Just finished Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus about 10 minutes ago. It’s a well-designed game where when you play it you can tell everything was really thought out well. It’s a relatively short experience, but you can extend the fun with collecting bottled messages in every last level and trying to run through a level in a certain amount of time in the Master Sprint mode.
The story is rich and entertaining. One of the bigger pluses of the game besides its simple-yet-challenging design is how the story is told. There is no overuse of cutscenes, and to see them in between worlds is like a reward. They are brightly colored and well-drawn and animated. One of the nicer touches also is how each world is more like an episode of a cartoon, with intros a la Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes cartoons and the suspenful music kicking up. It makes you want to go through every last nook and cranny of this game.
The game itself is platform near-perfection. Every level blends together and there aren’t any unwelcome surprises. The enemies are really stupid in intelligence, and yet when pushed to their limits can get the best of you. The real threat lies in the numerous traps that will kill you in an instant. One of the drawbacks, though not in any way a design flaw, is the one-hit system that hasn’t really been utilized too much since the 16-bit era. A lot of silly mistakes can end a life and force you to restart. This is remedied with the coin-collection, where collecting 100 rewards you with a lucky horseshoe that gives you a second and third chance should you find yourself compromised and hit.
I appreciate the entire game’s fluidity. One thing that really annoyed me was the final battle. Each boss in the game has to be taken down in three or four different phases. Each boss battle is unique in its own way. They aren’t difficult by design, but a silly mistake can cost you a life and no matter where you were, you’re back to the beginning of the fight. This is especially cumbersome in the final battle, because some of that battle is based on waiting for it to attack before you make your next move.
I’m glad to say I’ve finally played through this game, except for the Master Sprint. I’m not particularly interested. I’ll move on to Sly 2: Band of Thieves, but not yet. I have other titles under my belt.