Sly Cooper Thieves in Time Vita Review
I have always found the Sly series to be fun and charming stealth platformers. With the switch to Sanzaru as the developer instead of Sucker Punch though I was worried, but my worries were proven wrong for the most part. Sly Cooper Thieves in Time is overall a fun, charming game, that brings you back to a time when gritty shooters had not yet covered the market and cartoon platformers were still commonplace. Well, now that we have the backstory out of the way, lets dive into the review.
Story: The game starts off pretty soon after Sly 3 with Sly having retired by faking amnesia. He has been living a normal life and dating Carmelita Fox. But that thieving itch starts to come back just in time for Bentley to show up and tell him that pages are disappearing from the Thievius Racoonus. Yep, someone has been messing with Cooper history and conveniently the place Cooper had been casing has just what they needed to time travel, you heard me, time travel. What follows is a romp through history from ancient Japan, to the old West, and more. Each locale comes with its own time displaced boss and Cooper ancestor. Every character from the Ancestor’s to the Enemies have well written humorous dialog with some pretty good voice acting which makes the game come alive. Overall the story is simple but humorous and well presented.
Graphics: The game is quite nice to look at. It’s not one of the most graphically intensive games out there but it holds its own. It has a crisp cartoon art style that looks great on the Vita screen. Each locale you visit is set in a different location and time which gives each place a unique feel. The characters are also wonderfully animated. The hacking sequences have a distinctly old school look to them which is nice. Overall its a very nice looking game.
Gameplay: The game works like Sly 3, each location is like a mini open world where you explore but the meat of the game is in the missions. The classic Sly gameplay is also all here from Sly’s classic mix of Stealth and Platforming, to Bentley’s gadgetry, and to Murray’s Brawling style. They all work great as well. There are some new additions including how Sly can get costumes which are used to gain access to new areas and for certain missions and bosses. The ancestors are a neat addition as well offering some cool abilities allowing for different types of environmental puzzles, but unfortunately most of them feel like just slight variations on Sly himself. A standout is Kid Cooper who has the most unique gameplay hook out of the bunch. The missions range from following a character without being spotted, to platforming segments, hacking sections etc. Then there are the bosses, each boss has a pattern in their attacks complete with tells so you can know what’s coming. Each boss in this regard is like a puzzle and they all work quite well except for the final boss. Unfortunately the final boss is just a ridiculously long quick time event. Which was a bummer. One of the 3 types of hacking segments also has a problem where it forces tilt controls on you which are less then precise. A few mini games use them as well to the same end. I honestly just wanted to use the analog sticks because the tilt controls just feel tacked on. Overall the game plays quite well with some unfortunate frustrations.
Sound: The sound is pretty spot on. The voice acting is great with each character having their own charm. The music is quite great as well, a standout being the main theme which has a sort of Sci-fi theme mixed with murder mystery show theme thing going on. The sound effects are spot on as well. Its overall sound design is great.
Extras: There are numerous collectibles for those 100% completionists out there every level is filled with them so it adds some good replay value. Especially considering if you collect all the treasures in a level you unlock that level’s arcade game which is a fun bonus. Each hideout also has a ping pong mini game which adds a little charm.
Conclusion: Sly Cooper Thieves in Time is a fun platformer with loads of charm. It has vibrant visuals, great music, and superb voice acting. Aside from some tacked on motion controls it plays great as well. It is a great addition to your Vita Library.
Images taken from: http://slycooper.playstation.com/en-au/media/