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|Setting the Scene:
What do you get when you mix 3D graphics with the classic style game play of a platform game intertwined with role playing elements? Tomba 2 The Evil Swine Return. Sony has released everyones favorite pink-haired hero and he is ready for more adventures.
The adventure begins when a band of evil swine swept across the land. The once thriving lands are now left destitute. The swine use pranks and evil spells to make the town people lives a living heck (This is a family game). A young pink-haired boy named Tomba battled this evil force and restored the land back too it's original splendor. All was calm and good, for a while .
Enter Tomba 2. The sequel starts with our Tomba now grown up into a young man. Life was pleasant and uneventful until an envelope drops from the sky. When Tomba opens the letter a smart, friendly flying bug named Zippo appears. He tells the plight of the people in the neighboring land. The evil pigs have returned bigger, badder, and even more determined to wreak havoc on innocents everywhere. Now if that wasn't enough the bad pork even kidnapped Tomba's girlfriend, the lovely Tabby. With Tabby in the evil clutches Tomba can't hesitate on the next set of events.
So with the help of Zippo and the urgency of what fate has bestowed upon our hero, Tomba embarks on an adventure that promises to be wild, exciting, and hopefully puts an end to the destructive hogs.
Tomba's journey begins in a small fishing town initially armed with a blackjack (a heavy iron ball with spikes connected to a rope). In the town the baneful boars have already made their presence felt. They populate every corner causing mischief and foul play. Along the way an old man asks for help. His house is a burning inferno and his golden crab is trapped. All right just one obstacle in saving Tabby. Hopefully nothing else will be in our hero's way and everything will run smoothly in saving his dear Tabby.
Yeah right. Along Tomba's travels he encounters a number of characters that will need saving or assistance. From fixing machines to helping Santa Clause, Tomba is always there to lend the helping hand. Now the question is are you up to the task?
Sound and Vision:
From the get go the music puts you in the mood for a whimsical and entertaining adventure. The characters open with spoken dialogue combined with the displayed conversation. This was good because it gave better depth to characters. Zippo was peppy and cheery, the towns people had an appropriate dialogue which blended well with what their role was, and the others creatures sounded appropriately creepy or intriguing . To my surprise the dialogue kept coming. Most games give you spoken dialogue at opportune times and make you read all the conversation. To my pleasant surprise it lasted throughout the whole game, what a major plus. The various weapons had their own sounds, the whooshing of boomerangs, the pounding of hammers, and the constant rattle of the old ball and chain (it's a weapon, really).
The opening introduction sequences start with a bountiful array of colors. The bright color selection almost gives a kiddie feel, but seems appropriate for who Tomba 2 targets. Tomba wears his Tarzan inspired attire at first. As Tomba finds new clothing, he changes in appearance. Bird clothes, squirrel coat and pig suits are just a few to mention. Each outfit gives Tomba a distinctive appearance as well as special abilities. The creatures use a polygon-based system that looks good with the constant rotating camera angles. The evil creatures rendered are unique and look different from each other. The various stages have there own distinct enemies that breaks up the game and gives a better feel of actually crossing different environments. The buildings have good detail and blend well with the backgrounds. Entrances to these building are easily distinguishable for in depth exploration. The scenes use classic platform designs but have an added feature of depth in which Tomba is able to participate.
The developers did a good job blending the sights and sounds of the game to give an enjoyable feel to the title.
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