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Ratchet & Clank... Don't call it Jak & Daxter! Tim 
Posted by: Tim at 2:10 PM EST on 9/9/2002
File Under: Games -> PlayStation 2 -> Quickview

You would think that the GameCube would be THE place to be for platfomer fans, but really, the PlayStation 2 just plain owns the genre with Klonoa 2, Jak & Daxter, Maximo, plus Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank on the way.

Now, Ratchet & Clank... The demo I played had one level available, and I've already played through it several times. Frankly, I'm really excited about this game. At first, it seems like yet another platformer starring a sassy duo and snazzy graphics. Thankfully, Ratchet & Clank separates itself from the likes of Banjo-Kazooie and Jak & Daxter with gameplay that emphasizes action, gunplay, and mission objectives rather than the typical treasure hunt.

You control the smart-assed Ratchet (some sort of mammilian creature that I can't identify) and his geeky robot sidekick. Ratchet weilds a massive wrench as his primary weapon, but you'll soon gain access to a whole arsenal of weaponry with the likes of the Blaster, Pyrocitor, Glove of Doom, the Devastator, and more. Some of the weapons are expecially creative. Take the Glove of Doom for example. You don't actually shoot your enemies with it, but instead, you unleash a herd of small robots that will swarm and attack your enemies for you. And since each playing area is riddled with enemies for you to unleash your wrath upon, all these weapons will come in handy.

Additionally, there's thousands upon thousands of Nuts and Bolts to pick up in each level, which act as the game's currency. Thankfully, there's no need to pick up each and every last Bolt, but it's always a good idea to have a big reserve of them, since they're so easy to find. You never know when one of the NPCs is going to charge you 1,000 Bolts for an item that you need in order to advance. Don't worry, though. You can amass 1,000 Bolts in a matter of a couple minutes.

In addition to your selection of weapons, Clank is also a bit of help on your journey. For example, you can find a helicopter upgrade for Clank, which will allow you to do long jumps, high jumps, and to hover in mid-air.

The graphics that I have seen have been downright excellent. It looks extremely reminicent of Jak & Daxter (the developers of the two games exchanged technology to create the games, so it's understandable) but since I'm a fan of that game's style, Ratchet & Clank is right up my alley. Additionally, the voices are very cartoony and add a lot of character to everyone in the game. The controls are a bit loose - it feels a bit like you're sliding around on ice - but this is an old build that I've been playing, so hopefully that'll be fixed up by the time the game is out in November.

Initial Vibe: Excellent. This kind of game is definitely up my alley, as I'm a huge platforming fan. As long as they can keep the gameplay fresh without becoming repetitive, Insomniac Games should have a hit on its hands.

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