Monday, March 18, 2013
Sly, do you even want me to play you?
After completing the first four-fifths of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time in what felt like a slightly-uncomfortable slog, the game's final hub world had succeeded in enchanting me. Unlike every other hub in the game, it wasn't overly cluttered or uncomfortable to navigate. It didn't create a headache-inducing, way-too-busy skyline that smooshed a bunch of set pieces together in an unsightly jumble - it looks and plays really, really well.
It's like they showed the game to someone at Sucker Punch who told them "no, you've got to move the Forty Thieves section to the end of the game - 'cause that's your best level. Like, easily."
And off I went for the greatest pleasure of any Sly game - collecting the hub world's clue bottles.
I got twenty of the thirty bottles, and tried to climb a pole that you're only supposed to be able to climb with an ancestor's special ability - which I didn't have, yet - a hundred-foot pole had snakes that would shoot up it every six seconds, and knock me off, causing a bit of damage. Eventually, the snakes killed me, and the game attempted to reload my last check point.
It took a while, but Thieves in Time's load times are egregious, so I waited.
And waited some more. Then, I reset the console and rebooted the game. Sly 4 doesn't seem to use auto saves, and I was back on the ground floor for Forty Thieves.
But that's okay! Collecting clue bottles is, again, my favorite part of Sly - so off I went, and finally collected all thirty bottles.
I even climbed that unclimbable pole by timing the snakes' ascent. I'd stand next to the basket they erupt from and wait for them to zip up the pole before latching on myself. "One thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, five thousand, six..." and I would leap from the pole, doing a gentle flip as the snakes blasted past before latching back on. "One thousand, two thousand, three thousand..."
It was very satisfying, and feeling more positive about this whole Sly thing I went on with the story missions. Soon, I was playing as Sly's Arabian ancestor. I entered a zone for a mission, and the game went to the load screen.
And I waited.
And reset the console again. And I'm wondering if I can muster the desire to try again. It's like, what the fuck, Sanzaru? Do you even want me to play your game?
This is more annoying than the audio bugs in God of War: Ascension (no idea how that passed quality control) - at least it didn't stop my progression cold.