Newcomer Alert: The Completion of the Sly Collection

At long last, I have done it.  After getting 100% in the entire Sly Collection, including the mini games (they are not worth your time; I only played them to get my last few trophies), I can safely say I am the Sly series’ newest fan.  Before I get into my thoughts on the series as a whole, I still have a few finishing words about Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.

Well, you may remember my complaints about several aspects of the game, namely the plot and the extra characters, and I can’t really say that has changed all that much.  Yes, I have finally learned Dr. M’s relation to the Cooper family, which was interesting, but I still didn’t find this game’s plot to be as compelling as that of the second game.  I mean, if Dr. M had succeeded in opening the vault, what would have happened?  Um, he would have ended up with a lot of money?  Sure, he was clearly an evil dude, but if he had any plans for world domination or something equally as dastardly, I recall no mention of it.  In addition, by the game’s conclusion, I still found myself unable to form much of a bond with the extra characters.  Again, I wish they had gotten more missions, or at least the ability to be selected from the hideout so I could run around with them for the pure amusement of it.  Even that would have been something.

I also found out how truly aggravating the Master Thief Challenges could be.  A lot of them weren’t too bad, but some were pretty darn tough and tested my skills to their limits.  Of course, I don’t consider this a flaw like the issues mentioned above.  It was very satisfying to complete these extra challenges.  That didn’t stop me from yelling at my TV on occasion, however.

In the end, as contradicting as it may sound after my previous whining, Sly 3 was an awesome game.  Complaints aside, any praise I had for Sly 2 applies here, as well.  I didn’t find it to be as strong as Sly 2, but it was pretty darn close.  The original Sly Cooper trilogy proved to be a great trio of games, and I enjoyed the whole, darn thing, from its simpler roots in the very first game to the far more polished Sly 2 and 3.  There are three main platformers the PlayStation 2 years were known for, and that was Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, and Jak and Daxter.  I count myself a fan of all three, but I have to say that Sly is the most unique.  Ridiculous weaponry and magical Eco powers are all well and good, but the stealth gameplay found in the Sly series is just so different from anything I’ve ever played before.

While the first game gave you a more limited skillset and provided little consequence to being caught, it was the improvements found in Sly 2 and 3 that really provided us gamers with a truly unique experience.  How thrilling it felt to roam about on the rooftops and paraglide from great heights.  And what other series lets you pickpocket from pirates?  Going out of my way to avoid enemies rather than confront them was particularly satisfying once I got good at it, partly because it was the complete opposite of how I would typically approach enemies.  Most games don’t really make you plan your movements out so carefully.  Most of the time, I simply destroy anything in my path and keep on going.  Now I understand the merits of stealth, and while it can sometimes be a slower way of getting around, I think I like it better.  It takes more skill.  It forces me to really learn my environment.  Mistakes matter more in a game like this.  This series was a really fresh experience and probably one of the best $10 I’ve ever spent.

Sly Cooper is different, from its gameplay to its wit to its amazing level design.  It took me a decade to finally give this series a try, but it probably took me less than a day to become a fan.

Duck Cooper

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    The Sly Cooper games really are something special aren’t they? I mean, they’re kind of simplistic in terms of how stealth works, but that’s kind of the point. For example, in a game like DisHonored, stealth is simply a means to an end. You don’t want to get caught because it’ll mean becoming more chaotic and will ruin your chance to feel like a ghost (having infiltrated the location and carried out your objective without any evidence that you were there). The result is the fun part, not the execution. In Sly Cooper though, it’s the other way around.

    Sneaking around as a cartoon raccoon is a blast right? You constantly get to feel like you’re outsmarting your enemies and have the agency to go about your task as you please because of that. It’s excellent!

    Also, did you finish all of the time trials in the 1st Sly Cooper game? If you did, then I tip my hat to you, because those were HARD! (Never was able to get through those…)

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      It really is fun being stealthy in this series. I just feel so proud when I can move around undetected, and it makes getting from place to place a lot more fun. Just having the ability to stay out of sight, or sneak up behind an enemy and pick their pockets without them having a clue you’re there, is pretty cool. I especially liked pickpocket-ing from pirates….

      No, I never did complete any of the time trials in the first game. I had no idea how to get through those. They were definitely tough. Luckily, they weren’t related to the trophies, or else I wouldn’t have been able to get them all. I wonder how people get through those trials. There must be some trick I’m missing….

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  2. Argh, this is making me want to try this series. Alas I’ve not played any of them, nor have I tried any Jak and Daxter or Ratchet and Clank yet. I have those sitting on my shelves already though, so with any luck I will try those before checking out Sly. It does sound very cool though and I’m intrigued by your description of it as kind of stealth lite… reminds me a bit of Bonanza Bros on the Megadrive/Genesis, a game I like quite a bit!

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    1. duckofindeed says:

      I’d definitely recommend all three of these series. I love them all. I love Ratchet and Clank for the crazy weapons and hilarious humor. I love Sly Cooper for its stealth and wit. And I love Jak and Daxter, though I must admit that the series doesn’t have as clear of an identity as the others. The first one was amazing, but the series went through a drastic change starting in Jak 2. It, along with Jak 3, are still good, but they’re nothing like the original.

      That’s funny, I recently did a video on Bonanza Bros on Youtube. It’s part of this Sega Genesis collection I own, and it’s definitely one of the more unique games they included. I got as far as the casino in my video. It was interesting trying to avoid the guards, but I was usually not very good at it. I died a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah, I saw that Bonanza Bros vid. It’s definitely one of those games that takes some getting used to. It helps having a second player to play cooperatively – in fact you can kind of tell that’s how the game is intended to be played, what with the screen being permanently split in half. Anyway it can be a really fun game, and I thought of it because, like how you’re describing with Sly, the game forces you to be deliberate and methodical when exploring the levels.

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