Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
Description official descriptions
Sly Cooper is the latest in a long line of master thieves. When he was a kit, a gang called the Fiendish Five killed his family and divided up their book on the art of thieving: the Thievius Raccoonus. Sly must defeat all the members of the gang to recover the book while evading Carmelita Fox, a police officer chasing him around the world to apprehend him.
This game is divided into five worlds, each themed around a particular part of the world and the villain headquartered there. Most worlds are structured as a central hub with entrances to numerous individual levels. Each of the levels has a primary goals which earns you a key. You must collect all the keys in the world to fight the world's boss.
Many of the levels have a platformer structure. The objective of these worlds is to reach the location of the key. There are substantial stealth elements here as you must dodge searchlights and trips lasers which set off alarms and avoid alerting guards. In addition to the main objective, there are clue bottles to find. Finding all the clues in a level allows you to open a safe with a page from the Thievius Raccoonus which grants a new ability of some sort. After getting this, there is also a master thief sprint where you must get from the start of a level to the exit within a time limit.
There are also mini-game levels which could be kart-style racing, several varieties of shooter or assorted other tasks, such as collecting objects before your enemies do.
Boss fights also run to several styles, ranging from platforming, to more straightforward combat to puzzles to rhythm to shooter.
All artwork is done in a cel-shaded style and dialogue is fully voiced.
- 怪盗 スライ・クーパー - Japanese spelling
- 怪盜史庫柏 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- 슬라이쿠퍼: 전설의 비법서를 찾아서 - Korean spelling (Hangul)
Credits (PlayStation 2 version)
93 People (80 developers, 13 thanks) · View all
Average score: 85% (based on 27 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 5 reviews)
Nice-looking backdrops, well-designed main character. Some of the early levels are quite fun.
Rather than relying a varied platforms, this game requires you to slide along wires, climb ladders and jump onto tiny flashing points via the use of special moves. Unfortunately the special move (whether's it's jumping onto a three-pixel-wide point or grabbing an overhanging wire with Sly's hooked cane) seem to work only at the whim of the game, so you find yourself falling into oblivion on countless occasions. The racing games are irritating. This is quite the most frustrating game I've played for many years. Like its two sequels (both of which vary between tedious wandering around and frustrating sub-games) this game has little or no replay value to speak of. The characters are cardboard cut-outs and the dialogue between them is tedious. Oh, and Sly is a complete drip. One hit and he's dead.
The Bottom Line
Sly Raccoon is one of a family of thieves. His inheritance, a book selling of the ways of master criminals, was stolen by a gang of hood and is now scattered across the world. So he must brave various platform landscapes in order to find it. On each level there are several areas, each containing a key. Gather all the keys to rescue a piece of the book.
PlayStation 2 · by Gary Smith (13) · 2007
I hate platformers. I truly do. Even the term itself sounds extremely mundane. When I was a lot younger, I would enjoy the Marios and Sonics of yesteryear. Of course, like most gamers, I've grown up and moved on from the kiddy platforms. With all that behind me I have delved into more crazier, darker games or just much more complex ones. However, along comes a preview and some screenshots of its graphics and I found myself playing this game and finishing it. Despite its cartoony tone and cheeky dialogue, Sly Cooper is a very good game. If given a chance, the game not only appeals to families who love Disney collections but to a much bigger group of gamers than what one might expect. The direction, cutscenes and characters are well designed and animated but what really amazes me is the pacing of the game. There are many games where you play a character that gains abilities as he traverses through the levels gradually. This is one of them. But, when it is tightly wrapped around some pretty interesting puzzles and good story, it is a game that is truly hard to put down. The difficulty of this game isn't that high considering the target audience it was aimed to sell for but it does its job with some really unique game situations not tried in many "platformers". In Sly Cooper, you are mostly a thief trying to retrieve the separated parts of the holy grail known as the Thievius Raccoonus. This is nothing new but the way the game tells the story is. Sly Cooper makes heavy use of cinematic gameplay meaning the game looks plays like a real life cartoon where the camera is always changing. And although you jump around a lot in this game, it isn't frustrating. It is actually enjoyable. In fact, there are parts of the game where the character has the ability to jump at precise spots. Gone are the die-from-the-edge-of-the-cliff days where most platform type games have jump over or under p a particular block floating in mid air. Not Sly Cooper. In the game, you are given a series of objectives but none of the objectives feel pointless, nor do they feel like tedious play. There is actual purpose for everything you do in the game and the objective does not feel like something small you go after. In my own experience, it seems that the bigger the objective the more dire the challenge. Sly Cooper's execution is so well thought out that it would be worth playing again. The boss fights are hilarious and in some cases a puzzle in itself. There is even a sequence in the game where you must sync with the rhythm of the buttons a la Parappa.
Other than the fact that it was a platformer, there weren't too many weaknesses. There maybe the occasional annoying dialogue but for the most part it is actually entertaining. You may also get sick of the cel-shaded look of the game. The colors are very vibrant but sometimes too vibrant that you may need to take a break once in awhile. The other gripe is that it is a short-lived ride. Very short. Just when you think the crescendo approaches, it ends.
The Bottom Line
Bottom line? Sly Cooper is a good game that can be easily overlooked for its kiddy and cartoon-like direction. But a deeper look says alot more about what the game offers for all of its audiences.
PlayStation 2 · by diglot.net (27) · 2006
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is a wonderful entry into the platform genre. When you first put in the disc, it brings to a screen impressing you with a nice view of a cartoon Paris, showing off an impressive draw distance and a unique art style. I know some people are sick of cel-shading but I, for one, am not. It helps that this is an original work and not just aping the style of a popular cartoon. Lines are thick and bold and things like lighting are handled beautifully.
For the intro and the first level, it seems like a well made, though fairly standard 3D platform game: You collect stuff by navigating your way through a 3D obstacle course with some jumping over pits of instant death and smack an occasional enemy. The stuff you collect gives you access to new areas, where you repeat until you get enough stuff to fight the boss.
The second world is where things really open up. You're given new moves and it becomes obvious this is far more than a Mario 64 clone. The new moves themselves aren't such a big deal and they mostly just allow Sly to jump on new things, like the tops of poles or rails. It keeps the game fresh, but isn't a lot we haven't seen in dozens of platformers.
What makes it fresh is everything that is added to the basic run jump mix. It owes debts to such disparate games as Parappa the Rapper, Metal Gear Solid, Space Harrier, Mario Kart, Robotron and various rail shooters.
The stealth elements are the most obvious of this. There are various security systems involving lasers or spotlights Sly has to avoid tripping or he'll sound and alarm as well as enemies who are carrying lights who can similarly spot you and blow a whistle, bringing other enemies running. This isn't primarily a stealth game and it's meant to be accessible to kids, so it's nothing on the level of Splinter Cell, but it certainly spices things up.
The boss fights are amazing. All of them have a different theme to defeat them goes way beyond the standard dodging and hitting with only attack patterns changing. The musical number at the end of the swamp is of particular note. Be warned it's a rather catchy bit which could distract you the rest of the day.
Without really breaking genre, it also introduces a bunch of variety with various chase levels. Some involve the cop that is chasing you, Carmelita Fox, taking shots with a bazooka, but there are others, like a swamp monster that destroys the entire level, leaving you to stay one step ahead lest you the ground fall out from underneath you or a level on a sinking platform where you have to keep moving to avoid drowning.
There are some odd glitches, like Sly sometimes falls off an edge and spins in space forever instead of falling. This isn't a huge problem as pausing and unpausing usually fixes it and you can restart the level from the menu, but it's annoying.
The characters use relative few polygons. The art style mostly does a good job of hiding this, but there are some close-ups where you can just count the triangles.
All the regular platform levels have a bunch of bottles to collect. If you find them all, you can unlock a safe which has a page from the Thievius Raccoonus, giving you a new ability. This sounds good in theory, but in practice, most of the abilities are quite useless. One that comes to mind is one you get in the fourth world which keeps you from dying if you fall into a bottomless pit. This is obtained right at the end of the game. The fifth world is all shooter and has no sections where you have any danger of falling into a pit and it's useless for time trials because the limits are too tight to recover from such a thing. I found myself thinking it would have been handy several worlds earlier.
The difficult ramp is uneven. The main game is pretty short and easy. It took me about ten hours and I was going through the levels multiple times to find all the bottles. I'm betting a first time player who was just aiming to finish could do it in six or seven hours. It was a rare level that took me more than a couple tries and those were mostly of the learn-by-dying variety. There's little that isn't quite simple once you know what to do. Finding the bottles was also fairly trivial, especially after I found the one in each level that gave the positions for every bottle in the world.
The racing segments are somewhat more difficult. This is largely a design issue with the rubber-band AI. They seem to be set to always perform a little better than you, so the only viable strategy is to save up your turbos, hang in second on third place and trying to pull ahead in the final lap. Unfortunately, this is really the only difficulty of race levels. Typical racing strategies like proper cornering and good lines barely come into play if at all. I suspect this was to make the game more accessible to those that didn't play racing games, but it was dumbed down a bit too much.
After you have beaten the main game and have all the bottles, you can do time trials to unlock developer commentary. Suddenly, the difficulty goes from laughably trivial to controller-throwingly difficult as the time trial goals are all about a second more than the best theoretically possible. You have to do everything, including hitting the marker to start the run at the correct angle, perfectly. This wouldn't be so bad if you had somehow been prepared for it, but this doesn't occur.
My main complaint with the game is the plot and characters. Like the gameplay itself, the characters are a bunch of shallow versions of popular clichés. This works for the game because of the sheer variety, but the characters more grated. You have the criminal with the heart of gold avenging his family who was killed by actual bad criminals that's been seen in countless kung fu movies and similar western genres, the cop-criminal sexual tension, the impossibly nerdy sidekick, the fat guy whose obsession with food overrides all sense, etc. I liked the villains. They were cool, but the characters who are the core of the franchise who are supposed to be the ones convincing me to buy the sequel were more of an annoyance than anything.
The Bottom Line
Like many modern platformers, Sly Cooper is really a bunch of genres thrown together in a platformy wrapper but avoids becoming overly complicated by stripping all the genres down to their essentials. This means the game itself is quite a bit simpler than it ideally would be, but it's still tons of fun, so this is forgivable. While it starts off a bit standard, the quality ramps up shortly, so keep at it a couple hours. The story isn't great, but it's thankfully this is not a story-heavy game. This is a fun diversion for adult gamers, but the cartoony graphics, low difficulty and simple play and characters also make it a great choice for children.
PlayStation 2 · by Ace of Sevens (4400) · 2007
1001 Video Games
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Japanese version differences
The Japanese release of the game is somewhat different from the North American and PAL releases. This is most visible in the intro and ending cinematics, which are fully animated instead of using limited flash sequences like in the international versions. There is also a slight dialogue difference, with Carmelita counting down her "10 second head start" instead of Sly. The PAL version has both cutscenes available when unlocked, while the North American version only has the Japanese intro.
Furthermore, the Japanese release has a 3-minute demo of the game with the vocal song Blackjack that appears after 30 seconds of the player's inactivity in the main menu.
Mesa City, the location of level two of the game is portrayed as being in Utah. In reality it could not be, as the casinos central to this level are outlawed in this majority-LDS state.
- MobyGames ID: 7647
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by vism.
PlayStation 3, PS Vita added by GTramp.
Game added November 3rd, 2002. Last modified May 11th, 2023.