Ratchet & Clank (series)

"Ratchet & Clank" is a series of 3D platform/shooter video games. The franchise is developed by Insomniac Games for the console games, with the exclusion of "", by High Impact Games for the portable titles, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and the PlayStation 3 video game systems. The game will only be available on Sony consoles due to a contract signed with Sony in 2002. The game follows the exploits of Ratchet (a humanoid creature known as a lombax that is very handy with tools) and Clank (a diminutive sentient robot that befriends Ratchet) as they save the galaxy from several evil forces. The series is noted for the inclusion of many exotic and unique weapons, devices and planets.

etting

The universe of Ratchet and Clank's takes place in a science fiction setting, where there are many inhabited planets and the normal rules of relativity do not apply. Numerous biological and robotic species populate these worlds, some which range from highly developed metropolises to those filled with primordial ooze.

anchor|LombaxLombaxes

A lombax is a fictional species from the series. Lombaxes appear similar to bipedal anthropomorphic cats, with yellow and orange fur, and a tail like that of a lion. Unlike most other organic species in the games' universe which have two fingers and thumb on each hand, lombaxes possess four fingers and a thumb. The species has an instinctive affinity towards gadgetry and machines. While there have been other characters that seem to have lombax-type features, the game "Tools of Destruction" establishes that Ratchet is the last lombax in the universe, the others having fled to another dimension.

Characters

The main characters in the series are Ratchet, a lombax mechanic presently residing on the Apogee Space Station, from the planet Veldin, and his robot sidekick Clank, who was originally from a robotic line designed for causing destruction but accompanies Ratchet due to the robot line's assembly computer altering him for purposes of good. The player controls Ratchet for a majority of each game, though certain missions will require the player to directly control Clank. Otherwise, Clank sits on Ratchet's back (in a backpack-like fashion) and is used to provide useful jumping, hovering, and diving abilities through various upgrades. These upgrades are given over the course of the first game, but Clank retains them through the later ones. Throughout the series, the duo often encounter Captain Qwark, an ego-driven, phony superhero that may help or hinder Ratchet and Clank's missions.

Gameplay

The "Ratchet & Clank" games feature a mix of platforming and action gameplay elements presented in the third-person perspective, focused on the use of unique and unusual weapons and gadgets that Ratchet gains over the course of each game. Ratchet starts each game with his versatile Omniwrench for melee attacks, but new weapons are available by completing missions or buying them through a vendor. Most weapons have a limited amount of ammunition, requiring the player to use weapons effectively to avoid running out of fire power. Ammunition can be restocked from vendors or by breaking crates scattered about the levels. In most later games, weapons can be upgraded through both repeated use of the weapon and by purchasing weapon modifications. The weapons in each game are generally unique to that game, and can range from standard weapon archetypes such as machine guns or sniper rifles to obscure weapons types such as transformation guns and decoy launchers. In some cases, weapons from an earlier game have reappeared in a later title, with some that require a save game file from the previous game to be present in order to unlock.

In addition to weapons, Ratchet gains many gadgets which have varying uses. Some gadgets are necessary to travel about some worlds, such as grind boots that allow Ratchet to grind on rails, or a swingshot that allows him to grapple a target and swing across gaps. Other gadgets can be used in combat as a means to distract foes. Other gadgets are necessary to collect in order to unlock certain doors and thus continue on missions; in these cases, the player typically must solve a minigame in order to successfully use the gadget and unlock the door.

Each game is broken out as a series of missions that take place on numerous planets across the galaxy. While most missions must be completed in a certain order to progress the main story, other missions are optional but can lead to useful rewards. Once the player has completed a mission on a planet, they can typically can return to any previous planet they have visited to attempt missions they could not complete before. In addition to missions based on the platforming and weapon elements, missions may include minigames such as various races and arena combat. Typically, one or two of these minigames must be performed as part of the main story, but further optional challenges can be done to earn greater rewards, typically in the form of "bolts", the unit of currency used throughout the game. There are also missions that focus on Clank controlling a set of robots using a simplistic set of commands to travel through areas that Ratchet cannot.

In addition to the main gameplay missions, the player can attempt to find special large bolts that are typically hidden or difficult to get to that can be used to upgrade or buy powerful weapons. There are also skill points spread throughout the game, which require the player to complete some task though only guided by the name of the skill point. For example, a skill point may be rewarded by completing a mission using only the Omniwrench. Skill points are used to unlock extra features such as concept artwork or additional outfits for Ratchet. Each game also presents a special "Challenge mode" available after the player has completed the main story; in this mode, the player runs through the story missions again facing more difficult enemies, but has the ability to further increase the strength of the weapons.

Games

Note: games are listed in order of story mode rather then release date.

"Ratchet & Clank"

"Ratchet & Clank" was released on November 4, 2002 in North America and Europe for the PlayStation 2. In the game, Chairman Drek plans to take pieces from other planets across the Solana Galaxy and create one new planet for his people, the Blarg whose planet has become polluted and uninhabitable. Aside from the two protagonists, the game also introduces Captain Qwark, who appears in the following games. The game introduced many of the features, such as item collecting, weapons and gadgets, etc. that have become the staple of the series in following games.

"Ratchet & Clank" was the first Western game to be bundled in with the PlayStation 2 in Japan, but there were a few changes made to make it more popular. Ratchet's eyes are more of an anime style, and he was given large eyebrows.

"Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando"

"" (known as "Ratchet & Clank: Locked & Loaded" in Europe) was released on November 11, 2003 in North America for the PlayStation 2. There are many improvements over the first game, in that weapons, and also Ratchet's spaceship, can be modified. "Going Commando" also introduced strafing to gameplay. The game takes place in a different setting than the first game, this time in the Bogon Galaxy. In "Going Commando" Ratchet competes in hoverbike races and engages in space ship battles. The story in this chapter has Megacorp boss, Abercrombie Fizzwidget, hire Ratchet and Clank to retrieve the "protopet", a new invention stolen by a masked thief. Ratchet's personality is drastically different in "Going Commando", since many people complained about his attitude in the first game.Fact|date=March 2008 The duo retrieve the protopet and confront the thief, but "he" turns out to be a girl, Angela, who helps them investigate the protopet's true origins. They find out Abercrombie Fizzwidget is Captain Qwark in disguise and he created the protopet to spread disaster across the galaxy. He plans to frame Ratchet, Clank and Angela, and then destroy the original protopet to restore his reputation as a hero, but instead of destroying the protopet Captain Qwark turned it into a monster that swallows him and later spits him out at the end of the game.

"Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal"

"Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal" ("UYA" for short, "Ratchet & Clank 3" in the UK and Europe) was released on November 2, 2004 in North America for the PlayStation 2. "UYA" improves on "Going Commando" by adding more weapons and mods, the upgrade system was modified so that weapons upgraded four times through their first play-through. The weapons in this game inspire more imagination for the player providing many ways to obliterate enemies. The huge number of secrets throughout the game, like the hidden trophies, titanium bolts, and more, add excitement to the gameplay. In "Up Your Arsenal", Ratchet and Clank take on Dr. Nefarious in his plan to turn all of the Solana Galaxy population into robots. With the help of Qwark & his Q-Force, they battle against the forces of Dr. Nefarious. "Up Your Arsenal" is also the first game in the series to offer online competitive multiplayer.

"Ratchet: Deadlocked"

"Ratchet: Deadlocked" (titled "Ratchet: Gladiator" in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) was released on October 25, 2005 in North America for the PlayStation 2. "Deadlocked" deviates from the previous installments of the series by reducing the platforming and puzzle elements and focusing on the combat aspects and reducing Clank to a non-playable side character. Also, cheats became less comedic and more cinematic, including weather and color options. In "Deadlocked", Ratchet, Clank and Al are captured and forced to compete in an underground sport called 'Dreadzone' run by the media mogul Gleeman Vox. For the first time in the series, Clank is not a playable character nor accompanies Ratchet on any of the levels. Ratchet earns a nemesis in the form of Dreadzone champion Ace Hardlight, who has embraced killing other heroes as a way of life. "Deadlocked" supports online play and a cooperative mode.

"Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters"

"Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters" is available for both the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. The development was performed by High Impact Games, composed, partially, of former Insomniac Games employees. While on a much needed vacation, Ratchet and Clank's rest and relaxation time is suddenly cut short as they soon find themselves lured into a mysterious quest. Following the trail of a kidnapped girl named Luna, Ratchet and Clank rediscover a forgotten race of genius inventors known as the Technomites. They soon uncover a plot more dangerous than they could have imagined.In this game, Ratchet and Clank use a whole new variety of weapons that may seem familiar to those who have played the series before. As in previous games, the R.Y.N.O. is a weapon available for purchase at a high price. The skill points and weapon upgrading systems also make their return. A new feature is optional weapon upgrades that can be purchased from Slim Cognito, a vendor from "Going Commando" and "Up Your Arsenal". These give your weapons additional features, such as lock-on mods, additional fire power and extra abilities. The armor system is also a new feature. There are seven types of armor available, all of which are found in different pieces (helmet, torso, gloves, and boots) on different planets. Once all of set of armor is found and they are equipped, it gives the player special abilities such as upgraded wrench attacks. All different kinds of armors can be combined for special abilities and additional protection.

"Secret Agent Clank"

Announced at the Tokyo Game Show 2007, "Secret Agent Clank" was developed by High Impact Games, the same company who made "PSP" game, . It is for the PSP and was released on June 17, 2008. The game is set to take place between the events of "Size Matters" and "Tools of Destruction" and will focus more on Clank as the playable character, due to Ratchet being wrongfully imprisoned and needs rescuing by Clank in his super spy motif suggested from previous games. While Clank can use martial arts action to defend himself, there is the need to use stealth at times to progress in the game. [cite web | url = http://psp.ign.com/articles/821/821037p1.html | title = TGS 2007: Secret Agent Clank First Look | date =2007-09-19 | accessdate = 2007-09-19 | publisher = IGN | first = Jeff | last = Haynes]

"Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction"

"Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction" (also known as "TOD") was developed by Insomniac Games, and was released on October 23, 2007 for the PlayStation 3. At the 2006 Game Developers Conference, a "Ratchet & Clank" tech demonstration was shown for the PlayStation 3, as a tour around the series city of Metropolis on the planet Kerwan. In this installment, the crown prince of the Cragmites known as Emperor Tachyon is after Ratchet, who is the last lombax in the universe. The duo escape to the Polaris Galaxy, where they discover more about their purpose.

"Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty"

"Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty" is the first game in the series to be exclusively released on the PlayStation Network in most countries, and on Blu-ray Disc in Europe. It continues where "Tools of Destruction" left off and was released on August 21, 2008. [http://ps3.ign.com/objects/142/14266751.html IGN: Quest for Booty] ]

"Ratchet & Clank Future (Name TBA)"

It has been confirmed in the credits of "Quest for Booty" that the next Ratchet & Clank game will be released in fall 2009. It will continue from where "Quest for Booty" left off in Ratchet's search for Clank.

Manga

A manga of Ratchet and Clank named nihongo|Ratchet & Clank: Bang Bang Bang! Critical Danger of the Galaxy Legend|ラチェット&クランク - ガガガ!銀河のがけっぷち伝説|Ratchet & Clank - Gagaga! Ginga no Gakeppuchi Densetsu| was serialized starting on February 2004 in the bi-monthly edition of the Japanese magazine, CoroCoro Comic. It is drawn by Shinbo Nomura, and has recently finished in the February 2008 edition of the magazine.

The first volume containing the first 12 chapters was released on November 28, 2005. As of recently, a collection set was announced. A release date for when the set is to be released has yet to be determined. As of March 2008, the manga is still only available in Japan.

Cameos

*Jak II
**Ratchet and Clank appear on some of the walls in Haven City.
*Jak 3
**Ratchet and Clank appear as targets in a secret gun course.
*Ape Escape 3
**In the Japanese and European versions of the game if the password "RATCH" or "ginganoraihousha" (depending on the version) is typed in, a monkey dressed up as Ratchet called "Ape Ratchet" will appear in the TV Space Station level in the secret room.
*Hot Shots Golf Fore!
**Ratchet and Clank appear as additional characters.
*
**Ratchet appears as a secret racer. Clank is available as an antenna the player can add to cars when customizing them.
*
**Ratchet and Clank appear on a poster on one of the walls.
*Daxter
**Ratchet and Clank masks can be worn throughout the game once found.
*Everybody's Golf
**Ratchet appear as a golfer, and Clank appears as a caddy.
*
**Clank, along with Ratchet's Omniwrench and Gravity boots, appear as unlockable bangles for soldiers to use in online multiplayer.
**"Going Commando" is the name of a medal received after a player has scored 100 node or flag recaptures.
**"Up Your Arsenal" is the name of a medal received after a player has 100 kills with each weapon in online multiplayer.
**A Clank backpack is awarded for achieving the required number of skill points.

ee also

*Insomniac Games
*High Impact Games
*Spyro the Dragon

References

External links

* [http://www.insomniacgames.com/index.php The Insomniac Games official website]
* [http://www.ratchetandclank.com/ Official page (redirects to Sony site)]
* [http://ratchet.wikia.com/ The Ratchet and Clank Wikia hosted Wiki]
* [http://ratchetclank.neoseeker.com/ The "Ratchet & Clank" series at NeoSeeker]
* [http://www.lombax-max.net/ Lombax-Max Ratchet and Ratcom website]
* [http://www.ratchet.wikia.com/ Ratchet & Clank Wiki]


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