PS2 Game Reviews

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Ratchet & Clank


Every so often, I like a good, clean, honest platformer, like "Alex Kidd in Miracle World" back in the day for the old Sega Master System.  You can't go wrong with a little "Super Mario Bros. 3", too, just for good measure.  I don't regularly buy games like that--in fact, the last one before this might have been "Ape Escape", a great game for the PSX--but when you have some down time like I have had recently, you make some choices that aren't always your profile.

Happily, "Ratchet & Clank" was a very good game that keeps things going by having some cool little gadgets and weapons, and some ingenious level design coupled with some secrets and hard-to-attain items.  The plot features some alien bad guy that threatens to destroy the universe unless Ratchet and a little robot named Clank can stop him.  The humor in the game is actually well done for both kids and adults, and even though this game gets a Teen rating, there is a lot of killing before all is said and done in the universe.

Because of the way objectives are set up, you sometimes have to visit some levels twice to get everything done on them; I wasn't a big fan of this, but what can you do.  Choosing the right weapon for the right situation is half the game all by itself, since when you have all of the gadgets you can find, there are almost 30 devices that need to be mastered.  Because the level design is so good--and, there are 20 or so levels in all--the game takes a while to get through, but it's never very hard so it's enjoyable to try and work your way through the game.

Not a bad game for $20, since it's on sale as a Greatest Hits game now.

Rating:  $40


Feedback?  Comments?  Hot doughnut tip?


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09