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Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Review

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Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Review




When Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves came out in 2005, it was a great way to end the series. Sly got to reflect on all of his ancestors’ feats in the thieving business and each character had their own happy ending. At least, until Bentley announced he was building a time machine, bringing hopes of an awesome time traveling sequel. Though it took over seven years to release, that adventure is finally here.. Is it everything that we have wanted from the Cooper gang? You better believe it is!

Controls (4.75/5)

When I think of genres where polished controls are a necessity, platformers and stealth games both come to mind immediately. Fortunately, Sly Cooper has always controlled very smoothly, and Thieves in Time only improves on it. Every character controls very well while remaining distinct from one another. The main focus, however, is on Sly and his ancestors and traversing through the game’s many locations was a second nature and never gave me any problems.


Dimitri approved!
There were a couple of boss battles where they showed weaknesses in the controls as they would group wires too close to accurately jump onto the right one or throw too many obstacles to deal with, but overall, I had almost no issues sneaking, pickpocketing, and taking out enemies. Most minigames control very well, but I did have a few minor issues with the Sixaxis ones as it is hard to grasp a perfect sense of how far I needed to tilt it. Still, these are infrequent and designed in a way where it is more of a nitpick.

Graphics (4.5/5)

Ni no Kuni may put every other cel shaded game to shame nowadays, but that does not take away that Thieves in Time is a very good looking game. Environments are much more detailed than their Playstation 2 counterparts, while thanks to some great art direction, were a joy to traverse. Each world also had its own distinct look to it, making them all very distinct and memorable.

Sound effects have always been used well in Sly Cooper games and this continues here. They are very cartoony, adding a bit more fun to the game. Voicework is mostly well done, but I was disappointed that Murray used his Sly 3 voice, which can get annoying. Luckily, what he and every other character say more than make up for this, as the banter exchanged between them is very witty and funny.

The story itself is a step above your average platformer fare, giving a fun mix of Back to the Future and Ocean’s Eleven. While there is nothing deep, the characters have well developed arcs and are very likable. Villains are delightfully despicable, with the second and third world’s particularly noteworthy. There are a few small plot holes in the objectives to give an extra gameplay segment, but they were easy to overlook.

Gameplay (5/5)

The thing that drew me into the series from the beginning was how ingenious incorporating stealth into a platformer is and it works well. The precision and timing necessary for a platformer fits in well with sneaking past security guards and avoiding booby traps. It goes as far to enhance both in some ways, as tailing enemies is much more exciting when trying to jump from one rooftop to another while navigating the hub is made more interesting by the presence of guards to sneak past, pickpocket, and take out with a sneaky attack. I could spend hours just taking all the gold guards then slamming them to the ground.

The platforming itself is very solid and challenging. It smartly focuses on timing over precision, as pressing the circle button allows Sly to land and balance onto very small platforms perfectly, but thanks to the many obstacles and traps in my way, the timing my jumps right would present a good, fun challenge.


It may sound wrong that I want to reach into his ass pouch, but it feels so right.
It also helps that all of Sly’s playable ancestors have their own unique method of platforming challenges, such as God of War style wall climbing or jumping from one ledge to another like in Tomb Raider. These are used in the hubs which are much larger than the PS2 Sly games as well as more linear levels like the ones in Sly 1. The game blends these very well with standard Sly platforming, beat-em-up style action with Murray, and a wide variety of minigames.

As someone who normally is not a fan of minigames, I have to say that Thieves in Time does an amazing job adding them in to give the game variety. They’re not always just slapped onto a level, these are sometimes were substantial enough to be a mission and one instance had a variety thrown for a few seconds WarioWare style. Most of them are done only a couple times while a few of Bentley’s minigames used to hack computers are done more frequently. These are definitely the strongest of them, with one sidescrolling shooter that was so much fun I would pay for it as a separate PSN game.

Overall (5/5)

Calling Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time one of the best platformers of this console generation is not much of a compliment as there is little competition. However, calling it one of the best platformers of all time holds a lot more weight and is just as true. Developer Sanzaru should be proud. They not only managed to capture what made the PS2 trilogy great, they outdid all three games.

PS3/Vita Difference

The Vita was not as strong graphically as it lost its cell shading, so those expecting the game to look as gorgeous as they have seen the game look be warned. It also had more frequent slowdown, but other than that, played just as well as the PS3 version. I would recommend the PS3 version, however, since it includes the Vita one.

This was basically my review for Rotorob, but they haven't posted it yet, so I thought I might as well post here to test the blogging. I'll put how it is in the site feedback thread.
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Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Review :: Comments

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Post on Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:24 pm by TripOpt55

I agree with most all of this. I kind of wish the platforming was maybe a little tougher (Outside of a handful of series I kind of always say this). And maybe there were a bunch of master thief sprints that would have helped. I just had so much fun playing this. One of my top five games this gen.

I don't even play the Vita version. Graphics feel really flat and the PS3 load times were already kind of bad and they are just worse on Vita. When I try to play it on Vita, I just feel like I should be playing the PS3 version.

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Post on Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:34 pm by Bannen

Let's say I never played any of the previous Sly games (though I did play the first one, just a long time ago)... Can I get onboard with 4 and still enjoy it, or are the previous three required*?

*- Required to get what's going on, not required because I should play them, because I know I should.

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Post on Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:52 pm by volvocrusher

You definitely get the most out of it if you played 1-3. They catch you up to speed with what's happened since 3 though, so you can definitely still have fun. Plus, the game starts out with a Back to the Future homage. That's how you know it's a winner.

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Post on Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:46 pm by BretBaber

I haven't played the Vita version because I don't have enough room on the card. Personally I thought the load times on the PS3 were ridiculous. I guess my eyes were spoiled by Ni No Kuni, but the visuals a re only okay to me. Also, the third episode lags a lot for no real reason when I'm just running around. Unlike everyone else I'm not on board with saying this is the best Sly, the first is still my favorite. Never was a fan of the hub like most.

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