Sunday, October 4, 2015

Press Start: Top Fifteen Ratchet and Clank Weapons

Note: All pictures in this post are from the Ratchet and Clank wiki.

In case it wasn’t obvious already, I love Ratchet and Clank. I love its personality, I love its creativity, but best of all, I love its gameplay. The games gives you plenty of tools to destroy your enemies and save the universe. The weapons of Ratchet and Clank are some of the craziest conceived in gaming, and many are tons of fun to use. So as a tribute to my favorite video game franchise, I’ll be listing my fifteen favorite weapons from the series. I’ll be ranking them based on their utility, their creativity, how fun they are to use, and how they fare in battle. Only two rules: only weapons from games I’ve played, and no RYNO or RYNO-like weapons (otherwise this list would be nothing but RYNO weapons). Let’s get started!

#15- Shield Charger

Even if you’re a veteran Ratchet and Clank player, you’ll eventually get hit by an enemy attack. It’s unavoidable. Fortunately, several games include a weapon that can produce shields. My favorite would have to be the Shield Charger from Going Commando. It creates an energy barrier around Ratchet that absorbs incoming fire. It’s a great safety net, especially if you’re going into a heavy firefight. The main problem with the Shield Charger is that while it does have an offensive component (the barrier can damage enemies if they come into physical contact with it), it’s negligible for most foes, and it's the only way to level up the weapon. Still, the sheer utility of the Shield Charger makes it one of the best weapons in the series.

#14- Netherbeast

Into the Nexus may be the shortest console Ratchet and Clank game, but it had one hell of an arsenal. Nearly every weapon was viable to some degree, and most were very fun to use. One of my favorite weapons from the game was the Netherbeast, a glove weapon that allows you to use a tamed Nether (an interdimensional monster) to pulverize enemies. Each time Rachet punches, the Nether cuts a destructive swath through the enemies in front of you. The Netherbeast is a very fun weapon to use, and has a great premise, but it’s lacks the utility some of the other weapons on this has. Still, can’t go wrong with a scary interdimensional attack dog, now can you?

#13- Scorpion Flail

Deadlocked is a different than most Ratchet and Clank games in the sense that it's much more action oriented than its kin. Firefights are more frequent and intense, and the overall feeling of the game is much faster in comparison to other games in the series. So you’d think a weapon that anchors you in place when you fire it would be terrible, but instead it’s the best weapon in the game. The Scorpion Flail is a melee weapon that creates a massive shockwave when it makes contact with the ground. It is one of the most destructive weapons in the game, especially with the shock modification equipped that zaps any nearby enemy. In terms of raw destructive power, few weapons come close to the Scorpion Flail. If it wasn’t for the fact that it's a melee weapon in a game with tons of hectic firefights, it would be much higher on the list.

#12- Nether Blades

Disk blade weapons in Ratchet and Clank are similar to blaster weapons in the sense that they have high ammo capacity and good range, but do low damage. However, the disks fired from these weapons can ricochet off of enemies and hit other enemies on the rebound, making them ideal for clearing out dense packs of enemies. The Nether Blades exemplifies this the best, as it can clear through enemy groups better than any weapon from Into the Nexus. It can even be upgraded so that every blade will split in two on contact. The Nether Blades also have a cool design that complements the rest of the game very well. This weapon is very versatile thanks to its ricocheting blades and long range, and is the crowd clearer for Into the Nexus.

#11- Spiral of Death

I present to you the most kickass boomerang-like weapon in existence. Originating from A Crack in Time, the Spiral of Death is one of four weapons Ratchet can win in the Argorian Battleplex. The Spiral of Death fires an energy-charged buzzsaw that slashes enemies before returning to Ratchet. Mobility is key to wielding this weapon, as strafing while firing the weapon allows the player to steer the buzzsaw. The weapon is fairly powerful in its own right, but the sheer fun factor and concept of the weapon makes it’s turns an otherwise good weapon into a great one. In terms of heavy firepower, the Negotiator is better, but in terms of fun, the Spiral of Death beats it by a mile.

#10- Constructo Shotgun

A Crack in Time has several mechanics that made it stand out from the other entries in the series, one of which was the three Constructo weapons. These weapons could be customized by collecting upgrade kits scattered throughout the game. The Constructo Shotgun was my favorite, as the versatility this weapon possesses is phenomenal. Normally, I dislike the shotgun weapons in Ratchet and Clank for peaking too early, but in the Constructo Shotgun’s case, it remains invaluable throughout the game thanks for its high degree of customizability. Whether you want a heavy duty mid-range weapon or a crowd clearer, the Constructo Shotgun has you covered.

#9- Mag-Net Launcher

While Ratchet and Clank has several weapon types it uses in most installment: flamethrowers, rocket launchers, grenades, and so on. But every game has a handful of unique weapons that really stand out. The Mag-Net Launcher fires an electrical net that traps and electrocutes the enemy. The Mag-Net may not be the the most powerful weapon in either Tools of Destruction or A Crack in Time, but it serves some very useful purposes. You can use the Mag-Net to immobilize an enemy and concentrate fire on another enemy, or you can stun them long enough to finish them off with a heavier weapon. The Mag-Net Launcher is a great strategic weapon in an arsenal filled with straightforward “point and shoot” weapons.

#8- Tesla Claw

Weapons that utilize electricity in the Ratchet and Clank are pretty common, but the first one is the very best. From the original comes the Tesla Claw, a weapon that fires a stream of electricity that automatically seeks out enemies. Once it’s done with one enemy, it moves on to the next one. This makes the Tesla Claw an ideal crowd clearer, and a great all-around mid range weapon. It may be the second most expensive weapon in the whole game after the RYNO, but it’s worth every bolt. Without it, the fight with Drek becomes astronomically harder. The Tesla Claw is a truly great weapon, and comes in handy in nearly every situation.

#7- Mr. Zurkon

Sometimes in a firefight, you need a little extra supporting fire. And while the Miniturret Glove is a fantastic weapon, I prefer Mr. Zurkon. This hovering robot provides covering fire on other enemies while you can focus on other ones. Or better yet, he could provide extra fire while fighting a single big enemy. But the greatest part about Mr. Zurkon is his catalog of hilarious quotes, including:
  • "Ha ha! Mr. Zurkon requires no nanotech to survive. Mr. Zurkon lives on fear!"
  • "Mr Zurkon does not believe in shoot first, ask questions later. Asking questions is stupid."
  • "Mr. Zurkon will read your fortune. Your fortune reads "death by Mr. Zurkon"."
  • "Mr. Zurkon does not discriminate. Mr. Zurkon hates all life forms equally."
Mr. Zurkon is a weapon with a personality, and provides great covering fire. This combination makes for a welcome addition to Ratchet’s arsenal.

#6- Visibomb Gun

Want a weapon that allows you to steer your missiles? The original has you covered. The Visibomb Gun fires rockets that allows you to direct them as they fly. Not only does this weapon have the best range of any weapon in the original, but it also has the highest damage output per rocket in the game. This means that one Visibomb missile can destroy tanks, hoverships, and just about any heavy enemy in the game. Not only is the Visibomb Gun very powerful, it's very fun to use. For a long time, it was a my favorite weapon from the original until a recent playthrough. Still, it’s power and fun factor lands it just shy of the top 5.

#5- Plasma Striker

Sniping weapons in the Ratchet and Clank series are always some of my favorites, since they come with great range, high firepower, and cool designs. The best sniping weapon in the series is the crossbow styled Plasma Striker. Not only does it provide amazing range and sniping capabilities, but it also rewards you for being a good sniper. The Plasma Striker’s scope displays weak points of enemies, and if you hit them, you do far more damage. Combine this with an upgrade that slows down time as you aim, and you have the best sniping weapon in all of Ratchet and Clank.

#4- Winterizer

Each Ratchet and Clank game has a morphing weapon; a weapon that turns the enemy into something ridiculous. The original had one that turned enemies into chickens, Going Commando had one that turned enemies into sheep, and Into the Nexus has my favorite: a weapon that turns enemies into snowmen. All while playing Jingle Bells. Not only is the Winterizer a hilarious weapon, it's an effective one. It can be upgraded to have a crazy range, and its damage output is pretty impressive. Not to mention it can slow down enemies as they’re taking damage. The Winterizer is the best morpher in the entire series, and it’s an amazing mix of fun and utility.

#3- Devastator

Rocket launchers in the Ratchet and Clank don’t offer a lot of variety, since most function the same. However, the best rocket launcher turns out to be one of the best weapons in the entire series. From the original comes the Devastator, a rocket launcher with tracking capabilities. Combining that with ridiculously long range and impressive damage output, the Devastator is one of the most useful weapons in the series. Seriously, you can practically snipe with this weapon. It’s ludicrously awesome. In terms of pure utility, no rocket launcher beats the OG.

#2- Bouncer

Want a weapon that’s fun and practical at the same time? The Bouncer is the second best example of this. The Bouncer fires a large bomb that, after it explodes, releases a small swarm of bouncing bomblets. The bomblets also have homing capabilities, causing them to bounce towards nearby enemies. This is hands down the best crowd-clearer in the franchise, as the bomblets can clear packs of enemies faster than anything in your arsenal. It also chews up heavy enemies, as all the bomblets can hone in on a single target. This makes it one of the most effective weapons in the franchise, and watching the chaos caused by the bomblets is very satisfying. If it wasn’t for the next weapon on this list, it would easily be my favorite.

#1- Rift Inducer

This weapon is the epitome of “fun but functional”. The Rift Inducer from Up Your Arsenal literally fires small black holes that suck your enemies into an unknown dimension. This weapon may not be able to exist in real life (the black hole would destroy the planet you’re fighting on), but it's fun as all hell to use. Watching waves of enemies being sucked into a void is very satisfying, and sometimes even hilarious. It also helps that it can clear out clusters of enemies when the black hole is fired into the crowd. Combining a ridiculously awesome premise with functionality and fun factor, the Rift Inducer is the best weapon Ratchet and Clank has to offer.

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