Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 2
My initial reaction was: why me? The answer is quite simple: nobody showed interest in this somewhat “suspicious sounding” title (rescuing president Bush?) so give it to Mario. Well, they couldn’t be more right. All the great games of the last months made me long for mediocrity. Now I’m not a big fan of prejudices , but sometimes you do better trusting them. Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue is everything you might expect: a platform title that grows pale aside his royal greatness Jak or Ratchet & Clank.
It didn’t take me too long to find out that Ty2 focussed on the youngsters. The +3 rating on it immediately gave me a suspicious feeling. To be able to judge the game on a detached level I had to make a flashback to my childhood years, when I was still able to water the plants in full-on nudity without my neighbor’s wife peeking through the trees, when Naughty Dog was the name of a brothel nearby. If you’ve got the extraordinary ability to put yourself in the shoes of a three year old or if you’ve managed to survive three winters in your life, Ty 2 is a nice game. In all the other cases (no ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and older than three years) I suggest you go out and buy Jak 3 (that is if you’re a lucky owner of a PS2).
The story is quite cliché and therefor easy to describe shortly. The mean Boss Cass is back again and threatening the Australian land. You, as a little Tasmanian Tiger, have to try to stop him and save your friends from a disaster. It might be clear already; Ty2 doesn’t try to get the attention of an eighteen year old. Titles meant for the little ones should be easy to understand, not too violent and of course fun to play. For all the Dutch speaking readers; Krome Studios doesn’t meet the first expectation. The game is completely in English and to make things worse, it’s in an irritating “home and away-like” English. It’s meant for the highly intelligent toddlers with a huge knowledge of the English language and with no dislike of an Australian accent whatsoever. Highly intelligent is no problem for me, but since my toddler years are way behind me and since I truly hate the Australian accent, Ty 2 is no game for me. This is of course a rather subjective look but the fact is that because of the English spoken dialogues Ty 2 doesn’t reach their target in the Benelux. It’s just sad that the cover and the manual are in perfect, somewhat “turbo language” Dutch when the game is fully in English.
The violence in the game however is not over the top and won’t turn youngsters in to serial killers. Ty can throw heavy items at his enemies, has a boomerang that can be upgraded with all sorts of augmentations and now and then he can operate huge mechanical animals to fight of the bad guys. There’s no blood spilling, no limbs flying in the air and no suggestive language. The action is also kept pretty simple, making it never to hard for younger players.
It seems like we’re dealing with a normal, thirteen-in-a-dozen, platform game, but there’s more than meets the eye. Ty 2 offers some new elements that start popping up in most games these days. The game world consists of one big area, so no separate levels. A map in the bottom corner shows you where the missions are and you can decide for yourself when and which mission you want to take. The objectives range from beating up all the bad guys to little side quests. The addition of shops gives Ty 2 an RPG-feel. Here you can buy new boomerangs, potions and other useful things with the hard earned items you’ve received after defeating enemies.
To move through the enormous world you get the chance to travel by jeep, helicopter and cart. With this last one you can also participate in cart races which can be played separately in a two player mode. This brings in some nice variation and lengthens the lasting appeal of the game.
It all looks rather promising for Ty: it offers enough cool features to avoid getting caught up in the huge pile of mediocre platform titles. Unsurprisingly, since Krome is a rather new developer, Ty2 lacks a bit in the finishing off department. The typical platform element, being the jumping from one platform to another, can be a little frustrating. This is mainly due to the camerawork, which is disappointing at most times. You can however adjust the camera manually but this never solves the whole problem.
You shouldn’t expect the best graphics either; no dynamic lighting, bump-mapping or Source-like physics to be found here. The world of Ty 2 looks very happy and colorful but lacks a bit of detail. If the toddlers mind this, is another question. Maybe it’s just us, we’re just spoiled gamers.
Everything points out that Ty 2 is meant for kids. The difficulty level is pretty low, the dialogues are childish and the graphics are colorful and happy. Unfortunately Krome didn’t spend any money on Dutch voice-overs making it miss its target audience in Belgium and Holland and unjustly catch dust in the shelves. Because overall Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue is a more than decent platform game for the youngsters.