Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan
Reviewed by Megan Parker
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-11-15 GameCube Action/Platform E10 (Everyone 10+) Krome / Activision

Before doing this review, I had heard of the Ty: The Tasmanian Tiger series, but having never played any of the previous games, I didn't really know what to expect. From what I had seen of the new game it looked to be fun. I love it when I'm right.

Being a platformer, Ty 3 does follow a lot of the typical gameplay that most in this genre do. You have the baddies to get rid of, which are called the Quinkan, who are creatures of darkness - if you couldn't tell by their black color scheme - who apparently live to suck the joy out of everyone's lives. Attacking them drops these orbs called opals, which you can use in the game to buy items. The Quinkan aren't the only enemies to fight in the game, though in their various forms, they are the more prevalent baddy. After all, the game is called "Night of the Quinkan".

Ty's weapon of choice are his two trusty boomerangs, or 'rangs as they're called in the game. As the game progresses, you're able to upgrade your rangs as well as buy new ones with different abilities, such as my favorite, the lash. Every rang has at least one bunyip slot where you can add characteristics to your attack; for example, the water stone can freeze anything it hits, the fire stone causes small explosions, and the magnet will attract items to you. There are eleven different bunyip stones you can find and use, each with a different ability for Ty.

The game isn't purely just running around in the Outback throwing fancy sticks at the baddies, it does add various vehicles to do the job with. The first one Ty gets is called the Shadow Bunyip, which is a large robotic looking suit that either punches the enemy or uses various weapons to shoot them with. Its upgrade, the Extreme Bunyip. has the robotic fishbowl look and a few more weapons to its arsenal. The Crabmersible looks like what it sounds like, a giant metallic crab that goes pretty much anywhere. About a quarter of the way through the game, a new area opens up for you to explore. It's a pretty large area, which is why you're given this vehicle to drive around. It's equipped with pinchers (no surprise) as well as auto targeting missiles. The final attack vessel is the Gunyip, an airplane that can pick up balloon-suspended ammunition.

When Ty returns home after a trip to the Dreamland, he finds that the Quinkan have been busy and taken over quite a bit; it seems the good guys are loosing. Fortunately, Ty is back, and he's putting the gang back together. The story isn't anything new, nor really are the characters you meet. However, it does remind me of a lot of cartoons and movies that I would watch when I was younger, it definitely has that appeal that would draw kids to it. It's a cool game with cute characters and fun story.

The gameplay is a lot of fun as well, it's very easy to pick up, and if you can't figure it out for yourself, the tutorial at the beginning should help you how to use those wonderful toys. The story carries you through various types of gameplay, the usual run around collecting opals, taking care of the Quinkan, and various jumping puzzles. You are given missions to keep the game and the story moving and some missions will put you into the driver's seat of vehicles for some variety in your gameplay.

The game isn't very hard and it's quite forgiving. Aside from the combat in the sky, you seem to have unlimited lives, and "death" even puts you pretty close to the same place where you "died". Health powerups are very abundant and usually easy to find, though it's not likely to matter since "death" really doesn't seem to have a downside. The game itself is pretty easy as well and you certainly don't have to be an advanced gamer or even a good gamer to play it. It's perfect for the novice player but still maintains enough fun and originality to appeal to even some advanced gamers. At least, those who are willing to try it. At times, it can be a little repetitive, though that's usually when a mission comes a long that puts you into a little different type of gameplay, such as dogfighting.

The graphics for this game are really amazing; from the various landscapes to the character models, even the lighting, the presentation of this game is a very strong point. You certainly won't get bored of looking at it. As with all good visual stories, this game has a consistent style to it, giving it a very complete feel. The voice acting for the game is actually above what I would expect, even if the dialogue is kind of silly. I think the only complaint I have with the overall presentation is the music, which while not horrible, doesn't really make a lasting impression. It could have easily just been left out and not really make much of a difference.

There's quite a bit of lasting appeal for Ty 3. The game itself holds at least 15 hours of gameplay, more if you're a completist and like to collect all the available items in the game. It also has single or two player mini-games, including cart racing (which is also in the game itself) and more dogfighting with the cool little airplanes. The cart racing is done in a very similar style as Mario Kart and some other racing games where you can pick up weapons to slow down your opponents. Dogfighting is just like it's played in the main storyline, but you can go head to head with a friend. Both mini games are accessible through the main menu and have several maps/courses to play on.

As it advertises, Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan is a kid friendly game, and fortunately, it keeps its appeal to others. With fantastic graphics, easy to learn gameplay as well as fun mini games, it's well worth it for gamers of all ages.

Special thanks to Jeane Wong at Krome Studios for providing a copy of this title.