Sony's new release

Sony's new release

Ratchet & Clank, Epic Mickey games disappoint

Just over a year since the release of All 4 One, it may feel strange to revisit the Ratchet & Clank universe so soon. Full Frontal Assault has a simple message for gamers: You get one way to play this game, so take it or leave it.

Ratchet & Clank:

Full Frontal Assault

Platform: PlayStation 3

Genre: Shooter

Publisher: Sony

ESRB Rating: E, for Everyone

Grade: three stars (out of five)

Just over a year since the release of All 4 One, it may feel strange to revisit the Ratchet & Clank universe so soon. Full Frontal Assault has a simple message for gamers: You get one way to play this game, so take it or leave it.

Full Frontal Assault all but abandons a campaign mode. Instead, this game spends all its time in competitive multiplayer, and while that could open gamers up to a host of opportunities, that is all you get.

The multiplayer mode operates in three phrases (recon, squad and assault), each giving you a chance to mold the battlefield to your liking. The goal is to blow up your opponent’s power generators while protecting your own.

Acquire bolts (the franchise’s long-running form of currency) and use them to purchase offensive or defensive units.

After several hours of going to war and either winning or losing, if you want to try another match it will be like playing the same thing again.

The action and visuals don’t disappoint, and fun can be had, but you yearn for another option now and then.

Those looking to feed their nuts-and-bolts fix may appreciate the budget $20 price tag for this game, but remember that for the cheaper price you often get cheaper content, and Full Frontal Assault is exactly that, an assault on your patience to stick with a game that does one thing, and one thing only.

Epic Mickey 2:

The Power of Two

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC

Genre: Adventure

Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios

ESRB Rating: E, for Everyone

Grade: 1.5 stars

I’m constantly befuddled how Disney manages to screw up a video game featuring its most iconic creation. From the entertainment company that has, for decades, brought charming and sophisticated animation to movies and TVs, The Power of Two is a sequel to a disappointing game that, sadly, continues to follow every wrong path.

This does not come from a Disney-hater; I still sip from the Goofy mug I bought in the early 1990s Nevertheless, frustration mounts early in playing The Power of Two, and the game’s problems remain obvious throughout.

The platform best resembles a child’s nightmare. Running and jumping from surface to surface is constantly undone by poor mechanics, making every leap a 50-50 chance of death.

You spend most of your time guiding Mickey through buildings and fighting off enemies with a colorful paintbrush. Oswald tags along as your AI companion, but he provides almost no assistance and ruins several battles by getting in the way.

When making a sequel to a game that wasn’t universally loved to begin with, one would hope that lessons were learned and improvements made. The Power of Two shows that a second time around is just twice the frustration.

Follow Chris Campbell @campbler or email him at game_on_games@mac.com.

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