Just finished Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal last night and thought I’d share my thoughts.

First off, nobody does “fun but not frustrating” better than Insomniac. At no point did I ever even come close to wanting to throw my controller, though several of the challenges were quite stiff. Plus, the money progression was fantastic – I only had to go bolt-hunting when I found myself at 800,000 bolts at the end of the game and decided to go ahead and reach one million so I could buy the last suit of armor.

However, there were a couple things from the previous games that I missed in this one. First, there was no racing, and second, the grindboots and grindrails were gone. However, these were replaced by battlefield missions based on the new multiplayer engine, and since they were quite good fun, I’d still call the game at least as good as the previous ones.

And the final battle with Dr. Nefarious was pretty hard, a nice change after the incredibly easy final boss in R&C 2. I tried that battle about five times, realized I just wasn’t going to make it with my current loadout, and left to get the Infernox Armor and level my shield charger up all the way. Then I came back and spanked him. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – give the player a way to trade time for skill, and you won’t have to worry about anyone not being able to make it through the game. Naughty Dog, I am looking in your direction!

Plus I was treated to some really funny, clever writing and some excellent 3D modelling and animation. Overall, a great game. One of the most enjoyable I’ve played recently. Which was exactly what I thought about R&C 1 and 2. I wonder if Insomniac is going to do a 4…pumping these things out once a year has got to be taking its toll on them.