Sony has announced release dates for two Vita collections.
The Sly Trilogy, which bundles together PlayStation 2 games Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus,†Sly 2: Band of Thieves†and†Sly 3: Honour Among Thieves remastered in HD and optimised for Vita, launches in Europe on 16th April.
The God of War Collection, which bundles the original God of War and God of War 2 with remastered visuals, trophy support and touchscreen and dual analogue controls, launches on 8th May.
Sony has confirmed that European PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to play enchanting downloadable adventure Journey a week before everyone else - just like their US gaming cousins.
They'll also get a free Plus-exclusive Dynamic Theme.
Trine 2 finally launches on the European PS Store this week months after it went live on the US PS Store. To apologise, Sony and publisher Atlus have arranged a 30 per cent discount for the first two weeks after release.
What's that feeling that sets in after playing through this compilation of last-gen platformers? Worryingly, it's a feeling of freshness; The Sly Trilogy may take you back to a world that existed long before we had DLC, co-op campaigns and the endless grind of persistent XP ladders, but its range of stealthy pleasures often seem clear-headed and full of simple delights in comparison. The Sly Cooper games saw Sucker Punch at its witty and colourful best, sending a chummy gang of cartoon animals on a string of heists that stretched from Paris to Cairo and on to mysterious islands in the middle of rain-lashed oceans. It's good to finally have all that adventure in one place.
A warning, though: it can be bizarre to play Sly Cooper for the first time if your introduction to Sucker Punch was inFamous. While the PS3 open-worlder remains a stoically satisfactory comic-book caper and there's plenty of shared DNA to be found in the slick rooftop-hopping, the Sly games are often sharper in their execution, and more elegant in their staging. Even before being spruced up for HD televisions, the series' fondness for bold cartoon lines and colourful, sagging cityscapes was more stylish and personable than the soupy dereliction of Empire City, and its characters remain far more likeable and interesting than the biff-faced Cole and that moronic friend of his with the sunglasses.
Actually, the ambience of Sly Cooper can be hard to pin down precisely. At times, the games come on like Looney Tunes at its slapstick best, while elsewhere playing them is like finding yourself in a Pink Panther flick, without the unpleasant business of discovering that Peter Sellers is a gaping shell of a man when the cameras aren't rolling. (I know this because I saw a film about him once.) Very occasionally, when the slinky, strings-heavy soundtrack clicks together just so with the game's nocturnal preoccupations, the whole thing comes close to exhibiting the poised class of an old Bogart movie. Not bad, considering you're playing as a talking raccoon who's best friends with a turtle.