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We all have our favorite genres. While I enjoy video games of all stripes, the action/platformer has been near and dear to my heart ever since I fell in love with Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Sadly, this style of game isn't as popular as it once was - especially the large-scale, 3D platformers that were so popular in the 1990s.
One of my favorite games of the year is a great example of this genre done right: Sanzaru Games' Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Sly was probably the least-known of Sony's PS2 platformers, playing third banana to Jak and Daxter and Ratchet & Clank, but I've always loved the series' colorful, cel-shaded graphics and lighthearted, gadget-heavy take on stealth.
Even as the creators of the franchise, Sucker Punch, have moved onto the more adult-oriented Infamous series, Sanzaru (made of of some ardent Sly fans) have taken up the mantle with Thieves in Time, which delivers all the great action I love from Sly in addition to a ton of diversity added by putting you in various time periods and in the paws of a variety of Cooper family ancestors.
I loved it from beginning to end. While it was certainly traditional Sly Cooper, the PS3 allowed Sanzaru to make a game that was both more polished and more ambitious than its predecessors. It didn't seem to make much of an impression on gamers, but I put that down more to the changing tastes and the sagging fortunes of character action games than any faults of the game itself. For more of my thoughts, you can read my full review that was published in February of this year.
The Top 50 ChallengeDespite the fact that this is a long, engaging, and high quality game, I'm afraid most of my coworkers ignored the game this year. Its chance of making our year-end list isn't helped by the fact that it came out all the way back in February, before a slew of impressive blockbusters and innovative indie hits. I've assigned the game to Kim Wallace in hopes that she'll find it as infectious as I did. I know she appreciates colorful storytelling and graphics, as well as finely honed gameplay. That's something I feel that Thieves in Time delivers in spades. I hope she agrees.
Kim Wallace was given one day to play Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Come back tomorrow at 11AM CT to read her impressions and see if she'll support the game's inclusion on our Top 50 Games of the Year list.
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.