Monday, July 11, 2011
THEPLAYGAMER3: RATCHET AND CLANK UP YOUR ARSENAL
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (known as Ratchet & Clank 3 in Europe and Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal in Australia) is a platform game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony. It is the third installment in the Ratchet & Clank series and was released in North America on November 3, 2004. Shortly after it was released in Japan on November 25, the first volume of the Ratchet & Clank manga, drawn by Shinbo Nomura, was released.
The gameplay is similar to previous games in the series but introduces new features such as a refined control system, a larger amount of weapons and a deeper upgrade system. It follows Ratchet and Clank's adventure through a fictional universe to defeat a robotic villain, Dr. Nefarious, who intends to destroy all organic life. Characters such as Dr. Nefarious and Sasha, a Cazar starship captain who helps Ratchet throughout the game, are introduced, and a number of characters return from the original Ratchet & Clank.
Up Your Arsenal is the first in the series to offer online multiplayer as well as single-player. Multiplayer features three different modes of play available on all of the maps and has a selection of the weapons from the single-player game. As well as the multiplayer mode, it offers many other improvements over its predecessors such as higher quality graphics, larger worlds and a larger variety of weapons and gadgets also ships and dune buggies. The voice cast from the previous game return as their respective characters and new actors were hired to voice the new characters. The game was met with critical acclaim, earning an average review score of 91% at Metacritic.
The name of the game is a play on the British English word "arse" and the word "arsenal".
Despite straying further from a classic platform game, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal still offers some of the basic features of a platform game but with a strong mix of action and shooting; PGNx Media has dubbed it a "combat-platformer". It offers melee and long range combat and boasts a large, varied arsenal as one of its primary features as it has been in previous games.
Ratchet is initially armed with an omniwrench 8000, his primary melee weapon, but as the player progresses through the game new weapons and upgrades can be obtained. As well as the 20 weapons available to the player, each weapon (apart from the RY3NO) has eight maximum levels of strength, which enhances on the previous game's progress of only leveling up once, five are available after weapon purchase and then three after that once the game has been completed and the player starts "challenge mode". Alongside the weapons, which are primarily used in combat, there are ten gadgets that can be collected for use in other situations.
For most of the game the player will be in control of Ratchet but in some areas the player takes control of Clank, Ratchet's ally. Clank can give commands to smaller robots called gadgebots to perform tasks with the use of a command menu to solve puzzles and attack enemies. Clank also features in "Giant Clank" scenarios where Clank transforms into a larger and more advanced form and can battle similar size enemies; in this form he gains increased fire power and a large amount of health. During the single-player game, the player can also play as Captain Qwark in 2D side-scrolling levels (called "Vid Comics"), which build upon the history of Captain Qwark and his previous conflicts with Dr. Nefarious.
The game offers a huge range of enemies and different stages. It also features online multiplayer modes, such as Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, and Siege (in which the player storms the opponent's base and tries to destroy the power core inside). It supports up to eight players at a time and supports voice chat through a PS2-compatible headset. Ethernet connection is needed if playing online against other players.
The player character and main protagonist is Ratchet (voiced by James Arnold Taylor), a Lombax from the planet Veldin. He wields a wrench as a melee weapon and can use a large arsenal of weapons, including guns, and melee weapons. List of Ratchet & Clank characters, Ratchet's robotic sidekick and sometimes co-protagonist, is usually attached to Ratchet's back and uses attachments to help Ratchet's movements. He is voiced by David Kaye. Dr. Nefarious, the main antagonist of the game (voiced by Armin Shimerman), is the robotic form of a former organic life form. He has a hatred for organic life and tries to destroy it. At the end of the game, Doctor Nefarious is left stranded on an asteroid, eventually making cameos and reappearances in later titles.
The game opens with Ratchet and Clank finding a news report about Ratchet's home planet, Veldin, which is under attack by an army of aliens named Tyhrranoids. The lead suspect is a mysterious villain by the name of Dr. Nefarious. After they help to defeat the Tyhrranoids on Veldin, the Galactic President tells Ratchet that Captain Qwark, an enemy from the first two games in the series, is the only person to ever have defeated Dr. Nefarious and that Qwark's help is needed to defeat him again. Ratchet finds Qwark and takes him to the Starship Phoenix, whose commander has been ordered to help Ratchet and Qwark defeat Dr. Nefarious. Qwark creates the "Q-Force", a group of "elite" people working against Dr. Nefarious, and he assigns Ratchet a new mission to infiltrate Nefarious' base to acquire as much information on Nefarious' plans as possible. They find that Dr. Nefarious is a fan of Secret Agent Clank, Clank's TV show, along with an encrypted star map to the Tyhrranoids' home planet. After the Q-Force destroys a Tyhrranoid base on their home planet, Dr. Nefarious sends the Q-Force a transmission telling them that they won't be able to defeat him, and Al traces the transmission to planet Daxx.
Ratchet and Clank arrive at Daxx and learn about something called a Biobliterator, but not what it does. They also find a music video by Courtney Gears (an obvious play on Britney Spears), which tells robots to destroy organic life forms. Ratchet and Clank investigate what Courtney Gears has been doing, but she kidnaps Clank, unknown to Ratchet, and takes him to Dr. Nefarious. Nefarious gives Clank the choice to either rule the Universe with him or to be a disgrace to all robots by pairing with the organic life forms, but Clank refuses. Unknown to both Ratchet and the game's player, Dr. Nefarious replaces Clank with an evil twin named Klunk, while holding Clank prisoner. Ratchet, with Klunk, then follow up on the Bioblierator on the Obani Moons. While helping them access the third of the moons, Skidd, another member of the Q-Force, is kidnapped by Courtney Gears. Ratchet enters the third moon to save him, but is too late as Skidd gets transformed into a robot. Courtney Gears attempts to do the same to Ratchet, but Ratchet defeats her before she gets the chance. Meanwhile, Sasha tracks down Dr. Nefarious on a Star Cruiser called The Levithon and upon Ratchet's return she sends him and Qwark to infiltrate the ship. When Ratchet arrives, however, he discovers that Dr. Nefarous lured them to the ship as a trap, and he activates the self-destruct system before teleporting out. Ratchet and Klunk return to the Phoenix, but Qwark stays on the ship, claiming to have seen something. Ratchet and Clank fly off just as the Leviathan explodes, but Qwark doesn't escape with them and is later presumed dead.
While Ratchet is fighting off a Tyhrranoid invasion in the city of Metropolis, Nefarious uses the Biobliterator to turn helpless citizens and Tyhrranoid invaders alike into robots. Before Ratchet can attack him, Dr. Nefarious escapes the city and Klunk attacks Ratchet. After defeating Klunk, Ratchet and Clank are reunited, and they discover that Captain Qwark is still alive, but wants the Q-Force to think that he is dead. In order to prevent the Q-Force from losing hope, Ratchet decides to keep Qwark's survival a secret for the time being, and Clank reluctantly agrees The duo manage to track Qwark down at his secret hideout, but they cannot convince him to rejoin the fight against Dr. Nefarious. Ratchet and Clank reach another one of Nefarious's hideouts and Clank destroys the Biobliterator. However, Sasha soon reports that a second Biobliterator is housed at Nefarious's main command center on planet Mylon, Ratchet and Clank arrive at the command center and confront Nefarious, but before they can defeat him he teleports inside the Biobliterator, which transforms into a giant, heavily armed robot.
Having regained his bravery, Captain Qwark flies in to fight alongside them and they engage in aerial combat against Nefarious and the Biobliterator and defeat it. The Biobliterator self-destructs, and Nefarious and Lawrence are left stranded on an asteroid after attempting to teleport away from the explosion.
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal was the main focus of the Insomniac Team during development. The team of around 115 people were aiming to create a new Ratchet and Clank game that would differ significantly from its predecessors and almost end up being two games in one. Insomniac believed that one of the key processes in the development process was the rigorous testing. Working closely with Sony and listening to fans of the Ratchet and Clank series, they gathered feedback and made improvements to the game. They felt that they had created a game that would appeal to a number of genres with the inclusion of elements of platform, action and side-scrolling gameplay. At the same time, Jak 3 was being developed by Naughty Dog, a company closely tied with Insomniac. Naughty Dog's Jak & Daxter series and the Ratchet & Clank series are in similar genres; each game in both series' has been released at a similar time and both contain references to each other. Ryan Schneider, an employee of Insomniac, said, "The analogy that I like to use is that at Insomniac we like to look at it as how Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant act when it comes to their professions. We don't really look at it as how we compare to other athletes or other games, we just try to do the best that we can and elevate the sport.
Posted by THEPLAYGAMER3 at 6:27 PM