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Review: Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time PS Vita

By Damian Seeto, Mon 25 Mar 2013
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The Sly Cooper franchise started back in the PS2 era and spawned itself a trilogy of popular games for that system.

The last main entry game for the franchise was released back in 2005 and the world never saw Sly Cooper since then.

Apart from the HD trilogy remake that surfaced on the PS3 a few years ago, no new game starring the crafty raccoon had been made. Thankfully, fans can now rejoice as the fourth game in the franchise is here with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time.

Not only is Sly Cooper making his first official HD debut, he will also be gracing on more than one console as well. This is because Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is not only available for the PS3, but will also grace the PS Vita too.

When it comes to other platforming games, you can say that the gameplay can become repetitive since it’s either a series of jumping puzzles or you’re just beating up a bunch of bad guys all of the time.

As much as I like the Ratchet & Clank series, sometimes I get bored of the gameplay as you’re just blasting bad guys with lots of weapons all of the time.

Sly Cooper games are a different type of platform game as you play as a group of thieves and stealth is the key element of gameplay here. If you have not heard of the Sly Cooper games before, they’re like the Ocean’s Eleven movies only that the main group only consists of three members and all of them are animals.

Sly Cooper is the leader of the group and his missions usually consist of stealth and being quiet as possible. Murray is a huge pink coloured hippo and is the muscle of the gang.

He usually beats up a bunch of bad guts using his belly flop and other pro-wrestling type moves. Lastly there is Bentley who is a turtle that is on a wheelchair.

You could say he’s the “nerd” of the group since he can control a lot of nifty gadgets such as robots and can hack security systems and stuff.

His missions are pretty fun too as you will control remote controlled cars, even use tracking darts to find specific enemies and more. There are several missions in the game that are just fun to both play and watch as well.

One of the highlights includes Murray dressing up as a Geisha to woo the guards. Sly’s girlfriend Carmelita will have to woo guards later on in the game too as she dresses up as a belly dancer.

The premise of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is pretty interesting because Sly and the Gang have to travel back in time to restore the “Cooper” family name because the evil Le Paradox is jealous that the Coopers became renowned as famous thieves instead of his family.

In order for him to rewrite history to his own liking, he travels back in time to erase the Cooper family’s reputation. Sly will have to travel to different places in different time periods to meet up and help his ancestors who have all been imprisoned by Le Pardox and his associates.

The story is engaging throughout and is told via entertaining cartoon cutscenes. As aforementioned, you will be able to control more than just Sly Cooper in this game.

Not only is Sly joined by his two best friends, but his on/off again girlfriend Carmelita is also playable in this game too. The best part about this game is that one of Sly’s ancestors is playable in each new level/time period you visit and they have special abilities of their own too.

There’s western level where Sly meets up with his cowboy ancestor named Tennessee Kid. He has a cool pistol where he can shoot enemies and even a quickshot ability where he can shoot and multiple targets in a matter of a few seconds.

Another ancestor that Sly will meet is when the gang is stranded during the Ice Age. He’s a caveman/raccoon named Bob. One of my favourite missions in the game is when Bob needs to train with Murray to become fit and strong before Le Pardox appeared.

This mission plays out like a “Rocky” montage where you will have to train by doing a series of mini-games. In total, the game has nine playable characters all with special techniques to keep the game fresh and exciting.

The PS Vita is able to dish out graphics that rival that of the PS3. This is evident with many titles such released for the system this far including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048 and others.

Now Sly Cooper: Thieves of Time does not have horrible graphics, but they aren’t to the level I’ve seen from other games available on the system.

The graphics are nice and bright, but they kind of look similar to the PS2 Sly Cooper video games. If you’ve played the PS2 versions of Sly Cooper, you won’t find many differences in the visual department in Thieves of Time.

One of the most annoying features of the entire game is the annoying patterns that the boss battles have. Most of the time, you will be able to figure out the pattern of the boss easily and dodge their attacks.

You can achieve this in Thieves in Time, but there are many attacks that are sometimes unavoidable which depletes your life bar by at least a third.

One of the boss battles took 20 minutes for me to complete because I could never avoid one of his tornado attacks. On another boss, I had to slide on a beam while avoiding the electricity that was running through them.

The boss battles are doable, but they’re likely to frustrate some gamers. Oddly enough, the final boss battle was the easiest in the game, but I don’t want to spoil it for you here…

If you are a fan of the previous Sly Copper video games, you won’t be disappointed with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. It is faithful to the original titles and the level design is unique since the missions are varied and fun to play too.

Not to mention there are nine playable characters in the game so you’ll never get bored with being the same person all of the time.

Personally, I felt the graphics could have looked better and the boss battles were a pain to get through.

Other than that, platform and Sly Coopers fans alike are sure to enjoy Sly’s latest outing.

Graphics: 7.5Gameplay: 8.5Sound: 8.0Lasting appeal: 8.0

Overall: 8.5

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