The R-Force

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Playstation 2 Reviews

From the makers of games like Spyro the Dragon and Disrupter comes a fantastic platformer for the PS2.

The story goes a furry alien, and somewhat whiny at times mechanic who is just itching to get off his planet and find some adventure named Ratchet is on his abandoned backwater planet of Veldin when a small, charming, robot on the run named Clank comes crashing out of the sky. Clank comes from a robot company that creates robots that are made for destruction, and that little bucket of tin wants no part of it, so he high tails it off of that planet in hope for a new start. The two get along great most of the time, but when you put an intelligent, cautious robot and an adventure-seeker like Ratchet together there bound to have some turmoil. The main baddy in the game is Chairman Excutive Drek, a very evil and...short owner of the very succesful company gadgetron. His home planet Orxon has become very badly polluted so instead of just trying to help his planet out he wants to build a whole new planet with the pieces of different planets, and actually make a profit out of it!! Now maybe you didn't know this but when a planet gets a huge chunk of it ripped off it's not going to survive, but Drek only sees financial gain and nothing else. It's up to Ratchet and Clank to save the universe from the height-challenged Drek. On your journey you'll find some very funny characters such as Captain Qwark who is supposed to be a very powerful, and just flat out amazing hero, but when you get to know him he's just another hollywood phony. This game is also very hilarious and you'll find yourself laughing out loud at Clank's witty humor, and Qwarks attempt to be all that and a bag of potato chips.

At first glance this looks like you're run of the mill platformer, but it's way more than that. In this game Ratchet has a very impressive arsenal of weapons. Since he's a mechanic he has his trusty wrench at all times. There are over 20 big planets to go to and there are new weapons on each one. Weapons range from a simple blaster to the Morph-o-ray which has the abiltiy to change you're foes into innocent defensles chickens. Not only do you have over 20 weapons at your disposal but you also have 15 gadgets. For example there is the swingshot which is a grapling hook type of gadget that you can use to swing from mechanical balls in the sky. The way you get these gadgets and weapons is if you either stumble across them on your journey or you purchase them with bolts (the game's currency) in the Gadgetron Venders. This is a slick looking box that you can use to purchase weapons and gadgets. The control in this game is very good. Even Clank get's new abilities. When! you first have Clank he's pretty useless, but as you progress you can buy upgrades for him such as the Heli-pack (which lets you jump even higer, and hover with compact helicopter blades) the Thruster Pack which works as a JetPack in which you can jump longer and higher and hover with bursts of flames coming out of clanks feet. The controls in this game are very good. All the standard platformer controls are here along with buttons for firing your weapon, hitting enemies with your wrench and every ones favorite the butt-stomp(only executeable with the Thruster Pack). The only problem with the controls is that if you're running and come to a stop you slide a foot or two in front of you. It's not like in Jak and Daxter where you can run then stop on a dime, so you'll have to plan accordingly when you long jump.

The look of this game is cartoonish with an edge. Very colorful enviroments, beautiful rendering, and backgrounds that seem alive. At times you can even see Ratchet's fur move in the wind, and in the snow planets you can see the footprints of where he has walked. There's a bunch of little details that make the game look fantastic. The game also has beautiful particle effects. Clearly some of the best the PS2 has to offer.

Each foe dies a different way and you could close your eyes and shoot them and you would know which enemy you just killed by hearing them die. The music is fantastic. Each planet has a very unique and different music score. From thetechno beats to the Metropilis planets to the urban cowboy-ish music of Ratchet's home planet Veldin every thing sounds great and well-placed. Amazing sound effects and explosion sounds.

Lasting Appeal:
Although it's only about a 13-15 hour adventure the first time through, you'll need to go through the game two or even three times to unlock everything. There are Gold Bolts which after you beat the game you unlock a gallery in which you can buy gold weapons. These are basically modded versions of the original weapons to make them more powerful and more ammo. There are also skill points which are special feats that you accomplish in the game. Since you the game doesn't let you see the description of Skill Points you'll probaly (unless you have a strategy guide) accomplish a skill point on accident. Skill points range all the way from killing a group of enemies with only your wrench to shooting hover-cars out of the sky. Even after you beat it 100% you'll find yourself playing this game just for the pure fun of it. So all in all you're looking at a 17-20 hour gaming experience.

You're not going to play a better platformer on the PS2. The game is graced with amazing enviroments and sounds (you've got to hear these enemies die) and the characters are funny and delightful. With the exception of Ratchet when he has his constant urges to be the big hero. But at the end this is a great platformer with tons of action and 35 weapons and gadgets that will leave you hooked to this game. One of my favorite games of all-time.


-Blake Becker (GoinCommando) 

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