Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Coopered

It's been a while without a post, but I finally have some news. No, I haven't finished either of the two main games I was playing yet (though I think I am close with The First Templar), but I have finally finished Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. What, I didn't mention I was playing that? Well, I've been chipping away at it for a few years on the PS3 and finally clunked the last boss last night. In a completely ridiculous way I feel personally involved with this one. Many years ago, back in the good old foED days, someone from Sucker Punch (the development company behind the Sly games) contacted us to ask for some help with the particle code from one of our books that he was using in a game they were working on, and I was able to help him fix the code and get things running. Of course, I've got absolutely no idea if that was anything to do with Sly, but I like to think it did. Anyway, that's always made me a little fond of Sly Cooper and is why I chose to play it a while back when I was on the look out for a game. It doesn't hurt that it's actually a pretty fun game - an old-school platformer (it's originally a PS2 game, so actually everyday-school at the time, but I've been playing the PS3 HD version) with a load of minigames thrown in for good measure. I felt like the minigames (and boss fights by extension) were actually the weakest parts because the controls let them down, but the main platforming was a joy. Sly generally controls well, and has a large set of moves (that increase as the game goes on) that allow you to make it through the levels with ease. There are some tricky parts, but it's quite a forgiving game with effectively infinite lives (you do have a lives counter, but when you run out you just have to start the level again from scratch with 5 more lives). As mentioned, the worst parts of the game were the minigames and boss fights. Both of these had different controls and objectives to the standard platforming, and both suffered because of it. They were very varied, I'll give that to them, ranging from driving games to jetpack areas to rhythm action fights to on-rails shooters, but that great variety meant a lack of polish and it was often slightly sloppy controls (compared to the normally tight platforming) that let it down. I lost count of the amount of times I had to re-do certain minigames - as mentioned, the infinite lives meant it didn't really matter, but it wasn't much fun. Case in point was the final boss fight, which consisted of three parts, and any time you died you had to go right back to the beginning and start again. That was...painful, but I made it through in the end. Other than that, it was good fun - good voice acting and animated cut scenes and an enjoyable base platforming game. I even managed to get a platinum trophy for it, which was a bonus! Apparently, I can go back and speed run all of the levels to unlock a developer commentary, but...maybe not. I do own the rest of the Sly games, but I'm not going to tackle them next. Instead, I've started going through some of my old Playstation Network purchases and Plus games, and there are some of those that I'm going to count as finished. First up are a couple of the Playstation Eye games, Tori Emaki and Operation Creature Feature. Tori Emaki isn't really a game as such, more of an interactive experience. It's essentially a long (beautiful) scroll that you can move around to view the different parts of it. You do this by moving your arms to control a flock of crows that fly around the picture, causing animations to take place when they pass over hot spots in the image. It's quite a unique and relaxing experience (and fun for the kids), but there's no real 'game' to it so I'm going to mark it as complete on the list. Operation Creature Feature is another Eye game, and this one is definitely a game. It's kind of a little like a motion controlled version of Lemmings - you have to guide a set number of tiny creatures across a dangerous map by waving your arms wildly to get them to move. The controls are a little more delicate than that, but that's essentially it. It can be a bit frustrating at times, but is otherwise quite a fun little game. Again, it's great for the kids but not something I'm going to bring out again otherwise. I'm going to continue going through the PS games in the order that I purchased them (or at least in the order that the completely useless PS Download List has them) to try and make a bit of headway through them, as I'm slightly paranoid that they'll stop Plus on the PS3 before too long. Onwards!

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