The original Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is one of my earliest memories on the PS2, though it released two years into the system’s life cycle. I remember that, lumped together during the course of about a half-year or so, Sly Cooper along with Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter pretty much took up most of my gaming time. They all had a somewhat similar look and gameplay style, with stylized animation and 3-D platforming, and each featured a team of memorable characters which have all gone on to become industry stalwarts in their own right. That, and they were fun, funny, and kid-friendly. What was not to like?
Fast-forward to 2014, when for the first time in over a decade I sat down with a new Sly Cooper title, having skipped over both of the original’s sequels. And to be honest, I was left thoroughly unimpressed by my early hours with Thieves in Time. Continue reading →
The games industry produces a never-ending stream of games chock-full of the manliest, muscle-bound macho beefcake, the toughest space marines packing a Star Destroyer’s worth of firepower, and armor-clad knights of the realm, ready to lay down life and limb in defense of chaste princesses. We like games full of action and explosions, so it’s a necessary evil.
But then there are those moments when the above formula just goes completely off the rails, whether intentionally or through some misguided train-wreck of a design decision, and we suddenly find ourselves faced with the weirdest, whiniest, and dorkiest bunch of characters this side of the final Harry Potter movie’s midnight showing. That’s not to say we don’t love them; whether serving as all-important comic relief in otherwise blasted landscapes or being the most memorable feature in what could have been an otherwise bland game, the loveable losers of gaming are as important as any characters. For this reason, today we honor the freaks and geeks of gaming. Enjoy! Continue reading →