The SLY Collection Review

Sly Cooper isn’t an unsung hero, but he’s definitely hiding in the shadows of Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank. But now, Sly Cooper is back along with his friends Bentley and Murray to relive all three of his great PS2 adventures, and it’s HD! Is SLY worth a second look, or maybe even a first time experience?

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Three games make up the current Sly Cooper series, with a new one coming to the PS3 in due time. Like any series, Sly evolves over time, and it seems to get better with each rendition. Starting out, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus felt rather challenging because of what we now consider as outdated features and gameplay mechanics. One hit deaths, falling off edges when nearing the edge, and not being able to automatically grab onto climbable objects automatically. Sure, it was acceptable at one time, but now we’re used to better gameplay.  As you leap into each new game in The SLY Collection, you’ll notice huge improvements, and new features. You’ll progress into having a health bar, better platforming, and a simply better experience.


The level design in SLY is really quite good and in the beginning, each area has a main hub of sorts, and various level entrances within them. To progress further, you need keys from all levels within a hub, and then you’ll progress to a newly themed hub to repeat the process. Each area is fun by a particular boss character, and the levels have original styles for the boss. In the later games, you’ll have access to larger city-like areas in addition to the levels, adding to the exploration aspect, all the while having to defeat patrolling enemies.  Levels are typically a little dark due to the general theme of the games, but everything looks great, and you’ll really enjoy basic exploring in all environments.


Sly Cooper isn’t your typical platform title, and it uses some basic yet entertaining stealth elements as part of its design. You’ll sometimes find yourself crawling under tables to avoid camera, lasers, and other dangerous obstacles. You may also find yourself crawling through vents, jumping chandeliers, and balancing on thin edges high above the ground. Most enemies can be defeated even if you’re spotted by them, but in the early part of the Sly series, you can often be killed in a single hit, so stealth was the better option when possible.

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Sony made a great decision with bringing out some old classics in high-definition, and even for a first-time player like myself, SLY Collection really shows in visual quality.  All worlds and characters have taken a jump to high-definition, and it looks very impressive. You have to keep in mind that the titles are still ports from last generation, so lighting effects and detailed textures are almost non-existent, but for everything that is in the game, it can’t really look much better considering it’s a upgrade, rather than a ground-up developed title.


This is probably one of the most surprising moments for me. Old games or not, you’ll be able to enjoy a full script of voiced dialogue from Sly Cooper, his friends Bentley and Murray, as well as voices from various other characters you’ll encounter in the games. Acting seems to be on par with most B-level titles, and the script is often quite comical, but not as sarcastic as you may or may not expect. Coming into my time with The SLY Collection, I expected to be reading everything, so having a fully-voiced script was a pleasant surprise!



I’m not a die-hard fan of the platformer genre, but I’ve played enough of the respected ones to know what works and what doesn’t. As I mentioned earlier, the mechanics are simply too outdated when you start out in the series. Getting close to an edge is almost guaranteed to bring death, yet they put collectibles in awkward places which force you to face certain death. Or, how about jumping towards a ladder or lamppost? In any game nowadays, you’d latch on immediately, but with Sly, you have to press circle to grab it. It’s not a big issue, but it’s just something to mention.


Three games for $39.99? Even if were solid B-rated titles that’d be a worthy purchase. As they stand though, the Sly Cooper games are A-rated titles that deserve a home, and all you PS3 owners should definitely take a look at them. Great visuals, 40+ hours of gameplay over all three games, and you get some background on the series before Sly 4 arrives officially in his all-new PS3 adventure.

Fun and easy controls with some minor issues due to dated control schemes. Simple combat and easy maneuverability through levels.
A wonderfully clear HD upgrade, but still lacks detailed texture and lighting effects.
Full voice-acting for all main cast members, and very fitting music as well as fun sound effects.
8.0Final Score

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