By Alexander Bonilla
As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Ratchet and Clank series, and this game is where the series took a turn for the better. Everything that sucked about the first game was vastly improved by the second installment, everything that was already good was tweaked to have better controls, and a few new activities were added to make it even more interesting.
This game continues right after the end of the first, where Ratchet and Clank are enjoying their new fame after defeating Drek but have become bored since there isn’t anything to do now. A CEO from a company in another galaxy contacts the duo for assistance in recovering an important science experiment that was stolen recently. Ratchet and Clank, desperate to jump into action leave immediately to face a new threat. While the plot doesn’t seem as dire compared to the first game, it’s actually a lot more intriguing. As you continue through the game, you discover that there is more to this whole thing than just a simple theft. It may be best if you’ve played the first game (or the recent remake on PS4) to understand fully what’s going on, but you can still figure most of it out even if you haven’t.
Now, if you’re not concerned about the story, don’t worry; the gameplay has improved as well. Ratchet and Clank is mainly known for its zany weapons, and while the first game had a couple of weird ones, this is the game where the weapons begin getting creative. There’s a gun that launches a bomb that explodes into more bombs; another launches an electric ball that shocks everything in its path; and another that launches turrets to fight the battles for you. On top of that, the weapon system has improved where guns get stronger the more you use them. With the Clank segments, more types of robots are introduced to make it more interesting.
There’s also F-Zero-esque races which have more levels with added difficulty to compete for more money, more Giant Clank battles, spaceship battles against whole armies of ships, arenas to battle for money and take on special challenges, and spherical levels added to shake up to formula. And on top of that, the collectible are once again, not just there for the sake of collecting, but actually serve a purpose. Platinum bolts can be used to upgrade your weapons, even more; Raritanium can upgrade your ship (or give it a cool paint job), and Skill Points add what we used to refer to as “cheat codes.” The cheat codes won’t really do much beyond making head sizes too big or add goofy costumes and are there for fun.
If you’ve played the first game or the remake, check this game out. I personally don’t think that this is the best the series has to offer, but a lot of the staples that this series is known for start with this one. You can find it on PS2 for about $10 to $16 or on the Ratchet and Clank Collection for PS3 for around $15 to $25.