Released on December 2010 for the PS3, The Sly Trilogy returns in an attempt to make an impact on the PS Vita. With the platform genre seemingly tailor made for the handheld, does The Sly Trilogy impress yet again on a smaller screen? Read on to find out.
Game: The Sly Trilogy
Developer: Sanzaru Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
SLY COOPER & THE THIEVIUS RACCOONUS
The first title in The Sly Trilogy, Sly Cooper & The Thievius Racoonus introduces you to the core gameplay mechanics that makes the series memorable, especially on the PS Vita. You step into the shoes of talented thief Sly Cooper, who (along with his friends Murray and Bentley) set off on an adventure order to steal back pages of the Thievius Racoonus, a book contain tricks of the thieving trade. Of course, being a platform game, each stage is broken down to seven levels, with each one requiring you to get a key to reach the boss and learn new skills as you progress.
As you go through levels, guards stand in your way, but (for the most part) you can get past them quite easily using Sly’s cane. It’s a very simple combat system, one that compliments the nature of the game well. Just like any good platformer, the game also makes great use of the environment. Sly is able to run across ropes, shimmy along ledges and climb up or down ropes. In terms of eye candy, the game feels at home on the PS Vita without really pushing it to its limits. It’s quite an old game, so that’s expected, but it’s still impressive that a game that’s close to five months shy of being 12 years old doesn’t look too dated on a new handheld system.
SLY 2: BAND OF THIEVES
Sly 2: Band of Thieves builds on the success of the first Sly Cooper title, whilst adding to it in the process. Sly and the gang are now on the hunt for clockwork parts that, if in the wrong hands, can cause quite a catastrophe. The core gameplay is pretty much the same, with a few new additions to keep things fresh. Sly now has an awesome new sneaky move at his disposal, allowing him to take out the more stronger guards. If you sneak behind the guard without him seeing you, Sly is able to pick up the guard and slam him down. POW!
Sly 2 also gives Bentley and Murray more prominent roles. Set in ‘Worlds’, Sly, Bentley and Murray initiate heists to recover clockwork parts. Each character is crucial to the success of the heist, not just Sly. The health bar has also gets some attention, with health sections replacing the charm in the first Sly title. You’ll more than likely find it a lot easier to survive as you can pick up health icons after defeating one of the many guards in the game. A first for the series, Sly 2 allows you to purchase extra power-ups too. These power-ups are a mixture of items, with each one having a differing effect depending on which character you apply it to. Much like the original, Sly 2 works well on the PS Vita. The difference here is the improved gameplay mechanics and the fact that Sly 2 uses the handheld’s touch screen to operate the binoculars or camera. Now that’s progress!
SLY 3: HONOR AMONGST THIEVES
Arguably the most ambitious title in the series, the third entry follows Sly and the Gang as they embark on a quest to open up the Cooper Vault. It’s hidden on an island by the evil Dr. M, so it’s not going to be a walk in the park, but you didn’t expect it to be, did you?! It’s fair to say that Sly 3 introduces a lot more characters to the mix than any of the previous games, with some of them actually being playable. It opens up a whole new section of mini-games, giving the series another gameplay boost and fresh feel.
Sly 3 also makes very good use of the PS Vita’s features, more so than the previous two titles. Not only are you able to use the touch screen to operate the camera or gaze into the binoculars, you can quite helpfully use the rear touch pad too. Simply touching it, if you get lost or stuck, you can remind yourself where you need to go thanks to a handy waypoint indicator. On a visuals level, it is by far the best looking title in the trilogy, with the visuals shining so very brightly on the PS Vita. The first two titles are no visual slouches, but Sly 3 brings with it a fantastic array of colors that pop out at you on the PS Vita’s fantastic screen.
Whether you’re a fan of the series or a newcomer, if you’re into the genre, there is absolutely no reason why you will not love The Sly Trilogy. It’s classic platforming with some nice twists at its best, and it all feels completely at home on the PS Vita. I’ve played these titles on the PS2 and PS3, but enjoyed them most on Sony’s lovely handheld. The discounted price is just the icing on an already delicious cake, making the eight hour length for each game amazing value for your money. With Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time available for free on the PS3 via PS Plus, it’s the perfect time to delve into a bit of cheeky thievery and enjoy some platforming goodness. Can we have a PS4 Sly Cooper game next please, Sony?