Review: Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
Fair dinkum, that ripper of a Thylacine has returned!
I’ll freely admit I had no idea what the hell a Tasmanian Tiger until at least five years into my life here in Australia. If I had to guess, I’d have tried to describe something along the lines of a Tasmanian Devil – though, admittedly, closer to Taz than the real thing. Worse yet, I’m sure I’d chugged down enough Cascades during that time to really add insult to injury.
Unlike you Aussies, I’d never heard of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger – or its protagonist namesake – when I was a young boy in Canada playing my PlayStation 2. Quite honestly, I doubt I knew of developer Krome Studios until Scene It? Box Office Smash on the Xbox 360. In short, I’m a terrible Aussie. Thankfully, Krome’s helping me rectify this problem with a jazzed-up version of its original PS2, GameCube release, this time on PC through Steam.
As developers are wont to do with re-releases, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has been hotted up, running at 60 frames per second and with modernised graphics. If you’re familiar with the Xbox 360 versions of any Banjo-Kazooie title (more recently experienced inside Rare Replay on the Xbox One), expect something like this, only sharper and clearer. Despite Krome lauding “improved graphics”, there’s not a tremendous amount of detail going on. Backgrounds are one- or two-colour affairs that look a little less jagged than they (probably) used to. Lighting effects are stellar though, with the sun bouncing off the outback and from snow-capped mountaintops with noticeable beauty.
A full four years after the release of Banjo-Kazooie, Ty plays remarkably similar. He uses boomerangs (of course) and a nasty chomp to fell enemies, and is equipped with a double jump that allows for myriad platforming experiences. Themed boomerangs and a cast of friends and foes of varying species are unashamedly Australian… and go overboard with slang to match. If I had played the original in 2002, I’m wholly confident I’d have understood every tenth word spoken.
That said, Ty’s a ripper when it comes to fair dinkum nostalgia and humour, with a teeny bit of Aussie culture and history thrown in. From Bunyip Elders to Talismans and the Dreaming, there’s no denying that Krome turned the Aussie up to eleven, for good or bad, making it the Crocodile Dundee of gaming.
Ty is very much on the easy side, clearly developed for younger gamers. Hell, Krome’s (admittedly dated) cutscenes will more than likely be the reason younger players stick around – almost to the point where the developer should consider pitching an animated series to the ABC. Its plot quite easily lends itself to a Pokémon-esque, multi-year series – seemingly abandoned, Ty needs to unify five Talismans and open the door to the Dreaming to rescue his Tassie Tiger family.
Those of us a bit on in years will still enjoy the slang and the platforming, but don’t expect a challenge. I’m horrendous with a keyboard and mouse controls on pretty much any game available, but managed to get by with little effort. That said, this is one you’ll be better off using a gamepad with.
While it may be the remaster none of us asked for, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is a fun, nostalgia-filled title that’s relatively easy on the eyes and won’t be a problem for most PCs. A relatively cheap price point of $14.99 USD won’t hurt your wallet, either. This one’s clearly for fans of the franchise, true blue Aussies or parents looking for an innocent (enough) platformer that’ll keep their children entertained for hours.
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger was reviewed using a promotional code on Pc via Steam, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.