Reviews for Ty the Tasmanian Tiger

Reviews for Ty the Tasmanian Tiger for Playstation 2

  (2 reviews)

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Childhood Nostalgia (Gus in Texas)
  December 24, 2015

Personally my favorite game and requires a 5/5

A pretty good "B grade" platformer that'll make Spyro fans happy (Vyse in Pennsylvania)
  May 28, 2015

I picked up Ty recently just because I wanted to play a 3D platformer and there aren't a lot coming out right now, even though stuff like 'A Hat in Time' and 'Yooka Laylee' will be coming up in the future. So having gone through all the Jaks and Slys back in the day (and again via the HD Collections on PS3), I figured it's time to dig back into some older titles for the PSX and PS2, and it was time to check out Ty.

In the last year, I played through the PSX Spyro games too on PS3, and man, does Ty remind me of Spyro. There's a few beats he takes from Sonic too (his chomp attack used to chain-bounce across gaps, his weird "shared one eye", he has an evil twin, etc.), but overall, this really strikes me as a game looking to iterate on Spyro most of all. The variety of levels, the music, the game structure, the way non-player characters are animated, the upgrades & moveset (there's no reason Ty should have a glide move besides trying to riff on Spyro)... even Ty's fast swim animation. It all evokes Spyro's PSX adventures, just bigger and... better...?

I mean, Ty isn't super polished; the camera in particular is really "squirrely". You move the stick a little bit and it wants to fly all over the place. Ty too controls worse than the Sly Coopers, Jaks and Super Marios of the world. Heck, I've played some "B grade" 3D platformers from this gen already, and he doesn't control as silky smooth as Kya or Vexx either (I'd recommend both of those above Ty, absolutely)

Other problems include an unclear grab radius (a lot of times he seems close enough to do it, but won't), a tendency to slide a bit when landing from jumps, slow animation canceling** on some moves, and just not having as much depth to the controls as other platformer heroes. I mean, you're not going to be discovering things like the Belly Dive/Water Slide in Super Mario Sunshine, or roll-jumping around the world like in Jak & Daxter... there's a set moveset for Ty and that's all you get. It feels a little more simplistic, and that's why this game reminds me of a PSX platformer - it's (again) very similar to Spyro. There's also some annoying game design choices here or there (whoever decided that jiggling the analog stick to pull yourself out of quicksand, while ALSO being used to slowly walk out of said quicksand, is a good idea? I want to personally have you send me new controllers).

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** - animation canceling refers to when a game character hangs on animations for a second too long when you hit another button and want to do something else; for example, you go to make Ty chomp an enemy, miss, and start hitting the Boomerang button to attack him that way instead. But Ty stays locked at the end of his chomp animation until it's finished instead of going to throw the boomerangs like you wanted, and gets hit as a result. When it should 'cancel' out of the current 'animation', you see.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is still plenty fun - the levels are well designed and HUGE, with a huge draw distance and a rock-solid frame-rate. There's a nice assortment of challenges & objectives to fulfill as well, though they're pretty standard fare for the genre. Finally, there's a good variety of locales, all of which look nice and colorful. Krome's game engine here also has some nice tricks up it's sleeves for the time - colored lighting in particular stands out nicely (the lights on Ty when he's got the Flame-a-rangs equipped, for instance). The water looks cool and the Sun Glare effect is maybe the nicest I've seen on the PS2. There's lots of characters all over who are all well animated, similar to (you guessed it) Spyro. From quest-givers with speaking roles to enemies and 'world assets' like the loads of fish just swimming around bodies of water. There's a lot here that really tries hard to sell that it's a "next gen" PS2 platformer versus the PSX ones it actually plays like.

In general, that's kind of Ty in a nutshell. It looks, and wants to be, a proper PS2 3D platformer, but it plays more like a PSX one. It just really feels like classic Spyro. I can completely understand why Activision handed that to Krome for the "Legend of Spyro" series now, and I'm interested in checking that out eventually too. Either way, that's what you should be looking for here. It never seriously is as good as any of the Sly Cooper or Jak games, or Mario Sunshine, but it is a solid title that's pretty fun despite being a simpler game, more like 3D Platformers on the PSX. Or, I dunno.... Billy Hatcher or something.

So if all that sounds good to you, I definitely recommended Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. Pick it up if you're a fan of 3D Platformers, but looking for a new one to play instead of going through your classics again for the umpteenth time ;)

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