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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Secret Agent Clank

Last weekend I bought Secret Agent Clank... I noticed the price at Future Shop dropped to $20.00... so I thought I'd take a shot & picked it up.

I've only started playing it, but I have to say... the mediocre review that IGN gave it seem pretty accurate. Secret Agent Clank uses the same look & general feel of the superior PSP game Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, but there's much less polish to everything. Secret Agent Clank feels like a rushed follow-up to to it. $20.00 is a good deal, but I'd rather have paid $10.00 for a game that's this rough around the edges.

It's sad, because the basic idea is really cool: Clank, Ratchet's sidekick, takes the guise of a James Bond-ish agent. Whereas Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters was more of an action/platforming game, Secret Agent Clank is more stealth-oriented, with small bursts of action.

One thing I've noticed about stealth games: if you're going to make a stealth game YOU CANNOT HALF-ASS IT. I've seen/heard of so many stealth games where they were either rushed or just couldn't be bothered to really polish it up, and I don't know if developers/publishers think that "it's mostly there" is good enough... but for a STEALTH game, it really isn't. You'll notice when things are clunky & broken. Things have to work.

I don't think Secret Agent Clank was given the attention it deserved in development to make it a more fun, playable game... it was quietly "announced", and unlike Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, where developer High Impact trumpeted it in video after video.... Secret Agent Clank was given relatively little promotion. "Managing expectations" is the catch-phrase that maybe fits this game. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good, and fairly well polished. In Secret Agent Clank, it's hard to explain, but it seems less intuitive as to where to go & what to do in places. And things like the timed button presses stealth maneuvers are sadly broken.

If someone was trying to decide between getting Secret Agent Clank or Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, I'd recommend Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters over Secret Agent Clank, especially if you've never played a Ratchet & Clank game before. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters is just a more complete, accessible experience.

[UPDATE:] having more fun with the game after a week of play... read here for details.


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