An open-world Aussie Adventure
The late 90s and early 2000s were certainly a unique time. 3D gaming was in its infancy and being pushed to its early limits by the advent of the 3D platformer. While some are viewed to this day as legendary classics (we’re looking at you Mario 64) others missed the mark entirely *cough, cough the Croc series*. The vast majority however fell somewhere in between. The TY the Tasmanian Tiger series, dating back to 2004, is back with an HD remaster for its sequel TY 2: Bush Rescue. So how does a game nearing 20 years of the legacy fair in today’s landscape? Let’s take a deeper look.
Given this is yet another rerelease, we will respect your time and not delve into the story. Suffice it to say the big bad Boss Cass needs to be stopped and you must work with the inhabitants of Burramudgee to quell the threat. Unique? No, even for its time the story is less the focus as the gameplay does all the talking.
Control-wise, a wonderful return to carefree gaming
Updated controls, mean that navigating the 3D world is a breeze. Everything runs silky smooth and makes the original feel outdated and old by comparison. Every now and again, remakes are able to recapture the awe and splendour of classics by introducing them to newer audiences in a form that is more suited to their tastes. TY 2 excels at feeling like it did when it first came out.
Switching between your various ‘rangs is easy and handled via the ‘X’ button. Jumping and gliding are responsive as is the bite ability, which not only helps with platforming but also serves as quite the last resort when your hands are emptied of your ‘rangs. The only real complaint here is that the driving sections, which connect the larger island areas, feel sluggish and unintuitive. The truck handles with the same grace as your drunk uncle at an Aussie Rules Football tournament.
Audibly, we have a mixed bag
Yes the voice work is recorded well and sounds fine, but is ultimately limited by the poor dialogue that was produced. Plenty of the conversations between characters border on cringe-worthy as you are certainly transported to a much simpler time in videogame narratives. While we could argue epic RPG’s were being written at the time, the same love and care was not given to 3D platformers. The music is well done and does help create a level of immersion as you bound around the outback jumping and gliding to gather even more collectables.
Oh yes, the collectables are here
3D platformers rejoice, not only is TY back with his near endless amount of hidden goodies, but the devs have even added more to find making this one a prime candidate for completionists. Unfortunately, however, much has changed in the time of collecting for collecting’s sake. TY 2 feels a bit hollow as it is never expressed why you are looking for these items. The lack of incentive outside of 100% completion isn’t there for those unwilling to continually return to the island.
For a nearly 20-year-old title, TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue does a remarkable job recapturing the joy of discovery. While modern takes like Yooka-Laylee nail the look, the spirit and heart are missing. TY 2 has heart and solid gameplay to boot. While not everyone’s cup of tea, it offers solid replay and a decent amount of extras to keep you busy.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 31/03/2021
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Platformer, Adventure, Action
Developer: Krome Studios
Publisher: Krome Studios
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop