A Stealthy Classic
Published by DarkLegacy
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is one of those games I could play a 100 + times a never get bored of it. It is very easy to get into, after I got the first couple of keys on the first level, I basically knew what I was doing and how to get around some of the more basic obstacles that are thrown at you early in the game. Sly is a very easy character to control, you walk him around with the right analogue stick, jump with X and attack with the square button. All the moves you learn from opening vaults in the game are mostly assigned to the triangle button, which you can change around with the L2+R2 buttons which means you can quickly change between techniques during combat.
The game revolves around Sly Cooper and his quest to recover the Thievius Raccoonus. He teams up with his friends Murray and Bentley to go about restoring the pages of the book. I thought it was a pretty good idea for a game storyline, the idea of Sly not being able to fulfil his familys prophecy because the Thievius Racconus has been separated seems like an excellent basis for a good storyline and SuckerPunch definitely pulled it off. Each of the five main missions have there own little backstory to them, every environment has itís own feel and different enemies that summarise the sort of mood of each level. For me it makes it stand out from other platformers that just have the same sort of thing all the way through and the missions are just long enough to make the preceding one feel like a nice change. The only major problem with the story is the fact it is too short, even after you have gone back and found the clue bottles it still feels like there wasn't much to do.
Considering how early this game was in the PS2 library it has incredibly good graphics, Sly is very well rendered and the cel-shaded backgrounds are very detailed. The cut Ėscenes in between levels are nicely animated in a comic book sort of style, so like the comic strips they are very simple and explain the different scenarios without beating around the bush. The game definitely has a unique feel to it and the cel-shaded graphics definitely suit the games feel.
The characters are well voiced throughout the game and follow a well written script, although sometimes it seems the syncing can be a bit off. The games soundtrack is very well composed and the different pieces for the different environments are very suitable. In boss battles, the music builds up tension and in one case the music is key to defeating the boss which is a great idea. Yes I am talking about the Mizz Ruby Boss, this was my favourite boss because it mixed up the game play and offered some intense rhythm based action which was a nice change from the other boss battles which mostly revolved round a puzzlier aspects.
Overall I would say that Sly Raccoon is definitely one of the greatest PS2 games ever made there are a few only minor flaws and the length of the game is a downside. But itís one of those games you will want to revisit and play over and over again.