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Sly 2 Band of Thieves Review

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Jun. 9th, 2013 | 11:12 am
mood: geekygeeky

Okay, so Stu and I have now completed Sly 2. So, like with the first Sly game it's time for a review, so here goes



Joanne: First off, while the first game was a good intro into this world and the characters, Sly 2 had a way better story.

It also felt like we had good character development moments, and I liked how all the heists in the game actually did link to together in the end. Granted, it was like a Saturday morning cartoon plot, but that's fitting since that's the feel the game is suppose to have.

Stuart: Stuart: We had actual character development, villains existing for more than one stage, and actual threads tying people together besides 'this guy's the next villain because reasons'. Arpeggio's summation of how everything tied together at the end was great - but even without that, there was the common thread of the Clockwerk parts. Not to mention that the Cooper Gang actually developed as people as the game went on - starting with Bentley having to save them, and culminating in the grand finale.

Joanne: Speaking of villains, they were WAY more interesting here than the first game. Demtri is funny, although I think that Jean Bison would be my favorite. We were just laughing and saying how awesome this game was because of the fact that he was FROZEN IN ICE and was recently thawed. Honestly, it makes me think this series has a bit of a post modern gaspunk setting to it.

Stuart: Oh, the villains. Dimitri's moves are greasy-sweet, yo! The silliest of the lot and yet I can take him more seriously than half of Sly 1's antagonists. Simple plan: PRINT MONEY. Bam. Rajan - less hilarious, but I liked that the point of his levels was to drive him into a frothing rage.

Stuart: The Contessa was probably the weakest, cruelest of the lot - two-faced and just plain evil. Jean Bison was great and frankly I'd love to see him in another game. O Canada.... As for Arpeggio...he had a glorious scheme, but sadly, Neyla the Queen of Backstabbing was, well, just that. Might I add that 'scouting gone horribly wrong' was a fun twist?

Joanne: The main cast was much more enjoyable in this. Murray was just awesome to watch and play as. We kept making the joke "Blood for Murray" whenever he had to beat up enemies. Also, he felt much more competent too.

Bently was so less annoying in this and I liked we actually saw character development for him in having to save the others from prison. Sly also felt less snarky and showed more that he does respect Bently and Murray. He felt much more like a gentleman thief than he did in the first game.

Also, like how there was more interaction between him and Carmelita. With that said, Carmelita was awesome to watch. I loved that even though we had to save her, half the plan was to just release her and let HER attack the Contessa. Also, we kept laughing how we could actually run into her and had to run like mad to escape her because she was actually threatening.

Stuart: You've covered most of what I wanted to mention - I'll repeat that Murray went from 'augh why' to 'BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD', and Bentley was a lot less annoying. With that said - seriously, Bentley, what the heck was up with your plans?

I mean, topple a chunk of building to crack open the streets, okay. Blow up a bridge to stop guards? Uh. Flood an entire valley to flush out one person? Crash a train into a prison wall? Start a war by awakening the souls of the damned?

Stuart: There were times he almost seemed like the bigger villain. Almost. Anyway, Carmelita I liked better in this game - and yes, having to panic and RUN was hilarious. "Jo, RUN, she took down half your health in one shot!"

Joanne: Finally, game play and mini games. Again, it was much better in Sly 2 than the first game. It wasn't as frustrating since Sly could survive more than one shot.
Also, was fun that you could play as Bently and Murray (although I will say Murray was the more fun of the two)

The mini games were better, but they varied from annoying to actually fun. Most of Sly and Murray's mini games were fun, I loved doing the tango between Sly and Carmelita. Bently's mini games were the most often to get on my nerves, however I will fully admit I loved the game of Bently taking on Nyla's airship. Also, I loved his boss battle with Jean Bison, that felt very in character for him and I loved that I beat him up with random objects rather than just having to hit him.

Stuart: The worst minigames were probably any time you were in turret mode - with the possible exception of Murray's tank - and the RC Chopper segments before Canada. With the turrets, you can't move and you can get swarmed easily; with the chopper, the controls are a bit awkward and you're stuck with bombs. Canada's RC Chopper Versus Neyla, OTOH, was glorious.

Stuart: The Gadgets were the main thing in this one, and unlike Sly 1's powerups, we actually bothered using them. That said, Sly's Lightning Strike and Murray's Fists of Flame were, possibly, a bit overpowered.

Joanne: Yeah, the power ups were fun. Sly's paraglide was probably the most useful and it was awesome having the lightening strike which killed enemies in one shot.

Joanne: So, finally the game world itself. It felt much more expanded upon from the last game and there was a lot more detail. Felt much more like what they did with China in the first game.
I liked how basically we spend two episodes in each country and each part was literally a different part of it. Canada, ironically, would probably have to be my favorite level. It was fun to climb on mountain tops instead of roofs for a change.

Stuart: The main difference is there wasn't anywhere near as much separation between 'stage' and 'world'. A lot of the missions were taking place in the overworld, rather than it serving as a glorified hub. On top of that, each one had a unique feel to it.

Stuart: Paris was a city - rooftops, river. Rajan's palace was a well-guarded palace, the temple more of a wild convoluted jungle. (Emphasis on convoluted.) The Contessa's prison was a fortress surrounded by a town, while her manor was a massively vertical castle. Canada just sprawled massively - and dodging bears and Carmelita became hilarious. Then an airship-fortress for the final stage...always something new.

Stuart: Now, one of my favourite things was the clue bottles. One batch, with a reward, per world - rather than one per mission, in Sly 1. This meant that each bottle was some sort of challenge, an odd place - as opposed to 'press button, receive six clues'. Yes, that actually happened in Sly 1

Stuart: Overall, the worlds felt like places, not hubs, and there was plenty to do besides the missions.

Joanne: Overall, definitely enjoyed Sly 2 more than the first. It's a great fun game and would gladly play it again. I'm really loving these characters and the world they're in.

Stuart: There were a few obnoxious mini-game bits that couldn't be avoided - but even those were improvements on what Sly 1 inflicted on the player. In my opinion, Sly 2 was an improvement on Sly 1 in every fashion - design, gameplay, story. A great part of the trilogy.


And now we're starting Sly 3 Honor Among Thieves. The beginning of it already looks interesting. Once we're done, expect a third and final review! ^_^

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Comments {7}

brendala

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from: brendala
date: Jun. 10th, 2013 09:24 am (UTC)
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Yeah, this game is my favorite game of all time for a reason. It just does a FABULOUS job of balancing the story with the gameplay. I have yet to play another game that is able to mix the two as seamlessly as Sly 2 did.

Also, you have the PS2 discs, right? I'm asking because the PS2 version gives you bonus videos whenever you complete an episode. You just have to stay on the episode selection screen until a prompt tells you to push the square button. Episode 1's unlockable is a short cartoon and Episode 7's unlockable is a "making of" video featuring the developers and voice actors. The other videos are commercials and whatnot.

Also, do you have a favorite Carmelita voice actress yet? Even though I missed the accent, I loved the second one the most (though it's probably because she had better material to work with than the other two).
Grey Delisle played Carmelita in the forth game. But, sadly, her talent was wasted on horrible writing.

More gushing to come later! ^_^

Edited at 2013-06-13 08:34 am (UTC)

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earthstar_moon

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from: earthstar_moon
date: Jun. 13th, 2013 12:58 pm (UTC)
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We do own the PS2 version, but there was a glitch on the Sly 2 one and I couldn't get past a certain point without it freezing. So, for my birthday, Stu got me the set for all three on the PS3. With that said, I have seen the bonus chocolate cartoon on youtube, it was so cute. I should see if the other bonuses were uploaded there.

So far, I think the second Carmelita is my favorite, but I'll wait until I finish Sly 3 to make my final decision.

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brendala

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from: brendala
date: Jun. 14th, 2013 06:36 am (UTC)
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I have seen the bonus chocolate cartoon on youtube, it was so cute. I should see if the other bonuses were uploaded there.


The Chocolate cartoon was the bonus for Sly 3. The Sly 2 cartoon featured the gang (including a pre-accident Bentley) stealing a rare stamp just to piss off Carmelita.






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brendala

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from: brendala
date: Jun. 14th, 2013 06:37 am (UTC)
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And here's the behind-the-scenes movie. The best part is seeing the voice actors and realizing that they actually look like their characters (I'm pretty sure they were designed to resemble the actors). XD



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brendala

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from: brendala
date: Jun. 10th, 2013 11:48 am (UTC)
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Arpeggio's summation of how everything tied together at the end was great - but even without that, there was the common thread of the Clockwerk parts. Not to mention that the Cooper Gang actually developed as people as the game went on - starting with Bentley having to save them, and culminating in the grand finale.

This game did a really great job of making you care about the characters. Which made the massive downer of an ending all the more depressing.
Speaking of the ending....every time I replay the game, I always hesitate to walk Bentley into Clock-La's mouth because I know what's coming and I feel bad for making him go in there. >_<


I think that Jean Bison would be my favorite. We were just laughing and saying how awesome this game was because of the fact that he was FROZEN IN ICE and was recently thawed. Honestly, it makes me think this series has a bit of a post modern gaspunk setting to it.

Jean Bison's epilogue was the best part! Poor guy just can't catch a break! XD



Jean Bison was great and frankly I'd love to see him in another game.

Uh, considering who owns the franchise now, I think Jean Bison is better off staying in his iceburg and never appearing again. >_<



As for Arpeggio...he had a glorious scheme, but sadly, Neyla the Queen of Backstabbing was, well, just that.

Even though it kinda sucks that Neyla never got a backstory to explain her actions like the other bad guys did, I still liked her as a villain. Mainly, I liked the way that the narrative tricked the player into thinking that she was just another generic love interest for Sly and then *BAM* she turns out to be in cahoots with the Klaww Gang and then *BAM* she turns out to be batsh!t freaking INSANE and then *BAM* after her defeat, she gets in the final blow by PERMANENTLY CRIPPLING A MAIN CHARACTER before she "dies"!

My head-canon is that Clockwerk pretty much took over Neyla's mind when she merged with him (since her demeanor went from calm&collected to raving lunatic the moment she entered that thing). So, in a way, Clockwerk himself managed to screw Sly over one last time by hurting another member of his "family". And that's really sad for a kids' game! :(

The first time I played Sly 2, the only thing I knew going in was that Bentley would get crippled at some point (since I had seen the box art for Sly 3). But other than that I went in blind. And I was genuinely shocked when Neyla betrayed Sly because I was starting to kinda dig them as an item. And my jaw dropped when she not only betrayed Arpeggio (who, IMO, appeared to care about her) but straight up MURDERED him on-screen! O_o



Might I add that 'scouting gone horribly wrong' was a fun twist?

LOL. It was pretty funny when their every attempt to f**k up Clockwerk just made it worse and Sly reacted by saying, "SCREW THIS!" and just confronting them directly.



Bently was so less annoying in this and I liked we actually saw character development for him in having to save the others from prison. Sly also felt less snarky and showed more that he does respect Bently and Murray. He felt much more like a gentleman thief than he did in the first game.

The "Team" feel was definitely improved over the last game. And I liked how each character's play style balanced out and provided a unique challenge (ie Sly is good for getting around easily. Murray is good for plowing through enemies. And you had to be more careful and stealthy when playing as Bentley because he didn't have any of Sly or Murray's field advantages).

Speaking of Bentley, even though I liked the way his pimped out wheelchair functioned in the third game, I did kinda miss the challenge that came with moving him around and avoiding enemies. In Sly 2, you seriously had to plan out his routes and be careful about darting guards before moving on.

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brendala

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from: brendala
date: Jun. 10th, 2013 11:49 am (UTC)
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Carmelita was awesome to watch. I loved that even though we had to save her, half the plan was to just release her and let HER attack the Contessa.

Totally! Unlike....certain OTHER GAMES **grumble*grumble**
....the first 3 Sly games are always careful to make sure that Carmelita is portrayed as being strong and capable even when she's in distress. And it's clear that all the guys respect her abilities (even if Murray and Bentley clearly don't like her all that much).

Also, I can't help wondering if the plan to just let Carmelita attack the Contessa had anything to do with Sly's apparent desire to avoid beating up women himself whenever possible



I mean, topple a chunk of building to crack open the streets, okay. Blow up a bridge to stop guards? Uh. Flood an entire valley to flush out one person? Crash a train into a prison wall? Start a war by awakening the souls of the damned?

Now that I think about it.....using condemned souls to play a prank on Neyla and spark a turf war was pretty messed up. XD



Also, I loved his boss battle with Jean Bison, that felt very in character for him and I loved that I beat him up with random objects rather than just having to hit him.

The Jean Bison battle is my absolute FAVORITE! I just adored how creative it was. :)


Stuart: The worst minigames were probably any time you were in turret mode - with the possible exception of Murray's tank - and the RC Chopper segments before Canada. With the turrets, you can't move and you can get swarmed easily;

I hated the turret parts, too. And it didn't help that the turret section of the Clock-La battle had Carmelita screaming "YOU SUCK!" every time you screwed up. >_<

And the tank controls were frustrating as hell. Like, why couldn't it just control like a normal vehicle!?



I liked how basically we spend two episodes in each country and each part was literally a different part of it. Canada, ironically, would probably have to be my favorite level. It was fun to climb on mountain tops instead of roofs for a change.

My favorite was the Indian Palace (NOT the Indian jungle. Because that place was hell to navigate). But Canada was a VERY close second! There was so much to do in those levels. And using train tracks to dodge Carmelita and the bear was hella fun!



Stuart: Now, one of my favourite things was the clue bottles. One batch, with a reward, per world - rather than one per mission, in Sly 1. This meant that each bottle was some sort of challenge, an odd place - as opposed to 'press button, receive six clues'. Yes, that actually happened in Sly 1

As fun as it was, the clue bottles drove me nuts when I could HEAR the "tink tink" noise but had no clue where the damn things were! XD



Joanne: Overall, definitely enjoyed Sly 2 more than the first. It's a great fun game and would gladly play it again. I'm really loving these characters and the world they're in.

Replaying the game is actually REALLY fun! I've beaten it at least 8 times, and I discover a fun new detail EVERY time I play. For example, in my last playthrough, I took advantage of a glitch that allows Bentley to kill The Contessa during his recon mission in Prague. It was very cathartic (MWA HA HA HA!).
Also, it's fun to be a cheater and use codes to get the music box gadget early so you can breeze through early missions! LOL

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AkogareZephyr

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from: akogarezephyr
date: Jun. 14th, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
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Sly 2 was definitely an improvement from the first. That said, I'm glad you both enjoyed playing it. Looking forward to hearing what you two think about the third game.

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