Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sly Cooper and Sucker Punch

Up until now my posts have all been about politics and movies, but there is another side to Shatner... and that side is a big-time video game geek. This will be the only post where I make any excuses for this... from here on out it is going to be a mix of libertarianism and video game geekiness.

I don't have as much time as I once did for longer games, so lately I've been playing a load of traditional 2D and 3D plaformer games. I started out with that Klonoa remake for the Wii, and then started picking up a bunch of the stuff that I missed out on for the PS2 like Klonoa 2, Prince of Persia 3, Scaler, Ratchet and Clank etc.

The thing I love about well made plaform games is that they tend not to be too hard. I love fluidly jumping from platform to platform, and exploring new areas. The best ones are just breezy romps that keep you feeling challenged, but never get too frustrating.

Most recently I've been playing the Sly Cooper games from Sucker Punch. In the past two weeks I've burned through both Sly 2 and Sly 3, and I've found them insanely enjoyable. The control is fantastic, they have tons of exploration (Sly 2 particularly), and I found myself appreciating some things I hardly ever admire in platform games... story, characters and voice acting.

I'm sure furries love these games and these characters, but I've been trying not to let that ruin my fun. How can a turtle date a mouse exactly? How does that work? No matter... I guess I'm glad Penelope and Bentley found each other... I just hope there are no erotic fan-fictions out there... and I do not want to see their offspring.

Sure, the plots are mind-bogglingly ridiculous. But these games have so much charm and some surprisingly cleaver writing, you can't help but be excited about what insane excuse they will come up with next for you to do some crazy jumping and running. Not only is are the traditional platforming mechanics super sharp in these games, but the Cooper games delve into tons of other genres. Some levels have you doing first person shooting, rail shooting, racing, dog fighting (not the Michael Vick sort, although that might be fun), stealth missions (that are actually fun), and even managing strategic pirate ship battles! There are a few stinkers I was happy to be done with, but for the most part all the multi-genre elements work great and end up being very, very fun.

It's crazy that a little company here in Seattle was able to cram so many different wild ideas into these games and have them turn out so well. I met some of Sucker Punch's art staff a few years at the Seattle Comic-Con, and they are were all super smart, talented, nice dudes. So I want to give their work a little shout-out here on my blog, and encourage anyone who thirsts for some light fun to try the Cooper games. In just the past few weeks, both Sly 2 and Sly 3 have shot up to the top of my list of favorite platform games ever... just behind a few Mario games. Great work! I just might have to get a PS3 and give Infamous a try.

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