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Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando

Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: SCE
11 November 2003
Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando - cover art
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720 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#181 All-time
#7 for 2003
After saving the galaxy two years ago, Ratchet and Clank are recruited by the director of antother great enterprise, called Megacorp, in order to recuperate a robbed experiment in a far away galaxy.
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It’s hard to remember, but there were many PlayStation 2 series that were just as annualized as Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed are now. Perhaps I never noticed because the sequels always took great leaps over former entries and found unique ways of rebranding a series. I can list a couple here, but let’s just focus on one exemplary pick: Going Commando. Though UYA built upon Commando, each game represents a yin-and-yang in the series that would influence the PS3 entries that would follow.

Going Commando was a stroke of genius. Along with addressing the lackluster controls of the debut, Insomniac piled on an addictive leveling system, great mini-games, weird Pikmin [ピクミン]-esque Clank sections, ship combat, and tons of new stuff -- new gear, new items, new weapons, new enemies, etc. What’s more: Almost all of it are quality additions to the series. While many of the puzzle aspects of GC wouldn’t appear in its sequel, the new focus on more enemies, faster combat, and more options remained.
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SUPER_Lonely_Panda 2016-04-05T19:36:31Z
2016-04-05T19:36:31Z
4.5
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Going Commando suffers from bloat, both in its combat and level design. While the former may have added strafing, they forgot to add a second weapon wheel for whatever reason. I mean, it sure gets annoying trying to micro-manage all the additional weapons and gadgets this time around. There's a newly added weapon upgrade feature, though it's a one-time occurrence that feels mandatory. Your weapons are going to feel pretty weak beforehand, but sometimes fail to keep up with enemy scaling even afterwards. Auto-targeting works much better here, but the camera is still a bit wonky. What has me most annoyed are the minigames, I simply did not enjoy the races, giant clank, or dealing with the thug fleets at all. This has the worst plot of bunch as well, with the least compelling cast of characters, humor that falls completely flat, and an anti-climatic ending.
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Além de refinar e tornar mais interessante o gameplay construído no primeiro jogo da série, algo que me chamou atenção em Going Commando é o equilíbrio do seu ritmo.

A cada duas ou três fases, o jogo te apresenta algo diferente, ou te permite comprar uma arma que muda completamente a forma como você aborda alguns inimigos, ou te dá uma ferramenta que adiciona um novo tipo de puzzle, etc. A sensação é de ter jogado uns três jogos em um.

De ponto fraco, só o enredo pouco desenvolvido e as missões com o Clank gigante.
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gabrielctps 2022-03-24T09:28:58Z
2022-03-24T09:28:58Z
4.5
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Ratchet & Clank's sequel lost much of the rough verve from the original. Wielding a much more ideal, conventional heroic attitude this time. However, its weapon upgrade mini-mechanic pointed towards a much more exciting aspect of the series' future.
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Blah_Blee 2021-06-30T16:13:24Z
2021-06-30T16:13:24Z
6 /10
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It’s funny to me how Going Commando was a controversial title for this game. The phrase “going commando” just seems so silly to me. It’s only known as “Going Commando” in North America, so do I just have more jaded, American sensibilities? The guy who decided to title the Ratchet & Clank sequel with a double entendre deserved a promotion. It was a perfect way to market the game, showing confidence in a sequel to a great platformer. It’s a shame that everywhere else in the world censored the title and went with the lamer title, “Locked and Loaded” in which the use of alliteration doesn’t even titillate me. As it turns out, the second Ratchet & Clank game didn’t need a raunchy title to bolster its own confidence. It wasn’t just a sequel, it was Ratchet & Clank 2.0. It was an improvement in every single aspect that it practically renders the first game obsolete. Alright, that may be a bit of a stretch, but the vast improvements Going Commando made to the previous game cannot be understated. If the prime strength of the Ratchet & Clank franchise is an evolution of the foundation made in the first game, Going Commando is the biggest leap in this regard.

As I discussed in my review of the first game, the Ratchet & Clank franchise has always followed a specific formula that gives it a concrete identity. The games are 3D platformers that have a heavy emphasis on shooting gameplay with a myriad of creative weapons. The presentation is charming and takes place in a comical, cartoony, futuristic universe that implements biting commentary about capitalism and the foibles of modern society through a futuristic lens. All of these features are present in the first game, but are elevated and refined to a much greater degree of quality. The story of Going Commando takes place a few months after the events of the first game. Ratchet & Clank have been enjoying the perks of being a galactic hero and have been basking in the limelight. Months later, they are bored and itching for action. They are then teleported to a far off galaxy and assigned a mission by a Mr. Abercrombie Fizzwidget, the CEO of Megacorp and a kooky old man who talks like a kid who obviously broke out a thesaurus for a book report and doesn’t understand any of the words. Ratchet has to retrieve a stolen Megacorp project and Clank rents a space in the galaxy to get pampered.

The tutorial mission in this game is Ratchet intercepting the thief’s fleet. Immediately, you will see and feel the improvements this game made from the first game. The first thing that you’ll probably notice is that Ratchet is decked out with armor and a visor. Insomniac did away with the typical 3D platformer health system of the first game and implemented a health system that fit more with the shooting intensive gameplay. You start with four bars of health made up of a single block. Once you collect more bolts by defeating enemies, your health increases in a bolt of energy by one bar like gaining EXP in an RPG. The damage that Ratchet can take ranges from depleting one bar of health to several blocks depending on what he gets hit by. This system is much more aligned with how you take damage in a shooting game rather than a platformer. There are also armor upgrades you can purchase (for a lot of bolts) when the game gets harder and every hit takes off a third of Ratchet’s health. You’ll also notice in the tutorial level that the controls have been heavily refined. Ratchet moves a lot more smoothly and his jumps are much more precise. The added feature of strafing is a god-send as it makes combat tens times easier than in the first game. Insomniac finally realized that to fully implement the creative weapons to the best of their utility, Ratchet & Clank would have to play more like a shooter, and thank the lord that it does. The game also stops once you are selecting a weapon as well which is a gigantic advantage over panicking while making a selection because you’re being shot at. It always felt like such a relief playing Going Commando immediately after the first one. It feels like getting your car washed and or waxed and realizing you had a sweet ride all along.

New RPG-esque elements also seep into other aspects of Going Commando. You might notice that when you use one of the weapons for a little while that a small orange bar increases in length underneath the selected weapon in the weapon wheel. Once the bar is nearly full, a cutscene occurs where the weapon experiences the same burst of energy you get when your health increases. This means that the weapon has been upgraded to be either a stronger version of what you were already using or something completely different. Most of the time, it’s just a stronger version of the same weapon.
The upgradable weapon system in this game apparently also shows that if Insomniac ever implements a new idea or feature to the franchise, it’s going to take another entry to perfect that new idea. I love a lot of the different weapons in this game. They function a lot like the weapons from the first game; a ton of creative weapons that have their own special uses in combat. The Lancer is a long-range automatic weapon like the Blaster and the Gravity Bomb is a short range explosive weapon like the Bomb Glove. There are also unfamiliar weapons like the Blitz Gun which acts like a shotgun and the Lava Gun that spurts, well, lava at enemies at a relatively close range. There’s also the Spiderbot Glove that I love ironically because I think it’s adorable (and utterly useless). The Morph-O-Ray is also back in a sheep variant and I can actually use it this time around because of the strafing feature. The juggernaut weapon in this game is easily the Bouncer, a cluster bomb launcher that can either take out mobs of enemies or a single tank with one bomb. Why even bother with the RYNO when this weapon costs a tenth of the price and you can get it as early as the middle of the game? The Plasma Storm is also an effective alternative for the Bouncer when you are low on ammo.

At the end of the game, all I ever used were these two weapons. Not because they were necessarily my favorites, but because none of the other weapons made a dent in any of the enemies later in the game. My biggest gripe about Going Commando is that none of the weapons you use earlier in the game are useful by the end of it, even the upgraded versions. In any shooting game, I like to use a variety of weapons to get the most out of the game. Every Ratchet & Clank offers a large variety of weapons that are useful in unique ways, but the new upgrading system makes some weapons barely usable by the end of the game. An entire load of Mini-Nuke ammo could take out maybe one enemy on one of the final planets. The Vaporizer, a high-powered sniper rifle (of questionable scope considering you can almost use it as a shotgun too) could barely destroy a tank on the final planet. It’s an unfortunate hiccup with the new weapon upgrading system. You can also purchase weapons from the first game as a nostalgic lark, but these weapons don’t even upgrade, so don’t even bother with them. I can use the Walloper exactly as I did in the first game, but one thing I don’t remember is the Walloper being a useless piece of junk. The only exception is the RYNO which doesn’t upgrade, but you obviously don’t need it to. I’d put this in my array of useful weapons, but it costs over a million bolts. This is also in conjunction with another weapon called the Zodiac that costs even more than the RYNO.

I can say for certainty that the weapon system in this game is faulty, but that hiccup might actually not be unintentional. If the developers wanted you to experience all of the weapons, they wouldn’t have made them so damn expensive. In fact, it seems like whoever at Insomniac created the Spyro character Moneybags just decided to make the entire Bogon Galaxy Moneybags. Most of the areas in Going Commando are ritzy, gentrified metropolises. Megapolis on Endako is a bustling metropolis that is made of silver with skyscrapers so tall that they enclose everything. Canal City on Notak is what I imagine Milan is going to look like over the next century. Silver City is so busy that it has you dodging traffic. Even a hostile place like Snivelak looks like it has its own septic system and each Thugs-4-Less member has a 401k. For Ratchet and Clank, Bogon Galaxy is like a tour of New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, and every other ridiculously expensive city in the world. There are several fees that block progress in the game which even frustrate Ratchet. Some of these economical donations, but some of them require you to be a excessively charitable What the fuck does a mutated crab living on a cargo planet need with 40,000 bolts? Just because you’re the only one in your species that can articulate themselves and you wear a bowtie and tophat does not mean I feel THAT sorry for you. He probably took my bolts to go do some space-age crank of some robot stripper’s metalliac ass crack. Keep in mind that you also have to spend a lot of money on weapons and armor as well. You’ll never get a chance to be frugal in this galaxy.

Despite the more opulent foreground of the Bogon Galaxy, it’s designed exactly the same as Solana. Each area has two or three branching paths with different objectives. Some of these paths will unlock the next world, some will grant you a new gadget or weapon, and some are miscellaneous objectives. I guess they figured that if the level design wasn’t broken, there was no need to fix it. The difference is that Going Commando has so much more to offer besides routes that further the plot. All of the alternate gameplay modes that deviate from platforming are drastically improved on from the first game. The economic prosperity of the Bogon Galaxy obviously gives way to better diversifying the gameplay, or at least that’s what I’ll go with. I’m glad Insomniac decided that hoverboarding was lame and decided that tweaking it would result in nothing good, so they replaced it with hoverbike racing. Unlike the racing segments from the first game, the hoverbike races in Going Commando are consistently speedy without any awkward slow-downs, the boosts actually make a difference in speed, and the weapons are guaranteed to work. They feel a little like the races from the Star Wars pod racing game on the PS1. Besides putting more enemies in a single space, Going Commando also highlights the more combat intensive gameplay in the foreground of a futuristic gladiator arena. The gladiator arenas are in the scope of a popular televised game show in which competitors can win grand prizes for battling waves of robots with chainsaw arms and beefy aliens with morning stars. Needless to say, the guys who run this TV show never hand out many prizes, but you are a spunky space cat with a lot of useful toys. From the fair challenges to the fun, varied boss battles, the gladiator arenas are a very welcome addition to the franchise. On the more desolate planets, you scrounge the area for crystals to give to this space-age hippie fucker for money. If I had to guess what he’s doing with these crystals, I’d say he’s probably smoking them. Finding all of them can be a tedious affair, but it’s the most reliable source of extra income in this game without repeating levels to grind. The sand planet is manageable, but the snowy planet is another story. Let’s just say it’s like Wampa mating season on Hoth and you’ve just interrupted it. Run for your life. There are two different flight gadgets, one lets you glide and the other lets you levitate upwards. The glider is about as easy to control as an actual paraglider and the levitation gadget will result in many close calls and missteps. They can be kind of challenging, but they always feel exhilarating.

There are also a few familiar features that make it into Going Commando. I can’t really declare if the returning features are improved upon as a whole because each of them vary in quality. There are only two parts where you get to play as Clank and both of them are pretty brief. It’s not enough Clank for my liking. Giant Clank gets a little more limelight here and he’s gone full kaiju. Each Giant Clank section is a boss battle that plays out like a typical monster movie. You fight another hulking giant and a giant spaceship, destroying a whole city in the process for extra health and ammo. I wonder what they call Giant Clank in Japan? The gravity boots platforming sections are much better as they don’t force you to use only the wrench. Infiltration puzzles are back, but they are less puzzle based and act more like mini-games. The Electrolyzer mini-games are nice and quick, but I swear that the Infiltrator puzzles are RNG based. The water platforming gimmick has shifted from displacing bodies of water to freezing them with the Therminator (I can’t decide whether this reference is lame or awesome). It’s a fine platforming mechanic, but it doesn’t make sense when it causes the platforms floating over the water to freeze. If you were a big fan of the grind rail sections from the first game, you are in luck. The grind rail sections are long enough where they count as whole objectives. The same goes for the ship sections, but the added length here is not a plus. Most of the space objectives are dog fights and Ratchet’s ship never feels readily equipped to take on hordes of enemy ships. They’re not difficult, but they tend to be a bit tedious.

As I consider all of the elements that make up the distant land of the Bogon Galaxy, I can’t help but make comparisons to our 21th century Earth. The hoverbike races and the gladiator TV shows could be parallels to the extreme sports craze of the early 2000s. The sumptuous planets may reflect a burgeoning 21st century stamped with progress. Do you want to know what I remember about the early 21st century? Burgeoning technology, yes, but also wide global panic. 9/11, the Anthrax scare, the DC Sniper, that “global terror” alert, etc. If the first game is about one diabolical person taking advantage of a capitalistic society, Going Commando is about a capitalistic society imploding in on itself, reflecting the early 2000s global panic or maybe it IS about a single person exploiting capitalism…

After the tutorial mission, the thief takes off with “the experiment” and then makes several threats to Ratchet to stop pursuing them, even killing Clank as a threat. Don’t worry, Ratchet brings him back easily enough, but it’s still a dick move on the thief’s part. The thief also sics a shady bounty hunter group called Thugs-4-Less run by a big, intimidating reptilian man who talks like he’s from Brooklyn. These guys are continuously on your tail for most of the game while you chase down the thief. Once you defeat the Thief, you take “the experiment”, a shaggy, fuzzy little creature back to Fizzwidget who then tries to abandon you to die in a hostile desert. Ratchet shrugs it off and thinks that Fizzwidget’s brain has smoothed over due to old age, but there is something fishy going on. The persistent thief tracks you down on the desert planet and accidentally reveals themselves as Angela Cross, an ex-MegaCorp employee who was trying to take back the experiment to make improvements on it. (By the way, is the shocking twist here that the thief is a woman? She certainly presents herself as a man and she totally cloakes her voice, so I guess there is still a glass ceiling in the distant future. I’m surprised Ratchet wasn’t shocked to see another lombax. Isn’t Ratchet one of the only few left?) You go to places where the experiment is being tested on to find out that the experiment is a malevolent, blood-thirsty creature capable of eating people. It turns out Angela was right and this is very distressing news but in attempting to warn Fizzwidget, he hires Thugs-4-Less to track you down and they throw you in prison. Once you break out, you save Angela on the Thugs-4-Less’s home planet which is arguably the hardest planet in the game which you fight the most unorthodox boss in the game. Once you free Angela, it’s too late as Gremlins in space has begun and the protopets are terrorizing the citizens of Bogon Galaxy and everything is in a state of pandemonium. You infiltrate the Protopet headquarters with Angela (with the best, most foreboding final level music in the game) and discover another shocking twist.

Remember that assclown Qwark from the first game? Well, he’s fallen on hard times since you defeated him in the last game. He’s more washed up than David Hasselhoff when he ate a cheeseburger off of the floor. It turns out that the senile Abercrombie Fizzwidget you’ve been doing jobs for is Qwark wearing his skin like Buffalo Bill (which hilariously explains his nonsensical vocabulary). I thought this twist was mind-blowing when I was a kid, but the constant foreshadowing in the VH1-esque “Behind the Hero” cutscenes kinda ruins the surprise due to a lack of subtlety. I think it would have been much funnier to have Qwark come out of nowhere. Quark purposely let the Protopet run amok to save everyone from what he caused to make him seem like a hero. It’s terribly pathetic, but in a way, it’s brilliant. You see, Megacorp is not just the Gadgetron of the Bogon Galaxy. I got the impression from the first game that Gadgetron was just a popular weapons/gadgets corporation in Solana Galaxy. On the planet Barlow, there are the ruins of a Gadgetron facility where you buy weapons from the first game, meaning that Gadgetron used to be active here, but got blown to the wayside by MegaCorp. With all of the cutscenes detailing MegaCorp products for anything, it shows that MegaCorp has an absolute monopoly on every commodity in the galaxy. Producing something as faulty and dangerous as the Protopet under a MegaCorp license would be catastrophic considering there is nowhere else to turn to for a similar product and the MegaCorp is synonymous with quality considering how lavish the Bogon Galaxy is. Am I giving Qwark too much credit as a futuristic Marxist exploiting the faults of capitalism? Probably, considering after he reveals himself he enlarges a Protopet on accident and gets eaten by it.

As good as the twist is, the entertaining story of Going Commando is almost ruined by an underwhelming final boss and an anticlimactic ending. In order to fix the protopet epidemic, the Giant Protopet is the final boss. It seems a little underwhelming compared to the diabolical yuppie that was Drek and his multiple phase fight, and that’s because it is. For some reason, I was intimidated by the Giant Protopet when I was a kid that I grinded for hours to get the RYNO. Of course, the RYNO made short work of it, but I didn’t need it. The Giant Protopet has one phase and it can be easily beaten with most of the upgraded Bouncer’s ammo along with the enemies that aid it during the fight. After that, it is revealed that Angela’s gadget to domesticate the protopets works and the batteries were in backwards. Ha. Whoops. The real Fizzwidget is revealed and fixes everything, Ratchet and Clank go back to Clank’s apartment with Angela and that girl robot that follows Clank around and (probably) get laid, and MegaCorp rips Qwark’s dick off. No seriously, as punishment for impersonating their CEO, MegaCorp rips his dick off. As ritzy as Bogon seems to be, this sure is a barbaric punishment.

The first Ratchet & Clank was a solid 3D platformer with a heavy emphasis on shooting, but it needed to be improved upon to buff out the scratches. Fortunately, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando does this with great stride by making a bigger, fine-tuned, more bourgeois experience. So many of the old mechanics are drastically improved upon and the new ones prove their worth. The story is a more interesting take on a humorous, satirical stab at the commodities of society that the franchise is known for. This is If Gadgetron is the first game, then MegaCorp is Going Commando, bulldozing away what came before and erecting a superior product.
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T19:47:35Z
2017-07-21T19:47:35Z
9.5
5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
The opening "press start" screen is also how I was affirmed that the Ratchet, Jak, and Sly franchises were interconnected. It gave me great joy as a kid.
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Just before the franchise really started getting good, and when it would dip its toes into the direction that would take it there, Going Commando, for whatever reason, feels a bit ho-hum. Not for lack of trying as it has everything going for it on paper, but I sleepwalked through the entire thing and never formed more of an opinion than 'meh'. Maybe everything just felt too dry, gameplay and presentation.
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Lowlander2 2017-08-17T23:48:50Z
2017-08-17T23:48:50Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Catalog

kikiMaxx Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-02-19T16:07:19Z
2024-02-19T16:07:19Z
8.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Joe_Kloos Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-02-10T22:15:53Z
2024-02-10T22:15:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Zuncheone Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-02-10T17:39:36Z
2024-02-10T17:39:36Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kluwenblauw Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-02-05T12:54:53Z
2024-02-05T12:54:53Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TK56789 Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-02-03T02:28:03Z
2024-02-03T02:28:03Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zLeSshuhn Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-02-03T01:44:32Z
2024-02-03T01:44:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gameboyuh Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-01-26T20:54:40Z
2024-01-26T20:54:40Z
9.5 /10
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Permian Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-01-24T16:35:27Z
2024-01-24T16:35:27Z
1.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Jiggleslinky Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-01-24T05:22:33Z
2024-01-24T05:22:33Z
4.5
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
walrys11 Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-01-22T04:42:41Z
2024-01-22T04:42:41Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
playitfucknloud Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-01-21T00:10:52Z
2024-01-21T00:10:52Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CrossbonesGT Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando 2024-01-18T01:23:58Z
2024-01-18T01:23:58Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: T
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x DVD
Franchises
Also known as
  • Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded
  • Ratchet & Clank 2: Totalmente a tope
  • ラチェット&クランク2 ガガガ!銀河のコマンドーっす
  • View all [3] Hide

Comments

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  • Any spoilers should be placed in spoiler tags as such: [spoiler](spoiler goes here)[/spoiler]
Note: Unlike reviews, comments are considered temporary and may be deleted/purged without notice.
  • Previous comments (13) Loading...
  • 80C 2023-01-22 01:26:24.368931+00
    The edging in weaponry is an interesting debate. Maybe it all stared with Wolfenstein, as many argue; other say that it was because of Jazz Jackrabbit and similar fur-oriented shooters. IMHO, Sony was burglarizing Banjo-Kazooie and Conker's legacy in the age of Grand Theft Auto 3. Fortunately enough, this game did not feature "Spiral Mountain" to be sung upon as in the older days of fur-induced disgusting furrydom plus guns. By the way, Clank is basically a nerd Kazooie.
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  • AlexTheBritish 2023-09-08 21:28:27.117125+00
    Completely agree with TheSaltman. Also in the first game all the weapons stayed useful for the duration of the game whereas in this one early game weapons become useless once you reach late game
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  • SynnGD 2023-09-09 22:10:10.521154+00
    first game wipes this tbh
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  • Drawdler 2023-10-25 11:23:35.935706+00
    Agree with TheSaltman but still prefer this to the 3rd game
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  • omo_ree 2023-12-15 17:01:26.966933+00
    sex
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  • gameboyuh 2024-01-27 21:07:59.574111+00
    the CBT cutscene at the end is just peak
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  • Ysbryd 2024-01-31 15:01:21.958607+00
    Some extremely frustrating sections caused by floaty controls (mainly some of the glider and space battle sections), as well as suffering a bit from a bad camera, but overall the game is amazing and aged mostly well. Great stuff
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