Expansive play Down Under
Product: Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue
Price: $280 (Xbox version)
Pros: Young gamers can discover Australia's expansive Outback through Ty's adventures
Cons: Some graphics are choppy and the character-based action will not appeal to advanced gamers
Character-based action game Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, launched in 2002, introduced video-game players worldwide to the richly animated, three-dimensional world of Australia's Outback.
The boomerang-wielding Ty journeys to find fellow Tasmanian tigers trapped in another world called Dreamtime.
To unlock the portal to Dreamtime, Ty goes through a series of adventures spread over a wide range of locations and meets an assortment of madcap characters inspired by animals indigenous to Australia.
The game, developed by Australia-based Krome Studios, was published and distributed by Electronic Arts under the EA Games brand for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube platforms.
Two years after that successful release, Electronic Arts and Krome Studios have again ventured Down Under with the new Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue.
Ty picks up where the original game left off, with the evil Boss Cass up to his old tricks. After escaping from Currawong jail, the feathered villain hatches a plan to take over the world with an army of Uber Reptiles.
Their main obstacle is Ty and his team of Burramudgee Bush Rescue mates. The Xbox game player can play Ty or part of his team, fighting large numbers of enemies and completing various missions.
The importance of each mission is represented by different coloured stars on Ty's handheld communicator. A red star means a crucial quest must be completed before the story continues. Missions marked as orange or green stars can be completed at any time.
After completing a mission, the player gets opals to exchange for vehicle upgrades, boomerangs and other objects.
Ty is equipped with an arsenal of 21 upgradeable boomerangs, including the Lasharang, Kaboomarang and Megarang.
The game also features five different 'Mech units' to help Ty fight his enemies.