Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank)
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Ratchet is the main character of the Ratchet & Clank series of video games. Ratchet is 15 years old at the start of the series. In the English versions of the games, Ratchet is voiced by Mikey Kelley in the first Ratchet & Clank and by James Arnold Taylor in all the others. He is voiced by Makoto Tsumura in the Japanese versions of the games.
Conception and creation
Ratchet was originally envisioned by Insomniac Games Vice President of Programming Brian Hastings as a space-traveling reptile alien who would collect various weapons as he progressed through the game; Ratchet's final form was decided upon after Insomniac at various terrestrial creatures, such as dogs and rats, and feline features stood out to them because of the sense of agility associated with it. In response to the negative critical reception of Ratchet's design and personality in Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet's personality was altered in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando to be "less cocky, [...] much more friendly to Clank, and [...] able to handle himself better in stressful situations without being impetuous".
Ratchet is a Lombax who was sent to Veldin from Fastoon by his father to save him from Emperor Percival Tachyon. The series begins as him just being a mechanic longing for adventure. But soon enough his life changes when he meets the diminutive robot fugitive named Clank. From there on, he and the small robot begin to have many adventures.
Ratchet tends to be quite headstrong and usually is not afraid to voice his opinion. During the first game he has quite a short temper, which fades in the later titles. Yet at the same time, he often appears concerned with how people view him. In later games he shows jealousy over Clank's notoriety. He was once having a relationship with another Lombax named Angela Cross, as seen in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, and later develops a romantic interest with a Cazar named Sasha Phyronix in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. He also seems to develop a relationship with a Markazian named Talwyn Apogee, over the course of the Future trilogy.
Ratchet's in-game model in Ratchet & Clank, particularly his facial animations and fur, was praised by Louis Bedigian of GameZone. Gavin Frankle of Allgame found it hard to form an emotional bond with Ratchet or Clank, saying that Ratchet is "your typical teenager [...] who desires nothing more than excitement and adventure". Benjamin Turner of GameSpy was highly critical of Ratchet, citing his uninteresting aesthetic design and rude, immature and immoral demeanor as reasons for his ire. Johnny Liu of Game Revolution noted that Ratchet "starts out with a blue-collar attitude, but he's mostly there for deft observations and cutting remarks" and appreciated Ratchet not being "pigeonholed as a typical goody-goody", but concluded that he wasn't very fleshed out.
Critics took note of Ratchet's improved character in subsequent games. Douglass C. Perry of IGN commented that Ratchet "is no longer an angry, selfish teenage furry creature from outer space. He's a commando, a little wiser, a little more forgiving and a lot more palatable. Though still furry..."
- McLaughlin, Rus October 30, 2007. IGN Presents The History of Ratchet and Clank. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved on July 21, 2009.Template:MultiPageCiteArchive
- "Big Gaz" December 14, 2002. Ratchet and Clank Interview. Gameplanet. Retrieved on July 21, 2009.
- Talon, Durwin S. (2004). "David Guertin on Comics & Video Games", Comics Above Ground: How Sequential Art Affects Mainstream Media. TwoMorrows Publishing, 80–82. ISBN 1-893905-31-4. Retrieved on July 21, 2009.
- Turner, Benjamin May 8, 2003. Ted Price on Going Commando. GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved on June 21, 2009. Template:MultiPageCiteArchive
- Louis Bedigian 2002-11-12. Ratchet & Clank Review - PlayStation 2. GameZone. Retrieved on 21 July 2009. “When getting up close and personal with Ratchet, you'll be amazed at how smooth his animation is. His facial expressions are top-notch. Like a character from a computer-generated movie, Ratchet's eyebrows raise when he is excited, while his mouth moves perfectly in-sync with what he is saying. Even his eyes move realistically! This is true for the other, non-playable characters as well. However, none of the NPCs are as realistic-looking as Ratchet. Ratchet's skin (if you can call it that -- it looks kind of furry) has nice, vibrant, detailed textures that make him look even better.”
- Frankle, Gavin. Ratchet & Clank. Allgame. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved on June 25, 2009.
- Benjamin Turner 2002-11-13. GameSpy.com - Review. GameSpy. Retrieved on 21 July 2009. “First, Ratchet sucks. Based on design alone, Ratchet is not a very interesting lead character. However, he's even worse when you start to see his personality come out in the cut-scenes. He's rude, immature, and has a decided lack of the moral fiber needed to be a hero. Clank is the complete opposite, and after a bit I began wishing the game was called Clank & Ratchet. Or Clank & Some Other Character Altogether (Who's Also Not Blinx).”
- Johnny Liu 2002-11-01. Ratchet & Clank review for the PS2. Game Revolution. Retrieved on 21 July 2009. “Ratchet starts out with a blue-collar attitude, but he's mostly there for deft observations and cutting remarks. I appreciate how he hasn't been pigeonholed as the typical goody-goody, but he's not very fleshed out. Clank is somewhere between Gir of Invader Zim in form and chatty C3PO in function. He's the straight man to Ratchet's jokes, offering clueless intellectualism to contrast Ratchet's pissy humor.”
- Douglass C. Perry 2003-11-11. IGN: Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Review. IGN. Retrieved on 21 July 2009. “And perhaps what I like best, despite the eccentricity of the comment, is that Ratchet is no longer an angry, selfish teenage furry creature from outer space. He's a commando, a little wiser, a little more forgiving and a lot more palatable. Though still furry…”
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