PS3 Reviews: The Sly Collection Review

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The Sly Collection Review

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Graphics:

 

8.5

Gameplay:

 

8.9

Sound:

 

8.8

Control:

 

8.6

Replay Value:

 

8.7

Overall Rating:       8.7

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Sony Computer Entertainment

Developer:

Sucker Punch/Sanzaru Games

Number Of Players:

1-2

Genre:

Action/Platformer

Release Date:

November 9, 2010

Just as a reminder, I’m doing this review because it was the top vote-getter in that poll. I sorta wanted to play this, anyway, so it all worked out. ;)

Sly Cooper is a top-quality platforming franchise that satisfied gamers and critics alike back in the PS2 generation, and we just recently heard that Sucker Punch is working on a fourth installment. Of course, they’ve also got inFamous 2 in the works, so they’re a bunch of busy bees over there. As for this Collection consisting of no less than three PS2 iterations of the agile blue raccoon, it’s exactly what you might expect with an extra touch of flair. Despite a few lingering problems that transport you back to the days when such games were less polished, the fun factor reigns supreme at all times and you’ll definitely get plenty of bang for your buck. We’re talking about three full games, each of which will take around 10 hours to complete, plus bonus content, all for the price of $39.99. If you were never into the genre, it likely won’t change your mind but if you’re a platformer lover, this one is a no-brainer.

It’s amazing what high definition has done for gaming. It really is. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any original Sly games so I couldn't do a compare and contrast (check out the vid below), but I’m positive fans of the games will be impressed by this visual overhaul. Everything is just so clear and crisp and that new widescreen presentation is a big plus. It’s also interesting to see the advancement of graphics within the trio of games; as time went on, the developers produced better and better-looking atmospheres for Sly and Co. But it’s that pervading HD luster that brings out the cartoon-y detail, and the final result is a palette of smooth lines and pleasant artistry. Granted, these titles were never designed to be graphical powerhouses but they did look pretty damn good at the time, and HD is such a gift in this case.

The sound captures the lighthearted feel of the games, what with all the genuinely funny humor and quirky environments. It’s the voiceovers that keep you smiling at the screen; they’re not overly professional or compelling (we’ve been spoiled by unbelievable voice actors this generation) but they fit the style perfectly. There’s actually a surprising amount of voice content and although the balance feels a little out-of-date, the audio comes through in fine fashion. I was never the biggest fan of the soundtrack in these games – no idea why, really – and that perception hasn’t changed. However, I’m well aware that many fans love it and because this collection is all about the fans, my opinion matters little. Like the voice acting, it works. Lastly, the special effects are just as satisfying as ever, as they amplify and enhance the basic platforming experience. Good stuff.

Although platformers aren’t as popular these days, you need only play one of the Ratchet and Clank titles to get an idea of how Sly Raccoon takes care of business. Although Insomniac’s stellar series has more of a third-person shooter element and Sly was more of a pure platformer, you’d get the gist: hulking, kooky bosses, a solid storyline with plenty of laughter and gags, well-designed puzzles, and of course, big, colorful levels and areas that draw you in from the start. Sly doesn’t feature the sprawling environments of R&C, but Sucker Punch did start to implement a more open-world feel with each entry. For instance, while the first Sly Cooper was a straight-up, linear platformer, the sequel offered more freedom, and the third expanded on most all aspects of the foundation, including mechanics and control, and how we progress through the game.

I really think it’s the inherent differences between each of the three games that makes this Collection worthwhile. In no way can one be considered a rehash of its predecessor and it makes the player want to play each adventure, simply because each quest feels like a completely different experience. I also like how Sly is responsive; the controls are solid and reliable and although I still sense some looseness – a complaint issued by those who played the PS2 gems – it doesn’t significantly hamper my enjoyment. I’m also a big fan of the pacing in these games; pacing is an essential part of any medium that features a story, and Sly is borderline addicting due to much-appreciated balance. There are some stealth features here and there, a few little puzzle sections, and both acrobatic-heavy areas as well as fast-paced brawls. Just about the time I start to get tired of one particular element, another comes right along to refresh me.

We still have a few of flaws that plagued the old games but here, I think we can call them “quirks and eccentricities.” As is the case with most nostalgia trips, it almost feels wrong to have a flaw fixed; that flaw is part of that original product with which we fell in love. So why should it go? Yeah, the camera can still go wacky and during certain intense situations, you will find yourself cursing that camera. And yeah, there are still parts in each game that are just downright frustrating, almost to the point of feeling a little unfair. The level design isn’t always all that engrossing, either. And while such drawbacks do keep these games from elite status, they shouldn’t be a big problem for the fans. In addition, we can’t forget that each title has its own Trophy set, and there are four mini games exclusive to this collection, all of which compatible with PlayStation Move. There’s no doubt about the longevity; you'll keep coming back for more.

The Sly Collection is a quality piece of fan service. It’s that simple. All three games have been upgraded appropriately, and they all retain that which made them so charming when they first released. It can be challenging to perform an overhaul without upsetting the traditional foundation; there’s that innate developer drive to make things better and add on. Well, Sanzaru correctly stepped on that urge and just delivered an attractive package where Sly and his buddies can really shine. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

The Good: Faithful recreation of the classics.  New HD is beautiful.  Diversity and longevity.  Gameplay is almost always rock solid.  Pacing is top-notch.  Presentation is fantastic.

The Bad: Camera can often be a problem.  Some parts are just plain irritating.  A few lackluster level/environment designs.

The Ugly: "If I can't beat this part next time I try, someone's gonna get hurt."

12/9/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (20 posts)

THE-GAMER
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 10:30:53 PM
Reply

Thank you. Now for sure ill be purchasing the ps move.

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Alienange
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 10:56:46 PM
Reply

"It’s amazing what high definition has done for gaming."

I'm glad you mentioned that. Now you've gotta get into the PSXE forums and clear that up for some of the relics that are still heralding the Wii as if HD doesn't mean anything.

And nice review. I wanted that EA Active 2 Move title but whatever. Gamers living in the past won out on the poll.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 12:00:12 AM

...uh, that's happening?

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BikerSaint
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 11:03:17 PM
Reply

Oh yeah, Sly's back!!!!

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BikerSaint
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 11:05:15 PM
Reply

I live in the past, present & the future, since it's all about the gaming.

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Highlander
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 9:43:43 AM

I live in a temporal reality bubble of my own creation where time is relative, and I expect the best out of humanity. The interface between my bubble and actual reality is a troubled place, and so I try to patch the hole in the bubble with video games. They are a useful distraction from the utter stupidity that mankind is capable of.

I seem to need that patch more than ever these days...This Sly Cooper collection will aid in the patch work.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kiryu
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 11:26:11 PM
Reply

Sly Collection Instant Buy for any Playstation 2 Owner.

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playSTATION
Thursday, December 09, 2010 @ 11:37:02 PM
Reply

got a platinum trophy for the 1st sly. playing the 2nd one now and loving every sec of it.
one thing i agree is some missions are frustrating as hell but with time i pass the mission, usually just barely.
this game will keep me busy til k3 comes out. heck assasins brotherhood is collecting dust right now in my room.

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BeezleDrop
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 12:27:41 AM
Reply

Picked this up yesterday, definitely a great time. The animations are very impressive and fluid.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 1:11:37 AM
Reply

So, the confirmation for Sly 4 coming is official? I did not know that...

Anyway... Never played these titles, but hearing that they are much like R&C solidifies my desire to pick this up. And I simply loved LBP, so a heavier focus on platforming is lovely. Now... I have the problem of when I can get it...
Peace.

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sawao_yamanaka
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 1:47:22 AM

Yea once you beat the sly collection. Also they have the teaser on youtube if you want to see it.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 3:19:09 AM

I've seen it, I just wasn't sure whether it had actually been announced to be true or not.
Peace.

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Bjorn77
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 2:09:59 AM
Reply

I am still busy playing GT5, but if GT5 is over an done with I am going to play this one. I loved sly on the PS2, if it is as good as the Gog of War HD Upgrade then I am mucho contento.

Last edited by Bjorn77 on 12/10/2010 2:10:43 AM

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Highlander
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 9:39:43 AM

Silly, GT5 is Gran Turismo. Gran Turismo is never over and done with. You might take a break and come back a day, week or month later and spend hours racing Laguna Seca or Tokyo R246 again for the hell of it.

My personal favorite is to take some beater bought on the used lot and upgrade the sucker bit by bit to see how far I can take it. I'm trying to get a '70 Charger to win at Sarthe right now against a plethora of Supercar endurance racers. I think it comes down to tires and more power.

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kraygen
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 2:33:24 AM
Reply

Did you play it with the move controls or just a ds3? I was really wanting to know about the move portion because I'm looking for some good move games that are out now.

All I saw in the review was that it was move compatible, but I was kinda hoping you played it with the move and go into detail about that a little bit.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 11:58:28 AM

Sorry, I didn't try the Move part.

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Highlander
Friday, December 10, 2010 @ 9:33:10 AM
Reply

This one has "inexpensive holiday fun" written all over it. Definitely a buy for me.

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Drake88
Saturday, December 11, 2010 @ 10:13:57 AM
Reply

great score. i already got platinum on all and ready for my next game... sly 4! man sony is on their grind next year and it makes me happy camper... 8)

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Kall555
Sunday, December 12, 2010 @ 7:25:08 PM
Reply

These HD remakes are great ideas imo & are good incentives to revisit the classics of last gen.

Now Sony move your ass & bring me my beloved Silent Hill trilogy in HD, i would kill to play Silent Hill 3 in high definition.

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PS3addict
Thursday, January 13, 2011 @ 12:44:43 PM
Reply

**** This game is not 100% move compatible. Only the mini-games work with MOVE ****

Sucks that this was not mentioned anywhere on the box....

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