P-Vock's Music Box: One Sly Thief
Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. Last week, a triumph of a video game was finally released. Something the industry and its rabid fans have wanted to see for a long time, Sonic Frontiers!
Oh yeah, and I guess God of War Ragnarok came out. I guess some people were a little excited about the follow-up to one of the most instantly beloved and acclaimed games ever released in 2018's God of War. While that blue bastard has my attention more, I am certainly excited to finally dive into this game (when I get free time in the year Two Thousand and Twenty NEVER).
I'm happy that this series I have adored for over 20 years since it first launched on the PS2 is still going strong. But despite that, I can't help but feel a twinge of sadness at all the other beloved franchises that began on the PS2 that have been seemingly forgotten about. Let's talk about one such franchise.
I am so tempted to ramble on about Ape Escape, and that will certainly have its day in the future on this stupid blog, but I think I'll stick to one I've yet to ever mention at BRD for now.
Sly Cooper is an absolutely wonderful series with so much charm and heart. For relatively standard 3D platformers with a focus on stealth and light combat, they managed to break from the mold and carve a unique niche that no other series has matched by adopting an absolutely brilliant film Noire crime drama lens. Let's have a listen.
So, the first game is definitely the most arcade-feeling game in the series, and I think the music is certainly reflective of that. That funky beat and the instrumentation certainly deliver that Noire vibe that many love, but it maintains a level of bounce and fun, which is perfect for the game that was the first in this series. It wasn't until the second game that Sly really began to carve out an unmistakable identity.
Holy hot diggity, this is the greatest piece of heist music ever composed. Sly 2: Band of Thieves is definitely the most remembered game in the series, and I think part of why is its absolutely phenomenal beginning. You're not given the full context yet, but you're robbing a museum and hearing about this Fiendish Five and their ringleader, Clockwerk (great name, real clever).
Honestly, do I even need to say more? One of my favourite things to do with video game music is play it for people who have never played the game and see if they can guess the context. I don't think a single person would hear this music and not immediately think of espionage or some form of a heist.
If that doesn't speak volumes to why this theme is incredible, nothing does.
But alright, let's go big for the finale, just like the series did.
OOOOH BABY, that is some sexy ass thieving music. Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves certainly aims to go for a much bigger scale than Sly 2 did and, while it may not make the game better overall in my opinion, it certainly achieves that goal. The instrumentation here definitely paints the bigger of something much bigger than we had in Sly 2, while still maintaining that sense of classy and sexy intrigue that is basically a requirement for heist-based media.
The best part of this theme to me is that it foreshadows the game. All of the major villains in this wonderful game have their own leitmotif and this theme manages to incorporate them flawlessly into the first theme you hear in the game. That's an absolutely classy touch that even today just makes me orgasm more than the sexy fox lady did when I was a teenager (shut up, I was lonely back then and I'm lonely now).
The PlayStation family of consoles has hosted tons of iconic series that have since collected dust in the back closet at Sony HQ. But while people like myself are constantly begging for more Hot Shots Golf, Jak and Daxter, and Ape Escape, Sly Cooper doesn't seem to be remembered as much and I can't tell you why. Everything about these games is absolutely beloved by fans and the studio behind them, Sucker Punch (another great name), has one of the most consistent lineups of games under their belts out of any studio in the industry.
It's just tragic to see a series do so well only to just kind of stop getting mentions and releases. But at least Sucker Punch would go on to kill it with inFAMOUS and later Ghost of Tsushima, both of which I'll probably talk about at some point.
I hope you enjoyed this stealthy little dive into one of gaming's hidden jewels. Thanks so much for checking out my nonsense and I'll catch you next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.