Sony Computer Entertainment Secret Agent Clank

Secret Agent Clank's solo debut

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Sony Computer Entertainment Secret Agent Clank
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Secret Agent Clank
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Secret Agent Clank
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Secret Agent Clank

Pros

  • Varied gameplay, great graphics, addicting mini-games

Cons

  • Quirky camera, rare checkpoints, annoying aiming

Bottom Line

While some of the series' past problems such as questionable camera movements and all-too-rare checkpoints are still evident, I can't help but wholeheartedly recommend Secret Agent Clank to veterans and newcomers of the series alike. With tongue planted firmly in-cheek, this wacky platformer serves up some insanely original action that's definitely worth checking out.

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Ratchet's trusty robot sidekick bursts into the limelight in style with his stealthy solo debut, Secret Agent Clank!

Sidekicks tend to get a bad rap. From Luigi to Tails, these characters have been overshadowed time and time again by their peers, lessening them to puzzle solving devices and mini-game obscurity. In the vein of last year's Daxter, developer High Impact has decided to help break this cycle with the release of its sophomore PSP title. Secret Agent Clank. Ratchet's robotic companion steals the spotlight in this action-adventure as a stylish spy on a mission to clear his Lombax buddy's name of a falsely accused crime.

If you've played any of the other Ratchet & Clank titles, you're bound to feel right at home as soon as you plug in Secret Agent Clank. Clank has been re-tooled for his more action-oriented role with a control scheme very similar to that of his furry counterpart, allowing him to climb and leap from dangerous ledges with ease or dish out a can of Clank-Fu on nearby adversaries at the press of a button. A multitude of gadgets are at our agent's disposal, such as razor-sharp Tie-A-Rangs, stylish yet deadly Cuff Link Bombs, and bulbs birthing carnivorous carnations that gulp down any enemies in sight. The platforming and action elements are complimented by unique rhythm-based sequences that see our hero slipping between infra-red lasers or tearing it up on the dance floor with well timed button presses.

While the initial platforming is an absolute blast, the gameplay tends to be hampered by Clank's stealth sections, which just feel a bit too much like filler. Clank's stealth takedowns are well animated and amusing, but just end up as repetitive exercises in on-screen button matching. Still, the minuscule machine more than redeems himself in a variety of outlandish action-packed scenarios, from hitting the slopes via snowboard to slicing through the sea on a speedboat. These scenes control very well, and are downright addictive with a difficulty factor that'll have you saying "Just one more time!"

In between missions, you'll get to check in on an imprisoned Ratchet and fan-favourite Commander Qwark. Where Rachet is merely trying to survive a penitentiary populated with inmates that he's put behind bars, Qwark spills his guts to a less than enthusiastic biographer, re-telling his greatest exploits and adventures... as they appeared in his mind. Ratchet's "Arena" events are fun, mindless romps as Ratchet is forced to put down wave after wave of enemies while collecting boxes of ammo and health while Qwark steals the spotlight with some insanely imaginative, literally larger-than-life battles (You know that Qwark vs. Giant Robot Dinosaur clash, or heart-melting musical number you've been waiting for? It's all here.)

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