Ratchet: Deadlocked

Pros & Cons:
Pertaining to My short list below.

Full Pros & cons re-review coming soon...

This is a unique entry in the Ratchet & Clank series. If you liked the Arena portions in previous Ratchet & Clank games, you'll love this, as it's pretty much made up of these matches, but in full-level form. The controls are responsive (which include the strafe control option), it has the best graphics in the PS2 series, and the story is still clever and very funny as ever. For those that didn't like Arena challenges in previous games, then you probably won't like this, as this time around, although Clank is present, he's not with Ratchet in gameplay—and Qwark's nowhere to be seen.

Lets go play...with our giant guns (don't try this at home).

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Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: This is a bit darker and more sarcastic than previous entries. However, what there is of the language is bleeped, and although the overall tone of the story is sarcastic, it's still very silly. In addition, this includes five difficulty settings, with the easiest setting being quite appropriate for kids 10+, and I could see some ten year-olds playing it, especially if they're fans of the series. But overall, because of the slightly more sarcastic and darker tone, I recommend this game for ages 13+.

Full content re-review coming soon...

Fantasy violence: (This is fourth in the series) Ratchet & Clank have heared reports of heroes all around the galaxy being captured by a villain named Gleeman Vox, and then are made to participate in his deadly tv show, DreadZone. Soon after receiving this report, Ratchet & Clank are abducted by Vox's lackeys. When Ratchet comes to, he finds himself in a full-bodied battle suit, finds out Clank's been put to work, and that he and Clank have had an explodable collar installed on their necks, in order to keep them from escaping—Ratchet will be made to participate in Vox's gladiatorial deathmatches. And to take down Vox and escape, Ratchet will have to climb his way up the ranks, and most importantly, survive...

The story itself is full of sarcastic, clever humor, and unlike others in the series, this is even more sarcastic and darker, pushing it over the edge—it's not as appropriate for kids (even Up Your Arsenal/Tools of Destruction where pushing it content-wise). A few examples of the humor/story: there's many spoof-like commercials advertising products for DreadZone. Many of these commercials include two humanoid boys and a humanoid girl (kids). One advertisement shows the two boys playing a trading card game with the participants of DreadZone representing the playing cards. When one of the boys win, the real-life version of the winning card comes crashing in (breaking down the entire wall), and then "blows up" the loser with his laser. When the winning boy says, "Go Reactor (its name)! Slap me some skin! Reactor does then high-five him, but a little too hard, as the boy goes flying across the room.

Another commercial involves the kids being placed by toys on pedestals, and they're made to pick the one the tester wants them to pick. All three pick the wrong one, and each are then shocked by the chair they're sitting in—after the testers are done with the kids, they roll them and the chair over to an evaporator of some sort, and move on to "test subject #187." However, these commercials are actual commercials within the game, so the kids are acting in the advertisements, and when Ratchet defeats Vox and escapes, he saves the kids. In addition, DreadZones official (and biased) news network puts a slander campaign on Ratchet—outright lying about him, while pasting pictures of his head on all "his" supposed corrupt dealing. There is also mentions (as in not shown, just mentioned) of spoof shows like, "Blargs Gone Wild!", "Galaxies Funniest Decapitations", "Queer Eye for the Tyhrranoid", Pay Per View, etc.

The violence is very fantastical, with mass explosions, crashes, constant fire from the enemy, utter mayhem and frantic chaos. The majority of your enemies are several types of robot, but there are a few humanoid bosses later in. Other than his wrench, Ratchet will be fighting these enemies with a couple of dozen (and fully upgradable) weapons (like a high power sniper rifle, a mine launcher, dual plasma pistols, etc.) in dozens of survival matches, which play like fleshed out versions of the Arena. When Ratchet disposes of an enemy, it'll explode into a cloud of bolts (game's currency), metal (if a robot), colorful firework-like particle effects, or puffs of smoke. Unlike the previous games, the tone of violence is a bit darker, and although Ratchet is mostly fighting robots, the main idea is to make your way by "killing" previous champions.

Mild language: A scene at the beginning shows Ratchet waking up in what ends up being a very constricting combat suit. He then states, "My tail feels it's shoved up my..." But he's stopped before he can say a**. In one spoof-like advertisement, Vox states, "It's time to blow sh*t up!" But sh*t is bleeped. Later in, Vox says that one of his lackeys is a "pompous a**," but a** is bleeped out. All the actual language is completely bleeped; there's no actual way to tell what they said unless you have the subtitles on, which are also censored. lastly, there are single uses of words like, moron, freaking, stupid, idiot, shutup, suck, and one misuse of God.

Mild suggestive themes: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating)

  • While interviewing a DreadZone contestant, the female interviewer (a robot) is speaking to the contestant via a large screen behind the news desk. When the contestant looks down, he asks, "Hey Juanita, are you wearing Ace Hardlight (a DreadZone contestant) underwear?!" She covers herself up, going, "hehe" in an embarrassed tone, and changes the subject (you don't see her underwear).
  • In the last cutscene, after the credits, the former villain from Up Your Arsenal makes a cameo. In this scene, Dr. Nefarious short circuits (he's a robot). When this happens, an audio recording plays from his head; it's of a boyfriend and girlfriend making out, as you hear kissing between them talking. Here's how it goes: Lance (boyfriend's name): "Oh, Janice, it's been so long...too long. Say you'll never leave me for that nasty villain Engelbert." Janice: "Oh, Lance you make me feel like a young boy again!" Lance: "Say what?!"

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