Ty The Tasmanian Tiger – So Close And Yet So Far

Picture this: 2002. This is when mascot 3D platformers still rule the roost and everywhere you look are anthropomorphic mascot video game characters as far as the eye can see. It’s also when Girls Aloud burst onto the music scene, gracing the UK music charts with their presence. This caused the likes of Ratchet & Clank, Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, Klonoa etc to fly over my head. The PlayStation 2 being expensive at the time didn’t help matters much either. Not to mention, I was focusing on high school and a ton of things and various kinds of entertainment media stole my attention ranging from the aforementioned Girls Aloud to old-school Cartoon Network cartoons at the time. This is the time when I was still immersed with countless Nintendo games during the Nintendo GameCube era. Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Due to the abundance of 3D mascot platforming heroes vying for survival in the video game charts, it’s every character for his or herself. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there back then.

Due to Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Mario, Kirby, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro etc stealing the majority of the attention during the early and mid-2000’s, this resulted in the Ty series to be completely overshadowed, lost within the sands of time.

Ty The Tasmanian Tiger made its debut in 2002 and launched on PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and XBox. The developing team is a finalist of the Australian Game Developer Association annual awards with Outstanding Innovation, Best Game of 2002, Best Game For Next Gen Consoles, Best Game Audio, Best Game Design, Programming Excellence and Outstanding Visual Arts. Not only that, but it’s the winner of the Australian Game Developers Awards with Best Character Design.

Fast forward to 2019 and Krome Studios is throwing it all back to bring the remastered version of the first Ty game to the current generation of consoles. They need $50,000 US dollars to bring it to the Nintendo Switch first (which sparked a large number of negative criticism from not just me but also from other non-Nintendo Switch owners).

At the time of writing, the Kickstarter campaign reached its £41,136 goal thanks to 1,794 backers and there are 17 days to go. It currently gathered £102,848.

What sets Ty The Tasmanian Tiger apart from the pack of child-friendly/family-friendly platforming mascots are all of the characters are based on Australian animals, complete with Australian accents and each of the locations are based on every place in Australia.

When I heard Krome Studios is intending to bring the remastered version of Ty The Tasmanian Tiger to consoles, I assumed my prayers were finally answered. Besides the Sly Cooper series and the Klonoa series, I’ve always wanted to try out the Ty The Tasmanian Tiger series ever since I heard about it for the first time.

There is a catch: At the moment, Ty The Tasmanian Tiger is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. This is a sure-fire way to put countless people off pledging money to this Kickstarter project. I may have spoken too soon that Krome Studios dropped the ball, disappointing a massive amount of PlayStation and XBox fans.

This begs the question: why would Krome Studios want to bring only the first Ty game to the Nintendo Switch instead of the PlayStation 4 or XBox One first? The Nintendo Switch is an odd choice and a strange decision at that. It’s a niche console for indie games and 2D and 3D platformers.

I kind of understand Krome Studios don’t want to bite off more than they can chew and we don’t want another Mighty No. 9 or Yooka-Laylee on our hands. We all know how these abysmal games went. This must be the reason why they decided to bring the later instalments to consoles at a later time.

I don’t want to come off as being jealous. I figured Ty is usually synonymous with PlayStation instead of Nintendo or Microsoft back in the day.

However, according to Krome Studios, a representative informed me if any of the stretch goals are met, the game will be ported to PlayStation 4 and XBox consoles.

Screenshot

That is, IF Krome Studios can reach any of the stretch goals. There are players out there that either DON’T WANT a Nintendo Switch (in other words, they aren’t interested/aren’t in the market for one), can’t afford one or don’t have one. Someone such as myself already vowed to never purchase a Nintendo Switch after being eventually burnt out and grown out of Nintendo games, consoles and merchandise.

It’s a long shot but if it’s possible, Krome Studios should change the Kickstarter project title from, “Ty The Tasmanian Tiger for Consoles” or “Ty The Tasmanian Tiger for PlayStation 4, XBox One and Nintendo Switch” in order to prevent from deterring new and returning backers from backing this Kickstarter campaign.

This is why I’m still on the fence whether I should help the new and veteran fans to fund it. One of my main review/coverage policies is if a game isn’t released for PlayStation consoles, I won’t cover it. End of story.

It doesn’t help when I have a mixed experience with Playtonic Games when it comes to Yooka-Laylee (not just Kickstarter alone but also, game experience) and harrowing experiences with Dante Basco and Jonah Feingold and recently, Nathan McCree. I’m going to see how everything pans out before I make my decision.

Currently, I’m binding my time until Krome Studios announce a PlayStation 4 port as one of the stretch goals.

In regards to the stretch goals, they don’t look like actual stretch goals when compared to the stretch goals from numerous Kickstarter campaigns throughout the years. For example, if $75,000 is raised, Krome Studios will add new skins for Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. I reckon I was expecting the stretch goals to contain more substance and an incentive for backers to throw their hard-earned cash at the screen. But nope! This isn’t the case. To be frank, the stretch goals are underwhelming, nothing to be excited about and nothing to write home about.

Another important thing I’d like to mention is they should consider to release a physical version of the game. There are many reasons why the majority of the gamers prefer physical than digital. We’d like to keep our games in our collection so we have something to look at, to have something to smell (there is nothing more satisfying than taking a whiff of the new print smell or a physical item) and for bragging rights and the fact just because we bought a game, doesn’t mean we actually own it. What if video game companies such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft suddenly decide to shut down their servers in the future?

At the moment, it’s a long shot to reach $150,000 which is the stretch goal to unlock the PlayStation 4 and XBox One versions. Judging by this amount of money, it’s borderline highway robbery and therefore it’s beyond everyone’s reach.

I can’t stress this enough that the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One versions should’ve been a part of the main campaign instead of being relegated to one of the stretch goals. It’s, like, as if Krome Studios is holding the PlayStation 4 and XBox One versions of Ty The Tasmanian Tiger for ransom. Like I said earlier, I’m currently binding my time or lying in wait and wait and see whether they will reach the scandalously expensive stretch goal or not. If the stretch goal isn’t met by 5th September, I ain’t backing this Kickstarter project whatsoever under no circumstances. I don’t want to pledge money to a Kickstarter project only for it to not reach the PlayStation 4 and XBox One stretch goal. In other words, I refuse to back a honestly mismanaged, amateur Kickstarter project for a game console I’m not interested in and already vowed to never purchase. It’s Krome Studios’ loss for putting off upcoming and recent journalists to cover their Ty The Tasmanian Tiger games. This isn’t fair to people who haven’t played the Ty series period, before.

Another vital thing I’d like to address is Krome Studios must implement subtitles in the first Ty game (and the second and third Ty games in the possible future) from the get-go. Without subtitles, people that suffer from learning disabilities won’t understand the story, in-game instructions, what they’re supposed to do or where they’re supposed to go. This is why they need the instructions to be repeated to them and why they tend to rely on subtitles on a daily basis.

Not including subtitles in a game is a sure-fire way to be on the receiving end of pessimistic criticism and being critically panned. Despite constantly needing subtitles, learning disability sufferers might understand English just fine. Subtitles are a necessity for daily life and it should’ve been an industry standard in the first place, no questions asked. The lack of subtitles may be excusable in the 90’s due to hardware limitations but this isn’t the 90’s anymore. It’s still the frickin’ 2010’s, there’s no excuse for Toys For Bob and Activision to exclude subtitles to begin with. Sure, the aforesaid subtitles are within Spyro Reignited Trilogy after the recent update but this still doesn’t excuse them to exclude them. Just ‘cause Spyro Reignited Trilogy is trying to stay true to the original trilogy as Toys For Bob and Activision claimed (Which I beg to differ if I might add. Although, their words contradict their actions in regards to how many unnecessary changes they’ve made, concept art, artwork, level and character design, voice acting direction, music, character modelling etc wise) doesn’t mean the cutscenes in it can’t have subtitles. This is why I ripped it a new one in terms of overly negative criticism. Fingers crossed Krome Studios won’t repeat what Toys For Bob and Activision did.

Now back to the subject at hand. Judging by the Ty The Tasmanian Tiger Kickstarter campaign as a whole, it isn’t well thought-out when it’s compared to previous and recent Kickstarter projects. For starters, it’s difficult to tell the difference between the original and remastered/remake versions of the first Ty game in terms of the screenshots and the tiny clips within the video which were featured in the video above the Kickstarter campaign. The screenshots and the little video clips didn’t show much when it comes to the difference between the old and new graphics. There’s only so much you can see within the aforementioned screenshots and video clips.

On that note, since the Ty trilogy is already remastered for the PC, Krome Studios should’ve considered to release the trilogy entirely instead of porting only the first game to other consoles.

Additionally, the developing team didn’t mention within their Kickstarter video and campaign whether the first Ty game is a remake/remaster, a reboot, a re-imagining, if it’s going to be remade from the ground up or if it’s a remake/remaster with the graphics upscaled.

I swear this Kickstarter campaign is raising more and more questions with each passing week by the second. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but why the Nintendo Switch first instead of the PlayStation 4?! It doesn’t make any lick of sense for Krome Studios to port the first Ty game to the Nintendo Switch first. I’m certain the majority of the Ty fanbase consists of PlayStation console owners instead of Nintendo console owners.

Bottom line, I usually don’t do coverage on non-PlayStation games but this poorly organised Kickstarter campaign warrant a critical analysis, no matter how harsh and brutally honest it may be.

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