Review by Commander_R

"Ratchet and Clank: Up your Arsenal"

When I first started playing the Ratchet and Clank series, this was the game I was introduced to the series by. Well, I played going commando briefly but not a lot. However, a couple of years ago when I started on this game, I played through, and became a fan. What were the elements that made me a follower of the Lombax (Ratchet`s species) with attitude and a big wrench? What made me follow him through the Solana galaxy? Well let me take you through my review to explain.

Ratchet and clank...the best comparison I can make to this game is "Timesplitters: Future Perfect". It is a shooter game (ifs its first person or third person, its up to you) that has an epic storyline as well as fun gun-play, and even manages a good sense of humor.

Graphics: 10/10 I know they quite aren't up to par with modern graphics but they never have a dated feeling to them when I go to play the game. Why? Well, asides from me not owning a PS3, I think there are two predominate reasons why the graphics maintains their awe status. First of all, the developers didn't limit the game to a single style of environment. They included a large variety, from jungles to sewers (I`m serious, no seriously you have a sewer level) and of course you got your cities and military bases. You even get your desert in there, which adds variety to this game. By making the environments diverse, you never play the same area meaning you don't focus on the graphics as much. I notice that games with a predominate environment generally don't feel as fresh, even if the graphics are more "realistic". Secondly, the developers has decided to use high-contrast imagery in contrast (no pun intended) to a dark and gritty shooter, which helps make it feel fresh. I have no complaints graphically, as not only does it stay fresh, but I experience virtually no graphical glitches if any at all.

Audio: 9/10 The audio can be split into three categories: voice acting, combat sound effects and environment music. Lets start with the latter, environment music. In all honesty not much to really say, it sorta blends but it works well. I have no major complaints or acknowledgments in that regard, asides from the fact that it never gets annoying to the point of insanity. Combat sound effects I am particularly happy about, because not only do the weaponry sound good, but the reactions to it. Again, not much I can really say about that. Now the voice acting, which ties into weapon reactions, works well. Its not like the left for dead voice acting or some of the voice acting near the end of The Legend Of Dragoon (obviously I'm not describing that), because the voice acting in this game WORKS. It was obvious that the developers put work into the voice acting, and its a good thing to, as that's a huge part of the game. It sounds natural, and it don't feel forced. On the whole, the audio is done fairly well.

Game-play: 9/10 Now if i`m reviewing a video-game, I should review the game-play. If not then I don't know what I`m doing...but the game-play....Its good. The controls are a little awkward at first if your not accustomed to previous games in the series, because of some odd controls and the inverted defaults. Fortunately, there is an option to change the controls to a more comfortable, standard FPS control scheme if you aren't a fan of the classic controls (I played with all the choices given, works fairly well, largely a matter of personal preference though). Now whatever control scheme you utilize, it don't take long to get sucked into the game. The main form of combat is standard "infantry" combat as I call it, where it is essentially you against the hordes of enemy AI. This time you do have some fire support but more often then not are as useful as putting a peanut butter sandwich on the ground and hoping it shoots them for you. Sometimes, they helps, but not often. I think it was deliberate because the galactic rangers, your allies, often calls for your help frequently due to incompetent defenses. The basic idea of each level is to fight your sneak your way to a certain spot, and often to get back to your ship, which is used to cycle through the planets, there is some sort of transportation back safely. You also got some basic aerial combat utilizing a hover-ship and I personally loves using it. Makes me feel like the red baron or billy bishop of the Solana galaxy. You also got a bike but it isn't necessary or used often and that's a bit of a disappointment.

You know, there is more to this game then the main combat. You also got side-jobs that I think helped make the series popular. You got your swing-shot, your hacking, and the "Qwark vid-comics" as well as clank game-play. I particularly like playing as Clank. Due to the variety of things you are sometimes required to perform, the game don't get dull easily and rarely feels repetitive. Its a shame they took out the star ship fighting though, but I guess we got the hover-ship for that.

Combat: 9/10 I need to comment on this briefly, asides from whats mentioned in the game-play. Like "Timesplitters", this game isn't obsessed with head shots or following a single way to beat the game. Some games, Like a lot of the Splinter Cell games, your required to beat the levels almost as how the developers wants you to play the game. In this case ,however, you can decide how you want to play the game. There are minor limitations, but if you want to go guns-blazing terminator style, or if you want to go in like a Jedi...go for it. The combat is still challenging enough that you can't use your wrench to win against all the adversaries with contemptuous ease, but with a keen mind and your arsenal of weaponry, you can easily come up with dozens of ways to play the game.

Story: 10/10 You know, storyline I think is something a lot of 7th generation console games have sacrificed for online game-play, and its a real shame. Fortunately this game isn't all about the online gaming. The story is intriguing and what I like is you can take two paths during the game. Ultimately they lead to the same place but do have a minor impact on the story. I think they want you to do the facility first, but you can do the docks and its associated story first. However the true strength in the story is that the developers never try to take themselves too seriously. This game has lots of humor and the parody spoofs is another reminisce of "Timesplitters: Future Perfect. I found numerous spoofs, such as from Austin Powers and the Star Wars series. Trust me, you will see them as they come up. The story is perhaps my favorite thing about this game.

Multiplayer: Now this game, like some ps2 games, has internet game-play enabled. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to do a whole lot that but from what friends thinks, it works well. However since I never tried it properly I won't give this segment a score. I can comment on the hot seat games though. It is fun when you can play against another human. My only major complaint is that it gets a little repetitive and dull without larger teams, which is mainly associated with online gaming which, again, I can't comment on. This is an excellent way to step away from the main storyline.

Replay: 8/10 This game is a little short but has awesome replay value. The main focus is the single player campaign, and even though it can be short, it can actually take a while to complete. As well, there are numerous side quests, such as the platinum bolts, and the skill points. Though only 30, they can be fun and hard to acquire. Plus if your bored you got the insomniac Museum, which is fun, but I won't go into details right now. You also got a harder campaign mode, which is quite fun and you can't truly beat the game until you go through it.

Conclusion: If you are seeking a realistic game or some sort of hard-core game like dead-space...look elsewhere. If you have a sense of humor and wants a fun, engaging single-player game to go through....get this game. Its definitely worth a look and is plenty of bang for your buck. What are you waiting for...go. Get that game. I mean it, get that game while I`m gone to eat that peanut butter sandwich while playing this game. I mean it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/04/10

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

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