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Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal Review - PS2

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Robotics has been growing throughout recent years with many factories using this technology as a means of producing products faster. While this is good from a certain point of view, people can argue that robots will one day take over the roles of many people. This has now happened to Ratchet who has been put out of the spotlight leaving Clank, his side-kick, to star in his own television show 'Secret Agent Clank.' What's more is now there's an evil robotic villain by the name of Dr. Nefarious who is bent on turning all organic life into robots.

Gameplay

Much like the first two outings, Up Your Arsenal takes place in a universe that is being threatened and it's your job to save it by going from planet to planet trying to find information on where 'Bad Guy' is and what he is planning. This time Up Your Arsenal is set in the same universe from the first game but don't groan over this because you'll only revisit three planets from the first outing and they will look completely different. You also actually team up with Captain Qwark but don't get your hopes up to play side by side, because Captain Qwark will merely send you to do his bidding. On the plus side, he has formed a team known as The Q-Force which consists of familiar characters like Big Al and Helga who will assist you during your quest.

The missions are actually more varied as apposed to blowing up everything insight as previously seen in the first two outings. While you will mainly be blowing stuff up, there will be times when you have to think about how you do certain tasks such as infiltrating an enemy base or how you reach a certain place. In a way, you can say simple puzzles have been added that don't take away the action or slow down the pace but give you a little rest in areas - although they aren't classified as puzzles. Clank also has bigger roles by setting out on foot and filming his TV show while also guiding a monkey around with a banana gun to activate a switch or two (don't laugh at the monkey bit, it's been well thought of). Gadgebots are back in their usual form too.

Insomniac has also incorporated a few old-school style levels dubbed as the 'Captain Qwark Comic Series' which sees you play the adventures of Captain Qwark before he met the famous Ratchet and Clank duo. The comics are simple, yet fun challenges that will give you a little background on both Captain Qwark and Dr. Nefarious and will also aid you in obtaining the next coordinates for a new planet to explore. During the levels of the series, you'll have to basically collect all Qwark Tokens to obtain a titanium bolt, find a health-pack upgrade and reach the goal which ends the level. Keep in mind though that you can only play ... (continued next page)