Easy as Ty
Ty 3 is one of those games that makes you shrug and say, “Well, I guess someone would like this. But it isn’t for me.” It offers gameplay that can be mastered in under 10 minutes, puzzles that tell you exactly how to solve them, and a main character that speaks only in the most hackneyed Aussie slang imaginable (made all the more annoying by the awkwardly paced editing of the cut scenes). Does it get old fast? Too right, mate!
The Quinkan, a race of little, yippity shadow creatures similar to the Heartless in Kingdom Hearts, have invaded Ty’s homeland and ransacked his village. After returning from a dimensional warp of some sort (this part of the story was never clearly explained), Ty finds the village in shambles and his team of bounty hunters dispersed. Ty must then convince several of them to return to the village by completing such tasks as “Let’s-race-go-karts-and-if-you-win-it-means- you’re-a-better-man-than-me-and-I-will-do- your-bidding-and-rejoin-the-team.” Oddly enough, that’s exactly how I picked up my ex-girlfriend.
In order to exterminate the Quinkan from the land, Ty must rely on his trusty boomerangs (I’m assuming they’re trusty… I really don’t know the history of Ty and his boomerangs, but as I played the game they seemed to have a strong affinity for one another). While he begins with the standard night-creature slaying, titanium-embedded boomerangs, Ty later acquires enhanced boomerangs that allow him to annihilate the Quinkan with even greater ease than the already too-easy difficulty level permits. These boomerangs—or more aptly, ‘rangs—can be upgraded with a variety of jewels and crystals that bestow them with powers of which mere mortal boomerangs can only dream. If you place a Fire Stone in a ‘rang slot—BAM!—flamin’ ‘rangs and toasted Quinkan!
It may be apparent already from this review, but Ty 3 is not for the challenge seeker. It is, however, an excellent entry title to the platformer genre for younger gamers. The controls never require more than one button to be pressed at a time and the puzzles take about as much effort as lying calmly on a bed. Mashing on the attack button repeatedly during close range combat unleashes a devastating juggle combo on the Quinkan spawn unlucky enough to be in slashing range. Unfortunately, Ty hasn’t spent much time building up his close range combat finesse, so you’ll be seeing the same combo over… and over… and over again. Again, this could potentially be immensely gratifying to youngsters, as children can find this type familiarity infinitely comforting (hence the reason they’re more than happy to watch the same episode of Barney over… and over… and over again).
The monotony is broken by the inclusion of scenes that feature Ty piloting one of the various Bunyip machines. These include the Shadow Bunyip, the Gunyip, and the Extreme Bunyip (a giant robot much like the Shadow Bunyip, but more extreme!). Whenever piloting one of these machines, the chance of dying reduces itself even further, potentially putting itself in the negative quadrant of the “difficulty chart” and leaving you in debt to the game for a challenge (you might try playing with your eyes closed, or, for the real thrill seeker, playing a different game). Quinkan fall faster than a two-legged dog chasing its tail on a linoleum floor under the power of the Bunyip machines. They add a new repertoire of attacks for Ty to experiment with at least, but, again, the player will exhaust the possibilities within a minute or two of use, after which the only enjoyment comes from the joy of how easy it is to smash Quinkan into the ground with the machines.
So Ty 3 isn’t breaking any new ground. It has found its ground. Its ground is soft and fluffy, and has a comfortably familiar aroma. The platforming genre has probably had more trouble than any other when it comes to adapting to next-gen systems and the expectation of 3D environments. Ty 3 takes the most basic conventions of platformers in the 3D realm and runs with them. The game has no desire to reinvent the platforming wheel, but simply to provide a launching pad for younger players to become acquainted with platforming action.