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Sly Cooper First Game Review

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May. 19th, 2013 | 11:15 pm
mood: geekygeeky

Okay, just for fun Stu and I have decided to write a review for each Sly Cooper game we finish. So, here's the review for the first Sly Cooper game and keep in mind we did play a bit of Sly Cooper 2 before we played the first one. So, here goes:



Joanne: To start things off, the first Sly Cooper was worth playing just for the background story. It's a good set up for the whole world and characters.

Stuart: The story was straightforward enough - boy loses family and legendary tome of thievery, goes to take down the criminals responsible and get the tome and revenge in one go. I did find some parts repetitive, but I'll get into that when we talk about the villains.

Joanne: Yes, the villains. Got to say the first villain was a bit lame, and the others weren't as memorable as Dimitri, except for Panda King. He was probably the most fun boss in the game. To start with it was a fair fight with him and he didn't just go and tell us where the next boss was either.

Stuart: Oh, we're talking about the villains already? Right. So, Froggy McForgettable was up first, sinking ships for profit! Aaand that's about all there is to say about him - after finally knocking the frog into water, he gave up, and told us where the next member of the gang was. Bowser or whatever the dog's name was came next, driving everyone out of a city so he could open a casino. Had a slightly better backstory, but again, defeat him and he tells you where to go next. Apparently he hated sunlight.

Third was Madame Ruby, who was a necromancer. Wait, what? A bit more interesting - and then the boss fight was a DDR mini-game. Also it wasn't clear what she was doing with the zombies. After beating her, we learn that the next enemy's in China.

And then we get Panda King. Heck yes. Villainous scheme: Build explosives, extort villages for protection money, bury those who don't pay up in avalanches. Evil and sensible. Boss fight? No gimmicks, no mini-games, he is just a giant panda that hurls fireballs that you face in a straight fight. Best villain of the five.

Finally, Clockwork. ...close second. Ancient beyond remembering - though some of that information came from Sly 2 - with a grudge and a death ray. Only problem, really, is that I think revenge took priority over sense - why not just wipe out the family in one go? (Because then there wouldn't be a game.) Boss fight - a mini-game, but at least a pretty good one. I'll talk more about that in the gameplay section, but first there's other characters to discuss - namely, Sly and the gang.

Joanne: Yeah, I will fully admit that I like how Bently and Murry were in Sly 2 than the first one. Murry didn't seem as bright in the first game as he was in the second and he didn't seem to get to do as much besides driving the van and getting caught in race mini games. Bently at times could get a little annoying, but I realize it was his role as the guy that told you how the game works.

Sly overall was pretty good, although he seemed more snarky at the guys at times. However, I do like that while at the beginning of the game he could get struck down by one point, as he learns more skills you seem him improve and become the master thief he's suppose to be for Sly too. Also, he gets a good base for a relationship to grow with Carmelita.

For Carmelita, she was fun. We didn't get to see too much development for her, but we see a good starting point for her future relationship with Sly. I liked that she did prove to be a threat to Sly at times and that she is a good cop for a reason.

Stuart: Hey, Murray also had those sections where he's running for a key, and you have to cover him with a turret. Where he flees and cowers and dies in one hit. ...I definitely prefer Sly 2's 'The Murray, God Of Death'. As for Bentley - argh, obnoxious. Mostly for the clue vaults - there's a ton of them, and every time, there's unskippable dialogue from the turtle before he deigns to give you the code. The companions got a lot of improvement in Sly 2. You've covered everything else I was going to say, so on to the gameplay.

Joanne: I don't have too much to say since Stu played this game more than me. I will say that this felt more like a platformer which made it more difficult for me since I'm not as an avid gamer. The one hit point did drive me crazy at time. For gameplay, do find it easier in Sly 2 which, admittedly is the one I'm mostly playing.

Stuart: Right. I have a lot of complaints, and one compliment. First off - health system. Unless you have clovers - which don't come back on respawn unless you've burned a lot of lives - you have one hit point, and anything can kill you. Even a random thorny plant. It's a platformer trope, but not one friendly to 3D. Secondly - there's no avoiding a lot of enemies in the first three worlds - but then again, they also have one hit point each.

Thirdly: Mini-games, mini-games, mini-games. A racing game, a turret-defense, a shoot-em-up section, a 'kill all the enemies before they grab any one of the forty chests'- argh. The later levels had some okay ones, but they irked overall - fully half the levels, it seemed, were mini-games - and half the remaining ones had some gimmick, like the Invincible Magical Barrel. This went even to the boss fights - the dog was a gimmick fight, Ruby was somewhere between gimmick and rhythm mini-game, and even Clockwerk shifted gears to a jetpack shoot-em-up match.

hat said, I will give the game this credit. Coming into this after starting Sly 2, I was annoyed by how clumsy Sly 1 was by comparison - how there was no stealth, no agility, just platforming and mashing attack. But, as Sly recovered the Thievius Racoonus - he got those skills. He started getting ninja-leaps, rail-running, actual stealth ability. He went from incompetent to competent...which fits perfectly with the story. Credit where credit's due - that was well played on their part. By the Panda King's level, I was having a blast.
This doesn't mean I forgive the random mini-games, mind. Or the fact that every world boiled down to 'here's the level hub, collect seven magic keys to unlock the boss battle'.

Joanne: Lastly, worlds and design. I will say that, again, the Panda King had the best world design. It actually felt like I was in a different place and it was more believe than the others. Second would probably be Ruby's. She did have a creepy feel to her place, which was neat and made it fun world. The other worlds, weren't as memorable. The first world didn't have much besides a ship theme, second world was a casino and Clockwerk was a giant mountain with lava and lasers.

Stuart: Yeah. The weakness of Sly 1's worlds is that, unlike Sly 2, they didn't really feel like places. There was a hub, and different portals to go through to either a level or a mini-game. Even Panda King suffered from this - it just had better levels. Only exception was Clockwerk, which was auto-pilot from stage to stage.

Joanne: Overall, while it does have it's faults and Sly 2 is better, I was glad I to see the first Sly game. The background story and introduction makes you appreciate the second game more. Overall, it's a good way to get into the Sly franchise and I am slowly becoming a fan of it.

Stuart: Fun enough to play, platforming was solid barring a few obnoxious bits - mostly the timed death levels - had way too many mini-games and the dialogue got boring at times. Still worth the playthrough, though.

So, here's the first review. Expect review #2 once we finish playing Sly 2. ^_^


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Comments {7}

brendala

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from: brendala
date: May. 20th, 2013 05:35 am (UTC)
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YAY!! I like the tandem/conversation thing you have going on in the review. It's cute!
Did you write it together or make each part separately?

I LOVED Stu's nicknames for certain characters (I will be calling Raleigh "Froggy McForgettable" from now on)! XD

It is strange how Murray went from being a wuss in the field in Sly 1 to being "The Murray/God of Death" in Sly 2. But the change made him a LOT more fun to play (not to mention a more interesting character) in the other games; so I can overlook it.

As for the villains, I remember liking Miz Ruby most of all. But that's mostly because she had a cool voice and her world was genuinely creepy. Though, now that you mention it, they could have done a lot more with the whole VooDoo/Necromancer angle.
And part of me wonders if the reason they opted for a DDR fight with her was to avoid having a boss fight where the hero repeatedly smacked a woman with his cane. LOL


As for the final boss, I liked how they incorporated Carmelita into it instead of just having her sit on the sidelines after being rescued. It helped establish her as a badass despite her lack of screen time.


tl;dr
I pretty much agree with everything you said. Even though it's a good game (by old school platformer standards, anyway) and Sly's lack of skill for most of it makes sense in the context of the story; it's still frustrating when you're used to modern games and/or have played the other Sly titles.

Case in point, I've replayed Sly 2 at least 10 times (and Sly 3 almost as much); but I never bothered to get 100% on the first one. I played it just to experience the full backstory after I had beaten the last two games. And the "instant death" mechanic and the lack of basic thief skills for the first 1/3 of the game drove me nuts.



Apparently [Mugshot] hated sunlight.

If I recall correctly, the reason Sly reflected the mirrors onto him was to heat up the metal in Mugshot's guns and make them too hot for him to hold on to.

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brendala

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from: brendala
date: May. 20th, 2013 05:54 am (UTC)
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Also....
Upon re-watching some Sly 1 scenes on YouTube (it was part of my therapy to forget the-game-that-shall-not-be-named), I noticed something that really surprised me: Bentley was a HUGE jerk in the first game!
Seriously, in the scene where Sly spots Carmelita in the gas chamber, their exchange goes something like this
-Sly: OMG! She'll die if we leave her there!
-Bentley: GOOD! One less person to shoot at us from now on!
-Sly: DUDE! Not cool!
-Bentley: I'm just saying, she can't arrest us if she's dead!
-Sly: That's f**ked up, man! I'm going after her!


Granted, Bentley and Murray don't show any love for her in the other two games either. But that scene was surprisingly cold-hearted considering he's a protagonist in a kiddie game (and the fact that he later becomes one of the most likable/sympathetic characters in the series). O_o

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earthstar_moon

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from: earthstar_moon
date: May. 20th, 2013 01:16 pm (UTC)
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Did you write it together or make each part separately?
Stu was besides me, but I would write a paragraph and then he would write his. So, we tried to write it together.

That was honestly my theory on Mis Ruby too, especially since she didn't seem very mobile. Also, would feel a bit awkward whacking her with Sly's cane.

Yeah, we didn't like Bently very much in the first game. He was quite the jerk, but he and Murry are WAY more likeable in Sly 2. Stu kept making "Blood for Murry" jokes with the all characters he kept killing, especially when he was throwing rats RIGHT INTO THE WATER PIPE. @_@ Stu and I know call Murry the "God of Death". XP

I do like how Carmelita is proven to be competent, especially after Sly recuses her. We did the dance with her and I was just laughing. Sly was just wearing a tux and still had his mask on. How could NO ONE figure out it was Sly? *laughs* Guess Sly has access to the same disguise power Sailor Moon does?

Anyway, while not the best game was glad to play for the back story and introduction to the characters. Also, already getting ideas on how to improve the story for Sly 4. ^_~ (In case you're wondering, we're not in the jungle part of the India level. Bently had just stolen the blueprints.)

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earthstar_moon

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from: earthstar_moon
date: May. 20th, 2013 01:16 pm (UTC)
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Oh, in case you're curious. Also posted the same review to tumblr too. Figured, why not.

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brendala

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from: brendala
date: May. 22nd, 2013 06:08 am (UTC)
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Sly was just wearing a tux and still had his mask on. How could NO ONE figure out it was Sly? *laughs* Guess Sly has access to the same disguise power Sailor Moon does?

I'd say it's the Clark Kent effect. But at least Clark removes his freakin' glasses and changes his hair a little! Sly didn't even TRY! LOL

Actually, Neyla recognized him (though it took some prodding). So maybe she's just smarter than everyone else

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AkogareZephyr

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from: akogarezephyr
date: May. 20th, 2013 01:11 pm (UTC)
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Ah~~~ The first Sly Cooper. It's possible that playing a bit of the second one first didn't help you. Hahaha. But contextually speaking the first game makes sense since Sly has already trained himself by the second game. It's a nice touch, if not a difficult one to deal with at times. Basically the biggest problem with the first game is it tries to do too much with so little. I think this review is rather fair. Glad it was still enjoyable for you two.

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earthstar_moon

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from: earthstar_moon
date: May. 20th, 2013 01:18 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it does make sense context wise. Sly was a master thief until the end of the game, so seeing him level up does make sense. It just the one hit kill did drive me crazy after playing Sly 2.

But yeah, Stu and I feel that the first game could have done a lot more (there were so many mini games) but overall, it was good and we were glad to play it. We're really liking this series. XD

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