PlayStation 2
enfrdeitptrues


Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is the third game in the mega-series from game developer Insomniac. It follows in the footsteps of the two previous games, Ratchet & Clank and Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, very well and in fact succeeds them in terms of overall performance.

Plot/Story

The robotic genious by the name of Dr. Nefarious and his also robotic butler Lawrence are planning to take over the Solana Galaxy (the galaxy where the first game took place in) by turning all organisms (or as Nefarious and his henchmen call them, \'squishies\') into robots to serve under his \'iron fisted rule.\' To do this, Nefarious has summoned the race of aliens called the Tyrannoids who are apparently a vicous warrior race. There also not too bright, considering they\'re are working for the man (err.. robot) who will bring about their own destruction if he succeeds. The first planet Nefarious orders the Tyrannoids to attack Ratchet\'s home planet of Veldin, which, as those of us who\'ve played the first game know, is definetly something that gets Ratchet mad. He and his robotic buddy Clank race off to save his home planet and in turn find out from the Galactic President that only one man has ever faced Nefarious before and survived. While this may seem great at first, R&C fans will definetly a about-face in opinion about who he is (Captain Quark, a self-serving superhero who really doesn\'t have much talent at all.) Quark, Ratchet & Clank, and band of \'commandos\' called the Q-Force then set out to do battle against the evil doctor and the Tyrannoids.

Game Play

Like Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal isn\'t really a single genre. It consists of elements from shooter games, platformers, and RPGs mostly, among many others. As Ratchet you\'ll be traveling from planet to planet completing mission objectives. Unlike the previous games in the series, where the objectives were layed out in a mostly linear fashion, UYA has them placed in a more non-linear order. Instead of constantly moving forward and not looking back, you\'ll be jumping back and forth between planets completing mission goals in an order mostly determined by you (although of course you can only take on missions that have been revealed to keep the story in order) along with several side quests that intertwine with the story in some ways. Levels consist of warfare combat, where you act like a commando and get into secret facilities and similar things like that, platforming, meaning that you\'ll be jumping between different ledges and navigating difficult terrain, and somewhere in between. Also, several times throughout the game you\'ll undertake battle missions, which are where you go in with the Galactic Rangers (particularly cowardly robots who provide humoruous battle chatter (appropriate battle chatter) to wage war with Tyrannoids in realistically (more or less) designed battles. Insomniac for all of their fantastic work really left the single player mode for Up Your Arsenal alone (meaning there\'s not many drastic changes between UYA and the previous games, but that\'s hardly a bad thing since it\'s still a blast). Most of the \'all-new\' efforts of Insomniac clearly went into the brand-new and insanely brilliant multi-player mode. It\'s fantastic and offers insane eight-player online and four-player (splitscreen) offline gameplay. Put in the simplest terms, its one of the biggest blasts you\'ll experience in gaming. It consists of three modes: The classic Deathmatch and Capture the Flag modes, and the much-more involved Siege mode. Siege is mostly a scaled down version of the multiplayer mode in the PC game Unreal Tournament 2004. Unreal fans won\'t care for it that much but its really the first game of its kind on the consoles; the closest is Star Wars: Battlefront. Siege consists of two teams waging war against each other and trying to capture each other\'s base by taking nodes.

Graphics

The Ratchet & Clank games have always been well animated and detailed, and Up Your Arsenal is no exception. While the cutscenes lack some of the qualities to make it appear more life-like, it\'s well done overall. Everything\'s brightly colored and the environments, characters, and weapons are detailed pretty extensively. All of the characters animate very well and are used to aid in the extensive humor this game provides.

Sound

Insomniad did some fantastic audio work for UYA with both sound and music. Everything sounds realistic in the game and nothing is out of place. The weapons all have very good sound effects that gives you the sense of their power (sometimes the weapon will sound more powerful than it actually is). The musical score is terrific and fits the mood in each situation and adds some epic feeling to the game. All of the voice acting in the game is extremely well done. All of the characters\' feelings are expressed very well by their corresponding actors/actresses. It really makes them more lovable and also a lot funnier.

Longevity

The single player mode of Up Your Arsenal is packed with stuff to keep you entertained and busy a good long while after you\'ve finished the game the first time. Ths is mostly through trying to upgrade all of your weapons (not neccesarily an easy task) and collect all of the skill points/platinum bolts/character trophies hidden throughout the game. All of the secrets are fun to do and discover. You\'ll definetly be entertained long after the intial run. At least two or three more times through and a total of anywhere from 25-40 hours total (right now I\'m at 35). The brilliant multiplayer mode Insomniac created for this latest R&C installment is the true longevity factor for Up Your Arsenal. The many different combinations of settings and sheer fun you\'ll have will keep you and your friend entertained long after the single-player experience ends.

Appropriateness

Up Your Arsenal, as I\'m sure is evident from the title, does contain a good amount of crude humor and jokes similar to those found in Dreamworks\' \'Shrek\' movie. It doesn\'t get too bad, and sometimes you won\'t even catch the actual crudeness of the joke. There is virtually no language in the game with Lord\'s name used in vain once during a deathmatch competition in the single-player game. One of the villains you face in the game is a spoof of Britney Spears, so she wears some pretty revealing clothing. Of course, the nature of Ratchet & Clank means that there is a lot of explosive violence in the game, although since it\'s used in a fantasy way (meaning there\'s no apparent way these weapons could really exist in real life), you won\'t get the same kind of nauseating experience you get when playing a game such as Grand Theft Auto which glorifies violence in a definetly inappropriate way. There is also no blood or gore in the game. Also, on a positive note, in the storyline the game does codemn serving yourself instead of others, which is in my opinion a good Biblical point.

Overall 82%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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