Up Your Arsenal was the third title to the brilliant Ratchet and Clank series for the PS2. Like it's predecessor, it improved upon the game before it, with better graphics, better gameplay and more hilarious hijinks. While some will argue that A Crack in Time is the best title in the series, UYA actually edges it out in quite a few areas.
Let's get the first thing out of the way and the reason why I think UYA is the best in the series and it's because of its humor. I've played many a game in my day and while there were some that could really make you chuckle, UYA is a game that will have you rolling from beginning to end. It is the kind of game that isn't afraid to poke fun at itself. Whether it's the antics of Galactic Hero Captain Qwark (not really) and his Q-Force, the tales of his heroic battles with Nefarious, the lovely Courtney Gears (totally not ripping off Brittney Spears) or even the banter between Ratchet and his allies, you don't have to play the game for very long to run into a hilarious scene, a funny line or both. Some of the humor may feel a bit dated but even playing it now, it still holds up and can either make you smile or laugh outright.
Cast wise, it's as solid as ever. Ratchet and Clank are still at their best but watching Ratchet get treated like a joke by everyone doesn't get old. Captain Qwark is up to his old tricks, this time somehow convincing everyone he's a major hero, when really Ratchet and Clank are the ones who do the heavy lifting. The Q Force do as much as Qwark but the each have their hilarious quirks. Of course no hero can be great without a great villain and this entry gave us the hilarious and wonderful Doctor Nefarious, who has continued to show up in other entries because really he's great. From his maniacal laugh, to his overwhelming hatred for squishies (Even though he is one from the start) or that when he has a mental breakdown, his brain shuts off and starts playing old soap operas (No really), one cannot get enough of him. He's aided by the aforementioned Courtney Gears who also has no love for the squishes (and a big hunk of love for Clank) and Lawrence, Nefarious' beleaguered butler whose only joy comes from smacking Nefarious senseless when he suffers another breakdown.
Gameplay wise, the game is as fun as ever. It still offers you some platforming action in between the loads and loads of hot and heavy shootin' fun. If you find the game easy, that's okay, the game is host to the most overpowered arsenals in the game, if there is an overpowered weapon in the game, it's there for you. Even still, there is something fun and twisted when you pop off an enemy from miles away with the sniper rifle or transforming enemies into flaming ducks who swoop down at enemies crazy enough to get in your way. The game also has you scurrying across various worlds, sometimes helping the cowardly Galactic Rangers in their fight against Nefarious' forces, infiltrating a fueling station to take out the Biobiliterator, taking on an entire army as you invade Nefarious' base on Daxx or playing the totally awesome and completely true adventures of Captain Qwark on a 2d side scroller? The game has it all and more for you.
Lastly one of the best things about this game is it's soundtrack. Composed by Ratchet and Clank veteran and the man who really makes these games sound just right, David Bergeaud, you will be impressed at how well each tune works so well with the situation. From the atmospheric music of Planet Daxx, to the upbeat and pop tune of Courtney Gears or the 16bit sounding music of Captain Qwarks' greatest adventures, you are in for a treat when it comes to this soundtrack. It may not be the greatest but every tune sounds so much like it belongs in the game.
Now I would never demand that you play this game (well okay I might) but it's certainly a game worthy of a play. Even against the more refined and more varied play of some of the PS3 games, UYA is still a hilarious and fun romp that once you finish, you'll want to come back to again and again!