Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando

File:Ratchet and clank gc image.jpg

In 2002, Ratchet & Clank started off with a decent game. It wasn't perfectly constructed, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, released in 2003, is not only an improvement over the original, it also racks up the difficulty for those seeking a challenge.

Months after the defeat of Chairman Drek, Ratchet and Clank reside back on Planet Veldin, having remained inactive in the intervening time. It is then that they are teleported to another galaxy by Ambercrombie Fizzwidget, head of Megacorp, and tasked to retrieve a stolen experiment. What follows is a story deeper than the last one, with a few nice surprises thrown in.

The game still has some likable characters, including the main duo and Mr. Fizzwidget, backed up by some great voice acting. Also in terms of sound, the background music is still very catchy, some of which you will never get tired of listening to. The graphics are still good for the time of its release, using much clearer cutscenes and a nice mix of light and dark palettes while having everything still easily stand out.

As with the original Ratchet & Clank, there is a large variety of weapons to pick from, which can be helpful in different situations. In fact, the weapon variety is even bigger than last time since you can recover weapons from the last game to assist you (you can get these without spending bolts if you have a Ratchet & Clank save on your PS2 Memory Card). This adds even more to the gameplay as you can more carefully decide what you need to use at a given moment. Another addition to the gameplay is the ability to upgrade weapons, sans the older ones, with more frequent use, which sometimes comes in handy when up against a large wave of enemies, and in a New Game +, you can actually upgrade your weapons a second time for even more power. It is also now possible to have the game pause while using Quick Select, which helps to change weapons more easily without taking damage.

On the aforementioned difficulty, This game is a little more challenging than the last. A few times when playing through certain areas, I got frustrated at how difficult it was, since enemies can now dish out what feels like an unfair amount of damage, even when some of these enemies aren't wearing any armor. Despite this, I actually had a feeling of satisfaction once I got past these stages, preparing not to go through them again. Though the Save system remains generally the same as the last game, it at least tells you this time when there's a checkpoint so you don't have to go through any frustration trying to figure it out.

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is overall a nice improvement on its predecessor. While the higher difficulty may turn off some players of the original, it's still an enjoyable experience and provides an interesting challenge. Fans of the original will enjoy this one, though I recommend newcomers to play the original game first, if only to help the story.

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