goldenroad's Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (PlayStation Portable) review

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Not a bad debut on PSP

Ratchet and Clank size matters was a 2007 release for the playstation portable and the first time a ratchet and clank game had appeared on the handheld platform. The playstation 2 games were hugely successful and ratchet and clank swiftly became one of the most popular action platformers around. The games used moments of platforming and added some impressive gunplay by including some of the most memorable guns in gaming to date. When Sony first announced they would be publishing a ratchet and clank game on the playstation portable there were great expectations for the game. However people became critical of the playstation portable being an unsuitable platform for such a game and had concerns such as how the camera control would be handled.  
However this game is incredibly impressive considering the minimised hardware it  has to work with and problems such as a single thumbstick as opposed to dual thumbsticks. The game works well to reduce the number of issues and still provide fun and exciting gameplay throughout. The game uses a number of interesting minigames to break up the gameplay. Whilst these offer no greater depth to the game they help keep the experience enjoyable but are unlikely to keep you coming back for more. The graphics are some of the best on PSP even 3 years after its release. It boasts interesting environments, spectacular gun effects and fantastic facial expressions on the main characters. Whilsts it still has some blocky textures it is no more than can be expected from the hardware it has to work with. The roster of guns has been reduced to only 13 this time around, however each gun is uniquely interesting in its own right. You have your standard pistol (lancer) and shotgun (concussion cannon) but it also includes such crazy weapons as a gun which fires a laser beam and a gun which turns your enemies into cows. Each gun has the ability to be levelled up and mods are available to make each gun more powerful. This provides an incentive for you to keep using each gun as they gain experience with each kill. The game has 8 gadgets overall 4 of which are active the other 4 are passive, such as the bolt grabber and the map o matic. The game also includes the ability to equip armour to ratchet, As you progress through the game ratchet will find/ or be awarded with different pieces of armour. There are 7 main categories of armour each with 4 pieces to collect, wildfire, sludge mk 9, crystallix, electroshock, mega bomb, hyperborean and chameleon. However a new gameplay feature is the ability to mix and match different combinations of armour to create armour with a different ability. This adds a layer of depth to the gameplay and you will find yourself combining armours to give yourself better powers such as a full suit of wildfire will give you a flaming wrench which does extra damage.  
The games controls are one of the most impressive things about the game. The developers have managed to create a control scheme that feels both natural and simple. The obvious obstacle is the lack of a second thumbsick however they have mapped the camera controls the the shoulder buttons and the strafe controls to the directional buttons. Every now and then you may encounter camera troubles and it can be difficult to change the camera during combat but overall i think they have done a very impressive job to replicate the controls from the playstation 2 games.  
The game a fairly good plotline which can be funny and unpredictable. However the game is all over way too quickly! With only 9 planets and only 8 you are able to return to the games storyline barely pushes the 5 hour mark. However I found myself replaying the game 3 times just to unlock everything, find all the platinum bolts and fully upgrade all the weapons. This is definetely a game which encourages replays as if you want to acheive all these things you will have to play through the game several times. This is what people fail to understand when they judge the game seeing it only has a 5 hour play through time, whilst many people will not want to play through it several times as it can be often seen as repetitive and boring, I found myself coming back to it again and again. I am however a big fan of the series and therefore may be including some bias in that opinion. Many people won't like the length, others will not care.  
Overall i think this is still one of the best playstation portable games available and i recommend it particularly to fans of the series, however for people who haven't played a ratchet and clank game before step with caution as this might not be the best place to start.

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