Somewhere between gory FPS and kid-geared sidescrollers there’s the wonderful genre of cartoonish action-adventure games. How to pick? Face-Off has you covered. Today, it’s waring guitars and and strange creatures.
In this corner… Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack In Time
Each successive Ratchet and Clank game — a platformer akin to Metroid — outdoes the previous ones with innovative weapons and engrossing plot development; the latest is no exception. Ratchet the Lombax (kangaroo-like) and Clank the robot have been separated! Ratchet uses a slew of customizable new weapons like the Sonic Eruptor, a frog beast attached to a metal rod that spews enemy-shaking sound waves; Clank solves puzzles by using clones of himself to carry out time-delayed actions. Throw in the ability to pilot Ratchet’s upgradeable, blast-happy space ship and an epic satisfying conclusion, and you’ve got yet another game in the win column for Insomniac Games. And first-timers won’t be left out in the cold: The game’s inviting enough to play sans previous R+C exposure.
In the other corner… Brütal Legend
It takes a hell of a game to unite the voices of Ozzy Osborne, Lemmy, and Jack Black. Eddie Riggs (Black) is the ultimate roadie who finds himself in a hellish dimension where he must use heavy metal music to save the world. He swings a giant literal axe to take down druids and slimy demons, and wields a metaphorical axe, his guitar, that casts lightning and fire spells. Oh yeah, and he drives a hot rod through piles of bones. The game’s part weapon-fueled action, part Guitar Hero-style button mashing to Black Sabbath tunes — which, get this, gives you new powers. If you can stand a little gore and some cursing (as a joke, the game asks you occasionally if you think it’s funnier if the swears get bleeped out), this game is the perfect vehicle for unabashed heavy metal geekery.
And the winner is…
Brütal Legend Not only is it impossible not to get swept into the slashing and shredding, but this is Jack Black’s least abrasive role in years.