on February 6, 2013
It has been 8 years since Sly 3's release on the PS2. There was a cliffhanger at the very end of the game, in the last cutscene; "... but I'm building a time machine to find out!" And then... Sucker Punch closed the doors of the Sly Cooper series, convincing everyone that there wouldn't be another game from the infamous thieving raccoon. But then... the doors were opened up again.
Sanzaru games, for those who don't know, remastered the original trilogy for the PS3, titled "The Sly Collection". (I recommend that one to all who have only played Thieves in Time.) They did a phenomenal job on remastering the trilogy in HD. When it was announced that Sly game was going to be entirely developed by Sanzaru, Sly fans, including myself, were a bit skeptical. The last PS2 icon that was developed by somebody else was bastardized. (Jak and Daxter; The Lost Frontier. EPIC FAIL.) But Sanzaru was releasing bits of gameplay footage and it eased everyone's minds that the Sly series may be in the right hands after all. I mean, it is better than no game at all, right? The wait is over, the game has been released, and now... the review!
GRAPHICS/ENVIRONMENT: Holy crap! These graphics are insane! Running at 60FPS, the game is crisp, colorful, and the environments are more detailed than ever before. Sly and the gang have all gotten re-designed from the ground up. Personally, I wasn't a huge fan of the "new" Sly Cooper design, but it has kind of grown on me. I really don't know what they could have done any differently. Regardless, it does look like the old Sly that we know and love, so you can't ask for much more than that. There are times, where the frame rate does drop, such as a boss battle where lots of visual things are going on. It isn't enough to affect the gameplay, but it is noticeable. Overall, it's an incredible makeover and a definite welcome one. Sanzaru has also dwelled into the story mode and pulled some cool easter eggs out of their hats. For instance, on the first mission in Japan, you can see Clockwerk (Villain from Sly 1) at one point sitting on the wall. He's actually moving around and doing stuff. It's really cool to see, especially if you understand his significance to the story. The music is done by the original composer from the original trilogy and he does wonders for this game. The music is extremely fitting and as Sly-like as ever. Kudos to the composer! The original voice actors are back, too! Well, at least for the Sly Cooper Gang. Carmelita, of course, has a different voice actor than before. She's had a different voice actor for all 4 games and I never understood why. Regardless, Sly, Bentley, and Murray all sound like they always have from Sly 2 onward and it really credits Sanzaru for tracking these guys down and going that extra mile for the fans. It really puts you back into the saddle of a Sly Cooper game well.
GAMEPLAY: The gameplay is solid, fluid, and very original and faithful to the series. The controls are all original, with a few exceptions here and there, such as Murray's "Thunder Flop" now being X+Triangle. Nothing major whatsoever, just a simple observation. There are now clue bottles again! I am at 29/30 on the first chapter. I'm trying to find the last one using no game volume and my Turtle Beach Ear Force Foxtrots, but I think Sanzaru made it a little more challenging this time around by lowering the clue bottle volume because you can't hear the things until your about 6 feet away from them. Well played, Sanzaru. Other than Clue Bottles, you can also collect Sly Masks, which, when collecting enough, allows you to unlock stuff, such as Murray's "Seal Team Murray" outfit. Since I pre-ordered the game, I got the Seal Team Murray outfit with the two exclusive para-glider skins. You can also open the vaults once you get the clue bottles, just like you could in Sly 1 and 2. I haven't opened a vault yet, so I can't say what's inside. However, if it's anything like Sly 2, then you'll get some badass new moves that you can't buy on Thiefnet. Bentley's hacking minigames have drastically changed. The very first one on the prologue mission is what everyone is used to. However, Sanzaru went in totally different directions with this one. There is one that reminds me of the hacking tool used in the Ratchet and Clank series, where you have to guide a spark of electricity through a path and obstacles to it's destination. It's a cool addition and Sanzaru was definitely thinking outside of the box on that one. Murray's the same. Literally nothing has changed. However, now, any playable character can open the vault, at least on the first mission. The vault is in a totally open area and even if I'm playing as Bentley or Murray, I can still see their holographic logos by the vault handle. That tells me they can open the vault, too.
VERDICT: The game is solid and everything the fans want it to be. There's really nothing more to tell you. If you want a solid game for the PS3 that could possible be a staple in your collection, such as mine, then I would take a long hard look at this Sly Cooper title. However, if you want the full story, add "The Sly Collection" to YOUR collection. It is a really good story and there are some easter eggs that you may not understand unless you play through the first 3 games as well. At a $39.99 price point, you can't go wrong.
on February 5, 2013
Whereas games from the "Ratchet and Clank" universe make me feel as though I'm in the middle of a Pixar movie, "Thieves in Time" achieves an equally impressive feat: It makes me feel like I'm taking part in one of the hand-drawn afternoon cartoons of the 80s and 90s (which I would regularly watch after school, while nibbling on snacks). I love everything about the presentation in this game: the characters are adorable, the story is hilarious and absurd, and the cel-shaded approach has never looked finer. The time traveling plot and assortment of anthropomorhpic animals takes me back to the days of shows like "DuckTales".
There is, however, a complaint that I have with this game: I wish I had control of Sly Cooper for greater lengths of time (ALL the time would be even better). While Murray and Bentley are cool characters, and they make for an awesome family/team, I found that I began sighing every time one of their segments began loading. When Sly is in control, this platformer can attain a certain level of "zen" as you engage in your chains of stealthy feats- leap, perch, climb, balance, strike, repeat (and the controls are identical to the PS2 games, as far as I remember- they've aged wonderfully). However, when the other characters are in control, this becomes something of a clumsy, forced platformer that left me longing for Sly's stealthy, agile ways. That's just my humble opinion- others may enjoy the segments of Sly's friends and the attempts to instill gameplay diversity, but I was always anxious to return to the thieving raccoon. And in the defense of the developer, controlling Sly's friends has always been a part of the experience, even with the original "Thievius Raccoonus".
The inclusion of Vita functionality (Cross Buy) with this title makes it pretty enticing for any Sony gamer (especially at $40). I'm a fan of the PS2 Sly Coopers ("Thievius Racoonus" still being my favorite), and I have not been disappointed with "Thieves in Time" (and there are still TONS of collectibles in these worlds calling out to me), so I can wholeheartedly recommend it to those who are in the same boat. I'm not sure how gamers who are new to the series will receive it, but I would definitely suggest considering it, particularly if you enjoy cartoons and non-violent games, or if you're looking for something suitable for younger gamers.
on February 10, 2013
I just beat Sly 4 and thought it was fantastic, for Sanzaru's first Sly and taking up the torch after Sucker Punch they really made Sly better than ever before. Here are a few things.
Gameplay and controls
- Level design is superb, some of the very best platforming segments I have seen in years
- Sly plays just as comfortably and fluid as he did in Sly 2/Sly 3, there is a slightly weighted feel added to him due to the deeper physics and it goes nicely with the platforming and climbing mechanics.
- Bentley, Murray, and Carmelita feel very developed this time around, from their missions to their gameplay styles
- Sly's ancestor's are great additions to the game, not all of them play like Sly with new abilities but each ancestor that does has an ability that adds a new dimension to Sly's gameplay.
- Sly's new costumes having their own gameplay styles is one of the best things to happen in this game, not only do they change up Sly's play but they are surprisingly a blast to use.
- New upgradable moves with the returning upgrades make taking out enemies much more enjoyable and adds a lot of depth to the combat
- Bentley's hacking mini-games are a lot more fleshed out and impressive, but there is one controlled via motion controls (usually about 30 seconds long though) that was annoying.
- Missions offer lots of variety making the game never feel tedious like past Sly games, it's pacing is beautifully done
- Bosses being done in layered battles like the first Sly Cooper makes them some of the best in the series
- The game looks sharp and crisp running in 60fps
- Nice lighting and graphical effects with cel-shaded visuals really bring the game and character models to life
- Levels are vibrant and detailed, the open world levels especially look great
- I was very impressed with the story, quite a few twists and nice character development with the plot itself unfolding in a way that keeps you interested from start to finish.
- Le Paradox is a great villain along with his back-story
- The episodes each standout in their own ways due to the interesting bosses and Sly's ancestors were all nicely done
- Production values in this game are the highest level in the series, not only are there the classic animated scenes the games are known for but a lot of action-packed in-game scenes that add a lot to the game
- The game itself is quite lengthy, but there are a lot of collectibles like Clue Bottles and treasures that make the open worlds worth exploring
- There are a lot of unlockables, including a secret ending
Overall, I highly recommend getting the game and it's a steal being only $40 for all it packs. It's also a great entry point into the Sly series, if you are a new player you'll be able to experience the game with hardly any problems with how well it explains previous events and introduces all the character all over again. Sly Cooper: Thieves in time was seriously worth the wait and the best yet in the franchise
on February 16, 2013
A classic Sly game. We love this game. Our 8 yr old saved back Christmas money so he could buy it. He has beaten it (and is trying for all the items) and so have 2 others in our house. Great game with fun replay-ability. Our 5 yr old loves it too. Load times are a little longer than expected but they give you some cool fact/tip to read while you wait so it works just fine :)
on November 28, 2013
With this code you'll get both the PS3 and the PSVita game,which is priced $19.99
Even though I'll have a PSVita this deal worths it.
The gang has gone their separate ways and adapting to their peaceful lives. However, Bentley noticed that something was wrong. The Cooper Family's Thievius Raccoonus's pages were being erased and Penelope had gone missing! It was time to get the gang back together and solve the mystery by going back in time.
There are a few changes from the first 3 games:
1) Costumes - Sly has a new add-on to his game-play. In each of the worlds, Sly earns a new costume that is required in passing certain jobs, beating bosses and opening secret areas. But honestly, you will rarely use the outfits except in these instances.
2) Yes. The clue bottles are back! I didn't realize how much I miss the little annoying things until they were gone in Sly 3. So rejoice. Or grind your teeth in frustration. However, they are not the only collectibles you should be looking out for. There are treasures that are saved in your hideout, Cooper's masks to unlock extra change of outfits, and the usual PS3 trophies. Achieving 100% in each of these categories will benefit by giving you awesome prizes. Hit 'select' to see your progress in each time world.
3) Carmelita and Sly's ancestors are part of your team. Dimitri is the only person to return from Sly Cooper - Honor Among Thieves. But he only acts as a support character.
4) There is a slight improvement in the animation. The gameplay CG is much smoother and more detail oriented. Sly stands much taller, more proportionate, and has some nice muscles showing. Oh la la. The characters still attain their cartoonish appearance during the FMV. However, I kind of like the style of the FMV from older games. In 'Thieves in Time', the drawings (especially Sly and Carmelita) seem a little awkward. Overall, the graphics are still on point.
5) Bentley's computer hacks have been upgraded and 2 new ones added. All I can say is that the hacks are more user friendly and much easier to get through. But that doesn't mean it's any less frustrating. I still repeat a hack at least 2+ times.
6) The worlds are greatly expanded and just as equally confusing. Even with the help of a map, I tended to go round in circles. So, it's a pain when you are searching for bottles and treasure.
I have to say Sanzaru solo act with Sly Cooper was a success. They stuck to the original formula and it worked like magic this time around as well. There were some minor improvements without compromising any of the schematics that made the Sly Cooper games so popular and addictive. I'm happy to see that all the main characters are still voiced by their original actors. Carmelita's new voice is awesome. Pretty similar to the first voice actress's. The background music fits perfectly to each scenario but nothing memorable. The plot picked up where we were left off in the last game. The plot was interesting but as usual, gets repetitive. However, there was a little plot twist to bring a little drama to the game. The ending is actually pretty simple. I appreciate it but some players might find it a let down.
My one and only major complaint would be the camera controls. I remember in the previous game, the player was able to adjust the camera angles for everything (i.e. the helicopter controls, guns, and so on.) But this time around, there are no options to alter it. Even though the camera angle in general is the way you want it, when you are aiming with your bow and arrow or Kid Cooper's gun, it's inverted to the angle I wanted. So, I would have to manually go back and forth switching the camera options. Luckily, there aren't too many jobs that required aiming but when it does, it took me over 5+ tries to hit my intended target. Also, there seem to be longer load times that I didn't notice in the other games.
Most returning gamers can just jump right in without any problems. The basic controls haven't change. If you are new to the series, I highly recommend starting from game one. Why? Primarily, you will appreciate how far the game has come from the beginning to the latest installment. (If you play Sly 4, then play Sly 1, you will find Sly 1 very frustrating and be constantly comparing the two). Believe me, after playing the first and second game, you will love the evolution of the Sly Cooper games. However, you can still play 'Thieves in Time' without playing the first 3 games but there is a lot of back story that you would be missing. For those who haven't played a Sly Cooper game, you generally play as Sly Cooper. But depending on the situation, you switch between your gang members. In each episode, there is a boss to beat. To get to the big kahuna, you will be given jobs (i.e. bugging a room, stealing keys, taking photo evidence) to perform. Each job is like a puzzle where you have to figure out the best way to achieve your objective without getting killed or getting caught. All this hunting and gathering will help Bentley plan a strategy. This is repeated in each episode till you get to the last Main Boss where everything is revealed. I suggest looking at videos to see some of the gameplay.
If you are a die hard fan of the first 3 games, you will not be disappointed. However, if you are looking for something new and innovative, then you are climbing the wrong telephone pole. Disappointingly, this is not a long game. The game can be easily finish within 10 hours if one plays straight through. But if you are a freak like me who loves to get 100% completion, the game will take at least 30+ hours.
Would I recommend? A big yes to mostly everyone! I'm not a platform gamer by any means. I'm primarily a RPGer and never gave Sly Cooper a second look until last year. This game is very accessible to any level gamer since it has a low learning curve. It's fun and addictive. Great cast of characters, interesting storyline and engaging gameplay made this game an absolute must. However, if you are easily frustrated, I think you should pass this one by. All in all, I'm so looking forward to next one.
Note: I cannot comment on the Cross-save with the PS Vita since I don't own one.
on February 10, 2013
When Sly's family history is threatened, its up to sly to reunite with his old friends to save it. Travel back in time to meet and play as Sly ancestors, and stop who is behind this sinister plot. Beware, as you travel through time, be on the look out for some thing from the past games (if you have played them, and look carefully, you will know).
Over all, the graphics are amazing, the game play is great, and the character voices re ensure you that this is the Sly we remember and still love!
on February 23, 2014
This game is taking me back in a great way. The Sly Cooper trilogy was one of my favorite game series growing up and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is reminding me why. It's a fun, light-hearted game that keeps you entertained and only gets better with each new chapter in the game. They took everything great about the first three and stepped up a notch for another great Cooper Gang adventure. Happy gaming!
on October 7, 2013
I recently played through the PS3 release of the original Sly Cooper titles and once finished, moved on to Thieves in Time.
Game play was familiar, but brought plenty of new elements.
Jumping took some getting used to. Sly doesn't seem to jump as high as he did in previous games (could just be in the mechanics).
I'd say the best new element was getting to play as Sly's ancestors, each with a unique skill to reach certain areas. The costumes were also a nice way to add abilities.
The biggest disappointment was in the villains and story. Not to mention a cliffhanger ending even worse than Sly 3.
I think there was a lot that could have been done with the story, and although they did a great job visiting Cooper history, I think they approached it from a bad angle. Heck... we're travelling through time... where was Clockwerk? I thought I saw his silhouette at one point during the first chapter, "Turning Japanese," but if it was him, it wasn't a theme they followed throughout the game.
The villains are fine, although the main villain's back-story is lacking. He comes with big claims against the Cooper clan, but there's no evidence or foreshadowing leading up to it. It's just a big fussy fit in the final chapter, "Oh, this is why I did it!!" and that's all. Have you ever had that experience when someone's upset and it ruins their week, and then later they tell you it was because you had said something that they were offended by, but you didn't know they took it that way. Then that whole time they were upset about something and you didn't even know you had caused it... That's what happens here.
The Black Knight was the worst villain. I rushed through two chapters hoping that my suspicions about the Black Knight's chapter were wrong. They weren't. With no spoilers, I'll just say that the Black Knight's story ruined it for me. To further upset me, a scene from the end of the game foreshadows a possible future game involving the Black Knight. It's worth playing, but if you're a fan of Sly games (especially 3), you'll know what I'm so upset about. I'm sure they could have come up with a better twist than what they did with the Black Knight.
For Completionists and PSN Trophy Collectors:
I wish it were possible to unlock a bottle/treasure/collectible radar. There's no way of knowing what area/mission the item you're missing might be located in. You might as well just play the whole game over again.
On the note of going back to collect everything and earn trophies, Thieves in Time has WAY too many long load screens. I probably watched the load screen for half the time I was playing this game. They tried to make the load screen useful by including back-story comments or just tips about the game, but the comments/tips were so limited, it was just very repetitive. Some comments (bringing up Clockwerk) really had absolutely nothing to do with this game.
Great game, should be 5 stars, but poor story and character development and really bad load times frustrate and disappoint. There really could have been a lot more to this game, in my opinion. Overall, it's still a fun game and I still recommend it.
on October 30, 2013
This fourth Sly Cooper game was seemingly dumped on the market with little attention or fanfare, which is a shame since it's a truly brilliant little game. All the stealth/platforming/shooting and whatever else you might want in traditional console fashion with great graphics, large worlds and tons of gameplay time. If you miss the old days of Sony platformers and singleplayer fun you owe it to yourself to grab this great disc.
Sly's bouncing through time, after a worse thief, etc. etc. The story is cute and livens up the gameplay a bit, but in the end it's justification to go from one cool time period to the next. You'll leave your hideout and emerge in a large open area rife with collectibles, missions and some of the best cartoon style graphics I have ever seen in video gaming. We're nearing that "Pixar quality" threshold more and more and if you like the style Sly Cooper 4 will impress.
Gameplay is classic Sly. Jump, slink, slash, spin and sneak through open environments or linear quests to reach the goal. You play as Sly most of the time but his companions and ancestors also feature, and offer nice, short reprieves from the standard gameplay. There's so much variance and things to see... mini-games, secrets, side-missions, etc... Running out of things to do in the game will take you dozens of hours, and nothing's stopping you from finishing because the challenges are all well balanced and the trophies all offline singleplayer.
I'd take the risk and click the buy button if this style of game appeals to you. It's rare in today's shooter and online focused game world, and it's fun from start to finish. Even the music is jazzy fun! You just can't go wrong here.