Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus Aged Quite Badly

I have recently completed Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus on my PS Vita, after buying the Sly Cooper Collection about a year ago and pretty much forgetting about it until I started fancying playing a platformer some time ago and suddenly remembering that I had it.

The game itself is not that bad. As a matter of fact, I quite enjoyed playing it and I think that if you are a platformer fan, you should probably play it (and it’s very likely that you have done so already). The think in this game, playing it in 2015, is that it feels like it has aged pretty badly.

The controls feel very clunky, and all this is made worse by the fact that you can’t make Sly run. It’s not that you are walking, but only that you have one single speed to move around, and this keels some of the fun of this genre in my opinion (this has been fixed in the next episode by the way).

The level design is very linear, although this is not a bad thing per se, and the only exploration allowed is that to gather all the bottles in the level. If you manage to gather them all, you will be able to open a safe somewhere in the level that will grant Sly an extra ability, like being able to roll or not to die when falling in the water (yep, Sly can’t swim, so no underwater levels yay!)

The game is not the typical platformer, there are some stealth elements which make it slower than an old Mario game to make an example. In fact, most of the time Sly will die after receiving just one hit from an enemy, to stop you from rushing through the levels swinging your cane left and right. Also, there really are not many enemies in the levels.

The graphics are in a nice celshading, something I am not a huge fan of but I don’t mind them either. The smaller Vita screen does a good job to make the game look nice with cool colors.

The thing that I hated the most about the game, however, were the non-platform levels. There are some sections in the game where, instead of hopping around and collecting bottles, you have to perform some other actions, like winning a 3-lap race or shooting at enemies while on a moving vehicle. Well, I found these pretty terrible to be honest, and there are quite a few of them. I couldn’t wait to complete them to move over to another normal level, which is where the game is most enjoyable.

Finally, the boss fights deserve an honorable mention. While they are inconsistent in their difficulty (I found a couple of them extremely easy, killing them at my first try with no deaths, and a couple of other quite challenging, requiring multiple tries), I found them quite original, especially the one that has you play a Parappa-the-Rapper-style music game to defeat it. Kudos for the interesting change to the developers.

Overall, is this worth playing? Well, I think so, yes. The Sly Collection can be found for reasonably cheap nowadays, and if you are a platform fan you are likely going to enjoy this. Do not expect a masterpiece though, and I still consider the first Jak and Dexter a better game.

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Motorstorm RC: Seriously Flawed but Highly Addictive!

Motorstorm RC Logo

Motorstorm RC was one of the games included in the voucher that came when I bought the PS Vita the other week, and it was the first one I installed because I wanted to see how it was compared to the other Motorstorm titles and because I fancied a portable racing game.

The first surprise came immediately after launching the game for the first time, when you realize that this is not the typical Motorstorm game. The RC in the title, in fact, stands for Radio Controlled. To give you a better idea of what this game is like, let me leave you to the official Sony trailer:

So this is Micro Machines Motorstorm, really. I am not saying it’s better or worse, it’s just different. I have never been a fan of the Motorstorm series (well, it would be better to say that I don’t like it), so I wasn’t expecting to like this either. Instead, the game gave me a few good surprises.

First of all, the game is just perfect for a handheld device. The pick-up-and-play gameplay, due to the quick challenges in the game (never more than a few minutes long) is perfectly suited to the portable nature of the PS Vita. Also, it is incredibly addictive, making you want to do just another race every time. I completed all the events with 3 gold medals in just a couple of days probably.

To be honest, there are not so many challenges in the game, so it won’t take long to complete the game. What might take longer is getting the gold trophies which require you to complete all the challenges in each of the four areas of the game within a specific amount of time. These are not very difficult, although they might prove challenging. I have gotten all the trophies with the exception of the two online ones and the final gold trophy, which requires you to set a global time through all the challenges in less than 40 minutes. I am currently standing just above 41 minutes but I don’t feel like going for it. I just don’t think that it’s worth it.

And this is because the game, in my opinion, has a seriously flawed control system. Most importantly, you have to get used to the weird camera angles (you cannot use the classic, behind-the-car view) and consequently weird steering controls. Also, some of the later challenges involve using cars that are just too fast to be controlled properly, making the game become quickly frustrating and just not fun anymore. I am sure it can start to feel natural again after a little bit, but after getting 192/192 gold medals it still felt wrong to me, so there might be more to that than a simple getting used to it.

Overall, the game is fun and perfect for a quick game on the run. Also, if you are that type of person, the trophies are stackable, meaning that a trophy that you unlock on the PS Vita will also be unlocked on the PS3 (and viceversa). But the control system is just not very good, and this makes some of the later challenges (and going for the platinum trophy) quite frustrating and not very entertaining. I am happy to have played it but I would never have done so if I had not got the game for free. So if you are as lucky, go download it and give it a try. Otherwise, I think that you can spend the money on better racing games (for example Wipeout 2048: stay tuned for the review).

Have you played Motorstorm RC? What do you think about it? Did you like it? Make sure to share your opinions in the comment section!

How To Take a Screenshot On The PS Vita

PS VitaUnlike the 3DS, which only allows taking screenshots in certain situations, the PS Vita allows you to take screenshots anywhere, anytime. You just need to press the Playstation button together with the Start button.

Your screenshot will be saved on your memory card and you can will be able to see it from the Photos app, in the Gallery section. You can also send it with the Messages app or share it via email (after setting up an email account on your handheld).

The PS Vita Is Here!

IMG_20140203_174323No, not the new, slim one. I bought a PS Vita the other day and it has finally arrived! I have been thinking about it for a few months but I have always decided not to buy it. Then I found a really good deal and I thought “Now or nevah!”. So I bought it 🙂

Enough for now, let the pictures speak for themselves:

PS VitaIMG_20140205_094144 IMG_20140203_174651 IMG_20140203_205826The Mega Pack included a voucher for 10  games:

  • Little Big Planet PS Vita
  • Wipeout 2048
  • Motorstorm RC
  • Little Deviants
  • Frobisher Says
  • Ecolibrium
  • Ratchet & Clank Size Matters (no, not a porn movie)
  • Lemmings
  • Hungry Giraffe (*_*)
  • The HD Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character

So far I have only played with Motorstorm, but not enough to be able to say anything more than “quite addictive”, so there will be more content on these games in the following days.

The Mega Pack also included a 16 GB memory card, a very good thing because they are still pretty expensive (and Sony doesn’t appear to be interested in allowing gamers to use regular SD cards instead of their proprietary ones).

The Starter kit includes:

  • Wrist strap
  • Protective film
  • Cloth for cleaning
  • Card case (can carry up to six games)
  • Hard case with stand
  • Soft pouch

Overall a good starter kit with a very good selection of accessories. I am glad that it was included in the bundle.

Here you go. In the following days you can expect more posts on the games that I downloaded with the voucher and one post on the starter kit. Some of the accessories are really good and I think they deserve a post just for themselves.

If you have any questions about the PS Vita (including “Why? Why did you buy it?!?” and the like), please feel free to use the comment section down below 😉