Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue Hands-On

From platforming to kart racing, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 appears to be larger than the first game.

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Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue
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The Tasmanian tiger named Ty is making a comeback of his alliterative Australian self in the platforming sequel to the original, family-friendly title. As Ty the Tasmanian Tiger: Bush Rescue opens, Ty’s nemesis from the first game, Boss Cass, is safely locked away in a prison--until his assorted minions gather together to bust him out. In an effort to stop the tide and keep the naughty-minded cassowary behind bars, Ty and his friends form a group called Bush Rescue and throw themselves into the fray. We got some hands-on time with the PlayStation 2 version of the title, and everything seems to be coming along nicely so far.

The basic controls of the game remain simple. Ty can attack his enemies by using a pair of boomerangs with the square button, and he can jump using the X button. Ty can also control a wide variety of robots, called bunyips, to accomplish a variety of tasks in the game. Depending on the kind of bunyip Ty uses, he can go underwater, travel over lava, lift large objects, or battle with his foes. One type of battle bunyip we played around with could be used with special mortars, which brought up a first-person view and a turret-shooter interface so we could shoot enemy bunyips and other crafts swooping in on our location. When on the ground, the contraption controls much the same as Ty himself, letting you easily run around smashing up crowds of foes with metal fists or even punch through walls to progress through the level. When the bunyip is surrounded by enemies, some of them will leap on for a ride and impede your progress; you can wiggle the analog stick to shake them off. The bunyips aren’t the only vehicles that are available in the game, either. Bush Rescue will also feature a cart-racing minigame separate from the main narrative, which will let you race your friends using the characters in the game.

Each given area will have a variety of objectives that you accomplish, though not all of them will be necessary to proceed, so progression will be fairly open-ended. Also, whereas you had to collect certain items in the previous game, the only collectible in Bush Rescue will be cash, forsaking the usual doodad-collecting that sometimes plagues the platforming genre. The number of areas to visit has also been increased over the original title.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger: Bush Rescue features a simple, bright, and cartoony look that complements its characters well (so well, in fact, that Ty himself is soon going to star in a television cartoon of his very own). Ty moves very fluidly and controls well, and the layout of the levels seem easily navigable. The levels themselves are likewise brightly colored while remaining easy on the eyes. The game sounds nice, as well, with some satisfying explosions and solid voice acting.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger: Bush Rescue looks to be a sequel that follows the spirit of its predecessor while introducing some nice new extras and remaining kid-friendly. Fans of the original game and those with an insatiable appetite for cutesy platforming action should keep an eye on this title, which is currently scheduled for release across the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance platforms.

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