By RivaOni 5 Comments
Now before I go ahead. I'd like to point out that I run a website (and write for it obviously) called bitparade. For the past few weeks I've been playing games that I've got gathered in my rather expansive (and rather random) collection and then putting up a review of whichever title I've been playing that week onto the site each weekend. I'll be putting these Retro Reviews up (even though PS2 isn't strictly retro) on here from now on and hopefully show off any writing talent that I may or may not have. If you're interested in reading anything else by myself or one of our other two writers, head on over to http://www.bitparade.co.uk.
So anyway, my retro review of Ratchet and Clank 2.
Its probably an odd place to be introduced to the Ratchett and Clank series, but a spell of boredom and a lack of drive to play something that fits into my normally played catergory of games (so racing and JRPG then...) had me dig this out, I'd always heard good things about the series and this is the only title I have available in my collection of games, so Ratchet and Clank 2 (or Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando or Ratchett and Clank: Locked and Loaded depending upon where you live) is this weeks "Retro Review".
I'll happily admit to being a fan of Insomniac Games' Spyro the Dragon games on the original PlayStation so its a wonder that its taken me this long to play a game from this series (the first title was released eight years ago!). Now that I have though I'm glad I did. Insomniac have taken everything they did succesfully with the li'l purple dragon, ramped that up a notch and thrown guns galore at the gameplay. It's odd saying this so long after its release but it really does feel like a platform game designed for the Modern Warfare generation, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Visuallly its still pretty damn good considering that this is a PS2 game, there's not a blocky texture or poorly designed item to be seen and the worlds the game has you visiting are richly populated and vastly different to each other resulting in each new location being a genuine treat. Okay so it still visits the staple Platformer style locations of "swamp place" "ice place" "fire place" "big fat futuristic city" but come on, if you didn't expect that then you were just being delusional. The characters are all fun, especially the relationship between the two main leads which provides many moments that will raise a smile.
The only criticsm I can possibly aim at Ratchet and Clank 2 is that sometimes the difficulty is cranked up a little too far, usually in the form of there being too many enemies, and whilst this was only a mild iritation (and no where near as difficult as some sections of Nintendo's Mario games) it could provide too much for someone much younger or less experienced with games than I and detract from them enjoying the rest of the game. No ones asking them to make the game stupidly easy, and in all honesty it makes overcoming those situations quite satisfying, but a bit o f middle ground would of been nicer especially as the spikes come at almost random moments where the level beforehand was fairly easy and the sections immediately afterwards are a breeze. Admittedly most of these problems are resolved as your weapons upgrade, but sometimes it involves alot of dying in order to have the firepower to progress.
As a complete package though, Ratchet and Clank 2 is incredibly entertaining, suprisingly so for a game of its age, I really mean it when it shows very few rough edges in any of the key area's we look at when playing games and its only the mild irritation of a few poorly chosen difficulty spikes that detract from the overall experience.