Review by Cold NRG

"Ty Holds His Own In a Cluttered Market"

Introduction
In general, videogames are supposed to do one of two things. There are simulators that recreate experiences of real-life and make the player subconsciously not realize that they're playing a videogame. The other type is the game that sets you off in a place where only the impossible can happen---a fantasy world. Ty's setting is sort of a fantasy world and doesn't re-create real life (unless you live in one of these environments). The game takes place in the outback of Australia and you venture to other exotic locations with lava, snow, and sand.

The story starts off an introduction to the bad guy who goes by the name of Boss Cass. Boss Cass has trapped your parents in some kind of portal in another realm. In order to free them you must find the entire Talisman collection. This won't be so easy seeing that Boss Cass has an eye for the Talisman himself. He'll do whatever it takes to stop you by throwing his men, machines, and self in front of your path.

Graphics 9/10
The story of this game may not be all that original. However, once you get into the worlds and starts seeing the environments the story starts to seem somewhat acceptable and even cute (in a good way). The worlds are beautifully crafted with obvious attention to detail. When exploring it becomes obvious that the Krome team didn't want to half-ass the game with a tree here and a bush there--no. Instead, grass is everywhere and even sways in the wind. Insects crawl on the ground and chickens flock fields.

The sizes of the worlds are nothing but stunning as well. Each location (with the exception of a few) are quite big. Add this to a constant framerate and lush surroundings and you have yourself a pretty looking game.

The visual effects are well done too. Water glimmers like it should and you can see your reflection in the water and even ice. The ice reflections are pretty impressive. There's one thing you have to see first hand to appreciate them. The lamps light up certain areas and cast as shadow as Ty walks past. Well done indeed.

Sound 8/10
It's no surprise to me that the sound is well done. Afterall the control is tight and the visuals are excellent. The tracks are very few but they do fit the outback environments quite nice. The only thing I don't like about the audio is that, for a platformer, they music tracks aren't all that catchy. You won't find yourself humming the tunes which is fine, but I would expect certain riffs to stick out more than others, yet this never happens.

Control 8/10
The control on Ty is your typical platformer setup except for one thing. Ty moves relatively fast compared to just about any 3D platformer on the market. If you're used to games like Mario, Spyro, or Jak & Datxer---whatever---Ty The Tasmanian Tiger will take some getting used to simply because of the speed. Don't worry about the worlds being too small to compensate for the speed because the do compensate nicely. Everything is proportionate and each world should take you a while to complete.

The camera in Ty behaves okay most of the time I'd say. Comparatively speaking I'd say that Ty's camera is one of the betters for a 3D platformer. I can't picture anyone screaming at their TV screen in bloody rage because the camera continuously gets stuck behind a rock or anything of the likes.

At Ty's disposal are 13 boomerangs (counting the ones you only use in certain circumstances). Most of which you'll be able to use at all times after earning them. Fighting enemies is fairly easy but they can sometimes run behind you, making you have to turn around and reposition the camera. If you're not one to keep things difficult, simply lock on to the enemy by pressing the R2 button. This makes this game a bit easier.

Gameplay 9/10
The pride and joy of this game is its gameplay. You can get lost in the world and just want to look around. Rainbow Cliffs gives you access to all of the worlds. It acts a hub to each level. You'll even want to explore this erea to find all of the hidden items as well.

Now, in Ty there are 9 worlds, not including 3 boss stages and the Rainbow Cliffs area. There is so much stuff to do it can get out of hand. Thankfully, Krome studios made tracking your item collection very easy. Most games like this lack some things in this area but Krome covers everything and leaves no clues as to what you have gotten in each world. This setup is identical to that of Mario 64's but better.

As you progress through the game it does become somewhat monotonous (especially so towards the end). Basically, you collect thunder eggs. They're the Mario 64 equivalent of stars. You get as many as you can then trade them in for items that you'll need to get to the next area at Rainbow Cliffs. Thankfully, the varying character and level designs make things worthwhile. However, I do wish there would have been more enemies to battle. I'd be nice to see animals more true to their environment.

Replay Value 10/10
Ty is a moderately long game for this type of genre. It ended up taking longer to beat than I expected since there was ''only'' 9 worlds. I'm glad I underestimated it actually. Considering all the different types of pickups you retrieve the replay value is very high. Since the game isn't all that hard and is enjoyable, you'll want to go back and collect everything that wasn't necessary. I haven't even gotten 100% on it. I have 96% and have logged around 18 hours on it so far. That's not too bad for a game like this.

Conclusion
Ty The Tasmanian is a great game that should be every platfomer fan's library. The gameplay is a mix of Banjo Kazooie, Crash Bandicoot, with a touch of Sonic. When it comes down to it, if you loved Banjo Kazooie you will at least like this game. It's not the greatest platformer ever (or even on the PS2) it certainly has its charm and likely produce an ending for every player.

Breakdown
_Graphics - 9
_Sound - 8
_Control - 8
_GamePlay - 9
_Replay - 10
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Overall - 8


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/24/03, Updated 03/24/03


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