GBA Review - 'Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2'

by Nathan Mourfield on Dec. 10, 2004 @ 1:41 a.m. PST

TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2 picks up where the original popular action platform game left off. The cast of characters from Down Under has grown, and so has the action! Evil Boss Cass has broken out of Currawong Jail and hatched a plan to take over the world with an army of Uber Reptiles. It's up to our boomerang-wielding hero, TY, and his newly formed team of Burramudgee Bush Rescue mates to stop him!

Genre: Action
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Krome Studios
Release Date: October 11, 2004

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The one thing that the Game Boy Advance does not lack is platform games. From Super Mario to Metroid, there is a plethora of jumping, smashing, and shooting. Ty the Tasmania Tiger 2: Bush Rescue is yet another one of this genre, adding little to the broad expanse of games available to the GBA and Nintendo DS.

Ty the Tasmania Tiger 2 is a solid, if repetitive, platform game that is a follow-up of the original. In the second game, Ty is rescuing Bilbies across the Australian outback, using his boomerangs and vehicles to wreak havoc to whoever gets in his way. The game uses a non-linear approach to the normal side-scrolling platform title, like Super Mario 3. It also has the ability to purchase new vehicle licenses and boomerangs to assist in the dispatching the ne'er-do-wells that are encountered along Ty's adventures.

Graphically, this title is a solid design considering this is on a small screen in the player's hand. The graphics are simple and streamlined, having the nice flow reminiscent of the Super Mario games or Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. The background graphics are repetitive, repeating every few seconds when crossing a level. This title is more focused on the gameplay, not pushing the GBA's graphical ability.

The sound effect and music are on par with what would be expected from a GBA platformer title, nothing amazing. Considering how many people play the GBA without the sound turned up, this is not an issue. The corny music and cheesy sound effects are not overly distracting.

The game has two perspectives to it, the standard side-scrolling platform and an overview map used to transition between levels. The overview map is a simple affair with monsters that could cause Ty some issues. When Ty is caught by a wandering monster, the view changes to Ty driving the truck, having to push the bikers off the road and avoid the potholes. After the first time, I tried my hardest to avoid the bikers since this got old quick.

The control interface for the game is simplistic as expected for a title in this genre. There are the jump and attack buttons, which makes the game simple enough that you can squeeze in a quick level between classes or while waiting at the DMV. This can make for a repetitive game over a long period of time, but luckily, the monotony of the platform levels is broken up by adding in mini-games that incorporate driving various types of vehicles. These are cute and do resolve some of the repetitiveness of this title, and there is even an unlockable mini-game that allows for cart racing.

Ty 2 implements a strange monetary system based on fire opals, which can be used to purchase new boomerangs and vehicle licenses throughout the game. There is a slight problem with this, though. Since levels can be replayed, and fire opals reappear each time you replay a level, you could conceivably play through an easy level time and time again and become rich in fire opals. This certainly makes for an easy time purchasing anything that a player could ever want within the game.

The most useless concept in this game is the amount of boomerangs that can be purchased at the base camp. There is a 'rang for just about every occasion: ones that explode, go far, freeze, on fire, etc. Some very solid upgrades would be nice, but the sheer amount of boomerangs - 21 - is just ridiculous, and far too numerous for a little GBA title.

Jumping is the meat and potatoes of this title and the level designs are implemented to encourage this. Being a moderate length, it does not take too much time to cross a level. Each level is re-playable and follows the standard formula of jumpers: cross an obstacle-filled level with a boss character at the end. They are nicely done, even though they tend to be repetitive in general design. There are 50 of these levels, which makes for a large amount of gameplay to finish this title. Add that to the fact that the levels are re-playable, which makes for a decent sized title for the GBA or DS.

Ty the Tasmania Tiger 2: Bush Rescue does implement my preferred paradigm in game design. The player can save the game at any time and pick it up again later, which is nice for my schizophrenic style of game play. A GBA or NDS is perfect for incidental game play, and seeing a game that considers this is a blessing like no other. After the game is beat, there is not much to do but start over from the beginning of the game. The replayability of this title is low, which is expected for a jumper.

Ty 2 is a solid platform game that is unfortunately in a large field of similar titles. The game had good graphics and gameplay, but suffers from some extraneous features (gold-plating) and a low replay value. There are no technical issues and the implementation of the title suits the GBA and NDS to a tee. There is no multiplayer, but since multiplayer would not be compatible across old and new handheld platforms, this is not too much of an issue.

This title might be a good title for anyone who either loved the original Ty the Tasmania Tiger or is a fan of the platformer genre. At a good price point, this would make a nice gift and would make a good rental for a long trip.

Score : 6.5/10

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