Review – Ty the Tasmanian Tiger HD

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger was originally released for Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox way back in 2002. I remember seeing an ad about it on the back of my Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets game manual, but never had the chance of playing it until now, eighteen years later. A remastered version of the original game is now available on the PS4, in a time where collectathon platformers aren’t as widespread and popular as they used to. Given how hungry I am for games like this, I have to congratulate Krome Studios for releasing a game that is so completely out of trend, right when there are new consoles bound to be released in the market. Time to see what I have been missing for the past eighteen years.

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See those? They are basically this game’s Jinjos. Find five of them in each level and get a thunder egg.

The game is essentially a 3D platformer in the vein of the Mario and Banjo games, with some small elements borrowed from Crash Bandicoot as well, especially in earlier levels. You’re tasked with exploring huge open levels in order to collect thunder eggs, which are this game’s equivalent of Stars and Jiggies. Each level will always have a handful of thunder eggs obtainable in similar means, such as rescuing bilbies (this game’s equivalent of Jinjos), collecting three hundred opal stones, and reaching the theoretical end of the stage. You’ll also fight a boss every once in a while.

I say “theoretical” as, despite having a beginning and an end, you are encouraged to freely explore levels to your leisure, as Ty the Tasmanian Tiger does an impressive job at hiding items in very clever ways. The first few levels are more linear (and consequentially, more boring), resembling Crash Bandicoot levels more than anything else. Things improve once you’re allowed to visit further stages as they become a lot more open, with more creative puzzles and objectives.

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Ty, you’re supposed to run away from boulders like this, not run towards them…

Just like your typical collectathon, there are way more macguffins to obtain other than the main “level-unlocking-treasure” of the day. Levels are scattered with invisible boxes that contain unlockable artwork. The hub world contains twenty-five Rainbow Scales, which will grant you an extra lifebar (or paw, in this case) if you collect them all. Finally, there are tons of golden cogs you can collect, which can be exchanged for new kinds of boomerang, which are you main weapons.

The combat in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is pretty basic, just like in every other 3D platformer. The protagonist Ty can use boomerangs to hit enemies at a distance, and you can even use a basic but effective first-person aiming system to help you out against enemies located above or below you. There’s even gyro aiming included in here. You can also use a stupidly slow bite attack (you are a tiger after all), which halts your momentum, but deals way more damage than your boomerangs. If you collect one hundred opal stones in a level, you’re granted the opportunity to charge up a super bite, which will blast you towards all enemies in your vicinity in a homing fashion.

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Yep, this is Australia all right…

Besides combat and macguffin hunting, all you’ll do in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is jump and glide a lot. This showcases one of its main problems: its nauseating camera. Due to the fact that the camera stays way too close to Ty at all times, it turns the act of jumping around into a queasy chore. Ty jumps way too high and fast, and the camera will follow suit. I asked one of my colleagues about it who used to play the original Ty game back in the day, and he mentioned that this was already an issue back then. I’m shocked it’s still an issue here today.

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Hey there, giant eel from Super Mario 64, long time no see…

This is a remaster, not a remake, therefore most of the issues featured in 2002 are still present in here. The game did receive some improvements, like a rock-solid framerate, fast loading times, autosaving, a high resolution (except during FMV cutscenes), and the aforementioned gyro aiming, but for the most part, this is the same game from the 2002. You can clearly notice the Banjo-Kazooie influences in its level design, sense of humor, Grant Kirkhope-esque soundtrack, and overabundance of colors.

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These poor lizards must be freezing in the snow. I should help them by hitting them with my flaming boomerangs.

Despite only featuring the bare minimum of improvements to justify the “HD” in its title, I had a good time playing Ty the Tasmanian Tiger on PS4. It is a decent early 2000’s collectathon, back when this word wasn’t considered an insult among non-nostalgic gamers like it is nowadays. It still has some severe camera issues and it does look a bit dated, but it’s chock-full of content and charisma. It’s an easy recommendation for platforming enthusiasts, as well as completionists, as it features a nice balance of things to do and secrets to unlock, without ever frustrating or overwhelming players.


Graphics: 6.5

It didn’t receive many visual improvements besides a more stable framerate and a higher resolution. It does look a bit dated, but it’s still very colorful and charming.

Gameplay: 6.0

The platforming itself is decent and the level design is better than expected, but I would have appreciated improvements in the game’s nauseating camera.

Sound: 7.5

A lot of cheesy dialogue with tons of Aussie expressions and idoms. It has a soundtrack that is clearly inspired by Grant Kirkhope’s work in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. It has aged well.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It’s a game that shows its age in its visuals and occasionally clunky controls, but it’s still a very solid 3D platformer that has aged better than many other games from its era.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger HD is available now on PS4 and Switch.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger HD was provided by the publisher.