Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue
is the sequel to the 2002 platformer Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
, a game who's titular hero was a furry denizen of the Austalian Outback. Developer Krome Studios crafted both games as lighthearted platformers in the tradition of the Spyro
and Crash Bandicoot
series, albeit set in a whimsical version of Australia. The first game offered decent challenges and fun, although somewhat tired, platform action. It also catered to younger gamers through its style and general lack of difficulty.
Bush Rescue expands on the original Ty by offering a large, seamless gameworld and a number of new weapons and vehicles. It also adds a ton of new cinematics and characters, as well as a race mode you can play before you even start the main adventure.
But for all its improvements and additions, Bush Rescue still suffers in a few key areas. While retaining its unique sense of style, both visually and aurally, Bush Rescue's actual gameplay feels a little stale on the stale side. It could use a cup of espresso, a shot of Vodka or a few cans of Foster's.
But we'll get to all of that a little later. Bush Rescue takes place shortly after the events in the original Ty, when the Australian Outback is once again under attack by the Evil Boss Cass. The game starts with a frenzied battle between the peaceful denizens of Burramudgee Town and a horde of Uber Reptiles.
The reptiles flood the countryside in an attempt to bust Boss Cass out of Currawong Jail, where Ty imprisoned him at the end of the first game. You assume control of Ty during the jailbreak. As the key member of the Bush Rescue team, it's up to you to make sure Boss Cass stays confined in his cell.
Unfortunately, Boss Cass escapes and elects himself president of his own nation. The move grants Boss Cass diplomatic immunity, rendering Ty's array of mighty boomerangs useless. The Bush Rescue team decides to snoop around Cass's activities to catch him in the act of performing some heinous activity. You'll spend the rest of the game battling Boss Cass' minions to oust him from his faux presidency by completing a series of quests. Bush Rescue grants a welcomed sense of freedom in the way it lets gamers decide what objectives to tackle.
You'll normally have three objectives at once, each represented by a different colored star on Ty's PDA. Apparently, even sentient animals from the Outback carry them around. A red star signifies an important story quest. These need to be completed before the story will progress. Secondary objectives, marked by orange and green stars, can be completed at any time or not at all, depending on your mood. Still, going through each quest earns you valuable opals, which you can use to purchase upgrades and other goodies from shops.
Quests usually involve hiking out to a location and ventilating enemies, be it overgrown gators or ninjas. Many of these quests reward players with a humorous in-game cinematics, but all grant bagfuls of valuable opals. Sometimes, a quest will take you on a mission to remove hazardous materials from a given location. Others still may throw you in a hunt for a missing person. Many of the quests offer decent fun, if only because they give you an excuse to explore the huge environments in the game.
Another cool addition in Bush Rescue are the vehicles. Apart from the usual lot of vehicles, such as trucks and jeeps, you'll jump aboard a submarine to explore the murky depths of lakes dotting the landscape. You'll also take command of personalized mechs and stationary turrets capable of decimating the country side. The vehicles add a nice touch, letting you explore the game's large environments quickly while granting new ways to dispose of enemies. Some of the vehicles end up being far cooler than others. The mechs in the game, for example, control quite well while other vehicles (namely, the truck) suffer from sluggish control.
Throughout the course of the game, Ty will purchase up to 25 new boomerangs. Seeing as they're his primary means of attack, you'll want to pick these babies up as soon as possible. Each boomerang features unique abilities and some even alter the way you play the game somewhat. Krome could have just thrown in a bunch of elemental-based weapons and called it good, but it didn't.
The Lasharang helps you latch on to hooks strewn about the environment, enabling you to swing across chasms and pits. The Infrarang helps you find secret items otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Not all boomerangs boast spectacular abilities. The Frostyrang freezes enemies while the Thunderrang stuns enemies, but the effect is quite similar. The only real difference is the amount of damage dealt by each.
You'll need to purchase many of these upgrades in town using the thousands of opals collected on the various quests. You can head for Trader Bob's to purchase power-ups enabling you to explore hazardous lava pits. You can also pick up equipment to help you explore the ocean depths. You'll find boomerangs at the local Rang Shop, which just happens to be operated by a pair of fellow tigers.
Aesthetically, the game won't blow you away. Some of the character models suffer from bland textures and vehicles can look a little blocky. But the quirky sense of style and overall design of the gameworld will keep your eyes at attention. Characters boast smooth animation and watery surfaces feature some mildly cool effects. The mech designs, while not entirely original, still look nice and feature very fluid animation. Music and sound effects in the game do a great job of dropping you in the Australian Outback. Spend a few hours taking in Bush Rescue's tunes and you'll want to run out and chomp on kangaroo burgers, guaranteed.
The included race mode is a nice addition. It plays much like Mario Kart in that you pick up various power ups in the form of floating boxes. You can score rockets and boosters, even the ability to shrink fellow racers. As in Mario Kario, you can then run over shrunken racers to flatten them. You can choose from over 15 racers, including Ty and his female counterpart, Shazza. You can also race as Boss Cass and Frill, an evil(mischievous, anyway) reptile.
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