previews\ May 13, 2004 at 8:00 pm

TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue - PS2 - Preview

E3 2004 PreviewsAt E3 I had the pleasure to meet the developers of Ty 2, Krome Studios.  The developers were showing the sequel to the press and going over some interesting statistics regarding the first game.  The first Ty game sold over 1 million units worldwide.  It was such a big game in certain areas that it outsold other platform titles that released by Sony.  With Ty 2 the developers wanted to rework the game and make it more accessible to a larger audience. 

The initial game was strictly a platform title.  Similar to other platform games the basic premise had you controlling Ty with the ultimate goal to finish the level.  The developers mentioned that the first game was a big hit with younger gamers, but this time they wanted to expand the boundaries of the game.  The creative director of Krome Studios, Steve Stamatiadis, mentioned that the players of the first Ty game have grown up and the game should be expanded to meet the desires of an older audience.  So the game received a complete overhaul. 

The game is no longer strictly a platform title.  The gameplay now is based on an open ended system.  You are no longer limited to just one path to finish a stage; it’s possible through multiple paths to complete the game.  This version of Ty is more of an action game than a platform title.  The level design is mission based this time and there are tons of new gameplay elements added to the game.  One huge addition is vehicles.  The first level shown included Ty jumping into a robot that you can use to fight off the baddies.  Another level shown had Ty flying a helicopter and using a graphing hook to pick up creatures in the game.  One other stage shown had Ty controlling a submarine.   

But probably one of the biggest additions to the game is the inclusion of a cart racing mode.  The developers mentioned that the cart racing mode is actually a completely separate game included within the sequel.  The developers didn’t want to release just a new Ty cart racing game and figured this mode would be a cool addition to the game.  This mode looked and played great.  The developers showed off a nice feature within the cart racing mode where Ty can grind on rails during the race.  The rest of the cart racing game will remind most players of Crash Team Racing.  In fact the game looked very similar to Crash Team Racing.   

During a hands session on with the game at the Nintendo booth, the game itself played very good.  The graphics were excellent and the controls very tight, especially for a demo.  The only issue I had with the game was the camera would seem to swing out of view when moving through certain sections of the game.   The version shown by the developers had Ty with multiple boomerangs.  But the hands on demo only had one boomerang for Ty.  The cart racing game played really smooth and the graphics were well done.  The only issue I had with the cart racing game if you hit one of the other carts your cart would stop.  It didn’t take much time to catch back up with the rest of the pack but it was frustrating that your cart would just freeze after just tapping someone. 

Ty 2 was a very nice surprise for E3.  With the marketing muscle of EA behind it maybe Ty 2 will get the audience it deserves.  With the great graphics, open ended gameplay and addition of a cart racing mode, the game packs a big bang for your dollars.  Look for Ty 2 on all three consoles in Oct 2004.


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