It’s good to see another PS2 collection converted over to HD after the succes of the God of War Collection and now we have Sly Cooper and his gang the latest to get the makeover.
I did play the originals back on the PS2 and quite enjoyed them, but playing it again the second time around in the form of the Sly Collection (Trilogy) seems to have made them slightly better.
Sly Cooper is a master thief and is joined by his best friends Bentley who is a genius and Murray who is the brawns of the group. There’s also Sly’s love interest Carmelita Fox who is a cop and always chasing Sly down and trying to arrest him, but of course it’s just a flirtacious encounter between the two throughout with the majority coming from Sly. It’s a love hate relationship it seems.
In the first Sly game, you have to hunt down the ‘Thievius Racoonus’ which is a book containing all the Cooper families best thieving skills which have been documented over generations of the Cooper family. But alas, it has been split into five pieces and Sly has to hunt them down with the help of Bentley and Murray.
The controls are simple enough to get used to with new moves becoming available to use as you collect more pages of the Thievius Racoonus by opening vaults and defeating the bosses. I loved the introduction to each new location as it was like a title screen for a Looney Tunes cartoon.
I wasn’t too keen about the health system in Sly 1 but it did make the game more of a challenge. You actually had lives which is a rare thing these days and you had to collect 99 coins to receive a lucky horse shoe of which there were two, silver and gold, which allowed you to get hit once or twice before losing a life.
But even when you did run out of lives you could continue which then gave you 5 more so it didn’t really punish you for losing your lives in the first place. The final boss did get a bit irritating as I wasn’t able to get hit once otherwise I’d have to start it all over again. But as I said before, it made it more of a challenge.
The second and third games are slightly different and are more of an espionage style game and you can play as all three of the gang with Sly, Bentley and Murray this time around. Each character can only be used for certain missions, so for example, if you need to hack into something you use Bentley or Murray to use his strength and Sly for all the sneaky, stealth jobs.
It’s a nice change from the first Sly game that had you collecting all the keys, open all the vaults, defeat the bad guy to collect another part of the Thievius Racoonus’, which was fun, but I preferred the stealth side of the Sly Cooper games. Plus the health bar is a bit more forgiving and the enemies take more than one hit to kill depending on their own strength.
There’s also the inclusion of 4 mini games which can either played with Playstation Move or through a controller. It can be a bit awkward using the joypad as you can’t move the target fast enough some times. It doesn’t stop you from unlocking all 8 of the trophies which are really easy to collect. You get one for starting each of the mini games and another one for achieving a certain score in each of the games.
If you’re a trophy whore and love nothing more than racking up your tally, these are great games for doing so as the platinum trophy on the first game was easy to achieve. Although on saying that, there was a bug when trying to open the final vault that stopped me for a while. Only on turning the game off a couple of times, did it then allow me to open the vault and give me the final trophy and the platinum.
Visuals and Sound
The graphics are impressive in their HD form and in all honesty if you didn’t know these games had previously been released on the PS2, you wouldn’t be able to tell….well, for the most part. There are some dodgy graphical parts to the game that don’t seem to have been touched in the slightest with the HD wand. Because of the art style of the games, Sly looks at home on the PS3.
The soundtrack matches perfectly with the cartoon look of the game which isn’t the case for the voice acting. It’s very dumbed down so you know exactly how to use your controls and can be cringe worthy with the cheesy lines at time. Some people may like it, but it really grated on me at times. There were some clever pieces of dialogue so it wasn’t all bad.
The game is also available to play in 3D which I could make use of unfortunately as I’m not rich enough to be able to afford 3DTV technology at the minute. So those of you who are will be able to get the full benefit of 3D Sly which I can see as being quite impressive.
In all I thought the HD Sly Collection (Trilogy) was fun but had it’s down points. The occasional bugs did ruin my experience at times which was annoying and has made me knock my score down a bit. The mini games seemed a bit pointless and I didn’t see the need for them to be included.
But if you’re feeling a tad nostalgic and want to reminisce of your early gaming days (I say early but Sly 3 was only released in 2005), then it’s great to be able to go back and revisit titles like this. Superb visuals and good gameplay make this worth having, especially as you’re getting 3 games for the price of 1.
3.5 out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.