As you all can see, I do a lot and I mean A LOT of reviews. I passed the 150 mark and I still have more to review. Sadly, I recently realized that I have deserted one retrospective that I wanted to do. The series I wanted to do a review on besides the Yakuza and Prince of Persia series is the Ratchet and Clank series, since a Crack in Time might have been the last game in this series. I decided to get back on the ride with this retrospective and review the next game in the series, Ratchet and Clank Going Commando. Released a year after the first game, Going Commando continues the franchise that’s held on the back of a humanoid lombax and a small sophisticated robot. I thought I would never say that, ever. Anyway, let’s dive into Ratchet and Clank Going Commando and see how this sequel does.
The story starts us with a “behind the music” parody called Behind the Hero as the episode stars Ratchet and Clank. It shows us what has happened between this game and the first game. It seems that our two heroes have been more relaxed after the whole “we saved the universe” ordeal. So, yeah, they’re not as popular as they once were, kind of like John Romero’s career after the release of Daikatana. Ion Storm and John Romero, even though you are now defunct and not famous anymore, consider yourself Burned! Anyway Ratchet gets a call from Megacorp to get back a certain experimental product from some thief. It is up to Ratchet and Clank to go commando and find out what is going on with this experiment that was stolen. The story is long, and it has a lot of different plot twists that are somewhat expected, but some are interesting, so it’s worth playing the game to see what happens.
The gameplay is in the form of a third-person-shooter, mixed with some puzzle and platforming segments. You still have your handy wrench, which can now be swapped for stronger wrenches during the entire game. You gain a whole new assortment of weapons, like the mini-turret glove, gravity bomb, and a lot of other great gadgets. If you have saved data from the last game, you can easily gain some of your old weapons from it, like the bomb glove and other weapons. Just like the last game, you can play as Ratchet and you can play as Clank through different areas of the game. There are also gladiator sections of the games, where you can earn new gadgets and some bolts. There are other sections, like racing and hacking mini-games, where you can unlock things and win some more gadgets. There are Rogue Squadron-style space fights, where you earn an element that can help you upgrade your ship with more weapons, stronger shields, and better wings. This game definitely delivers more content than the last game, but let’s talk about the graphics and the other parts of the presentation.
The graphics definitely look a little better than the last game, which sometimes you can hardly tell by today’s standards, but there are a few areas where this game has done better in its presentation. The voice acting is even better than the last game, and the one major improvement that they made was to replace Ratchet’s voice actor, which was a stroke of genius since I HATED his last voice actor. Instead of “freaking Mike Kelley”, they brought in James Arnold Tyler, who I think does a better job with Ratchet’s voice. If you have an eye for voice work, you know that James did Tidus’ voice for Final Fantasy 10, Wooldoor Sockbat from Drawn Together, Green Arrow, Master Disaster from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Gabe Logan from the Syphon Filter series. David Kaye has returned to do Clank’s voice and again does a great job. Before I continue, I want to talk about Ratchet and Clank’s relationship. It is definitely more like they are friends and are more likable than the last game. We also get new voice actors like Kath Soucie who voices Angela, the thief who stole the experiment, Jim Ward who voices Abercrombie Fizzwidgit, Steve Blum (heck, yeah!) who voices the Thugs-4-less leader. Voice acting has always been a high note in this series and it doesn’t disappoint here. The humor in the game is downright funny, and when it wants to be, it can be really gut busting hilarious. I say that this game has one of the funniest scripts of all time, and it’s not because the voice acting sucks like Resident Evil or other games that have lousy acting, but the script itself is really funny. I laughed at a lot of the inside jokes and other jokes that are in the script. David Bergeaud does the soundtrack for the game. He has also done soundtracks for games like Disruptor, Resistance, and the rest of the Ratchet and Clank games. Overall, this game has a great presentation.
However, there are a lot of things that hold this game back by today’s standards. This game, in the end, gets really difficult. The sole reason for the difficulty is that in the ending levels of the game, it is basically hoards of enemies and annoying puzzles. It forces you to grind to upgrade your arsenal and make all your weapons the best. The camera control is also an issue from time to time where it just doesn’t work out. Another big issue is that the machines you ride are sometimes hard to control. It’s like if you don’t move the right way, you skydive to the ground and whatnot. It gets annoying really fast. Because of this, the space battles seem unfinished, like they might not have tested this area of the game enough. To me, personally, the story drags on. It’s like, hey, this looks like it’s going to be the last level, no, wait, this is going to be the last level. For me, it drags on more than it should have.
So, that is Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando. What do I think of it? While it is a lot better than the last game, it still has its faults, though the fun levels and great humor cover up the faults. While I wouldn’t recommend the first game, I would rent this game from Gamefly.com or something. If you like to collect games, you can probably get this game for cheap. All and all, this is where the series is now getting good for me, so now, I must play some other games of this series and other games since it’s a full time job to review games.
This game gets a solid 8 out of 10