Ratchet & Clank

July 7, 2003

Every once in a while a game will come along that makes me thankful that Cone and I didn’t trade in our PS2. Ratchet and Clank is one of those games. With a good recommendation from our favorite EB Games in Huebner Oaks, we bought Ratchet and Clank on a Friday. By that Sunday, it was all I was playing in my spare time. I was hooked. It was the cute little cat guy (Ratchet) and his tiny robot sidekick (Clank) that caught my attention, but it was the game play and the graphics that kept me going, and it was the imaginative and beautiful worlds that I was taken to that made me fall in love with this little PS2 game from 2002.

Glove Bomb to the rescue

As most of you know I am a fan of platform games, from Donkey Kong 64 to Jak and Daxter, I can’t pass on a chance to play a good platform game. Ratchet and Clank takes every preconceived notion of what should be involved in a platform game and takes it to the next level and then some. Insomniac Studios took what could have been a regular old action platform game and added elements of an adventure game, puzzle solving and strategy, and even racing. It is all blended together so beautifully each new planet you visit you experience a new aspect of the game. Okay, so now that I have ranted and raved about the game I’ll break it down a little more for you so that this actually turns into a review not just “Dots loves this game.”

As I have said before, every aspect of this game is put together in a way that I was unfamiliar with on the PS2. The story is no exception. You start off with the chance meeting of Ratchet, a young adult-ish alien cat like guy who is currently trying to fix his spaceship and Clank, a mishap from the evil lab of the evil Chairman Drek, who is the super villain who is trying to steal aspects of whole planets to build his people a new planet to live on, as he has used all the resources and over populated his. Clank explains to Ratchet that they must find Captain Quark (the Buzz Lightyear type superhero in their solar system) and save the day. Ratchet is only convinced when Clank points out that the only thing missing from his ship is the navigation robot, which he just happens to know how to do. The dynamic duo then goes through many perilous adventures flying from planet and planet meeting many a colorful character.

Burninating the countryside*

Each planet that they go to is vastly different from the one before it. Insomniac created these beautiful sci-fi worlds that make you want to explore each nook and cranny just to see what lies ahead. In the Metropolis city I literally wanted to walk into each and every building to see what kind of business was taking place, but unfortunately they didn’t put that much detail into the game. The graphics in R&C are outstanding for a PS2 game. The colors, the sharpness, the attention to detail; it is all wonderful. Another detail they played off of really well was the soundtrack to each of the levels. Letting you know when you should be scared or just running around, the fun sci-fi movie music just set the mood that much more. Aside from Halo, I don’t think I have ever really felt like I was really at the places I was playing in a video game.

Grind shoes in action

The thing that I think that I enjoyed the most about R&C is that it started out relatively easy so that I progressed further into the game and got hooked, but as the games went on the challenges and missions got harder and harder; sometimes to the point of severe frustration. But overall, the progressive nature of the game is something I think a lot of today’s games lack. Another aspect of the game that made it relatively easy to play was the controls. They were simple. There are not real complex combos to learn or moves to master. It was jump, attack, fire weapon, etc. Don’t get me wrong, Ratchet can do some really cool moves, but it is a matter of moving the joystick and jumping in one direction. Simple. And in some small miracle, this PS2 game actually has a camera that doesn’t annoy the hell out of me. Again, they kept it simple.

Go go gadget arm

Overall, I think that Ratchet and Clank is one of the best games that I have played in a long time. It is tied for my favorite PS2 game now with Kingdom Hearts. I don’t think that I can praise it much more. I think that the whole review almost escaped the bitter sarcasm that is usually present in most things that I do…

To conclude in a very simple way; if you like platform games, have a PS2, a brain, and some time to spare (cause you won’t be able to put it down once you start) BUY RATCHET AND CLANK. Now. Seriously, why are you still reading this? Get in your car and drive to your nearest store and buy it. I’ll see you in a while when you finally put the control down. Really, it’s that good. Hell, I’ll make it super easy for you and put a link to EB Games so you can sit on your butt and have it come to you.

* The original caption for that picture was “Flamethrower-ed”, but after discussing it over with Dots, Burninating the countryside was just too funny to pass up.

Want a piece of my wrench?

Grind shoes revisited

Little Clank shot goin on

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.