Sly Cooper Thieves in Time does not have the same developer or graphics, but it is still Sly, and that’s a really good thing. Sly Cooper Thieves in Time is a stealthy platforming game with tons of content, a good story, and humor that doesn’t get old. Sanzaru’s love for the franchise really shines through, as they were able to emulate it perfectly over to the PS3 and Vita. Even though this is Sanzaru’s first game, it is a pretty darn good one.
Sly has a single player campaign, but it is filled to the brim with content. There are about 8 missions to a chapter, and each mission lasts from 20 to 30 minutes. The main story lasts about a good 15 hours, and if you want all of the clue bottles, Sly masks, and treasures, prepare to spend a lot more time with Sly. The story of the game is that the book written by Sly’s ancestors, The Thevius Raccounus, is losing the information right off the pages. Sly needs to go back in time, and rewrite Cooper history, along with his friends, Murray, and Bentley. You meet plenty of interesting characters along the way with great senses of humor, including ancestors and bosses. You can’t go 2 minutes in this game without Sly making a wisecrack or another character cracking a joke or a pun or just a funny phrase. It really adds to the game, making it less serious and lots more fun.
Ever since the first Sly game the boss missions have been my favorite. Bentley gives you an elaborate slideshow on what you will be doing and he sends you off. You play as every character during these: the original Cooper Gang, and sometimes special guests, each with their own little task. It adds an interesting dynamic and is super fun to play. At the end, you finally face a boss. The boss has cool attacks, but they can usually be easily timed, and dodged. There are huge set pieces jump around the level a lot which you must traverse to get to the boss. They take a while to beat, and at the end it transitions very nicely to the next time period, fitting in to the story perfectly.
Even though it is a platformer, there are plenty of other things to mix up the game and keep it fresh. There are dance minigames, shoot ‘em ups, and even a whack-a-mole type of game. These are things you would never expect in a Sly game, but they just feel right. They didn’t feel like a chore and they actually added some spice to the game. If you want some more of these types of games, there is a separate package with a ton more of these minigames in the Bentley’s Hackpack PSN game for $4 dollars.
As much as I love this game, there are still some problems; old and new. Most of the regular enemies are quite dumb. I can stand literally a couple feet right in front of them and they usually will not see me. Also, the enemies are all the same! They all have the same attacks, and it seems like they just re-skinned the enemies over and over to fit the theme of the chapter. The one last problem I had with the game was the ridiculous load times. On both the PS3 and Vita, it takes very long to load levels, missions, and even the hideout. It really got annoying, but it’s a small price to pay for the game’s beauty.
Speaking of the game’s beauty, it is very pretty. Running through the open areas in the Japan level, and staring down at it from the tallest building, you could see all the time and effort that went into creating this game. The Vita game is still stunning, but obviously not as pretty as its console twin. The Vita version doesn’t compromise on anything but that, so the games are the exact same thing. L2 and R2 controls are moved to the touchscreen, but nothing other than that.
The trophies are difficult, if you are bad at looking for collectibles. Other than that, the trophies are given for the story, and for acing dance minicamps, and such. Also, the Vita and PS3 have separate trophy lists, so if I earn 12 trophies on my Vita, when I sync it over, I will unlock 12 trophies on PS3. It is reminiscent of Sound Shapes, if you did the “cross” features in that game. So overall, the trophies in this game are difficult but fun, and will take you a long while to achieve.
Sanzaru did an excellent job emulating the PS2 classic on to the PS3 and Vita, in both the good, and the very minimal bad parts. The story is original, the humor is great, and the gameplay is just fun. With “cross” everything, you really can’t go wrong. Even with my tiny gripes, it was still a fun experience. I had a great time playing this game, and if anyone from Sanzaru is reading this, I promise you I will be first in line to buy Sly 5. Guaranteed.