Lemme tell you what I think of Sly 2...
I played Sly 1 first, and that is, to this day, one of my all time favorite games (like, top 11 list level. And I own over 300 games, so top 11 is quite an accomplishment ). 2 is very different, but I can deal with different - I loved 3 and 4, and they were the same style as 2. But I cannot bring myself to do anything other than HATE 2. I respect your opinion, but literally everything in that game drove me nuts. The story was good, I'll give it that, but the realtime cutscenes were so awkward and didn't fit with the music or animations of the characters at all, the missions were tedious, the worlds were annoying to navigate, I found the controls frustrating (every jump seemed JUST out of reach), SO MUCH REPETITION, etc., etc., etc.,
When one of my friends mentioned it was his favorite, I legitimately started to laugh because I thought it was a joke. Then I was shocked to find out that most people love Sly 2. I even gave it a second chance about a year ago, this time on PS3, and I met the requirements for a Plat, so I didn't miss anything about the game.
I rank them Sly 1 > Sly 4 (Story sucked, but EVERYTHING else was awesome about the game, IMO) >> Sly 3 >>>>>>>>>> Dog Poop >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Sly 2.
4/10. I hate that game!
But to each their own