by Marty Demarest & r & & r & Size Matters Rated Everyone 10+: PSP & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & S & lt;/span & ize matters. Bigger guns can annihilate things little guns can't touch, like the twice-my-size, red-eyed robots that sweep hissing laser beams around them. Or the robots that toss chainsaws at me. Puny weapons like the giant wrench I tote around don't work very well on enemies like that. I need big guns.
There's the flamethrower, which doesn't so much throw flames as it gently ignites nearby enemies when I push the "fire" button. There's the Acid Bomb Glove that tediously kills my enemies by hucking green gobs of acid at them. The Bee Mine Glove stings enemies to death with robotic bees that shoot out of a hive on my arm. Most pathetically not-big is the watering-can weapon, named the Sprout-O-Matic, that allows me to water a plant and then transplant it elsewhere!
Size Matters is a disappointing addition to the Ratchet & amp; Clank arsenal, even though it delivers a passable jump-and-shoot platform game -- or at least one that's better than any iteration of Rayman. The expectations set up by the original Ratchet & amp; Clank have dwarfed the rest of the series, but there's no reason for the developers of Size Matters to have veered so far off course.
Much of the charm of the Ratchet & amp; Clank series has come from the slew of weapons -- enormous, ridiculous guns, mainly -- that the catlike Ratchet is given. Ratchet & amp; Clank was also one of the first 3D platform games to pit me against swarming enemies, and it featured ample arena combat to compete with games such as Serious Sam and MDK that had opened up the scope of combat.
Size Matters makes the baffling choice of giving me more suits of armor than guns. Granted, when I collect a full, matching suit of armor (gloves, helmet, boots, etc.), I'm given a special attack power, but supplemental fashion is no substitute for straightforward firearms, and repeatedly in Size Matters' relatively brief single player campaign, I kept wanting to find something more substantial in my hands. As it is, Size Matters is disappointingly slight.
THE GOOD: Size matters, at least for the small robot Clank. When he's at the center of the action (in his small mode), familiar enemies appear larger, if not necessarily tougher. It speaks well of the developer's use of the PSP's graphical limitations to create monster models that look and move identically at different scales. Moreover, the enemy robots are animated to move with expressivity and personality. After watching so many games from other systems be pared back for their PSP conversions, it's a welcome relief to see digital animation on the system treated as complex, not dumbed-down.
THE BAD: Some aspects of combat have been simplified to compensate for the PSP's lack of precision. Shooting is semi-auto targeted -- a targeting reticle jumps over the nearest enemy and sticks there until I kill them or another enemy comes into closer range. But I can also damage a hovering robot simply by swiping my wrench through the air beneath it. Despite nothing being there, they still take a fatal hit.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Ratchet & amp; Clank: Size Matters isn't as big a game as its heroes deserve.
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