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Often when games are taken over from consoles to portable counterparts, some of the enjoyment and general polish is lost in translation. With this being Ratchet and Clank's first adventure on to Sony's PSP they are out to make a good impression and to show the players it shines just as bright on the portable console as it does at home.
Ratchet and Clank is a platformer and 3rd person shooter, although puzzles elements are incorporated. This is the debut of the duo onto the PSP and the 5th game in the series and was released in february of 2007, before being released again later that year in platinum due to the high amount of sales. But does this mean it is a good game.....
The story of Size matters is, whilst Ratchet and Clank are putting their feet up on their well deserved holidays and helping out a young girl called Luna on her school report about heroes, she is kidnapped by robots and so their is only one thing Ratchet and Clank can do, save her of course. However is all as it may seem, what are the technomites, who was this young girl and why does Captain Qwark have a ship license.
The story was very intresting and something a little different from the usual linear outings, this had a few more twists and surprises making it feel like a well thought out story.
The gameplay is kept very similar to the console games, during the story you have big arena battles were you face off against wave after wave of enemy and really have to fight to survive, in these battles you can also use vehicles to gain an advantage.
The platforming level designs are all knew and well crafted, taking place in many new environments both on planets and in space. These are quite large but do still feel linear meaning not too much room for real exploration.
Puzzle sections are relatively easy and are placed to take your mind off platforming, but there are no sections which should have you completely stumped. The general puzzle seems to be directing robots on to switches to unlock doors, this starts off easy and the difficulty increases at a nice rate but it would have been nice for a few other types.
As with all Ratchet and Clank games you have a wide range of weapons which can all be modified and upgraded , be it adding more fire power or dual weilding guns this makes it feel more personalised and let you play the game in your own way. They all have their own individual looks and are all styled quite well to be recognised quickly when you want it, this keeps the pace quick and lets you carry on with the action.
Combat using these weapons is good, with the lock-on aiming making it a breeze to dispatch enemies although it soon becomes more difficult when outnumbered and you have to move around a lot to save yourself.
Collecting is still a big part of the game and so while you wander around the levels you want to pick up "bolts" which can then be used as currency for unloackables, modifications and weapons.
The idea of personalisation is furtherd with the armour that you wear, in previous games you would buy it , whereas now you find bits in the level and join them with other peices to create a full kit or certain design.Again their are a lot of individualy styled peices with their own strengths and weaknesses, so finding a good balance is just as important as the look.
Longevity is increased in the title by mini-games plasterd throughout the levels , these are widely varied and see the player trying things they may not have done before in a Ratchet and Clank story. These include mini-games like hoverboarding, destruction races and a very strange looky likey of lemmings. Although the hoverboard game needed more work as the controls were very light and the game had poor detection on corners and obstacles, so often when you think you had dodged something it will hold you.
After you have completed the game your time is reimbursed with a fancy challenge mode. Challenge mode heightens the difficulty of enemies and levels in the whole game as well as giving new unlockables, this is fun and it's a well done alternative to an average hard mode which offers nothing new.
Onto a couple of issues with the title, firstly the camera often has problems with the environment and so sometimes your viewing from a very poor angle which will not show up the deathly sorroundings as well as it should.
Secondly, the control system changes depending on wether Ratchet has a weapon or his wrench. The main change being it switches from turning to straffing which can be quite annoying in the beggining as you dont expect it, meaning many early deaths are caused by the inability to move away properly from enemies.
But these are few and far between , so lets get back to more positive veiws.
The online multiplayer is really exciting, taking part in 4v4 fights or objective modes are a dream to play with the PSP handling it well within its stride, however the unfortunate issue is the amount of players online which is severly lacking. However when you are there and going against others it is good, maps are taken from the games levels meaning you can have a different experience of everything on offer in the game.
Graphically the game is one of the top for the PSP, the small screen shows off the colours and vibrance of the world in great clarity and generally makes it nice to look at, whisking you away from your boring commute and into a world of thrilling railgrinds and evil robots.
Everything in the game has its own little look and you will always find something intresting to see on your journey through the levels.
All the cast from the previous titles reappear for voice acting which keeps the continuity as well as playing off each other well during comedy sections.
The game has a great comedy feel to it throughout and this is all provided via the soundtrack which is suitably upbeat and the weapons which all have their own kooky outburst.
Overall the controls are quite good with the game working well around the absense of a second analouge stick. The controls are , for the most part, easy to pick up and except the issues with straffing I cant complain here.
The game is available on Amazon for £10 which is a bargain and one that you should definatley check out if you own a PSP.
Overall their are only the two issues with the game and apart from that it has happily made the transistion smoothly. What I like is that the game is made with the PSP in mind, the game saves regulary allowing for great little gaming sessions on your commute and the frame rate issues were non existent.
In total expect around the 15 hour mark to complete everything in the game, but it definatley has some replay value.