Monty and Morgion 118: Mature Content

04Feb05 (Monthenor): Nothing new car-wise to report. I go shopping tomorrow, and there are two main contenders! Who will win the battle of Grand Marquis vs. Crown Victoria?

Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal: Up Your Arsenal builds upon everything that makes the Ratchet and Clank series great. The graphics are as detailed as ever, the weapons are varied and satisfying, and the gameplay makes an impact and then leaves before it gets old. If you haven't played a previous game you may miss out on some jokes involving the returning characters, but each installment is self-contained. Humor features heavily in every cutscene but never seems forced or irritating. It is both topical and subtle, barely ever resorting to the lower tiers of slapstick and punnery.

Each weapon is balanced and useful in certain situations, even if a couple duplicate function. The game mixes some platforming missions with some multi-part "assault/defend the fort" missions, but none of them seem overly difficult or take more than thirty minutes to complete. The emphasis is definitely more on the weapons than the gadgets this time, with the magnetic gravity boots being almost unused and the rail-grinding boots completely missing.

Most importantly, you once again collect literally millions of shiny shiny bolts as currency. Mmm, bolts.

To demonstrate the genius at work, I have gone to the trouble of capturing what is perhaps the greatest moment of the game. The robot pop diva Courtney Gears is in league with the forces of slimy evil, and foments rebellion in her hit single (Exterminate) All Organic Life. The whole thing is a spot-on parody of modern musical crap. Also, I have gone to the trouble of replacing the tiny in-game subtitles with ones that are easier to read. If you're, I dunno, totally opposed to pop music in all its forms, you can still mute and follow along.