Ratchet and Clank (2002 Game) | Teen Ink

Ratchet and Clank (2002 Game)

June 14, 2018
By Zaxes BRONZE, Plano, Texas
Zaxes BRONZE, Plano, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Quath the Raven...Nevermore

For years, Playstation fans have always asked the same question...what the heck is their main mascot. You see, like Nintendo, Playstation has had a slew of original characters that have become icons in the gaming world. But Playstation has never really been specific on what their main mascot is. While Nintendo has Mario and Microsoft has Master Chief, Sony has I guess any major character that has spanned multiple Playstation consoles. And while it is debatable on who the mascot is, one character has become a Sony icon since his first game on PS2: Ratchet and Clank.

Since 2002, Ratchet the Lombax and his robot friend Clank have been the modern 3D platforming mascot for Sony and developer Insomniac Games most successful property. You see, during the run of the original Playstation (PS1), Insomniac’s first major success came in the form of Spyro the Dragon. However, like what Naughty Dog did with Crash Bandicoot, Insomniac parted ways with the purple dragon and decided to move forward and work out programming and come out with a new IP on the brand new PS2.

After nearly a 2 year development on Ratchet, the game released to positive reviews by many, some saying it was better than that of Spyro. But it still received criticism by some which I will get too in my review of the original that started it all. 2 things to know before I start. I don’t have a PS2, so I used the PS3 remasters for the sake of this review. And also, this is just my personal opinions, so don’t get to mad at me. Also, if you haven’t played this game or the 2016 remake, then don’t read this review. It is full of spoilers. But now, let’s talk about Ratchet and Clank.

The game’s story overall is pretty simple. Ratchet, a simple mechanic who is busy working when suddenly a ship falls from the sky and onto his home planet Veldin. You see, this robot is actually a defective robot built by Chairman Drek. The robot finds out what Drek is doing with these robots and escapes, soon crashing down, where after some exploring, Ratchet finds the robot.

Once the robot wakes up after passing out, the robot (later nicknamed by Ratchet “Clank”) tells him all of Chairman Drek’s plans. Chairman Drek is harvesting planets so he can support his race, the blargs. And so, Ratchet agrees to help and their adventures start here. Along the way, you will meet all sorts of colorful characters, one of which is the brain-dead and egotistical Captain Qwark. You will try to find him so he can help stop Drek, but surprise,surprise! Qwark was secretly working for Drek. Not too hard to guess there, I say.

Although the story isn’t as complex as other PS2 games on the market at the time, it is still fun and simple enough to appreciate the writing for the game and its clever social commentary about corrupt governments and how money is a driving force in this game, completely different from how they are seen on TV.

Now in terms of gameplay, this is where things take an interesting turn. The series main reason it is well known are the guns you have at your disposal. Gunplay is very varied here, with flamethrowers, bombs, pistols, drones to help you, snipers, decoys, and more kooky weapons that I can’t name. But don’t worry, you still get your fill with melee weapons. Specifically you wrench that you hold on to. It will probably be your most useful tool, as it can be thrown far away, hit close-by enemies, and can smash all the boxes lying around. In the end, you can have 36 different weapons and gadgets to use.

But going “pew-pew” on your enemies isn’t all there is for this game. You still have a large amount of mini-games to play. Some will be hoverboard races, some optional, others necessary. Others could be where you play as Clank, controlling little Gadgetbots like the video game Pikmin. You can go in a few space shooter sections, play as a giant Clank for a while to destroy everything, and play a few hacking puzzles in order to bypass certain areas of the game. So there is a lot of diversity in the gameplay department in the end.

“SPOILER ALERT”/ At the end of the game to be expected, you win against Drek and Ratchet and Clank solidify their friend with Ratchet fixing Clank’s broken arm he got during battle. Earlier in the game, Ratchet and Clank had a falling out, where they didn’t even like each other. But by understanding one another and working together, they were able to overcome it. Mushy, yes. But pandering, no.

So know it is time for my personal thoughts and feelings on this game. And yes, while I think this game is still fun, creative and nostalgic to me, I would still say this is the weakest Ratchet game of the original PS2 trilogy. Most of the problems I have boil down to the lack of polish this game has over the others. There is no strafing in the game, which makes aiming at enemies kind of a crapshoot. Technically, there is a strafing, but it is kind of clunky to use and activate, so I really don’t use it all that much.

And while the guns in this game aren’t bad, it feels a little bit to average and nowhere near as crazy or weird as the later games of the franchise. Most are your basic ones in any game like this and while I would recommend to buy all guns first time through, I just stuck with about 4 or 5 of my favorites the second time around. Not a bad selection, just kind of nothing special. Same is said with the gadgets, the only one I really like is Clanks Heli/Thruster Pack to allow him to fly and the grind boots, which do as they are supposed to do; grind on rails.

Storywise, it isn’t really bad, just nothing remarkable. Also, I found myself not really laughing to hard, mostly small chuckles that are kind of inconsistent. That’s a shame since the later games got way funnier and more kooky. Another thing I found iffy was Ratchet, as he seemed really egotistical, which is his character (in this game at least), but he wasn’t really fun or interesting, he was just kinda meh.

Same is said with the difficulty, as it is surprisingly sporadic about that. The first half of the game is kinda easy, but then it takes a randomly hard turn around the planet Rilgar. That is where enemy A.I is just ruthless and every second you are still alive, they want you dead as a doornail. And while I wouldn't go as far to say it is unfair, the random shift mixed with the clunky gun gameplay here makes it really hard for me, even after a second time.

Also, the minigames are a mixed bag. Most are fine like the hoverboard races and regular and giant Clank sections. The ship sections and trespasser puzzles though are stupid and not my cup of tea. But another problem with them is that they last to short of time and don’t get a lot potential done. While some cases like the ship sections, it isn’t to bad, but I wish the hoverboard and Clank sections didn’t just happen like only 2 times through the adventure.

There are a few other complaints I have, like the camera not always doing its job right or the games character models not looking the best (even though the backgrounds do still look pretty and colorful). But I won’t go into full depth with these cause I think I covered enough for this review. In the end, while it has aged, the original Ratchet and Clank is a fun and simple adventure. While I wouldn’t recommend to start here (I would say start a the second game), it still is fun, even with its quirks.


Rating: 8/10

The author's comments:

For those who know my other work, The Smarties, this is gonna be a different work of mine. I wanna do more with reviews and branch out, but I need your support for it. Also, I wanna review more of the Ratchet and Clank series, as I am a big fan. So be subjective to my work, as it is entirely my opinion. And as I say in The Smarties, I hope you enjoy the review

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