those that doubt to rent first) but if it your in the interest to buy it, don't hesitate! With such great gameplay plus online modes for those that have it, why wouldn't you want to get it? Well, if it the kiddie tones, don't let that scare. This is still a gamer's game underneath that cartoony hood.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/05
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