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Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (PSP)

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3 Reviews

Manufacturer: Sony / Genre: Action

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    3 Reviews
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      06.04.2010 00:49
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      Not enough buttons, not enough platforming

      Size Matters turns out to be a somewhat ironic title for Ratchet & Clank's first foray into the portable games market, as for large portions of the game, you're made aware of what's missing from the fully-fledged home console versions.

      And that's not a criticism of the PSP. Indeed, Daxter has already proven that 3D platformers can be a real blast on the system. In retrospect, Size Matters' biggest mistake is to try to emulate its PS2 predecessors too closely. It neither acknowledges the PSP's strengths nor makes concessions to its smaller button selection, and a result, doesn't feel comfortable in a handheld environment.

      At its core it's still a solid 3D platformer though. Technically it's very adept with mostly-great graphics showcasing top-notch animation and a superb, smooth frame-rate. The presentation as a whole is only letdown by some low-rent menu screens and lengthy load times. As previously, you get to travel between a number of worlds each with their own unique setting, beginning at a beachside resort and moving on to factories, a miniature city and even inside of Ratchet's robotic side-kick Clank. The duo make for amusing enough fair, meaning that although the story is entirely forgettable, younger players will like the characters and the attractive FMV sequences.

      Ratchet's weapons are by far the best element gameplay-wise, as they're varied and relatively imaginative. Whacking boxes and foes with the wrench remains a satisfying pursuit, though with the currency of bolts you'll discover in abundance throughout the game, you'll be able to buy some awesome stuff. There are beehive grenades; the Suck Cannon, which allows you to vacuum some of the scenery and then fire it back at the enemies; and the Mootator which, rather brilliantly, turns the baddies into nice, benign cows. Better still; each weapon evolves with use, gaining power and attributes over the course of the adventure.

      The familiar platforming is alright though not especially engaging. Instead, the game places emphasis on tough combat, some tricky boss fights and a cluster of mini-games to keep the player occupied. Despite this burden, they're not that great. For what it's worth, Clank's are the best, the pick of the bunch being a robot-themed homage to Lemmings. Elsewhere, he has a number of Robot Wars-style destruction arena events that are briefly diverting and worth persevering with purely for the rewards, which include weapons and a myriad of different armours and accessories which allow you to strengthen Ratchet. The lead-protagonist has some hoverboard races to busy himself with, but though they're challenging and well-devised, they're pretty uninteresting.

      These aside, it struggles to distinguish itself among Ratchet & Clank titles, and as a consequence feels like an anaemic PS2 game. Levels are unnecessarily large for a PSP game; it doesn't cater for quick sessions due to poor deployment of checkpoints, tending to put you back at the entrance of a level when you load the game, regardless of where you choose to save from the last time you played.

      You never escape the feeling that there aren't enough buttons at your disposal, and Size Matters doesn't go to any lengths to reacclimatise the formula to suit PSP, making for one of the clumsiest, most uncomfortable feeling configurations of recent times. Crouching involves holding down both shoulder buttons simultaneously, whilst large jumps require both of them and a tap of X. First-person targeting is inconveniently assigned to the PSP's tiny Select button whilst the D-Pad takes on a half-hearted strafe function, instead of a more intuitive quick select function for the games numerous tools and weapons.

      Ratchet responds well when it comes to standard movement with the analogue nub, but unlike Daxter, Size Matters rarely challenges the player in a platforming sense. One stick control means locking-on to an enemy (seemingly through strafing around while facing them) is hit and miss; one or two enemies at a time is good fun, but situations where you are targeted by multiple foes is often frustrating, and the same applies to bosses who really expose the troubles of this less than intuitive system. And that in a nutshell sums up the game; it has a good foundation and high technical ambitions, but fantastic weaponry aside, there's little in the way of platforming or shooting that hasn't been done better elsewhere.

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      • More +
        26.05.2008 18:26
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        Fun game that is great for travelling entertainment.

        After massive success on the Playstation 2, the lovable platformer Ratchet and Clank makes the much lauded jump to the PSP , The great thing about this relase is that you can pickit up brand new around £17.99 if you shop around for it and yes it's definitley worth it.

        First of all the presentation, It looks an awful lot like the PS2 version and you'll be shocked at just how good the PSP emulates it. Graphically the game is just as sharp and cute as it's PS2 counterpart too so if you're looking for a good looking platformer look no further.

        Gameplay is really easy, controlling the little guys around is a lot of fun and some of the gadgets and guns that they both have to use are pretty cool too, lots of destruction and excellent times to be had with this.

        The sounds are cool, nice music and great little sound effects that although lifted from the PS2, are all very good in their own right.

        I'd recommend this game as it's an incredibly addictive title with the great graphics and fun gameplay it can make a long trip a breeze, another sucess for the PSP, Thumbs way up.

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          01.04.2008 12:23
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          Pure platforming pleasure

          The Ratchet And Clank series has been a firm fave of mine for a long time now, 1st staring over on the PSPs big bro the PS2 and now on the PS3

          Ratchet and clank games are best described as the Mario for the Sony consoles, full of vibrant colours, cute story lines and alot of addictive gameplay.

          This title has all that and some, i am so happy that the conversion over to the PSP did not disappoint at all and i am firmly addicted to this title. The gameplay is very fluid and it feels like you are actually playing one of the PS2 titles, the graphics and concept are that good on the PSP version

          With this title you can control both Ratchet and Clank at different points during the game,also there are many mini levels to find aswell.

          You start of the game as Ratchet while you are on vacation on a sun filled beach. You soon find yourself on a mysterious quest to find a kidnapped girl, with many twists and turns along the way.

          I would say that this title has about 26 hours in it but there is plenty of replay value to keep you coming back for more!

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        • Product Details

          Featuring new and returning weapons and gadgets, including the Blitz Cannon, Agents of Doom and Shrink Ray, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters packs all of the combat and destruction fans have come to expect from the series.