Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
Content at a glance:
Violence: Striking enemies with a staff; death animations styled after Looney Tunes.
Spirituality: One enemy is a pracitioner of voodoo, and her level is filled with ghosts, living trees, and voodoo-practicing rats.
Language: One instance of "d---" in the end-game secrets.
Adult Content: Multiple references to the attractiveness of a female character.
Misc. Negative: Sly is a thief and is willing to steal almost anything that isn't nailed down.
Positive: Protection of others, even if they are enemies.
Through the ages, the various members of the Cooper family jotted down their specific thieving tricks into a book called the “Thievius Raccoonus”. Unfortunately for Sly, the book wasn't as much of a secret as they had hoped. When he was only eight, the “Fiendish Five” came and killed his father and mother, taking the book and ripping the pages out. Sly, now an orphan, gets sent to an orphanage where he meets his friends and partners: Murray the hippo, the driver; and Bentley the turtle, the brains. Now, Sly is on a one-way course to take down the fiendish five and reclaim the family heirloom which is rightfully his.
At its core, Sly Cooper is a very well produced platformer. Many of the environments Sly finds himself in will require him to navigate vertically and horizontally along pipes, ledges, thin poles, tightropes, and other precarious platforms in order to pilfer from his enemies. Most of the enemies and obstacles involve lights that will set off alarms and cause death to quickly come to the nocturnal hero, so figuring out the patterns and moving at the opportune time is a crucial skill to develop.
Over the course of the game, Sly will recover pages from the Thievius Raccoonus that will teach him new thieving tricks. These new abilities allow new gameplay elements to be explored. Besides these predetermined progressions, it is also possible to gather all of the bottles in a level in order to get the code to open up a safe that will contain more power-ups that are not necessary for progress, but useful for a variety of reasons.
There is no blood, dismemberment, or any other ghastly forms of death. Sly strikes enemies with a shepherd's staff, causing them to fly a short distance and disappear. Sly has a number of death animations that are reminiscent of Looney Tunes cartoons.
If you complete the game 100%, you unlock commercials and outtakes to the commercials. In one of the outtakes, a cop uses the word “d—“.
Sly dies in one hit most of the time, but there are horseshoe charms that he can collect that will save him from death. Mz. Ruby, a Haitian crocodile that is a member of the fiendish five, practices voodoo. Her level is ridden with voodoo priest rats, ghosts and the tombstones they come from, and trees that come to life to kill you. The battle against Mz. Ruby plays out like a rhythm game, where you press the correct buttons as they fly at you. When Sly dodges a symbol, he lets out a noise depending on which symbol it was. Triangle has him saying, “Voo,” while X has him saying, “Doo.” So, in the two or three times you are forced to press triangle then X, Sly will say, “Voodoo.”
Whenever you defeat a member of the fiendish five, a news paper article comes up showing Carmelita cleaning up your mess by capturing the criminal. All of the headlines include some way of calling Miss Fox “hot”, “spicy”, “foxy,” or some other such thing.
Sly mentions, on various occasions, that he doesn't steal from those who are not thieves, although the reason he gives for this is that there is not enough fun and challenge in stealing from anyone else. It is also disingenuous, as the opening level puts you on the roof of a police station in Paris, preparing to steal the files of the Fiendish Five from the personal safe of Carmelita Fox. Seconds later, there is mention of a certain ruby that he has stolen, seemingly from an innocent. Whenever you defeat a boss, it shows the group hauling off expensive merchandise before going on their next expedition: e.g. when they are leaving America, it shows Sly stealing stars from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Sly does go out of his way to protect those he cares about, even if they are technically enemies.
For those who are looking for a relatively cheap game that are not bothered by the voodoo content, this is a great platformer that I feel has stood the test of time.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.
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