I'm a big fan of the Ratchet & Clank games. The third PS2 game ranks as one of the best action games on the console and the debut PS3 effort, Tools of Destruction, is thrilling to play and stunning to look at. Last year's portable entry in the series, the aptly named Size Matters, also proved to be well worth the time of any Ratchet & Clank fan, but sadly something went wrong when brining it to the PS2. A combination of awkward controls and higher expectations make this the weakest game in the series to date.
Anyone familiar with the PSP game will find the exact same game on the PS2. Ratchet and partner in crime Clank are having a well needed holiday when their peace is interrupted by a little girl. As innocent as it sounds, she's soon captured and the duo are back fighting enemies across the galaxy. It's not the best plot you'll find in the Ratchet & Clank games, but does offer a decent dose of fun and many familiar characters.
What you also get is the familiar weapon levelling-up system, with your tools of destruction increasing in power the more you use them. More weapons can be bought using the in-game bolts currency and armour can be acquired to give you an edge during combat. It's the typical gameplay mechanics we've come to expect from the series, but something just isn't right.
Although the game originated on the PSP, where you only have one analogue stick, on the PS2 the dual stick control scheme makes for numerous problems, the biggest of which is the camera. I lost count of how many times the camera became stuck on an object or simply refused to be moved, forcing you to play without being able to see where you're going or who you're attacking. The ability to manually control the camera with the right stick seems to heighten the camera problems already present in the PSP game.
On the PSP Size Matters looked pretty good. Although it didn't live up to the graphical splendour seen in the PS2 games, on the small screen it's among the best looking games on the handheld. Although we were promised graphical upgrades in the PS2 port, they're either very small or non-existent. Blocky objects and barren environment detail were passable on the PSP, but blown up on a big screen in the PS2 version it just looks ugly. Add in some less than spectacular textures and Size matters is by far the worse looking game in the series.
With a bit of care Size matters could have been another solid entry in the series, but this rough port simply can't compete with the original PS2 games. A multiplayer mode that's little more than a token gesture doesn't help at all either. If you've already played the previous PS2 Ratchet & Clank games to death and played through the brilliant PS3 game, then Size Matters on PS2 is passable, but you'd be better off picking it up on PSP if you can.