LOS ANGELES – Who doesn’t love Sly Cooper? The thieving little scamp and his band of brigands are back, this time taking the action cross platform across both the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita. We got a chance to try out the Vita version of the game on the showfloor and, with one glaring exception, we liked what we saw.

Sly for the Vita plays just like Sly always has; only, it’s better looking. While it’s not quite as attractive as the PS3 version, Sly really shows off what the Vita can do; it’s impressive to see large levels designed to run on the PS3 perform flawlessly in the palm of your hand. The demo level that we played was a circus themed heist, with Sly donning a Robin Hood costume, flying high on a trapeze and treading carefully on tightropes. As we said, this demo plays just like Sly always has so, if you love Sly Cooper and the gang (and how can you not?), then you’ll adore this portable version.

There is one problem, however, and it involves the motion controls. At a few points in the demo, Sly has to shoot an arrow at a target in order to extend a tightrope across a gap. At first, it’s not too challenging but eventually the targets start moving and hitting them successfully becomes a pain. There are no options to control the flight path of the arrow with the analog stick and it is entirely mostion based. This wouldn’t be so bad if you were using a controller but, since you’re moving the screen along with the system, it becomes a hassle. If you ever have to make a sharp turn, you’ll find yourself unable to see and – no matter how many times we tried – we could never actually get the hang of how to control the arrows. Luckily, the developers are a smart bunch and there was no penalty for missing the target; we got to try as many times as we had to but it was still an unnecessary impediment to the game.

Assuming there aren’t too many more motion control mishaps, the Vita version of Thieves in Time is looking to be the definitive version. Sly on the big screen may be great, but having the exact same thing in a portable format is a tempting proposition.