Reviewed on PS2

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Reviewed By: Michael Caleb Liam Garrett
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: PlayStation II (Sony)
Produced by: Sucker Punch
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: All Ages
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Overall Rating:
Genre: Platform
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
   (good)
Violence: 5 of 5
   (none)
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

ly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus.  Illustration copyrighted.
I remember, about two years ago, getting a demo disc that came in one of the many magazine subscriptions I held. One of the games previewed on this disc was a rather weird-looking game called "Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus". In it, I ran around as a raccoon who received transmissions on his “binocucom” from a turtle that were very reminiscent of the Codec calls in the Metal Gear series, complete with the ability to move the heads around by moving the analog sticks. I found this, and other subtle references, to fit in well with the overall feeling of the game. It's a simple premise, you're a raccoon thief who sneaks around, avoiding spotlights, trip wire lasers, and guards all to reach your goal. And what is your goal? Well, Sly Cooper was born into the most prestigious family of…well, thieves, in the whole world. Through the ages, a the various members of the Cooper family jotted down their specific thieving tricks into a book called the "Thievius Ra ccoonus". Well, unfortunately for Sly, the book wasn't anywhere near a secret. When he was only eight, the “Fiendish Five” came and killed his father and mother, taking the book and ripping the pages out, splitting them up between them. Sly, now an orphan, gets sent to an orphanage, where he meets his friends and partners: Murray the pink/purple hippo (the driver), and Bentley the turtle (the brains). Now Sly is on a one-way course to take down the fiendish five and reclaim the family heirloom which is rightfully his.

Positive Elements
Sly mentions, on various occasions, that he doesn't steal from those who are not thieves. Unfortunately, Robin Hood, he is not. The reason he gives for this is, "There is no honor, no challenge, no fun in stealing from those who don't know the tricks." (Not an exact quote, but close enough). (SPOILERS) When Carmelita Fox, the police thief who hunts down Sly throughout the whole game, is captured and put in a death chamber by the leader of the fiendish five, Clockwerk, Sly goes out of his way to rescue her.

Negative Elements
Sly is well, a thief. Even though he gives his line about only stealing from thieves, the opening level puts you on the roof of a police station in Paris, preparing to steal the files of the Fiendish Five from the personal safe of Carmelita Fox. Seconds later, there is mention of a certain ruby that he had stolen, seemingly from an innocent. Not only that but, whenever you complete a level bosses level, it shows the group hauling off expensive merchandise before going on their next expedition (i.e. when they are leaving America, it shows Sly stealing stars from the Hollywood Walk of Fame).

Screenshot

Spiritual Content This is where Sly lost big in the “Christian Rating” category. The game is one hit kill, except when you get certain items which are aptly named “Charms”. They are, in fact horseshoes that act as lucky charms, giving you another chance. That, however is not where it lost its points. One member of the fiendish five, a certain Haitian crocodile by the name of Mz. Ruby, openly performs the occult practices of voodoo. Her level is ridden with voodoo priest rats, ghosts and the generators they come from (in the forms of tombstones), and druidic trees that come to life to kill you. Since you are fighting against these forces, though, it didn't lose as much as it would have otherwise. There is one part in the boss fight against the voodoo priestess that I didn't catch until my little brother pointed it out to me. (SPOILERS) The fight plays out like a normal rhythm game, where you press the correct buttons as they fly at you. The thing is, when Sly dodges a symbol, he lets out a noise depending on which symbol it was. Triangle has him saying, "Voo," while X has him saying, “Doo.” So, in the two or three times you are forced to press triangle then X, Sly will, in effect, say, “Voodoo.” I realize this is being nitpicky, but I didn't take any extra points off because of it. The only reason I even mentioned this was to let people know. Christian Rating: 3.75/5

Gameplay

Violent Content
If smacking people invisible with a shepherd's staff is too violent for you, why are you even playing games? In all seriousness, though, there is no blood, dismemberment, or any other ghastly forms of death…or death, for that matter. When you beat an enemy, the fly a short distance and disappear into thin air. When Sly “dies” he does a little animation, depending on whether he was on land, in the water, or in the air.

Violent Content Rating: 5/5

Sexual Content
Whenever you defeat a member of the fiendish five, a news paper article comes up showing Carmelita cleaning up your mess by capturing the criminal. All of the headlines include some way of calling Miss Fox “hot”, “spicy”, “foxy” or some other such thing.

Language
If you complete the game 100%, you unlock the commercials and the outtakes to the commercials. In one of the outtakes, a cop uses the word "d***". Drug and Alcohol Content

None. Adult Content Rating: 4.75/5

Conclusion For a game where you play solely as a thief, this game turned out to be a rather morally uplifting outing. That is probably mostly due to the fact that the only time you actually steal anything is at the start of the game when you steal the case file from Carmelita's office. The rest of the implied “theft” is simply from taking back the parts of the Thievius Raccoonus and by picking up the coins left behind by breakable objects and enemies. All in all, you can't really go wrong with a game that is only $20, especially one that is this polished and fun. I'm just hoping that, for the upcoming sequel, they leave out the spiritual hogwash that brought down the middle of this game.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Screenshot


Year of Release—2002



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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