Review by GROMABgladius

"A Platform Shooter game has never been this fun"

Insomniac has really outdone themselves in the making of this game. This could be known as one of the greatest games to grace the PlayStation 2 console. This sequel of Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando, will simply blow you away.

Gameplay 10/10
If I could, I would rate the gameplay at least 13/10. It's just that good. Reasons being that it's a heck of a lot of fun to play this game, the awesome weapons make the game all the greater, and the unique leveling system of the weapons simply boggles the mind.

First of all, the weapons. Insomniac could not have done a better job in the making of these crazy, fantastic weapons. Just for starters, there's a whip made of plasma, there's a gun that could freeze the enemies with a stream of liquid nitrogen, and there's a gun that can shoot blackholes. You think those are great? Just wait until you get all of the weapons. Each weapon has its own purpose, and its own time to shine. None of the weapons are useless; not at all. Each and every weapon in this game can wreak some serious havoc at the right place and right time. Some weapons wreak havoc no matter what place and what time you use them, but that's a different story.

Second of all, the controls. The controls of this game just don't get any better than this. If you are an FPS fan, you can switch the camera to a First Person mode. The controls will change to fit the needs of an FPS player, such as the shooting button changing from the O to R1. The default camera for the game though, is Third Person mode, and the controls in this camera mode are equally as amazing as the First Person. You can either whack your enemies with your wrench in close quarters combat, or you can take them out from afar by throwing your wrench. That or shooting your amazing guns. You can constantly mash the Square button to get some sweet combos in, or you can jump using the X button and smash the enemy from above with your wrench. It doesn't really matter; whatever way you choose to take care of your enemies is completely fine, just as long as you get rid of them. And getting rid of enemies is always fun when you have high-tech guns and an awesome wrench made of magnetic titanium!

Third of all, the weapon's unique leveling system. In Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal, you can actually level up your weapons! Simply incredible! By using a weapon long enough, that weapon will eventually change to another, more powerful version of itself. There are 5 levels for each gun, and once you get the last form for the weapon, you'll notice that it's way stronger than before. The name of the weapon will change, and the power will go up insanely high. In fact, there might be new special effects that the weapon has, such as the Lava Gun going from burning enemies to freezing them in less than 3 seconds. This is probably what Ratchet and Clank is most known for; that and its unique weapon selection.

Fourth of all, the difficulty of this game can range anywhere from pathetically easy to a point where it gets so hard that you want to throw your controller. And that's a good thing. This game will never stay as an always easy game, or an always difficult game; it keeps a nice balance between the two, and makes the gameplay more enjoyable.

Fifth, and last of all, this game will never ever get old. That's how fun it is. You might think that you'll tire of the game after beating it one time, but that's not so. There is a challenge mode, where all the enemies get tougher, but the story stays the same. There is also a multi-player feature in this game, where you can go online and shoot up some friends, or play offline multi-player just for the heck of it. All in all, the gameplay is the golden part of this game. It's an unforgettable experience that will have you coming back to this game long after you have beaten it.

Story 9/10
Ratchet and Clank are at home playing a game of chess... well, a weird sort of chess. But when they find out that Ratchet's home planet, Veldin, is under attack, they stop playing their game and blast off toward Veldin. Ratchet ends up blowing up all the bad guys on Veldin, and he becomes involved in the plot of Dr. Nefarious, the main villain of this game. And Dr. Nefarious is one hilarious guy.

One of the highlights of the story is that it's focused around humor, and Insomniac did a great job in making the story a thing to laugh about. Some parts might even make you double over in laughter, whereas others will be just jokes that you'll smile or chuckle at. Not only does the story implement humor very well into its being; it also is capable of putting a sense of urgency into it. Some parts in this game have very urgent tones to it, and you feel as if you need to get that mission done, or else there'll be a game over or something. Overall, the story of this game is very good.

Graphics 10/10
Well, I admit. The graphics aren't the best on the PS2, but they sure are close to it! Each and every weapon in Ratchet's arsenal has its own special animation and its own look. All of the animations of the weapons are great, and combine a great shooting animation with approximately 20 weapons, and you have a ton of graphical ability. Plus, the space scenes in which Ratchet's space ship flies around are quite graphically amazing. It actually looks like space, not some sheet of black with white dots on it.

Another great thing about RAC: Up your Arsenal's graphics are the planets. Outside of your walkable area, they actually do seem like a living world. Like there are other things on the planet besides the ground that you're standing on. And the way that the programmers made the planets and areas look the way they do just leaves me gaping. There are quite beautiful and picturesque areas in this game, and there are so many instances where I just put down my controller to enjoy the landscape that I can't count them. All in all, the graphics of this game are amazing for a PS2 game, with some very minor glitches. If those glitches weren't there, you'd be pretty close to getting an animated movie.

Sounds 9/10
The soundtrack in this game isn't all that great. It's not that bad, but it wouldn't be your number one choice in music. But the special effect noises make up for that and more. The sound of your gun shooting never gets old, mostly because there is a different sound for each weapon that you have. And the sounds that Ratchet's spaceship makes in space actually sound like a small, muted version of the real deal. Every time that Ratchet walks on solid ground, there is always the soft pit pat pit pat of his footsteps. And when you use Clank's Rocket Thruster, you will hear a sound sort of like Ratchet's ship. There are so many special effect sounds in this game that it would probably be impossible to name all of them. But they're all there, and they're what makes this game a great audio experience in video games.

Play Time 10/10
You can beat this game in under 5 hours, or you can level up all your weapons, explore all the planets, and basically do everything in this game in 70+ hours. If you're a person that wants to spend a long time on the game, then so be it. Insomniac will keep you busy for a long, long time. But if you're a person who just wants to speed through the game, well, Insomniac can deal with that too. It's not a question of whether or not you'll like playing this game; it's whether or not you'll spend over 30 hours on it. And Insomniac has made RAC: Up Your Arsenal so fun that you'll probably want to pick the latter answer.

Replay Value 10/10
Getting tired of Ratchet & Clank: Up your Arsenal is nearly impossible. The gameplay is awesome, the story is funny, the sounds make it all the better, and once you beat this game, you'll just want to play it again. There's a challenge mode in this game, where you have to beat this game once before. And believe me, the challenge mode is astounding. The story will stay the same, the gameplay will stay the same, and the sounds will stay the same. But the weapons, well, you're going to have to buy them all over again. Not in the way that you think, though.

Challenge Mode will keep you coming back to this game many, many times. Multi-player will also grab you and suck you in. As I've said before, the gameplay is so fun that it'll make you play this game multiple times, and the story is worth listening to at least twice. Put all those together, and you have a great, replayable game.

Final Recommendation
Simply put, this game is a must-buy. Almost no other game on the PS2 will bring this amount of fun to your console, and once you play this game, you'll never stray from the Ratchet & Clank series. Even if you haven't played the first or second games, it won't matter one bit. Because the story is not the type of story where you need to know what happened before. It just starts off big, and ends big, without any need for background information. So if you get the chance to get this game, get it, before someone else does.

Gameplay: 10/10
Story: 9/10
Graphics: 10/10
Sounds: 9/10
Play Time: 10/10
Replay Value: 10/10
Total Score: 9.7/10 which rounds up to a 10/10
Final Score: 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 07/22/09

Game Release: Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (Greatest Hits) (US, 08/25/05)

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