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"Cooper is in full effect here, and I gladly chuckled along. Once within the prison, Sly uses the clumsy armor to negate the flames of fire-breathing dragon statues while evading bladed pendulums. A generation-bridging family reunion occurs when Sly discovers Rioichi's cage and frees his ancestor. The ninja master (voiced by Steve Blum, voice of Shadows of the Damned's Garcia Hotspur and Bulletstorm's Grayson Hunt) speaks in philosophical, Confucius-style proverbs, many of which fly straight over Sly's head to hilarious results. At this point Rioichi becomes a fully playable character.
Rioichi celebrates his newfound freedom by immediately setting off to reclaim his sushi shop, which has been occupied by samurai swine. The ninja raccoon must reclaim a set of sushi knives to unlock a special door in his restaurant. Rioichi spends much of this section lifting the crucial cutlery from unaware guards. Further evidence of time paradoxes are found when he enters a room with laser traps, something that even non-historians should know don't belong in ancient Japan. It turns out the spire-perching technique Sly learned from Rioichi via the Thievius Raccoonus represents only a portion of the ninja's skills. Rioichi must use his exclusive leaping dragon technique to bound long distances above the lasers across rickety banzai trees, a feat Sly will never be able to learn. Thankfully, Rioichi appears in the gang's hideout as a selectable character alongside Murray, Bentley, and Sly. Sanzaru says there will be plenty of collectibles and hidden areas that only specific characters like Rioichi will be able to access, increasing the game's replayability. Rioichi eventually makes his way to the furnace room and is able to get his restaurant back in working condition.
Beyond the eventual boss battle between Sly and the temporally displaced tin cup dictator El Jefe, we don't know much of what else happens in feudal Japan. Sanzaru is also staying tight-lipped about other areas Sly and his crew will be visiting. The Thievius Raccoonus contains Cooper ancestors spanning from ancient Egypt to the Wild West, so Sanzaru has a wealth of interesting time periods to choose from. Regardless of where this time-trekking adventure takes us, the engaging platforming, witty dialogue, interesting new characters, and beautiful presentation have us excited. »Tim Turi"