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Published: Friday, 12/19/2003

Game reviews: Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando

(Sony) PS2 (MSRP $39.99)

In the days when blood, gore and intense violence are inked onto most of the current best-selling videogame's warning labels, it's refreshing to pop in a title that relies on fun characters and solid gameplay to dazzle. ‘Commando' still mostly consists of moving from planet to planet completing various objectives, but with fantastic weapon upgrades and a multitude of mini-challenges from puzzle-solving to maneuvering a spaceship through asteroid strewn blackness, the replay value is very high.

Even though it carries a ‘Teen' rating, ‘Commando' really only contains unrealistic cartoon-type action that most younger players would be accustomed to seeing. With an upgrade in difficulty and weapons, the latest installment of ‘Clank' is even better then the first - the best platformer pick for this holiday season.

(LucasArts) XBox, PC (MSRP $49.99)

Great characters with laugh-out-loud in-game chatter make up the band of ragtag mercenaries you are teamed with in 21 missions of varying difficulty in ‘Armed.'

Wildly inventive weapons and huge, destructible environments keep it fun in this run and shoot squad fighter.

(Gamester) PS2, Xbox (MSRP $29.99)

If first-person shooters are your bag you'll want to pick up the new programmable controller from Gamester. Shaped to feel like you're holding two pistols in your hands, the FPS Master puts all the buttons right where you need them when the bullets start flying. I tried it out with ‘Wolfenstein' and ‘T3' and really preferred the FPS to a standard controller.

- Jake Jones

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