Last time I reviewed a Cell Phone game, Bonk's Return, I was trying to convince you why you SHOULD be playing it. This time around I'll be giving the sort of review one would actually expect of a platforming title made for a Cell Phone, a plea for you to seriously considering staying away from this little abomination. Fans of the series, get ready to cry, because it's time I reviewed Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile.
||System: Cellphone||Released: 2005
|Developer: HandHeld Games||Publisher: Sony
|Genre: Platformer||Players: 1
|Airtime Requirements: No||Reviewer: Clovis Dye
(NOTE: The following review was done with a Samsung A870 Cell phone, but the game is available for a wide range of models. I've been informed the game has some differences on some models of phones, but I can only call it as I've actually seen it. The images on the right were NOT from the version I've played.)
Anyone with a PS2 that is into platforming action needs no introduction to heroes Ratchet & Clank. Together with Jak and Daxter, whom they share the same internal PS2 game engine with, there isn't really much else in the way of serious competition for platforming gaming fans on a PS2 (maybe Sly Cooper). You've probably already experienced the wide array of weapons wielded by the duo that were advertised as not for this planet. This game probably wasn't meant for this planet either
For all the multitude of actions you can perform in this game at the same time, from switching weapons on the fly (something Genji 2 would have you believe can only be done on a PS3), to jumping around, to swinging from things, to shooting and/or bashing things with a wrench, all the way up to gliding through the air with a propeller, the controls are actually amazingly responsive and always do exactly what you want them to. If all cell-phone games had controls this responsive, most of them would actually be worth playing. Unfortunately it seems that once they got the controls working they were so happy that they got drunk partying and ended up forgetting to actually include a game for you to play.
See, in a Ratchet & Clank game you expect to be blasting enemies left and right. The most you'll ever do in Going Mobile, with the exception of the final (and only) boss fight which isn't that much more difficult, is blast one enemy at a time. Worse yet, as the enemy doesn't react to you until you get very close, most of them can be taken out before they fire back at all. So you spend most of your time in a level running through waiting for something exciting to happen, but it never really does.
But hey, at least you can kill your one enemy at a time in a variety of creative ways, right? Hardly! Thanks to how tiny everything on the screen is, you can barely tell the difference between one weapon and the next. Heck, if it wasn't for the fact that the camera follows Ratchet & Clank around the entire game, I wouldn't even be able to recognize them either (or rather, it's the only reason that I can assume it's actually them). I kid you not, when you are gliding through the air the propellers are pixel thin.
Most cell phone games I've played of this ilk feature an auto save feature; and while this game lets you save your progress, you have to manually do it. If for any reason you leave the game without saving, you'll have to start all over from scratch. How convenient then that the button to go to the menu where you can save is right next to the button to instantly takes you back to your cell phone's main menu, I think you can see where this is going. However, ultimately this heinous problem is rendered moot due the fact that, even with having to restart multiple times, I finished the entire game (with everything unlocked) in the first forty minutes.
Those hoping that the game had some replay value probably just lost all hope at that last statement. Now the game does let you select any level you've already finished to go back and collect more bolts so that you can buy all the weapons, of which there are no appreciable differences, and eventually find the 9 mega bolts to unlock the R.Y.N.O. Surely a gun with the name "Rip You a New One" would at least add something? Nope, like I said before, there are no appreciable differences here between any of the weapons.
The only reward you get from this game is that once you've won you can input your screen name for Ratchet & Clank: Deadlocked (when you've got a viable phone signal, that is) to unlock two skins for the bigger game. So if you must have everything in Ratcher & Clank: Deadlocked, they've essentially got a way here to make you pay them at least 2.49 for the last two skins. I'd rather just pay the five dollars (twice as much) for the stupid horse armor skin in Elder Scrolls IV (and that's ALSO a rip off) than have to play through this pathetic game which is a cheap ploy to hide the fact you're essentially paying for an unlock in a console game.
You can either buy the game permanently for 5.99, or rent it for a month for 2.49, and neither is a very attractive option. If absolutely must unlock the skins for Deadlocked, I insist that you rent only. Either way, in the end Sony has hosed you if you get this game. However, since the game engine is very playable, perhaps one day the proposed sequel, Clone websitehome, will come out and actually give us a set of levels worth playing through.
I give this misadventure two pixel thin propellers out of five.
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Image credits: Ratchet and Clank: Going Mobile Official Website