The PlayStation series of consoles has never really had a main mascot, such as Nintendo having Mario and Microsoft having Master Chief. Instead, there are multiple characters thought of whenever PlayStation is brought up, one of those being the duo of Ratchet and Clank. I’ve always been a fan of the Ratchet and Clank games for their legitimately funny dialog and good combination of platforming and gunplay. While the overall design of these games is great, the weapons can be picked out as what the series prides itself on and it’s easy to see why. They are among the most awesome and inventive guns across all of gaming and it’s always exciting and fun, whenever you find or buy a new weapon, to see what they can do. To celebrate these great tools of destruction, I’m counting down my favorite weapons in the Ratchet and Clank series.
Many of the best weapons in this series are ones that mess with the enemies in some way beyond just shooting them. While I have quite a few of those types of weapons on my list, the Suck Cannon was the first and among the best to do so. This weapon sucks enemies into the barrel and, after filling to capacity or cutting the suction manually, fires them back out as high-velocity projectiles that produce small explosions on impact. While it can’t suck in larger enemies, it was still incredibly useful throughout the game, especially when large groups of small enemies appeared. It was easy to take those groups out and you were almost always left with a few more to fire at any groups of large enemies you find. As I did play the original game in the series first, this was also the first weapon to show me that Insomniac, the developer, could be really inventive with their guns and it made me start getting really excited whenever I found a new weapon. Not many weapons allow you to use your enemies as ammunition, but the Suck Cannon makes me wish more games did so.
There have been many melee weapons throughout the Ratchet and Clank series, from the Walloper, an electrified punching glove, to the Plasma Whip, a stream of plasma that could be extended to hit all around Ratchet like a whip. While I’ve always been fond of all the melee weapons, the Razor Claws stand out due to their complex abilities. Despite having short range, the claws were very powerful and would continue to get more powerful with longer range the more you used them without getting hit. Although they reverted back to normal power once you took damage, you could easily build a combo through this repeated usage and make them able to take out almost any enemy in the game with the regular 3-hit combo you could perform with the claws. As if that wasn’t enough, when used in the air, the claws make Ratchet perform a really cool corkscrew dive toward enemies that also caused a small shockwave when upgraded to the Shredder Claws through the weapon upgrade system present in the series. The regular combo and dive make the Razor Claws a great weapon for clearing out bunches of close enemies and, while their short range does hurt their usefulness slightly, these laser cutters were very helpful and looked kickass to boot.
Of all the games in the series, Secret Agent Clank is probably my least favorite of the bunch. While it’s not a bad game, I find that it doesn’t quite measure up to the standard set by the rest of the series. However, that does not stop me from liking the weapons used in the game, chiefly the Tanglevine Carnation. Besides having one of the most awesome-sounding names of any weapon I’ve seen, it’s just powerful and fun to use. This weapon plants a carnivorous flower that tries to eat all the enemies it can before disappearing, regardless of whether the enemies are organic or mechanical. It gets even better once upgraded to the Kudzu Tangle, as it then sent out poison gas over the area every time it ate something. The carnation was strong enough to take down many of the toughest foes in the game and it was always fun to watch your enemies get snacked on. There were other weapons in the series that called in some form of creature to defeat your enemies for you, but this one has always been my favorite.
One of the commonalities between the games in the Ratchet and Clank series is certain weapon types that tend to have an incarnation in every game, such as a weapon akin to a pistol or a weapon like a rocket launcher that is fundamentally the same no matter the game. Little robot helpers is one of those sorts of weapons and although they are all useful, Mr. Zurkon from the Ratchet and Clank Future trilogy is a step above all the others. As with all synthenoid weapons, which is what the robots are called, Mr. Zurkon has a laser cannon mounted on his arm that he constantly shoots enemies with when you call him out, although he lasts a bit longer than most synthenoids. However, unlike all others, Mr. Zurkon has a personality, and a funny one at that. He is extremely bloodthirsty and constantly mocks all enemies with entertaining one-liners due to the humongous chip on his shoulder, even making a couple comments at Ratchet’s expense. One of my favorites is definitely, “I shall let you live little alien…psych! Mr. Zurkon lives only to kill,” as it perfectly demonstrates his personality with just one line. The added personality to your synthenoid weapon makes a useful weapon also funny to listen to and I love how Insomniac even manages to intersperse the humor into the weapons themselves. It may be a mostly cosmetic difference, but the entertainment Mr. Zurkon provides definitely made me use him more than any other synthenoid and made him one of my favorite weapons.
Most weapons in this series take a bit of time to grow on me before I can really decide if I like them or not, as some weapons that seem useless can be exceedingly useful in the right situations and others are, as TV Tropes would say, awesome, but impractical. However, my love of the Mag-Net Launcher was nearly instantaneous from the first time I shot it off. It shoots tiny electrical nets that, as soon as they reach an enemy, expand to surround said enemy. The nets then continuously shock and keep foes incapacitated, with small bombs even coming out of the connectors for the net when it’s upgraded to the Mag-Net Cannon. As one can imagine, this gun is one of the most useful weapons in the entire series due to its capability to simultaneously hurt and hold enemies. Whenever I get in a tough fight, I always send out some nets to hold the tougher enemies in place so I can blast them with a more powerful weapon such as the Negotiator rocket launcher. The launcher is also another weapon that shows off how inventive and unique the guns could be while still being practical, as firing out electricity nets is something I definitely hadn’t seen before that managed to be both incredibly useful and awesome to use.