Alan Smithee

Who Traded This In? — Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus

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I am a game collector, an avid one at that. Right now, in my basement I have over 400 games from over a dozen game consoles sitting in various boxes or on shelves just yearning to have electricity pumped through them.

My addiction started back with the Sega Master System back in 1987 and has continued to this day with me buying every console that I feel deserves to be bought. I’ve even gone out of my way to purchase failed consoles such as the Saturn or the Virtual Boy just so I can have some ‘camp’ value in my collection.

For the longest time, I’ve had no issue paying full price for most games that come out…until this generation. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bought many a $60 game for both my Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, I just now feel like I shouldn’t have to. I always assigned a certain stigma to buying used games or even ‘greatest hits’ versions, and I don’t know where it came from. This all changed the day that I started rummaging through the bargain bin at my local GameStop (sorry, I know there are some of you who are totally against GameStop, but they’re all I have locally).

My first rummage through the bargain bin netted me a few games that I had been meaning to either play or own for about $5 each. I couldn’t believe that I could pick up games that were good for a tenth of the normal price. I guess it was the fact that I could pick up 12 used games for the price of 1 new game that sold me on the idea…and I’ve been hooked ever since.

What constantly surprises me isn’t the game’s price, but the fact that someone loved it and left it for dead by trading it in. I know that my collection will most likely never appreciate in value but at least I have them to play later in life. There must have been something wrong with the 15 people that traded in their copies of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus because this game is an instant classic.

I never had the chance to play Sly Cooper when it came out, I was just too busy doing things that didn’t involve games. Sucker Punch got it right on their first try. This game is a platforming game lover’s dream. Each level has about 7~9 stages that have greatly varied gameplay and brilliant boss fights that are as good if not better than anything uncle Shiggy could make.

The story, while slightly retarded, is executed flawlessly by excellent voice acting and animated (in 2-D) cut-scenes that are very well done. The game tends to play out like most any collecting platformer like Jak and Daxter or Ratchet and Clank, which isn’t a bad thing except that the collision detection in those 2 games was about 200% more effective.

There are portions of Sly Cooper where it’s hard to determine how far away some jumps are or what the reach of certain enemy weapons are. It’s in no way a deal breaker, but it does get annoying in some of the more tedious sections of the game.

I gauge my used games by the amount of time I spend playing them. I usually have a whole stack of games that need to be tried out and folded into the collective as soon as humanly possible, though with Sly Cooper I find myself almost resistant to take the game out of my PS3 to try another one out. I’ve put in about 5-6 hours and I find myself breezing through most of the game, with the exception of the few awkward racing stages or shooter inspired levels.

For those of you so inclined to buy and play used games, you can’t go wrong with Sly Cooper. I’ve had a whole bunch of fun playing the first one and I can’t wait to play the sequel that I got at the same time.

My opinion: it’s worth the $5 bill to have this one in the collection, even though the camera is a bit sloppy.

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