Console: PS2 exclusive
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc
Hot: weapons and mods, arena battles, squad bots
Not: wanted more Clank action
Ratchet and Clank return for another explosive, action-packed adventure in Ratchet: Deadlocked, the fourth installment in this excellent game series. As Deadlocked opens, we find Ratchet and Clank kidnapped by an evil, media mogul named Gleeman Vox who forces Ratchet and Clank to compete in his underground, combat, reality TV show. Armed with a new set of allied bots and amped-up firepower, Ratchet must compete in a death defying series of missions that will have gamers using both skill and strategy in order to survive the battles in one piece.
An all-new weapons system lets players decide how to power up each weapon by using the various mods to change and upgrade weapon functionality to suit each new challenge. As players continue to progress through missions, they are rewarded with necessary items like health, armor and weapons to keep the combat action fast and the debris flying in all directions.
Co-op game play has been expanded and is available in both single and multiplayer story mode. The added benefit of co-op is how flexible it is to use, and gamers have the option to play a whole game with a friend, or to just utilize it on occasion for those especially difficult missions. Online game play has been enhanced with more playing levels and features game modes like Conquest, King of the Hill and Deathmatch.
Don't dismiss Ratchet: Deadlocked as a kids game due to the animated characters-this action game is all grown-up with its squad-based game play, new arsenal of weapons and mods and huge arena battles to satisfy even hardcore gamers. If Ratchet: Deadlocked isn't on your list of games to play, it should be, it's that great.
SSX on Tour
Genre: Action Sports
Console: PS2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PSP
Publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.
Hot: Monster Tricks, great soundtrack, tricking on skis
Not: still missing that Tricky flavor
Finally, after a long wait, the SSX series returns with SSX on Tour and shows off some new attitude, killer Monster Tricks, brand new tracks and that big style that EA does so well. Gamers need to race and trick hard to reach that black diamond, rock star status, and with 12 new tracks on four unique sections of the SSX mountain, there are plenty of opportunities to show-off that legendary SSX style.
Style and attitude are important on the mountain, and with the upgraded character customization abilities, gamers can choose from different hairstyles, and a wide selection of licensed gear and accessories to get their characters look just right. Once the gear is in place, it's time to hit the slopes for new events like the Monsters of Metal and Style Blaster, or to try out the new Monster Tricks for added style and super point awards.
For an all-new challenge, gamers can put away the snowboard for awhile and strap on some skis to conquer racing rivals and master a whole new set of Monster Tricks. It's not as easy as it looks, and gamers used to the snowboard action might be initially surprised that snowboarding rules do not apply when hurtling down the mountain on two skinny skis.
The SSX series is back to tear it up this winter with SSX on Tour, and for some fast-action, a bumping soundtrack, and tons of upgrades and additions, gamers have a lot to love.