Why I Only Play Sly Cooper Anymore

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Edited By sonatar
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I only ever play Sly Cooper anymore. It isn’t voluntary, it just kind of…happens. I try to fight it, buy new games with exciting mechanics and shiny next-gen graphics, but I always fall off about halfway through, defeated, and crawl back to Sly Cooper.

Of course I’m being facetious. There are a number of newer games I’ve found the time and dedication to see through to completion, and there are other games from my childhood that still hold occasional allure besides Sly Cooper. But the fact is when I had Doom and Dishonored 2 sitting in front of me this Christmas, both acclaimed games from series and genres I’ve adored in the past, I ultimately spent my holidays huddled under a blanket with a dual-shock 3, running through the HD remaster of Sly 2: band of Thieves.

It could just be nostalgia. The first Sly Cooper was, after all, the first video game I ever played, and the PS2 trilogy was my absolute favorite as a kid. But I still adamantly and abundantly completed new games years after Sly 3 was old news.

Maybe I’m just getting older. As a teenager I had seemingly infinite time to dump into new, untapped games. I was an active hobbyist, devoting every free second to trying the latest additions to the industry. Now that time is just less available, and I’d rather spend what remains on more known quantities.

Or maybe it’s just the best there is for me. The tight platforming, varied gameplay, colorful look and charming writing all built a world I never wanted to leave after entering it as a kid. One by one, all the games I used to love fell softly out of favor, like friends you see less and less, until all that remained was the one friend who always made me smile and never caused me stress.

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At the end of the day though, I don’t think it really matters why I keep going back. Around this time of year I tend to get jittery thinking about all the games I didn’t get to play. Game of the year awards remind me that no matter what I do, hundreds of incredible gaming experiences are lost to me. And while that sensation may be strongest in January, it’s a mentality I carry throughout the year.

At some point I think it’s easy for games to become a checklist. We play them because we need to and we need to because they’re good and they’re good because of technical and artistic achievements that are quantified in review scores.

Or, maybe, we just play them because we like them.

The problem with looking at something constantly through an objective critical lens is that it removes the room for subjective enjoyment. I bought Doom because objectively it was supposed to be great, so my gaming experience should be objectively better for playing it. So far I’m enjoying my time with it very much, but that’s not to say it’s superior in some way.

I love the gaming industry, and I love keeping up on what’s new, what’s good, and why the newest craze is so amazing. I also think, however, that in a pastime as linked with debate and critical analysis as gaming, it’s important to take a step back and realize that having fun on a personal level can’t be quantified by a review score or a game of the year award.

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There are plenty of reasons I keep going back to Sly Cooper. There are reasonable justification for me putting way more time into a 15 year old series than any of the latest and greatest. But the only justification I really need, even to myself, is that I like it. And that’s enough.

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baka_shinji17

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Duder, I LOVED Sly Cooper back in the day. Must have played it through at least a dozen times. Though, for whatever reason, I never got around to the sequels. I should do that.

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fugoy

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Hell fucking yeah Sly Cooper. 2 and 3 are fantastic games that improve upon a pretty damn good first game. I pray everyday that sucker punch will do one more even though I know that will never happen.

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glots

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#3  Edited By glots

I tried Sly for the first time back when they released the HD trilogy, but fell away from the first game for some reason. Tried them again properly early last year (I think) and had a real good time. Basically jumped to Sly 2 right after finishing the first one and enjoyed that one a lot too. Sly 3, though, I stopped playing after a few days. Main reason probably being that I kinda OD'd myself with Sly Cooper, probably should've taken a week or two off before playing the third game. Second reason being that they removed those collectible bottles, fuck that. Also it's almost sort of an achievement, that sequel by sequel, Carmelita's voice actor went from half-decent to bad, then to really terrible.

Maybe I'll give Sly 3 another chance during this year. Also have Sly 4 waiting, since that was a PS+ game at one point...that, or I just bought it from a sale during my Sly-craze, can't remember.

...oh, and this thing looked kinda bad and has maybe been buried by now? has apparently been put on hold, due to how poorly the Ratchet & Clank movie performed. I actually thought that could be the reason for why I haven't heard any news and got some confirmation after a bit of googling. Not surprised.

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Castiel

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#4  Edited By Castiel

I played through the Sly Cooper games for the first time 3-4 years ago and they are still good games. Even for newcomers to the series. Though I might be in the minority that like Sly 1 over any of the sequels. Sly 1 is a more focused and better executed experience in my opinion. But I like all of them.

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Luchalma

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Loved Sly 1. Quite liked Sly 2. Never got around to 3 or 4. The more platforming linear focus of Sly 1 really spoke to me.

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Onemanarmyy

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#6  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I think it's quite human to keep returning to the older games that you know you love instead of venturing out to spend your time on something that might not be worth your time. Why would Dan continue to watch Face / Off, and the Rock when there are millions of movies that he never watched? Because it's human to spend time with media that you know you love.

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liquiddragon

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I bought the Sly collection but only played through the 1st one. Liked a lot about it, especially the characters and the presentation (super easy platinum too) but it seemed to lack a certain punch in any of its action. All the mechanics felt too flat and unsatisfying to pull off. I don't know if you know what I mean but does the 2nd one improve on this?

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Colonel_Pockets

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I have the platinums for all 4 games. Sly Cooper was my favorite series on the PS2. I wish we could get another one, but it doesn't seem likely.

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TheWildCard

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First played Sly with the HD collection, had a blast with it. The first one is my favorite but I had a great time with all of them. Love the humor!

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flippyandnod

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I loved Sly. The controls for the 1st one are a nightmare. Left and right on the view stick go the wrong directions. No adjustment. Drives me batty.

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Gundahaar

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I remember skipping school all the time when I was younger just to play these games. The first two games are probably some of my all time favorites; I like how the first one has more focused levels, but I also love just how crazy the second one is with it's bigger hub worlds and more fleshed out story. When they released the remaster, I promptly got the platinums for both 1 and 2. I never cared for 3, but I thought 4 was very good. I have hoped for awhile that they'd make a 5th one, but I guess it probably won't happen now.

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#12  Edited By sonatar
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#13  Edited By sonatar

@liquiddragon: I would definitely give Sly 2 a shot. Personally I like the snap-to-object nature of the platforming, but I understand where that could be seen as a lack of challenge or depth as well. In Sly 2, the areas are much more open and there's a lot more variety to the gameplay, so the platforming mechanics essentially become traversal tools that facilitate broader level design, rather than the design focus of the levels themselves. May still not be your thing, but the writing gets exponentially better in my opinion as well.

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@luchalma: If that's the case you should think about checking out Sly 4. Personally it will never hold the same allure as the original trilogy (due to a lack of nostalgia and one particular area being just badly designed), but it returns to the first game's structure of linear platforming levels set outside of the hub world. It draws the focus much tighter than the series had become, and a couple nearly hit the highs of the older games. plus that would give you an excuse to play 3, which while much less focused, is probably the most ridiculous and bizarre. Very worth seeing.

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@baka_shinji17: I cannot recommend Sly 2 enough. And 3 has a super weird proto-Assassin's Creed pirate ship combat system that is surprisingly complex. Worth seeing for that alone.

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Sinusoidal

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I went through a similar phase At one point, I'd run through the Ratchet & Clanks, Sly Coopers, and Jak 1 (2 and 3 were too hard!) over rather than play anything else. Those games just have solid mechanics and are great fun. I miss the 3D platformer.

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@sinusoidal: I've certainly played my share of Jak and Ratchet too. Ratchet 3 in particular I'll still go back to. PS2 had it locked down.

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Based

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I love all four of the Sly games.

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flynnneary

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Hmm, really interesting, and I'm right there with you, the Sly series is one of my favorites. For me, I find that those games have this particular allure. There's that cool sense of style that permeates throughout the whole series, that personally, I haven't really found in another game (I did get a flashback to Sly while playing Dishonored 2. Before a mission starts it gives a very similar briefing to when you get to a new zone in a Sly game.). Not only that, but while they had relatively easy platforming and combat, they had a particular feel and were quite rewarding. Which I found made them quite friendly to revisit over the years. Now I'm going to have to do a run of Sly 2 this weekend.

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TobbRobb

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This is what the original Jak and Daxter has become to me, (and a handful of Final Fantasy games). Sometimes you just need to take a break and play something familiar and cozy. I think we all do this to some extent, no need to push for new, new, new all the time. I've found that especially people that play a lot of competitive games tend to fall back on old favorites for relaxation instead of buying new games. Most likely because MP games just take up all the free time you have when brain is working at full capacity.

I also really like Sly. Those games are really damn awesome, but I only ended up playing them much later than they were released so they don't quite have the same nostalgic oomph. My toony platformer timeline is something more like Sonic >Spyro > Crash > Rayman > Jak > Ratchet.

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spankingaddict

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Heck yeah Sly Cooper !

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XenturiK

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I wore a Sly Cooper Lapel pin to my wedding. So yes, the mutual Cooper love runs deep.

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RenegadeSaint

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If you like Sly Cooper, you play Sly Cooper.

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I tried to platinum the 3rd Sly Cooper game but it was so boring and drab compared to the first two. I didn't even bother getting the newest one.

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Brendan

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I have a Vita and should probably get around to playing Sly Cooper one of these days.