2004 is proving to be a great year for console releases: especially in the case of the sequels to already popular games. And so return two of the PS2?s finest platform based adventure titles: Jak III and Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal, carrying on from where they left off this time last year. Having only just looked up from two of the most anticipated games of recent times - San Andreas and Halo 2 - we were expecting to take anything good from Insomniac and Naughty Dog?s respective offerings in our stride. Instead, for the n
th time in recent weeks, we?ve been reduced to a state akin to over-excited children drinking extra-sugar cola on Christmas Eve. That is, jibbering endlessly on-and-on about how cool and exciting everything is.
As the third outings for the characters involved, we really shouldn?t be surprised at what?s on offer; but because both games have managed to make this positive impact, even at the tail end of a CHristmas release-schedule crammed with killer titles, there is clearly something special here. For this particular reviewer, the first Jak and Daxter game and the first Ratchet and Clank game were much of a muchness. They were entertaining platformers... sure, but the marketplace was waiting for some kind of Mario beater and, by that comparison, both titles were mildly disappointing. Last year?s sequels, however, yanked both series forward and our attentions were captured. Thankfully, with these next instalments, it?s certainly more a case of third time lucky rather than three?s a crowd.
Despite the initial joy of seeing the immediately obvious polish applied to both titles, this double review was a truly daunting prospect: for the simple reason that this writer is inept at platform games and was being asked to complete two quite big ones at the same time. Undeterred, and with a misplaced sense of confidence, Jak III was slapped nonchalantly in the tray. After failing what appeared to be the opening tutorial mission over fifteen times, it appeared that this would be no small feat.