Big Time Arsenal On The Go
As a franchise grows, several titles are made they become stale. When another developer takes over for the original, it almost always spells disaster. Transferring a hit series on a console to a handheld is sketchy at moments. With those three things in mind, here is only one thing that must be known about Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters – everyone needs to buy this game. Not out of a desperate plea to bring the game back to the console before it is forgotten in handheld limbo. No. Its because Rachet and Clank: Size Matters is one of the best PSP games to date and with High Impact Games being new to the developing thing, it would be easy to harp on everything about the game. However, the truth is there are not that many things to harp on. In fact, Size Matters, instead of doing the same old same old, has brought a few nice additions while giving you the same great gaming experience.
The story begins after Deadlocked, the last installment of the series on the PlayStation 2, with our heroes on a much needed and a well deserved vacation. Much like all games that begin with the heroes on vacation, Ratchet’s and Clank’s rest and relaxation time is cut short as they are drawn into a whole new adventure. A young girl, Luna, a self-proclaimed fan of theirs, wants to see more of there hero-ish ways. Once she is kidnapped, your journey begins. Along the way, you will rediscover the forgotten genius inventor race called Technomites. Soon you will discover that there is more to the story than just rescuing a kidnapped girl. However, the storyline is not anything new. Much like its predecessors, Size Matters follows the same formula of “do something good – discover the deep underlying truth of the quest” that has become more of a staple than the arsenal of the franchise.
One of the doubtable aspects of this PSP title was that it is a PSP title. Since the console version uses both analog sticks and the eight buttons on the controls, one would think that a PSP Ratchet and Clank wouldn’t be able to do the things we have grown to love about the series, and they would think wrong. The beauty of the game is the fact that High Impact made Ratchet not only do all the things he had done before, but made it easier for his controller as well. The only problem is it might take some time to get used to the switch between the one analog stick, for moving, to the directional pad, which is for strafing. Even this is minor because after a few minutes of play you’ll be switching between them with ease. Aside from getting used to this new way of playing, the only other action that takes a little practice is the long jump (L+R a brief pause then X), but this is equally quick to become accustomed to. Cycling through your vast array of weaponry is extremely simple as well, you just hit the triangle button and then you have a new weapon. Speaking of the weapons, you can upgrade them with add-ons and use experience points to make them bigger and badder. This increases the longevity of your weapon and makes them more fun to use.
One of the other cool things is that you won’t just be controlling Ratchet the whole time; Clank gets some playtime as well. In a limited amount of levels, which is unfortunate, Clank skyrockets into space where you will control him, ala Starfox style, for a really fun, albeit, reflex heavy gameplay experience. Also, with Clank, you can control other robots to help solve problems and use Clank to make your way through smaller spaces. With the WiFi multiplayer feature, you can download exclusive missions and collect bonus items that you can trade back and forth between friends.
The graphics really shine on Size Matters. With it being a handheld title, you would expect less from the graphics. Here, on the other hand, Size Matters equals, if not surpasses, the graphic experience of its PS2 big brothers. The environments and characters are slick, clean, and very pleasing as the camera whips around the action. The camera system itself is refreshing. Not to say it is not without faults, because it has them, no matter how small, the camera for a majority of the time is spot on with where it needs to be. Even if it gets stuck, which is a small amount of the time, you can always readjust with the L and R triggers. In addition to the advanced graphics, the sounds and voice acting are also great, but there is a problem. At certain parts of the game, if you switch between menus too quickly, or resume the game from sleep mode, you will have a brief silence while the game readjusts. This small glitch should not have even been present.
Even with its small glitches, Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters accomplishes one thing with ease – a fun and enjoyable time. The replayability is high, and since it should only take about five hours, it is also frequent replayable. After you play through one time, you will be able to play through with the upgraded weapons you had at the end. Size Matters proves that size really isn’t all that important all the time – even a gaming world full of “large and in charge” gaming consoles. Most importantly, Size Matter reminds us why we bought a PSP.
R & C return to what they do best…blowing stuff up on the PSP by Cole Smith
May 17, 2006 – Ratchet and Clank make their PSP debut, going back to the franchise’s roots with classic Ratchet & Clank gameplay as playable Clank returns with all-new gameplay. Having seen a demo, I’m certain that we can expect the same fun and level of quality that the Ratchet and Clank franchise has sustained on the PS2.
Set in the franchise’s signature style sci-fi universe, players will take on the roles of both Ratchet and Clank in a journey across the galaxy full of new destinations to explore and conquer. The irreverent humor is always at the forefront but never interferes with the action. When it comes to violence and laughs, Ratchet and Clank take themselves very seriously.
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters is due for release in early 2007.