Review by __EmuzMan__

"Ahh, the nostalgia!"

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is the third game in the Ratchet and Clank series of four. It is developed by Insomniac Games, and it's a platformer like the previous two. In the game, you play as Ratchet, a lombax who never goes anywhere without his handy wrench. He also never goes anywhere without his partner and pal Clank. He carries Clank on his back, and you can use him for different attachment, mods, and you can even do missions that relate to Clank's own T.V. series "Secret Agent Clank". Up Your Arsenal was also the first game of the series (and of Insomniac's) to be enabled with online play. As the other games in the series, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal uses "bolts" as your currency.

Story: 9/10
The story behind Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is that both of the heroes are finally recuperating from there last two battles against evil and saving the world. They are relaxing on the beach when suddenly they are interrupted by an urgent message: the evil Dr. Nefarious is up to no good, and everyone is relying on the dynamic-duo to save them once again. It's not like Ratchet and Clank to turn down the challenge and let the entire population be eternally doomed. They have almost no choice but to accept, and they are off once again.

On their journey, they meet some old friends (and some old foes) that really enhance the games story. If you have played the first two installments of the series, you will find these encounters ironic and even shocking. I won't go into major detail because I don't want to ruin the fun for everybody. However, I will leave you with this: You will encounter a village idiot, a hyper-active monkey, and an extremely overweight fitness instructor. Yeah, that about sums it up!

What I'm getting at is that the story provides comic relief along with some intense drama, all mixed in with the characters that we all know and love. The reason that there was no "10" in this category is that we have seen this kind of story before in previous games, which might cause us to get a little..... bored. But by all means, don't let that discourage your thoughts of this game. It has a great story that (for most of us) will provide hour after hour of fun and enjoyment.

Graphics: 9/10
The Ratchet & Clank series has always been known for it's stunning graphics. This game won't disappoint those people. Everything in the game is well done. From the boxes to the bolts, the clouds to the clothes, you will be impressed.

Gameplay: 10/10
Oh, man: I'm going to have fun just reviewing this part of the game! The Ratchet & Clank series has set the bar even higher for platformer games. Insomniac has done it again. You can jump, dash, hover, or use your "charge boots" and "magnet boots" to maneuver yourself throughout the level. Combine this with the thrill of blasting away enemy after enemy into nowhere. I'm going to go over three major elements of the gameplay.

Let's start out with the weapons. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal takes weaponry to a whole new level. You have the choice of anything!(well, almost) You can choose from mines to a "morph-o-ray" that turns your enemies into various animals. Another cool this about the weapons is the leveling-up system. When you do a certain amount of damage with one particular weapon, that weapon will proceed on to the next level.

There are numerous levels, which increase the replay value of this game. Once you get your weapon to a high enough level, you can buy the "mega" version of that weapon. You can level it up even more until you finally reach the end of the weapon's journey. But wait! There's more! You can buy various modifications for your weapon including acid mod and lock-on mod.This offers an almost endless amount of playability, resulting in an endless amount of FUN!

Next thing we'll take a look at is the gadgets. The one thing that will forever reserve a place a spot in the "platforming" section. These are the kinds of things that give you that nostalgia of the entire series. One of my all-time favorite gadgets would have to be the Swingshot. With this gadget, you can hook onto certain points and use it as if it was a grapple beam. You can either hook onto something that will let you swing freely throughout the air, or you can hook onto a different kind; one that will pull you towards it and drop you onto the platform below. Other gadgets include a tube that can dispense wither warm or cold water, and a gadget that lets you transfer liquids from one place to another.

One more thing that I feel we should focus on is the enemies. Insomniac has really stepped their game up and added personality and even a sense of humor to your enemies. Your main enemy in this game is Dr. Nefarious, who is trying to use his evil to take over the world. It's almost hard not to like the guy (or at least feel bad for him) because of his mix of comedy and stupidity. Your average enemies that you find in the normal levels have also improved. The A.I. (artificial intelligence) has grown to a new level. No longer are your enemies mindless hunks of metal! (well, they still are, but at least they don't act like it anymore!)

Sound: 10/10
This category needed almost no improvement over the previous game in this series, but it has found ways to get better. You can hear yourself collecting bolts and firing missiles in crystal-clear quality. You'll be stunned by the sounds of this game.

Replayability: 10/10
There are plenty of things to do once you've completed the game for the first time. You can start with leveling up your weapons or even getting enough bolts to buy everything. This will take quite a while seeing as how some guns are priced at over 1 million blots! If you finish these tasks and think you're done with the game: you're not even half right. You still have skill points, mini games and challenge mode. Don't make any plans for about a week after you get this game!

Overall: 10/10
I don't usually give this honor to games, but Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal really deserves it. If you don't have this game: get it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/10/07

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