Sep 14, 2013Everything Ratchet 2 offered, but with more polish, more variety, and more BANG! Pretty visuals, engaging level design, a variety of side events and mini games as well as a fantastic plot featuring your favourite returning characters and new, memorable antagonists. A few small glitches and hitches, and a couple of framerate drops here and there do little to sour the experience as Ratchet 3Everything Ratchet 2 offered, but with more polish, more variety, and more BANG! Pretty visuals, engaging level design, a variety of side events and mini games as well as a fantastic plot featuring your favourite returning characters and new, memorable antagonists. A few small glitches and hitches, and a couple of framerate drops here and there do little to sour the experience as Ratchet 3 is everything you need in a video game, and offers incredible bang for your buck at it's low price point. The good news for everybody is that Ratchet 3 pretty much gets it all right, and is worthy of much praise both as a platformer, as a third person shooter and as an experience overall. Final Score: 8.7/10… Expand
Sep 11, 2016Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal takes place following the events of Going Commando. Although you wouldn't know it judging from the opening of the game. One of these days someone is going to have to explain to me why Ratchet constantly feels the need to throw away all his cool stuff that he gets on his adventures, forcing him to go and regain them every time. Clank is the smart one ofRatchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal takes place following the events of Going Commando. Although you wouldn't know it judging from the opening of the game. One of these days someone is going to have to explain to me why Ratchet constantly feels the need to throw away all his cool stuff that he gets on his adventures, forcing him to go and regain them every time. Clank is the smart one of the group, he still has all his upgrades. But anyway, our heroes see a planet getting destroyed on the news, fly to it and become the new commander of the Galactic Rangers by virtue of having a pulse, and along the way uncover the plot of the evil Dr. Nefarious. In typical Ratchet & Clank style you fly from planet to planet slowly uncovering new pieces of the story.
While Up Your Arsenal is in fact the sequel to Going Commando, you'd be forgiven in thinking that it was the other way around. Up Your Arsenal is significantly shorter, and half of what content is there feels either like padding or that it was simply copied and pasted from Going Commando. After nearly every mission you are forced to fly back to the Starship Phoenix, the command ship of long time series goof Captain Quark and his pals. Once there you often do nothing more than simply watch a cutscene that tells you which planet you need to go to next, something other games in the series managed to accomplish with a simple phone call. And the game cleverly puts you at the far end of the Starship Phoenix, as far away as possible from your ship forcing you to hike back to it every single time. The missions are also padded, with many of them being nothing more than helping the Galactic Rangers by fighting off waves of Tyhrranoids. There's even a point where you take time out to help Clank film his Secret Agent Clank TV show. It makes the story feel much less urgent when you're constantly forced to do these trivial things rather than progress towards the evil villain.
Even the sections where you play as Clank feel much more uninspired than in previous games. Normally you use Clank and his little robot friends to help you navigate puzzles and traverse obstacles. In Up Your Arsenal, however, Clank's little robot friends are often reduced to keys, needed to open doors to the next area and then never seen again. Most of the puzzle navigation comes in the form of a monkey who follows Clank around for some reason, and the only thing you can do with him is throw a banana for him to fetch. It's a disappointing downturn from what is usually one of the highlights of the Ratchet & Clank games.
Crazy weapons have always been a staple of the Ratchet & Clank series, and Up Your Arsenal certainly delivers on that front. Electric shotguns, black hole producers, and whips that require ammo to use for some reason are just a small slice of the variety of weaponry that Up Your Arsenal has in store. Some weapons make you wonder whether or not you should use anything else, while others make you wonder whether or not a feather pillow may be a more effective choice. My favorite is the Plasma Storm, which fires balls of electricity the entire length of the screen, arcs towards any enemies that get too close, and can take out any enemy in two or fewer hits. The most notable of all weapons is the RYNO, or in this case the RY3NO, which can reduce any enemy to dust in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately the padding of Up Your Arsenal isn't limited to it's story; it also spills over onto the weapons. Some of the weapons are complete copies of ones from Going Commando, name and all, and while each weapon can be upgraded to level 8, a short game means you are forced through a lot of grinding if you want to see each weapon reach it's full potential.
While many parts of Up Your Arsenal are similar to Going Commando, there's one unfortunate similarity that needs to be addressed: the checkpoint system, or lack thereof. As you progress through the game and the enemies and platforming segments become tougher, it's far from a guarantee that you will make it through a level without dying. If you do happen to lose all your HP, the game sends you all the way back to the beginning of the level, respawns all enemies, and just as an extra kick to the gonads it decides not to give you any of your ammo back forcing you to buy it. While Up Your Arsenal is slightly better than Going Commando with regards to more frequent health boxes that actually restore a decent chunk of your health rather than a small fraction of it, this massive oversight was infuriating in the previous game, and is downright unacceptable in the sequel. To add even more insult to injury, the Captain Quark side scrolling video game levels, which take all of a few minutes to complete, have more checkpoints than the main game. So Insomniac obviously understood the concept of checkpoints, but decided that we didn't need them while playing as Ratchet.
Dialogue has always been a strong part of every Ratchet & Clank game. Games that are accessible to the younger audience while keeping the older audience entertained can be a tough to hit sweet spot for any form of entertainment, but Insomniac Games are masters at it. The subtle adult humor will make many kids wonder why their parents are standing at the back of the room trying to control themselves from laughing too hard. While the story itself isn't anything to write home about, the writing is entertaining enough to continue watching every cutscene.
Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal was originally released in 2004. It is certainly a product of it's era, doing the best it had with the technology and trends at the time. Is it fair to judge a game that came out 12 years ago against more modern games of the past 5 years? Probably not, but with the trend of remastering old games that is still going strong the developers are bringing the comparisons upon themselves. And when compared to the newer Ratchet & Clank games, Up Your Arsenal doesn't quite stack up. The new Ratchet & Clank games may stand on the shoulders of the old ones, but that still inevitably means that the old ones are lower.… Expand