Review by nabuch

"G'Day mate, put another shrimp on the barbie and invite this tiger on in"

This game is one of the biggest surprises of the year. Totally unheralded, it manages to be a deep and long platformming gem. Somewhat of a cross between Croc and Mario, on the surface it may seem like just a kiddie game, but it is definitely not.

GRAPHICS: 7/10 The game looks very good, but not really jaw dropping. I have seen better, but one thing that is really excellent here, is that if you go to the highest point in some levels, you can look down and see the entire level (which is quite a lot to see) with absolutely no fog whatsoever.

MUSIC/SOUND: 8/10 The music here is pretty forgettable, and is not presented all that well, but the sound is the best I've heard yet. While this game is on all next generation systems, and pretty much looks the same, the X box is the only system to use Dolby digital sound, and it really shows. The sound effects are brilliant, I especially like the way it sounds when Ty walks over wooden bridges. The voice acting is barely adequate, though.

CONTROL/CAMERA: 8/10 The controls are simple and accurate, no learning curve required. The camera, while not totally perfect, is one of the best seen yet. My only complaint on the camera is that you cannot pull it back. One thing that the camera does do, that is both good and bad, is to point you in the direction it wants you to go.

GAMEPLAY: 7/10 The game is both extremely easy and very hard. Enemies are at a minimum and easily disposed of, but finding everything in this game is no easy job. The emphasis here is on exploration. Of the 9 levels, or so, that require it, you must get 8 thunder eggs, which always require you to find 300 opals, rescue 5 Bilobies, and find 8 of some item someone asks you to do, as well as 4 other tasks. The eight thunder egg is gotten by racing after you finish the level once. ( A great touch here is that you don't automatically set off the timer by passing through it.) On each level you also must find 10 golden cogs, so you can upgrade your boomerangs. There is a map that shows you where to go for the eggs, but unfortunately not for the cogs or bilobies. As if this wasn't enough already, you also have to find 25 rainbow things in the outer world. The game also boasts a very nice progression of difficulty. The first level will have you thinking this game is for toddlers, and you will finish it in 5 hours or less, but it gets progressively harder, and you can't just simply run through it without getting most things. You have to get the eggs to open up the boss levels, and you have to get the cogs to upgrade, or you will not be able to go to other worlds.

VALUE: 7/10 The game could definitely be longer in terms of worlds and levels. There are only 16 levels, one gotten for 100 %, of the other 15, 4 are bosses, and of the 11 left, 2 are in the last world and do not seem to require much collecting. On the other hand, though, I've been playing for 11 and a half hours and am only 38 % done. I cannot see anyone finishing this game in less than 15-20 hours, and figure 30 or more for 100 %.

FINAL COMMENTS: This game deserves better than it has been getting. It is a must have for any platformming junkie. It should not get lost in the shuffle of much more ballyhooed platform releases.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/20/02, Updated 10/20/02

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