TY is back! The Rangtastic Tasmanian Tiger that made his debut to Playstation 2, Xbox and GameCube back in his own 3D platformer in 2002 has been recently revived and ported to PC. The game was developed by Krome Studios which is an Australian video game company responsible for the entire TY the Tasmanian Tiger franchise as well as a few other less known games. The Studio received some trouble back in 2010 with requiring a large amount of staff cuts which caused reports from various sources saying the studio was closing down. This was later proved to be wrong. However, there was no news from the studio for 2 years until they announced that Ty would be returning.
The story takes place in the Australian outback so all of the content has a strong Australian theme to it. The opening cinematic shows a tiger dressed in some stylish swimming shorts and a neckerchief running through the jungle boomerang in hand, after falling into a mysterious cave and running into a wise old man he is thrown head first into adventure. The object of the game is to collect five talismans and defeat the main villain known as Boss Cass whose character model is based on a cassowary by using both his boomerangs and some help from friends the player will meet along TY’s adventure.
The gameplay involves running, jumping, throwing boomerangs, biting and swimming your way through multiple levels. The levels are set out in a similar way to that of Super Mario 64 where the player starts off in central hub area that breaks off into smaller sub areas with multiple levels within those sub areas. The levels in the game like Mario 64 require you to collect items called thunder eggs that allow the player to unlock further sub areas, these thunder eggs can be obtained by performing numerous tasks within the levels, and most tasks available differ per level. Gaining enough thunder eggs in a sub area will unlock the boss for that area which the player must defeat to gain one of the talismans. The thunder eggs that are used to reach the boss are not used up after this they can be taken to one of TY’s friends in order to create new elemental boomerangs for the player to use. This isn’t the only way to gain new boomerangs through each level 10 golden cogs are hidden collecting 15 and taking them to Ty’s friend allows the crafting of other boomerangs called Technorangs each of these have different effects again. All of the boomerangs combined give TY a combined arsenal of 13 total boomerangs the downside to this is that some boomerangs are only used in a very limited amount of puzzles and in combat some boomerangs are a lot more useful than others rendering a lot of other boomerangs pointless. Another downside to some of the upgrades in the game is that the game ends up giving the player upgrades quickly and close together near the beginning but the spacing between them widens considerably as the game goes on.
The graphics have been upgraded for the PC release this includes some changes to the overall textures by increasing their resolution which improves the look of some of the areas in the game but this is not very noticeable at times. The most noticeable change to the graphics is the change to the water textures which have been improved from the original as now it has good reflections of the area around to it which makes a lot of the environments look a lot better as water features very heavily in the levels of the game. The shadows in the game have also been improved from the original as they now include either improved shadows or completely new shadows added altogether. The shadows of enemies which used to be just a circle under their feet now have a fully animated shadow to match the enemies models, NPC characters and also the critters of the game have animated shadows like the enemies and even objects like trees and buildings have had new shadows added to them. The shadows added improve the overall look of the game a great deal as it adds to the feel of the outback by making the sun more prominent and feel as though it is beating down onto the Australian backdrop especially when this effect is coupled to the enhanced in the sunglare from the original it gives the sun more of a presence within the game. The character models could use an update as jagged edges are clearly visible on parts of the character especially when a character is moves their mouth.
Unfortunately the sound effects in this game is where the game falls down as it is clearly in need of an update to the majority of them. The voice acting isn’t that bad, being set in the outback all of the voice acting is done with a very thick Australian accent. However, some of the dialogue gets a bit repetitive especially from the main character who’s lines usually comes down to only a few different lines. During some of the cutscenes I noticed that one or two lines within them are a little distorted which is clearly noticeable and takes away from the scene. Other sound effects like the sound for running through grass or landing on rocks is either too loud or sounds wrong to what it should be an example of this is that landing on certain rocks can sound like landing on wood. The music was composed by George Stamatiadis and it feels very appropriate to the setting in the outback it includes the use of various instruments like didgeridoo, acoustic guitars, steel drums, tambourines and more. The music has been expertly performed and fits the theme of the game very well.
In conclusion Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has aged quite well for an old game its visuals are colourful and fun, its music is comforting and its gameplay is still a lot of fun it has a Playtime that is roughly 10-12 hours this includes completing the story collecting the majority of the collectibles the downside to this length of gameplay and levels that don’t change is that the amount of replayability for this game is very limited. The Krome team have done a great job at porting this game to PC with a lot games that are ported to PC they have a very noticeable mess of bugs that need to be navigated and avoided by the player this is not the case in TY the Tasmanian Tiger. Should Krome studios make enough from this rerelease of a classic then hopefully we will see more updated Ty the Tasmanian tiger games from later in the franchise.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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