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Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PlayStation 2) artwork

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PlayStation 2) review

"Imagine this picture in your head: a creature named Ratchet (he may be a ferret or a cat) meets a robot named Clank, falling out of the sky as Ratchet goes out to repair his ship, who brings terrifying news of an evil mastermind called Chairman Drek, who plans to take away all the resources from all the planets in the galaxy to create his own super planet, and then Ratchet and Clank team up to become the greatest duo ever and eventually defeat Chairman Drek, putting the entire galaxy to piece, b..."

Imagine this picture in your head: a creature named Ratchet (he may be a ferret or a cat) meets a robot named Clank, falling out of the sky as Ratchet goes out to repair his ship, who brings terrifying news of an evil mastermind called Chairman Drek, who plans to take away all the resources from all the planets in the galaxy to create his own super planet, and then Ratchet and Clank team up to become the greatest duo ever and eventually defeat Chairman Drek, putting the entire galaxy to piece, but a while after that, Ratchet and Clank are interviewed, but Ratchet thinks that no one needs a hero.

And seconds after Ratchet says these words, he and Clank are teleported to a strange man named Mr. Fizzwidget, who mentions that an evil thief has stolen an experiment from the testing lab, and he needs Ratchet to get it back. So that's where it begins - Clank starts doing some work and helping around (although he joins Ratchet later) while Ratchet goes out and tries to find the thief. However, once he finally does get the Experiment back, not all is good, and the thief is extremely mysterious, and has a big secret revealed around halfway through the game. Ratchet & Clank 2 spans across an all new galaxy with around 22 planets, with Ratchet and Clank first trying to stop the thief, and then to stop a new threat that appears...

Ratchet himself controls very nicely. He can do just about anything that you'd want a platforming hero to do, for example: he can jump backwards or forwards, he can do a double jump, he can strafe, fire a gun, etc., and a little bit into the game he has the ability to hover, glide, and other amazing abilities. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando features tons of gadgets which also give Ratchet other abilities, such as hanging on to objects in the sky. There are also tons of new, interesting weapons. For example, there's a large explosive called the Bouncer which splits into several pieces and blows up everything in its path to a gun called the RYNO which shoots out extremely powerful ammunition very, very quickly.

Fortunately, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando also has an incredibly interesting level setup. Each level throws at you several objectives in which you have to complete to finish the level, and all of them have various secrets hidden through them, such as a marvelous Platinum Bolt in the one place you'd least expect to find, and lots of interesting designs. For example, one level has you sliding down several LONG electric wires, while dodging the electricity on them and barriers that make you jump back and forth between the wires. Another has you ''buzzing'' machines with a gadget called the Dynamo to make planks appear on a path with lava burning on it, so you can jump across. Some of them are even funny.

Another interesting thing about Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is that it inherits certain elements from the RPG genre. For example, Ratchet can make his weapons stronger by killing enemies, which turns them into the ''Gold'' versions, where they become stronger and faster, and as Ratchet kills enemies, his ''nanotech'' (his health) increases. The game also features various ''vendors'', with weapons and ammunition for sale, as well as certain armor in which Ratchet can wear to lower the damage he takes. There are also tons of collectibles, such as very hard-to-find Platinum Bolts, which are exchanged for weapon upgrades, 30 Skill Points used to make the game look funnier, and Nanotech Boosts, which increase Ratchet's health automatically. There's a reason why the game is deemed by many as one of PS2's largest platformers.

To add to the size and replay value of the game, there are also TONS of extra things to do on the side. There are some levels for the very purpose of shooting down attacking ships, for all those who favor shooters. To please fans of the racing genre, there are also various races which can be found throughout certain levels. Adding to that, there are two battle arenas in the game, where you have to fight off either hordes of enemies, or extremely powerful monsters such as Chainblade, or the B2 Brawler. And it doesn't stop there. You won't easily find any games with as much to do as this game does, I guarantee you.

However, don't get me wrong. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando doesn't take that long to complete. A regular gamer could complete it in 20 hours at most, if they aren't a ''gotta catch 'em all'' type of person and looking to collect all of the Platinum Bolts and other various collectibles or beaten off by the game's challenge. Although the game starts out extremely easy, full of weak enemies that can all be beaten in only two hits at most, it quickly turns into a hellhole with tons of enemies to defeat, all of which have incredible stamina and speed, and powerful attacks. One particular planet around the end of the game places you on a large bridge across a town, full of machines firing at you and enemies at every corner. It also gets difficult without some of the best weapons and armor, which can certainly take a while.

Visually, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando runs quite smoothly, and everything is quite easy to see. For example, you'll never complain that an enemy attacked you when you didn't see it, and nothing will ever be blocked off by the objects in the background, such as trees. Ratchet himself looks even better than he did in his first adventure, as his body is quite detailed. The graphics aren't really anything special, considering what some PS2 titles have brought us visually, but they're still very good. In terms of music, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando has nothing memorable, although all of the music is still pretty good and usually suits the location. The sound itself is also pretty nice. All of the characters' voices are done well (I couldn't believe how much James Arnold Taylor improved from Final Fantasy X), and most of the guns sound just what you'd expect them to sound like.

There is no such thing as true perfection in the world of gaming, but Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando comes pretty damn close to it. It's got tons of fun stuff to entertain yourself with, such as mini-games like battle arenas, hoverbike races, and space fighting. Hunting for the Platinum Bolts never really gets old, and to top it all off the game looks and sounds good, and the game itself (outside the optional stuff) is quite entertaining. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is a wonderful experience; and I highly suggest that you at least give the game a rental. You won't be disappointed.

Overall Score: 9.2/10

gbness's avatar
Community review by gbness (April 24, 2004)

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