The Sly Collection Review
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions, Sanzaru Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
North American Release Date: November 9th, 2010
European Release Date: December 3rd, 2010
The Sly Collection features three best selling games from Sucker Punch remastered in HD. The series started in 2002 and was released for the Playstation 2. These games feature the dynamic group of Sly Cooper, the thief, Bentley, the brain and Murray, the brawn. These three conduct elaborate schemes to pull off heists against some of the biggest crime lords.
The Sly series is all about stealth, given that Sly Cooper is a world-renowned thief. This means you will need to sneak past many items of security. These usually have lights to show their viewing range. The levels and the games themselves are built around the stealth, so there may be multiple ways to defeat a guard if you're creative. Sly Cooper does stealth well, but it'd be terrible if this was the only thing the games do.
Platforming is another major mechanic used in these games. Like most third-person adventure games, you will need to jump from place to place. Unlike most games though you will need to jump and press another button to actually land on a thin object (wires, poles, etc.). Forgetting to press the button will cause some frustration though, so I'm not sure that was the best way to go about doing this.
Sly 2 and 3 focused partially on vehicular or machine combat. In Sly 3 you actually have to take part in a dog-fight, meaning you get to drive a bi-plane. I found this was on of the more fun moments in these games combined. That being said you have to repeat things in levels a lot. You could tell the formula for levels in Sly 2, first you need to take recon photos, do various jobs to make the heist a breeze and finally; Operation: ____. You need to repeat this process quite a few times.
If Sly 1 had things like this I would have found it a lot more enjoyable. What it is is a rather boring experience.
Sly 1 doesn't do much to surprise us. It's a standard game where you sneak past security, jump around levels and hit guards. It's a linear experience with mini-overworlds if you will that allows you to go to each level in the section. This is changed in Sly 2, you are open to roam the various cities and collect bottles around them. This is a lot better than collecting them during the various levels.
In Sly 1 you only played as Sly Cooper. In Sly 2 and 3, it's focussed more on the entire gang so Bentley and Murray are playable with their own unique jobs and abilities. It's nice that not all levels are stealth oriented when playing as Murray or Bentley since they don't have Sly's thief abilities.
Sly 1 and 2 are all about collecting things as the main plot. Sly 1 has Sly trying to acquire each page of the Thievius Raccoonus that his ancestors wrote. It's filled with thief techniques and abilities. In each level of Sly 1 were green clue bottles, which you could collect and ultimately get the combination for a vault. These vaults contain moves and upgrades. You would also gain abilities from collecting the pages of the Thievius Racconus and each one was actually used quite frequently, as a lot of other games contain abilities that are rarely used it was nice to see.
Sly 2 focused on collecting Clockwerk parts, to prevent the evil Clockwerk from being reconstructed. Also much like the first there are clue bottles, but they are instead scattered around each city. They also allow you to open a vault and unlock upgrades. It's much harder in Sly 2 though since you are free to roam the cities and the bottles are scattered all over. You can buy abilities and upgrades with coins collected throughout the game in both Sly 2 and 3.
Sly 3 had something really unique in it that I struggle to see whether it should've been added or not. For one section the gang controls their own pirate ship, and can use cannons to take down others and earn coins. Controlling the ship was difficult, as in turning it. When you defeat a ship, you can either jump on and kill the captain or just sink it entirely, but it was very difficult at times to get the boat lined up enough to be able to jump onto the other ship.
These battles can get pretty intense, but also very frustrating when you are getting hit from ships behind you and you can't turn fast enough.
The Sly games have pretty generic enemies, in each place you will be fighting 2 or 3 different ones and it can get boring, especially in the first. That being said the bosses in each game are each quite unique and fun, and a great example being well, pretty much every boss in Sly 3. It ranges from dog-fighting and brawling with a boss, to protecting your ship from a giant kraken.
Additionally, there are mini-games for the Playstation Move, some of which are unlocked by playing each of the original games. These games are things like target shooting, controlling a helicopter and more. You won't spend much time with these unless you have a kid that loves to play them and want a second player to tag along and compete with them.
The graphics and textures in the Sly series are cartoony (cel-shaded), with outlines on everything. It works quite well with the sarcasm and overall feel of the games, just generally directed for younger kids and teenagers. Most of the time I despise cel-shading but it works in Sly.
I have no real problems with the collection in a technical aspect, a small complaint would be that way-points were sometimes on high buildings with only one or two ways to get up to which would cause some backtracking and frustration if you hadn't memorized the area (which I would hope most of you wouldn't).
Each game is quite easy, and is composed of just story-related trophies, some collecting (mainly in Sly 1) and buying things in Sly 2 and 3. There are 3 platinums and there are more than 100 trophies, so if you love trophies (which I would assume most if not all of us do) then I would recommend this collection to you.
The Sly Collection features three classic games that most people have played on the PS2. I thought the first was mediocre but the second and third (especially the third) make up for it. It's not the best collection and some may get tired of it after the second game, but if you like games like Ratchet and Clank you may like this collection as well.
There's nothing truly wrong with it, just not too creative in terms of combat (in Sly 1, which drags the score down a little). The thief abilities however made platforming quite fun when you remember to press the correct buttons.
The stories aren't the strongest but some sections in Sly 2 and 3 are very fun to play.
Like the gameplay, there's nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing extraordinary either. The cartoon graphics work and everything else is done alright.