By William Lee
Tribune Game Editor
7:57 PM EST, February 22, 2013
"Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time," out this month for Playstation 3 and PS Vita would have made a great short-lived 1990s Saturday morning cartoon.
The charismatic raccoon cat burglar, who has starred in three stealth-centered games on Playstation 2, is morning-toons ready in his first foray on an advanced system.
But while this time-jumping adventure may have some gamers hearkening back to a time when toon adventurers held more sway than first-person shooters, gamers will quickly get a been there/done that feeling.
In his fourth adventure, taking place some time after chronologically after 2005's "Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves," Sly and his team travel through time, scaling walls, running atop rooftops and wearing disguises in feudal Japan, medieval England, the Wild West and Arabia, battling a evil force trying to thwart Sly’s ancient ancestors.
In addition to Sly, you’ll play as brainy Bentley, who uses gadgets to take down foes, and brawny Murray, who smashes and tosses bad guys.
Sly is bright and cheery with likable characters and over-the-top scenarios (Ya know? Time machines). It's a great-looking and 3D-compatible game, though you would rather sit down and watch with a bowl of cereal instead of play.
The graphics are whimsical, right out of your favorite toons growing up, with a manageable storyline, but Sly will likely appeal only to old school gamers who miss side scrollers like Mario or Ratchet & Clank; stealth enthusiasts (they exist) and 'tweens it’s aimed for. This all goes without even mentioning the sometimes maddening camera angles and repetitive go-fetch-this nature of the gameplay.
It's likely that Sly won’t offer the thrill ride that most next-gen gamers are looking for. It doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, but after 10 long years and tons of technological innovations in gaming, maybe it should.
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