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The Sly Collection review
Exceptional
by bgsmith3

The Sly Collection contains the first three entries of the Sly Cooper series for Playstation. Sanzaru games acquired the property and was already making a sequel that would be released in 2013. So the team remastered the original trilogy and ported it over to PS3 in 2010. The games still retain their unique Sucker Punch design and artwork (which I can see in the inFamous series) but are touched up on and improved visually. Once again, so far as remasters go this one was done very well, though there were some buggy moments in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. The series centers on Sly Cooper, the descendant in a long line of ancestral thieves. The series follows Sly and his gang, consisting of his lifelong friends Bentley (the brains) and Murray (the brawn) and their adventures together stealing from other criminals and maintaining the Cooper family legacy. This series is one of the many gold standards on Playstation. Though aimed at kids, the Sly Cooper video games can be played and enjoyed by anyone who loves video games, has a knack for adventure/stealth games with versatile mechanics and diverse gameplay as well as fun episodic storylines.
 
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is the first entry in this franchise. It is very similar to arcade games and gives off that classic Playstation or just classic video game vibe. There’s no catches, there’s no gimmics, nothing complex, it’s just a video game. I was given this game as a Christmas gift when I was younger and I first thought that the game was just carelessly tossed into my life and I kind of looked at it with suspicion and doubt. In fact, I think someone offered for me to give it away if I didn’t like it or sell it. But I didn’t I stuck with it and popped it into my PS2 and boy was that a gamble I never regret making. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus introduces the titular character and his gang. Sly travels around the globe hunting down the Fiendish Five, a gang of thieves responsible for murdering his father and stealing his ancestral book of thieving secrets: the Thievius Raccoonus. Sly pursues these villains across the globe collecting the pages of the book and bringing his father’s murderers to justice. The game functions with one hit kill mechanics as well as stealth and adventure elements. The mission areas aren’t as fleshed out as they will ultimately become in the sequels, but are all unique with a plethora of missions to do to obtain keys that will unlock the boss battles (which usually take place in a lofty elevated area high above the mission area…which is kind of funny). While that repetition would probably be focused on in today’s gaming industry, I kind of liked it and ultimately the missions to acquire the keys are all different and challenging in their own ways. Music is incorporated in the game to tell you if you are stealthy or being abrasive in your tactics. Upon acquiring pages of the Thievius Raccoonus , Sly unlocks new abilities and gadgets to help aid him in his quest. Coins are used as collectibles (similar to the wumpa fruit in Crash Bandicoot or Precursor Orbs in the first Jak game) that unlock additional lives (since you too can be killed by one hit) or Lucky Charms that will enable you to fall or take damage for however many charms you have. As I said, some pretty traditional gameplay mechanics and concepts. Bentley and Murray have a handful of missions that you play through, but their roles improve as the series progresses. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is a classic in every sense of the word. Fun, engaging and an all around blast to play.

Rating: 4/5


Sly 2: Band of Thieves

“The sequel is always better than the first one”. That sentiment is usually thrown around in movies, but it also applies to video games as well. This game received critical acclaim from the gaming community and some consider it to be one of the greatest Playstation titles of all time. The game takes place two years after the events of first game. The Cooper nemesis, Clockwerk, was defeated at the hands of Sly in the previous game, but his remains were not capable of being destroyed. Sly and the gang discover that the Klaww Gang, an international criminal organization has stolen the Clockwerk parts and have repurposed them for their own lucrative and devious intentions. Sly and his friends must go on yet another globe trotting adventure from France, to India, to Prague and Canada to stop the Klaww gang steal the Clockwerk parts back and hopefully end the threat of Clockwerk before the old bird has a chance to possibly rise again. The game has dramatically opened up. The arcade elements of the game are gone. A healthbar is featured as well as a marketplace to buy gadgets and items to help in the field. The mission hub areas are more vibrant and large enough to explore and run around in just to have sheer fun. Bentley and Murray are more prominent in the game as playable characters who have missions and tasks to perform in the field. Bentley is armed with a sleep dart crossbow and bombs, seeing as how his size lack of strength can put him in a disadvantage in a fight. Murray is incredibly strong, capable of taking out enemies with two punches….it’s a shame that the developers realized that and dialed it back in Sly3. Both of these characters don’t have the acrobatics as Sly does but that helps balance the characters and gives an all around diverse gameplay experience. Pickpocketing is introduced. Digging around in an enemies pouch can result in a handful of coins or an item that can be sold for coin on ThiefNet at the safehouse. Bigger story, better gameplay, expanded areas and more content, this is what a sequel should do and be. The charm hasn’t been lost in this sequel and it has definitely stood the test of time.

Rating: 5/5

Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

 The final chapter of the Sly Trilogy. Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is good, but it doesn’t quite surpass its predecessor. Sly 3 is set one year after the events in Sly 2, the gang is fractured after the whole Clock-La incident. But Sly and Bentley set their sights n a new target: the ancestral Cooper Vault on Kaine Island. To gain access to the vault, Sly must assemble a bigger gang of thieves with unique sets of skills to get past the security and obtain his inheritance. Sly once again travels the world to enlist the aid of new and familiar faces to help him in this quest. The game is almost a skeletal import of Sly 2. The graphics are good, and the gameplay is pretty much the same. It’s still fun, but it doesn’t improve on what came before. Some of the new gang members present some much needed additions to the game, but they are only playable within the main story so they only serve as brief spurts of diversity to the usual monotony of things. There were 3-D sections in this game…..thankfully that crap died out and wasn’t featured in this remaster. There are some new gameplay additions, but as I’ve mentioned, none of the additions (gadgets and abilities) really make the game truly different. It’s just building on Sly 2. The story is pretty good and it goes to some absolutely absurd locations (a hermit pirate village in the Caribbean) but it’s still enjoyable and absolutely abandoned in the most exciting of ways. I did encounter a lot of lag and glitches in the “Dead Men Tell No Tales” episode, I was streaming the game on Playstation Now, but this had nothing to do with my internet connection. Sly 3 is a capable and competent ending to the Sly trilogy. It is a solid ending and kind of didn’t need any sequels or continuations. And considering how Sanzaru made a sequel and then apparently abandoned the franchise….I would have preferred this game to have been the last.

Rating: 4.5/5
«Time-tested»
«Sit back and relax»