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Ruff Trigger Review

Developer: Playstos Publisher: Natsume
Release Date: June 27, 2006 Also On: None

Ten years ago, Ruff Trigger would have been something special. A gun-based platformer was something new…until Ratchet and Clank came around in 2002. Insomniac’s Ratchet and Clank franchise set the standard for what a platformer should be in the current-generation: massive, immersive and diverse environments, a large variety of enemies, tons of wacky guns to choose from and two distinctly likable main characters.

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Ruff Trigger has some of that, albeit to a far lesser extent, but it’s apparent that this is nothing more than a ripoff that really should have mentioned Ratchet and Clank in its credits. I counted at least five things ripped right from Ratchet and Clank. You collect ammo and health from boxes but can’t purchase ammo at stores like Ratchet and Clank (1), though you can buy weapons at stores (2). The melee system and shooting system are oddly familiar (3) and Ruff Trigger also uses a lock-on system (4). You collect the money equivalent of bolts called tykels by breaking boxes and other random objects (5).

Well, that means that if they ripped everything else out of Ratchet and Clank, it also means it has a satirical and entertaining storyline, right? “The Vanocore Corporation is about to invade the Tyke System’s marketplace with a new genetic engineering marvel: the Piglot, a tender little pet destined to replace dogs and cats in every home. But before the Piglots can reach their final destination, the Vanocore cargo ships are forced to make an emergency landing on the hostile planet of Endust.” Okay, so you’re not playing this for the story, that’s apparent.

Now, while I’m unabashed in my citing of Ruff Trigger’s copycat features, that doesn’t mean I don’t like the game. Ruff Trigger offers some large levels, a long single-player story and even some nice mini-games. Sure, some of the levels even seem like they were pulled straight out of Ratchet and Clank, but there is a nice amount of action, pseudo puzzle solving and collecting. You’ll need to carry the Piglots (they’ll also follow you) to the nearest teleport. Often you will need to rescue them before you may proceed.

The biggest difference between Ratchet and Clank and Ruff Trigger is the melee. While Ratchet has his trusty wrench to throw around, Ruff can switch to a werewolf, which allows him to run faster and jump higher, but he can’t fire weapons. He does, however, have special powers in werewolf form that allow you to disable enemies. You’ll rarely run out of ammo, so it’s not an issue of conserving ammo, but you may like the ability to jump higher and run faster.

At the end of the day, Ruff Trigger comes down to the same old platform mechanics that made Insomniac the biggest player in Sony’s corner. The only advantage Ruff Trigger has over the Ratchet and Clank series is that it’s budget-priced. Problem is, so are the first three Ratchet and Clank games now. Laughable cut-scenes (I counted at least four times that they used the word “hell”), spelling errors in the subtitles and a bland character/storyline make Ruff Trigger a rough game to suggest for a purchase. Fans of Ratchet and Clank may want to pick this up for a rental just to see what else is out there.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 4
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6
Written by Kyle Review Guide