The Sly CollectionESRB:
Includes all three Sly games
Remastered in high definition
Stereoscopic 3D compatibility
All new mini-games compatible with the Playstation Move
720p video output
Following the excellent God Of War collection from earlier this year, Sony brings us The Sly Collection this holiday season. The Sly Collection packs all three PS2 games (Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Sly 2 Band of Thieves & Sly 3 Honor Among Thieves) into one fancy package, all remastered in high definition. Slap a somewhat budget price of $39 onto it and you have yourself a pretty nice little holiday gift.
The cel-shaded graphical style lends itself well to the bump to high definition. Things are crystal clear and move silky smooth. Since the games don’t rely on a ton of detailed textures the transition to high definition is that much better. Unfortunately, I’m not fortunate enough to have a 3D set so my opinions are limited to playing the game in high def “normo-vision” only. Bottom line is that the graphics are good and they stand the test of time.
I might be starting to sound like a broken record but the sounds in all three games stand the test of time. This is most notable in the voice acting, which is better than a good lot of games released today. The musical score fits perfectly and really helps the overall sneaky mood of the games.
The Sly Cooper games are third person platformers where you play as Sly, a raccoon that comes from a family of thieves. Critically well-received, the games are very similar and favour a stealthy approach versus straight forward combat. Go figure for games with a thief as the protagonist, eh?
Playing games released between 2002 – 2005, you definitely notice their age in how they play. This is not a criticism as much as an observation. The platforming and stealth elements are there but they are basic. It is actually neat to play through because you can actually see the evolution of the genres from these examples compared to today’s games. The cool thing is that it holds up. That’s impressive for games that are five-eight years old.
The plots of the first two games don’t stray far from one another but are packaged up well enough to keep things fresh and interesting. Honor Among Thieves changes the formula a little bit. The various levels play out as episodes. This presentation really fits with the comic style graphics. In fact, the presentation values are top notch throughout.
If three already good games aren’t enough, The Sly Collection also comes with a set of mini-games that are Move enabled. These games are unlocked as you play through each of the games. It’s cool that they’ve taken the time to include them but they didn’t hold my attention for long. The real value in this package are the three Sly games. The Move support feels tacked on and a bit gimmicky. If a game is going to have motion control, make it an integral part of the game play. I don’t get that here.
The Sly Collection has something to offer for fans or newcomers to the series. With no new game since 2005 and nothing (yet) on PS3, this package is a great chance to revisit a really good series of games. The presentation values hold up even today. This is fantastic value for dollar. Well done.