Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

The return of the wily tiger will feature new rangs, a new kart-racing minigame, and an increased focus on straight-ahead action.

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2002's Ty the Tasmanian Tiger may have been short, but for a family-friendly action platformer, it was pretty sweet. So Electronic Arts and Aussie developer Krome Studios will revisit the boomerang-wielding Ty's zany world again in the fourth quarter with the aptly titled Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2. We recently got a look at a work-in-progress version of the game running on the PlayStation 2, which seems to be shaping up very nicely.

Like the original, Ty 2's main action game will be built on a story-driven series of action levels, although this time around the game will move away from jumping-oriented platforming toward more fast-action fare. The content will still be kept strictly "E," however, as the game is being targeted squarely at the younger set (and their families). Ty will have a host of upgradable new rangs at his disposal, such as the lasharang and the x-rang, and he'll be joined in some action stages by AI-controlled buddy characters that will help him battle the nefarious Boss Cass. You'll even get to use large "mech" characters, such as the Battle Bunyip, at various points during the game.

Ty 2 will also feature an unlockable kart-racing minigame that looked as fully featured to us as many games where racing weapon-equipped go-karts is the sole focus. This minigame will include eight diverse tracks that you can race your friends and AI opponents on, and these tracks will have plenty of obstacles and shortcuts to keep the action interesting. In the classic kart style of games like Mario Kart, you'll drive around the track and attempt to pick up offensive and defensive weapons at key points to keep your opponents at bay while you try to gain the upper hand in the race. This racing minigame ought to keep fans of the main action game entertained even after they've beaten that mode to death.

The game looked quite sharp on the PS2, with a bright, cartoonlike style reminiscent of the original game. Even though the game is months away from release, the frame rate was smooth and the animations looked expressive and amusing, with lots of special effects thrown in for good measure. Most of the audio in the build we saw was unfinished and meant as placeholder, but we were told the final game will feature full professional voice acting to enhance the experience. We'll bring you more on Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 as it happens, both from E3 and beyond.

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