Review by Megaman1981
"Like fine wine, this game gets better with age."
Platform games have become very interesting the past few years. Now it has become a practice to team up two different characters in one. Jak and Daxter were the first and Ratchet and Clank was the second. I'll admit, Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal was a decent game the first time I played it, but it wasn't as good as people made it out to be. However, once you play the game a few more times, it grows on you more and more. To get right to the point, Up Your Arsenal is one of the best platform games that I have ever played; a platform game that should stand right up next to other great platform games such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Megaman 2 & 3, and of course Super Mario 64. Sony needed a mascot to compete with Mario. They tried to make Crash Bandicoot their official mascot, but that didn't work. Now, it's safe to say that Ratchet and Clank is Sony's "Mario", with of course Jak and Daxter thrown in to the mix as well. Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal is what I believe to be one of the best PS2 games. Twenty years from now, people will still be talking about this game, much like the original Super Mario Bros. today.
In any Ratchet and Clank game, the premise is very simple. The two use awesome weapons to blast their way threw stage after stage. Some of the weapons are a riot to use. Whether you're using the Qwack a nator, the Decimator, or the Suck Cannon, you are always given the chance to blow stuff up. And blow stuff up you will as each level is simply full of badass after badass. What makes the game even better is that RPG elements are included as well. Basically you can upgrade your health and weapons by defeating enemies. In all, the game is pretty hard at times, but once you have upgraded your weapons enough the game gets pretty easy. Another interesting footnote is that a lot of people feel that Up Your Arsenal is more of a Zelda type game than a Ratchet and Clank game. Let me just say that's fine with me because I love the Zelda series. Still, I think the people that said those comments aren't wrong, but they aren't right either. Yes, Up Your Arsenal has a little Zelda in it, but it's still just like Going Commando.
The story is well written. Basically Ratchet and Clank are called upon to stop Dr. Nefarious. Nefarious is a robot that plans to use a device called the Biobliterator that can change every living creature into robots. You will also cross paths with Qwark and his group called the Q Force as well. They will help you as well (well...not that much). Basically most of Quark's team is useless, but on their ship, the Starship Phoenix, you can buy armor and weapons. One thing that is worth pointing out is that Up Your Arsenal has no connection to the first two Ratchet and Clank games. I like that, new game, new story.
Graphically the game looks great. Each environment has such nice detail, but what impresses me the most are the character models. For a cartoon type of game, each character looks absolutely incredible. The music and sound is decent, but nothing out of this world. I must say that the game feels a lot like Going Commando, in terms of looks and sound.
The game has tons of replay value. Going threw the game once; a lot of gamers won't be impressed, as was I. But going threw a second time; you will then start to see the true beauty of this game. Each weapon will be powered up to their most powerful and coolest extent. It's at this point that the game becomes a true masterpiece and makes that jump from good platformer to awesome platformer. Of course, the game is now more of a shooter than a platform game, but who's complaining.
Another great thing about this game is the humor that comes along with it. While the Jak and Daxter series goes more for wisecracks, Ratchet and Clank's humor is a bit wittier. The jokes themselves actually will surprise you when you hear them and will really make you laugh. The funniest of all? Later in the game, Clank picks up Quark's crouch a tizer and says that it is still warm. Classic. Another nice touch put into this game is a robotic version of Britney Spears called Courtney Gears. One of her music videos is modeled after Britney, and her boss battle is mimicked after Britney as well, complete with dancers.
Everything about this game is well written and well executed. The humor is fantastic. The gameplay is solid. The weapons are cool. Each environment looks great. In conclusion, this game is fantastic. I'll admit that I wasn't that into it on my first play threw. But as my tag line says, this game gets better with age much like fine wine. This basically means that the longer you play it, the more you'll like it. I advise anyone to pick this game up, since it is so great. Besides it's likely to become a Greatest Hits game very soon. I liked this game so much that now I'm going out to buy Ratchet and Clank and Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando. In fact, I'd better get down to Walmart before it gets too busy.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/06/05, Updated 11/08/05
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