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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Platformer

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

Sucker Punch

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q3 2002

 

 

- Superb presentation

- Quick load times

- Quick save times

-  Easy to pick up and play controls

-  Addictive gameplay

- Great use of cell animation

- Solid storyline

- Cool mini-games

- Humorous characters

 

 

- Game length is a bit short

- Small amount of slow down

 

 

Review: Jak and Daxter (Playstation 2)

Review: Ratchet and Clank (Playstation 2)

Review: Super Mario Sunshine (Gamecube)

 

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Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Score: 8.7 / 10

 

Sony and Sucker Punch Productions have joined forces to bring you Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (SCTR). You play raccoon Sly Cooper, who, with the help of his friends, is out to get revenge against those who killed his family and stole his family book called the Thievius Raccoonus.

 

sly-cooper-1.jpg (23372 bytes)          sly-cooper-2.jpg (28318 bytes)

 

SCTR features five worlds, which take you across five “real world” locations, which include France, Russia, Haiti, China, and America. Each level, with the exception of the fifth, contains a security lock, which leads to the main boss. There are usually five or six keys hidden in different missions. When every mission is completed Sly receives keys used to take you to the main boss. (Nothing too earth-shattering in the gameplay department.)

 

To go along with regular missions SCTR includes an amazing and incredible amount of mini-games. The mini-games feature driving, sniping, and timed games. The gameplay is very fun, fluid, fast and addictive. The environments are very interactive as Sly is able to land, jump, and slide down different surfaces to navigate the different environments.

 

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(The controls are very simple to pick up and play. Even during the mini-games, which involve driving, are very simple to control. The game maximizes all of the buttons on the Dual Shock 2.)

 

The most common weapon that Sly uses is his cane (he also has limited access to guns), which comes in handy when taking down larger enemies such as mosquito’s and spiders. Like many adventure games, SCTR includes coins that must be collected to boost Sly's health. Initially one hit 

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from an enemy can kill Sly but after collecting one hundred gold coins Sly can take two hits (and so on). Since this is a third person adventure game, camera work is essential to the gameplay department and the camera works well. (The right analog stick is used to circle the camera around Sly.)

 

Perhaps one of the coolest parts of this game is that after every level is completed, Sly learns a new stealth move, which helps him get by enemies and dodge traps and ambushes.

 

Even with SCTR’s pros it’s hindered by a short story mode and poor replay value. I wrapped the game in about five to six hours and after beating the game there is not much to go back for. Each stage or level contains three modes, which add a little more replay value to the game but not much. The game can also tend to be frustrating at times especially when battling the bosses. SCTR requires brains and you’ll find yourself going through more lives than a cat. To make things a little easier each level contains signal repeaters, which act like checkpoints. The only problem is that after you’ve used up all of your lives you’ll be forced to restart the entire level.

 

sly-cooper-3.jpg (23074 bytes)          sly-cooper-6.jpg (21683 bytes)

 

I was first skeptical about the use of cell animation because at first it does not look very attractive compared to other games but the good folks at Sucker Punch have proven themselves. SCTR looks beautiful and crisp throughout – from the action to the beautiful scenery to the cutscenes, it’s like playing a cartoon. The game’s presentation is perhaps one of the best I have seen on the Playstation 2. However, there tends to be a slight amount of slow down when turning the camera using the right analog stick.

 

The music is incredible and the voice acting is superb. Each environment has its own separate soundtrack depending on what type of atmosphere and mood each level presents. There really are no weak points in the sound department.

 

The story mode should not take you long to finish but many players will feel frustrated at certain points in the game; however, any frustration will be overshadowed by the great and addictive gameplay Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus has to offer. It will make you hungry for more – hunger all the more acute because it’s a bit on the short side. A few more levels would have put Sly Cooper over the top as an adventure game but that’s what Sly Cooper 2 is for.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(December 4, 2002)

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