Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
Developer: High Impact Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1
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Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters originally came out on PSP last year, and was generally a very well received game. Now the game has been ported across to PlayStation 2, which is great news for all Ratchet fans without a PlayStation 3, who are craving for some more R&C action.

The game starts with Ratchet and Clank on a beach enjoying some rays and a nice break from saving the world. Out of the blue, a little girl appears asking for some photos of Ratchet, as he’s such a famous hero now. Next thing we know an alien spacecraft flies down to the surface and steals the girl, so it’s now the duo’s job to save her. Cutscenes of course feature throughout the game, and although the script isn’t as funny or clever as the fantastic R&C PS3 adventure, ‘Tools of Destruction’, it’s delivered well.

Anyway, from this point it is a very typical Ratchet and Clank game. You hit or shoot enemies, pickup loads of cogs, which can be used to buy items from the shop. Ratchet levels up in the same way as before, by slowly filling a bar up, and you gain extra health by doing so. I’ve always liked the way weapons you use most get leveled-up, and it all fits together nicely.

Unfortunately it is not all good news. The game has been ported up from PSP, so to expect the same sort of quality in the visuals as from a dedicated PS2 game is perhaps a little too much to ask, but some of the graphics are absolutely hideous. Ultra low polygon levels on objects, almost PSOne quality texturing at times (no, I am not joking), and a very sluggish framerate really hamper the experience. Added to this, the camera is constantly getting stuck or confused, and although it is adjustable, it’s not nearly enough and ends up being a rather frustrating experience to try and play against it.

For the most part of the game, you play as Ratchet, but sometimes you switch control to Clank and play his sequences. They are generally much simpler, and involve instructing little robot droids, giving them simple commands such as ‘Attack’, ‘Wait’, ‘Follow’, etc. They play well and offer a bit of a breather from the often-manic Ratchet gameplay.
There are mini-games throughout the adventure such as hoverboard racing and a kind of destruction derby-style game for Clank, and they are very simple and rather weak to be honest. The hoverboarding is very frustrating because the handling is awful, and the collision detection on walls and rocks etc is just plain broken, meaning you frequently hit invisible objects, and although you know you cleared the edge of a wall the game says you hit it. Not good, and certainly not what we are used to from past R&C games.

Overall I just wasn’t super-impressed by this game. It is a Ratchet and Clank game, and has the general feeling of one, but it’s just not up to the same standard as the previous games, and suffers from numerous bugs and glitches. You can be playing the game, get a cutscene, and when you return back into game play again you have no music. And it’s not until you die or reset your PS2 that you get it back. This happened on a number of occasions too. On top of this there is the dreaded camera, which really affects the enjoyment of the game, and I just came away disappointed by the whole thing. Compared to the rest of the franchise this is a bit of a letdown, and best avoided unless you are absolutely desperate for a new R&C game.

Best Bits

- It’s R&C, which is great
- Some interesting environments and levels
- Amusing storyline as usual
Worst Bits

- But it simply doesn’t play as well as past games
- Awful visual quality at times
- Lots of bugs & glitches

by: DC

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