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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Sanzaru Games/Sucker Punch
Genre: Platformer
Players: 1-4
Rated: E10+ (Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief)
Release Date: November 9, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

December 11, 2010 - The PlayStation 2 gave birth to some of the greatest video game series ever, whether we’re talking about Ratchet & Clank, God of War or ICO/Shadow of the Colossus; just to name a few. Another series that was created during that era was Sly Cooper, which was the pride and joy of developer Sucker Punch. During a time where everyone was enjoying the platforming adventures of Mario and Crash Bandicoot, Sony Computer Entertainment and Sucker Punch decided create their own platforming masterpiece which can and would appeal to people of all ages. Spawning three titles, Sly Cooper and his band of friends conquered millions of hearts and continue to do so five years later.

The Sly Collection is a product of developer Sanzaru Games perfecting what was already a great product. While developer Sucker Punch is hard at work on Infamous 2 and other mysterious projects, Sony enlisted Sanzaru Games in order to put this collection together. In a similar fashion to the God of War Collection, The Sly Collection features all three Sly Cooper titles [Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves and Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves] from the days of the PS2 console. Besides the visuals being touched upon to ensure the HD conversion of the title is perfect, this collection also includes stereoscopic 3D support for all three titles and several mini-games that support the PlayStation Move control scheme. All this content for the low price of $39.99 is a deal you simply can’t pass upon.

As mentioned before, The Sly Collection features all three Sly Cooper titles from the PS2 days. The first one is ‘Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus’. In the first adventure for Sly Cooper, Sly has his birthright the Thievius Raccoonus, a book full of thieving master skills passed down through the Cooper family, stolen by a gang known as the Fiendish Five. In order to combat this evil threat and reclaim the Thievius Raccoonus, Sly enlists the help of Bentley and Murray to aid him in his quest. Sly is a nimble and charismatic raccoon that handles all the dirty work, Bentley is an educated and talented turtle that operates as the brains of the operation and Murray is the muscle.

The second installment in the Sly Cooper series is ‘Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves’ and continues from where the first title left off. After toppling Clockwerk, the leader of the Fiendish Five, Sly Bentley and Murray have a new threat upon themselves. It seems that the Klaww Gang took parks from the fallen Clockwerk for themselves. While it seems quite odd, the reason behind this is because these parts are known to grant the user unnatural powers. The band of merry man wanting to end these dastardly evil doings set their sights on the Klaww Gang and destroying the Clockwerk parts once and for all.

Rapping up the trilogy, ‘Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves’ is one of the grandest efforts by developer Sucker Punch. Not trying to ruin anything, I’m omitting the storyline for the third installment. What I will say though is that Sly’s gang will grow beyond the normal three due to a failed attempt at trying to break into a mysterious vault known as the Cooper Vault, which is filled with the masses of wealth passed down through the Cooper family. The man behind foiling Sly’s attempt at getting into the vault is the mysterious Dr. M. In order to take down Dr. M, Sly and his friends travel the globe in search of new friends and alliances to help them along the way.

Being a raccoon of adventure, Sly Cooper has to be on his toes when it comes to the unknown. Our main man uses many different tactics in order to reach and achieve his goal. One of Sly’s greatest gameplay mechanics is the use of stealth. There are moments and there are missions where or protagonist must move around within the environment without being discovered. When not sneaking around or in the middle of a fight, platforming is your best friend. You will find yourself climbing poles, sneaking around ledges, traversing suspended ropes, swinging on hooks and so much more. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Sky Cooper gave birth to infamous. If you look closely at how Sly moves around the world, you can clearly see signs of Cole McGrath.

From a visual standpoint, The Sly Collection holds up quite well as the Sly Cooper titles make their transition from the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 3 console. To tell you the truth, developer Sanzaru Games didn’t have to do much to the Sly Cooper games as the cell-shaded presentation was very solid when the titles were first released. However, through their High Definition upgrade, the visuals are richer and the colors or more vibrant. The visual upgrade also helps to improve the visual presentation of the overall experience. From character models, to the special effects and the environments, everything about the experience all the more better. Just like with the God of War Collection, some cutscenes within The Sly Collection [Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus] didn’t receive the HD treatment, so they are a bit off-putting in comparison to the rest of the experience.

For those with 3D enabled televisions, you will be happy to know that this title supports stereoscopic 3D, which makes for a richer experience. I have to say that playing the game in 3D is definitely a treat everyone should enjoy. Everything about the game is more vibrant and lively in the third dimension. In regards to the musical score, each installment of The Sly Collection provides a rich experience. Whether being stealth-like in certain moments to an all out action sequence, the music gets you intertwined with the experience. The voice-over work is solid and cheesy at the same time. Each voiceover actor pulled off the lines effortlessly with the standout performance obviously coming from Sly Cooper himself.

Having all three Sly Cooper titles on one blu-ray disc in HD and with stereoscopic 3D support is more than enough to make the experience well worth the money. However, to make the experience more fulfilling, developer Sanzaru Games included some minigames which players can enjoy with a Sixaxis/DualShock 3 controller, though the experience is preferred with the PlayStation Move controller. There are four minigames in total ranging from grabbing falling items, to light gun style shooters and a helicopter race. Not to break the experience within the collection, these minigames are also in HD and support stereoscopic 3D.

Whether you have or haven’t played the Sly Copper games, you owe it to yourself to pick up The Sly Collection for $39.99. This is one of those deals that trumps anything retailers can offer during the holiday season. Three full fledge titles offering more than 30 hours of combined gameplay, HD visuals, 3D support, PlayStation Move minigames and a chance to secure 3 platinum trophies is more than enough reason to rush to your local retailer to pick up your copy. Whether old, young or in between, The Sly Collection is something you will be playing for quite some time.


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