Review by Kur

"A nicely done platformer with more pros than cons"

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger

Review by Kur
kur_dog@hotmail.com

After seeing the commercials and magazine ads and reading a few average reviews of this game, I didn't expect much. I decided to give it a shot anyways since I found it for $20 new. Man am I glad I did.

Despite the collect-a-thon basis of the gameplay, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is a surprisingly enjoyable game to play. Each aspect of the game, from the gameplay itself to the characters who are cute but not sickeningly so to the awesome music, is perfectly balanced, resulting in a game that's just plain fun to play.

GAMEPLAY - 7

The gameplay, surprisingly, doesn't become tedious considering that it mostly consists of standard item finding (for example, each stage as 300 opals (the Ty version of Mario 64's Coins), 5 trapped characters, and 10 cogs to find). There are a few mini games; each level has a race or timed sprint, and several have unique games in which you help out another character.

Controlling Ty is a little awkward at first, as both he and the camera move rather quickly, but after playing the first level or two you probably won't notice any more. The only complaints I have about Ty's abilities are his jumping and gliding. Although he can jump high, he can't go very far forward, making some jumps more of a hassle than they should be. Also, it's a little difficult to make precision landings when gliding. But, other than that (and, now that I think of it, the tendency of the boomerangs to sometimes not target enemies) Ty controls well.

I read in a magazine that the camera could be a pain, but it only contributed to significant annoyance once or twice while I played. The camera's furthest distance from Ty is a little closer than I'd like, but that's a relatively small complaint, especially considering the camera very rarely gets in the way.

The boss battles seemed a little more convoluted than they needed to be, as with the exception of one you can't actually attack them directly.

It's a bummer that the game is rather short, as it's a joy to play. The difficulty is very low too, so if you need a huge amount of challenge Ty might not be your cup of tea. Personally, I like to have a few games that you can just pop in and play in a relaxed state without too much worry of dying.

GRAPHICS - 9

The graphics are bright, colorful and pleasing to look at. There are a few instances where the graphics look a little chunky (like the in-level cut scenes involving the bird Maurie), but generally they are crisp, clear and smooth. But one aspect which really puts the graphics over the top are certain high areas in some of the worlds, where you can literally see the entire level sprawled out before you. It's just amazing, and as breathtaking a view as a game can offer.

SOUND & MUSIC - 10

Absolutely some of the best gaming music ever. Not only is every theme catchy without being annoying, but I've very, VERY rarely heard music that fit individual levels so well. I really can't tell you how great the music is. The only weird thing is that each song actually fades out at the end instead of looping seamlessly, but that's a teeny tiny complaint because I'm anal. :)

The sound effects aren't spectacular but they aren't bad. A few seemed slightly out of place, like the sound Ty's feet make when running across a beach sounded more like he was running on straw or something, but there aren't any annoying sounds.

The voice acting is top-notch. Ty in particular sounds great, and none of the voices are so exaggerated as to get on one's nerves.

LEVEL DESIGN - 9.5

I added this category because level design, especially in platformers, is extremely important to me. In fact, level design can be so important it can make an otherwise dull game playable simply because the levels look so good (not that Ty is dull of course, just making a point).

STORY - 5

The story is average. Bad guy comes, kidnaps your friends and family and tries to take over the world (or in this case trying to rid Australia of the mammals he feels stole the land from his dinosaur ancestors).

REPLAY VALUE - 7

Let me first note that I base replay value on how much I'd like to play a game again, not on how many features there are to unlock. Ty was easily enough fun to be worth playing regularly over the years. But on the subject of unlockables, there are some good ones, including a large gallery of sketches and concept art, a neat little making-of video, and a bonus level.

OVERALL - 8

The only real detractors from the overall score are its brevity and very low difficulty. Otherwise you can't go wrong with Ty. It's a solid platformer with a lot of fun to offer. Here's hoping for a sequel.

BUY/RENT

Unless you aren't all that into platforms with an emphasis on collecting I'd recommend picking this up. Like I said, I found mine at Target for $20, so even if you don't like it at least you won't feel ripped off the way you would for $40 or $50.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/06/03, Updated 01/06/03


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