The lights are on
As someone who has never played the Sly Cooper games (but always wanted to), I was thrilled to hear they were bringing them to PS3 with a new high-def overhaul. God of War I & II received this same treatment, and I was more than happy shelling out $40 for two great games looking better than ever. I’ve been playing the Sly Collection since it came out, and it makes me want future HD collections even more.What really surprised me was how well these games hold up even without the benefit of nostalgia value. I went into it with no knowledge of the series, and I found myself enjoying them as much as I have many games released in 2010. That’s not to say they’re on the same level as a Super Mario Galaxy 2 or Donkey Kong Country Returns, but they don’t play like relics from the past.Certain elements remind you that these games were made in the first few years of the 2000s, but they’re few and far between. Boss cutscenes are unskippable even if you’ve watched them before, and it’s awkward to switch between all of your abilities in the first game. Outside of these minor complaints, they’d fit right in alongside a current-gen platformer.Its gameplay manages to stand out from others in the genre thanks to its stealthy nature. Playing as a thief allows for plenty of Metal Gear-esque crawling and sneaking, and it’s fun to crawl across wires high above unsuspecting guards. Many older platformers make the mistake of including too many collectibles, but Sly keeps a perfect balance with its limited selection. You’re not required to collect every hidden clue bottle, but you’ll definitely want to thanks to the wide variety of new moves they unlock.With its vivid cartoon style, Sly’s visuals look gorgeous in HD. You can tell when games with more realistic art styles (God of War) are updated for high-definition, but if I wasn’t somewhat familiar with Sly beforehand, I wouldn’t be surprised if these graphics belonged in a brand new game.In addition to the three full Sly Cooper games, the Collection also features four Move-supported minigames. These obviously aren’t as meaty of experiences as the core titles, but they’re nice two-player distractions if you want a break from looting museums.I can’t recommend the Sly Collection enough, both in terms of gameplay quality and overall value. They hold up extremely well, look better than ever, and come at a great price. Keep these coming, Sony.