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)
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.
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
(some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 5 of 5
Adult Content: 4 of 5
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.
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).
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
Violent Content Rating: 5/5
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.
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.
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
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
Year of Release—2002
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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