The Tasmanian tiger is
back! And this time he’s got a larger quest, a super-low price, and a mini-game
that’ll blow your mind.
Most platformers begin
with a brief story sequence, a world in danger, and a hero who must save it.
You’re given step-by-step instructions, just incase you’ve never played a game
before. The first task is always a cakewalk. The action doesn’t heat up until
later in the game.
TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2
has the introductory story sequence, then sends the player into action. Evil
creatures and King Kong-sized robots are wreaking havoc on the world, filling
the world with smoke, fire and explosions for the world to feast on. Buildings
will be burned, trees will get knocked down, and lots of chaos will ensue.
This creates an unusually
intense and intriguing experience for a platformer. On one hand you love the
action, but on the other you’re wanting to stop the chaos as soon as possible.
It’d almost be an emotional RPG where you care about the characters (and know
they could die), but TY was designed for all ages. The box might look childish,
but that’s because box covers are not designed by game developers. Designed for
all ages, yes. But this game was not designed specifically for kids.
TY 2 caters to gamers who
love a good scavenger hunt. A good scavenger hunt and a large world to run
through. Or should I say walk? TY can run, but the worlds are so big that it
takes a really long time to get from point A to point B, and even longer to get
from point A to point B2. The levels aren’t linear, but there is a path that
must be taken. TY’s would-be confusing worlds are made less stressful with a
Grand Theft Auto-style map, marking key points in colored stars. Find the stars
(which are actually buildings, animals, etc.) in the game world and a new
objective will appear.
The base objectives are
typical for the genre, but TY 2 has a wider variety of missions than its direct
competitors. First-person shooters have gun turrets; TY 2 has arm-mounted
cannons that can blast evil aircrafts right out of the sky. TY has the ability
to thrust his body through helicopter eggs (eggs that hover in specific spots
for no apparent reason), reaching high areas in a heartbeat.
In reference to Tony Hawk
TY can grind objects (mostly poles) and cruise through the game in an entirely
new way. There’s not much this tiger can’t do. He doesn’t have a water gun or
travel at super-Sonic speeds, but he’s got a collection of boomerangs that can
freeze enemies, melt frozen items, and turn pesky spider-webs to ashes. Fire is
one element Sonic never had, and it’s something Mario hasn’t used since the
Cleverly, the game
features characters with names that might be familiar to fans of the genre.
Does Sly ring a bell? There are many subtle, humorous moments during the movie
sequences. They’re a little silly, but sometimes silly is great. We love
Austin Powers, don’t we? You can’t get much sillier than him.
Every level includes
thousands of coins called Rangs. It seemed strange that there were so many
until I hit the first shop. Thousands of Rangs are needed to buy – what else? –
new boomerangs! Ice Boomerang, Fire Boomerang, etc., all the Types a game
should have. The Fire Boomerang comes in handy really quick when you discover
frozen items. You can burn enemies with it when you’re not melting things, or
freeze them with the Ice Boomerang.
TY’s mini-game is
something that no other game offers. You can buy it separately, but it’s never
included with another package. What is this marvelous "extra" I speak of? A
full-fledged kart racer. I’m not talking about a cheap, two-dimensional racing
game, or even some Mario Kart knock-off with horrible controls.
That’s the thing that’ll
immediately get your attention about TY: how well the game controls. From the
turning radius to power-sliding and weapon launching, the racing mode is filled
with high-quality gaming goodness. Don’t even bother trying to put down the
controller. If you access this mode before playing the adventure game, you
won’t want to move until you’ve exhausted the race.
Personally I wish the
developer had taken it one step further and turned the whole game into a kart
racer. One can only imagine the depth they would have included then.
Almost as shocking as the
mini-game is the price of TY 2: twenty bucks. The first game retailed for twice
that much. TY 2 is twice as good as the first and retails for half the price.
Am I missing something? Fierce competition is the only explanation for this
game’s low price. Quality certainly isn’t. If the price were based on quality
it’d retail for just as much as the first.
platformer more than a platformer? When’s an action/adventure more than an
action/adventure? When it has more than what you expect. More than what you
desire, and more than what you’re paying for. TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2 is the
best low-priced platformer available. It’s one of the top five GameCube games
in the genre. Tak and the Power of Juju comes to mind as one of the other top
games, as do Mario Sunshine and SpongeBob SquarePants. Loving those games is a
good sign you’ll love this one.
A little faded, a
little dated, but still somewhat impressive. It’s the tiny things in this game
that really impress. Look at the water – it doesn’t move very realistically,
but the reflections are moderately satisfying.
TY 2’s sound
isn’t as fulfilling as the gameplay, but the soundtrack isn’t too bad. I wasn’t
bothered by the music or annoyed by any of the sound effects. Considering how
damaging intrusive sound can be to a game, that says a lot.
challenge: boss battles. Weakest challenge: solving puzzles/unlocking items.
(If the game tells you that fire can melt ice, it’s not a puzzle!)
Create the best
platformer possible without being a clone, but still include the things you love
about the genre. That was the developer’s mission. Mission: complete.
racing! A four-player mode would have been nice, but the two-player mode is
platformer with the power to consume hours of your time. That’s what every
gamer wants, right? An all-encompassing, time-consuming,
I-just-can’t-stop-playing-it kind of game. TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2 gives
players that feeling. You’re going to find out the minute you play it so I
might as well tell you now that it’s not on the same level as Ratchet & Clank.
Does that make it any less fun? Does that make it worth less of my time? Look
gamers: there are 12 months in a year, and only one of them delivers a new
Ratchet & Clank. I want several great platformers each year, not just one. TY
2 may not be perfect, but it’s worth every penny – all 2,000 of them. If you
love the genre as much as I do there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll agree.