Because I don’t know how to control myself and/or my workload, let’s start yet ANOTHER retrospective so I can continue working myself to death! Ratchet & Clank, the iconic PlayStation platforming duo and the series that Insomniac moved onto for the PS2 after the successful Spyro The Dragon trilogy on the PS1 (which you can read about the first game in that trilogy here, because again, self promoting whorebag). The team decided they had done all they could with the purple dragon and wanted to do something new. After much brainstorming and possibly a few fever dreams about said brainstorming, the duo of our furry Lombax hero Ratchet and a failed attempt at a death robot named Clank (originally XJ0461, but Ratchet said fuck that shit) were born! This franchise quickly became a Sony legend, but what made it so great? And does it still hold up today? You know the drill by now, it’s my job to find out. BLAST OFF!
The story for Ratchet & Clank begins on the distant planet of Quartu, where a bunch of death robots are being built. An error occurs, and our little scrappy robot Clank is born. He tries to escape the planet after seeing the evil plans of Chairman Drek (our tiny asshole villain) to harvest parts of other planets to build a new one, but crash lands on the planet of Veldin. Here we meet Ratchet, who is trying to build a spaceship to fly away and explore other planets. He sees the crash landing and goes to investigate. He rescues Clank, who awakens and scares the shit out of him. Clank notices that Ratchet’s ship is missing a robotic ignition system and luckily he’s got one! …but he’ll only let him use it on the promise of visiting Captain Qwark, a renowned hero in the galaxy, and informing him about Drek’s evil plans. Realizing that Clank has the last piece he needs to get his ship going, Ratchet agrees and off they fly! What Ratchet and Clank don’t know is that Qwark has sold himself out to Drek to try and reclaim his glory days as a hero and become loved and admired again.
Flying from planet to planet, the duo searches for Qwark while helping innocent people along the way. When they finally meet him, they are invited to his secret HQ on the planet Umbris. After completing the “Hero Trials” for Qwark, Ratchet realizes something is wrong. Clank is an oblivious fuck though, and drags Ratchet right into the trap. Qwark reveals to the duo that he is working with Drek, as I mentioned already if you actually pay attention to me here, and sentences them to death at the hand of his monster pet thing. After defeating the monster, Snagglebeast (the enemy names in this series are something else), Ratchet is PISSED THE FUCK OFF at both Qwark and Clank. Ratchet wants to try and go after the fat slob of a former hero, but Clank wants to save the universe. Ratchet reluctantly agrees to go with Clank, if only because he needs the robotic ignition system to fly the ship. They keep going planet to planet, looking for any sign of Qwark and Drek. Finally they corner Qwark and in one hell of an awesome spaceship dogfight, take his ass DOWN! Ratchet then sees some of the destruction Drek is causing in his plan to build a new planet, Ratchet is saddened and realizes how hotheaded and stupid he has been behaving. The duo reconcile and continue onward to take down Drek once and for all.
After going to a few more planets, they arrive on Drek’s spaceship. Instead of finding him, they find an Infobot that reveals Drek’s plan to destroy Ratchet’s home of Veldin for the perfect orbit around the sun it inhabits with his Deplanetizer laser (the weapon names are also batshit crazy). Ratchet gets pissed again and they speed off to Veldin for one final showdown. Confronting Drek, they face off in a multi-phase showdown with the bastard and finally destroy him by sending him crashing into his newly built planet, then turning the Deplanetizer laser on said planet and firing it. Clank and Ratchet fall down a high cliff and Clank breaks his arm but saves them with his Thrusterpack to land safely. Ratchet starts to walk home, and Clank thinks Ratchet is abandoning him until Ratchet comes back to tell him he needs to fix that arm. The pair walks back to Ratchet’s home together and thus we’ve reached the end of the first adventure of this mismatched group.
The story isn’t much to look at, but it is a very fun tale. The real attraction of this game is the outstanding gameplay. An action platformer with TONS of fun and insane guns to fuck around with. You’ll use Clank and his flight extensions to jump around a lot and swim underwater, and you’ll even hop into some ships to shoot some enemies down. But the most fun you’ll have is blowing up enemies endlessly with the multitude of weapons at your disposal. From your trusty melee weapon, the Omniwrench 8000, to a glove that throws bombs, to a motherfucking FLAMETHROWER, a glove that tosses out little bots of death that seek out and destroy all targets, to the ultimate rocket launcher (the RYNO, short for “Rip Ya a New One”), there is a weapon for everyone to enjoy here. I found myself so excited to try each new weapon I got my hands on. There’s even one that transforms enemies into chickens. Yes, fucking chickens. Baddie giving you trouble? CHICKEN-IFY THAT BITCH! There’s no shortage of ways to attack and murder all your weakling foes!
Between the entertaining story, engaging and funny dialogue with plenty of slapstick humor (and plenty inappropriate innuendo), and the holy fucking awesome gunplay and platforming gameplay, there’s literally nothing in this game that I don’t recommend. It’s damn sure held up to this day, and I can’t implore you enough to give this game a shot if you haven’t already, especially because it’s FREE with PS+ until the end of March 2018.
Sorry for this one being on the short side, but this game was a test run for Insomniac. They kept it simple, but still crammed a shitton of fun into the game. Next time, we’ll be looking at the sequel: Going Commando. And no, that doesn’t mean a lack of underwear… or, I think it doesn’t. But yeah, that’s next. Until next time though, I’ll see you later for the next Screaming Rowlet Retrospective!
– Screaming Rowlet