The excellent Ratchet and Clank series have been firm favourites on PlayStation 2, thanks to their vast worlds to explore, large variety of weapons and gadgets, and fun and challenging enemies to defeat. Telling the story of the Lombax (an alien race resembling bobcats), mechanic Ratchet, and his faithful sidekick Clank, a faulty robot designed for destruction but destined for do-gooding, the four previous games have seen the series' heroes battle planet-stealing warlords, recover biological experiments, stop evil doctors from turning everyone into robots and become intergalactic gladiators. All in a day's work for heroes like them.
Carrying on from where Ratchet: Gladiator left off, Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters sees Ratchet and his sidekick enjoying a much needed vacation when they meet a little girl named Luna who's writing a school report on heroes. Before they can even get properly acquainted however, she's kidnapped by mysterious robots, and Ratchet and Clank set out to save her. On the way, Ratchet and Clank rediscover a forgotten race of genius inventors known as the Technomites, and uncover a plot more dangerous than anything they've ever faced before.
Early versions of the game show that the transition from PS2 to PSP has been a smooth one. The new controls are smooth and easy to pick up, and the bright, colourful graphics and fun soundtrack really capture the feel of the previous Ratchet and Clank games.
Along with returning favourite weapons like Ratchet's trusty wrench and the Agents of Doom there are a whole host of brand new weapons to make things uncomfortable for your robotic foes. The Acid Bomb Glove does exactly what its name suggests and fires explosive blobs of acid at your foes, while the Bee Mine Glove fires a swarm of robotic bees that will quickly overwhelm any opponent.
And it's not just weapons that are new; Ratchet has some brand new equipment to go along with the ever-present Clank, still as good as ever for sprouting helicopter blades or propelling you around underwater. Along with Gravity Boots, and his swingshot, Ratchet can now control plants using the Sprout-o-matic and mix and match his armour in a way that wasn't possible on previous versions.
Armour now comes in four different classes: Helmet, Body, Gloves and Boots, each of which has specific properties like fire or ice effects, and can be equipped individually or mixed and matched to create different defenses.
Another reason to get excited is the new multiplayer aspects to the game. Supporting both Ad Hoc and Infrastructure Modes, Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters will allow players to play standard Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture The Flag modes across huge levels filled with computer controlled enemies to fight off along with your human opponents.
There is also a brand new mode called Iron Lombax, which tasks your team with completing level-specific objectives before your opponents.One level has you trying to turn alien cows into hamburgers by sucking them up with a Suck Cannon and dropping them off in a burger making machine. You then have to move boxes of burgers onto delivery trucks and must reach a set limit before the other team does. This makes for some great frantic multiplayer action as you and your friends struggle to fill the boxes while shooting each other and stealing each other's items.
It's looking like everything that makes the Ratchet and Clank series so much fun is back, along with some great new features that could make this the best adventure the heroic duo have been on yet. Add to this the fact that you can now take Ratchet and Clank with you wherever you go and 2007 is shaping up to be a very good year indeed. Unless you're an evil robot.