Two of the biggest trends in gaming right now are developers making use of Kickstarter campaigns and studios bringing back their classic, nostalgia-inducing properties. TY the Tasmanian Tiger HD is a product of both of these trends. Originally released in 2002 for GameCube, Xbox and PS2, TY the Tasmanian Tiger is a 3D mascot platformer in the same vein as all the other late nineties and early noughties 3D mascot platformers.
The game’s story is the same as it always was. After losing his family to Boss Cass and an alternate world known as ‘The Dreaming,’ TY is the only remaining Tasmanian tiger in the Australian Outback. It’s the plucky marsupial’s (Tasmanian tigers aren’t actually big cats) job to hunt down and collect five Talismans spread out across the land in order to power a machine that will open up a pathway to The Dreaming.
Playing as TY and utilising his various types of boomerang, it’s your job to collect enough Thunder Eggs in each level to open up portals to where the Talismans are hidden. In total, you’ll need to collect at least seventeen eggs before you can clear a given level and, even then, there will be a boss fight to contend with before TY is finally free to explore a new area.
Frankly, it’s the classic early noughties collect-a-thon in a nutshell. What is new, however, are the remastered graphics. TY and his Outback world have never looked so good and the vibrant colours and cartoony Australian wildlife are a delight to behold. The Aussie humour and banter between the animal characters is also top-notch, and still draws plenty of laughs twenty years after it was first recorded. Kudos to the original voice cast for putting in some excellent performances.
Sadly, there are a few issues with a wonky camera, which seems to be the standard 2002 version complete with infuriating angles. There is also the issue of enemies feeling seriously underpowered; with a simple bite or swing of the boomerang you can take down most of Boss Cass’s henchmen with one hit. While TY is a game designed to be laid back, it does feel like it’s lacking in the excitement that comes from tougher enemy encounters.
Along with the new visuals, Krome Studios have also added some new features to the game. New skins for TY are fun to mess around with and HD Rumble contributes to immersion. A new Hardcore Mode also goes some way to alleviating the lacklustre combat present in the base game, but a few more updates might have been nice.
Though not quite as accomplished as the recent Spyro and Crash Bandicoot remasters, TY the Tasmanian Tiger HD still delivers an enjoyable Aussie-themed adventure. The new visuals are great, but some camera angle fixes and a few more gameplay updates would have been appreciated. However, this is a game that will easily ‘TY’ you over until the next big release, especially if you’re a fan of the original game.