We did and our kids today still enjoy the afternoon kids program featuring countless episodes with Bugs, Sam, Daffy and the rest of the gang of the way beyond famous Loony Toons. Most of these characters already appeared in one or two games but now one of the not so adorable (none the less very entertaining) Warner Brothers characters is hitting the screen of your television set: Taz, the Tasmanian Devil. The always hungry, spitting, un-understandable and “impulsive” beast got its own game and tries to spin your video gaming world.
Once upon a time...
Tazmanian Devil boy (Taz) meets Tazmanian Devil (no idea what’s her name) girl he likes. Tazmanian Devil girl and boy are kidnapped by evil Business Man (red bearded gun wielding Yosemite Sam) to be new attraction at his evil Zoo Empire. Tazmanian Devil boy escapes, saves Tazmanian Devil girl, destroys evil Zoo while doing so, and kicks evil Business Man big time. The End. Can a story be more complex and intriguing?
*Spin* *Spin* *Spin*
Since you have opened up the review in the first place and even read it up to this point I suspect that you are at least a little familiar with who and what Taz is. Taz: Wanted would be a standard 3D Jump’n’Run game if not for one thing: spinning. By the touch of a button Taz begin to spins wildly around himself and this way can destroy obstacles, ignore most laws of physics by “twisting” up walls or attack an unsuspecting enemy (if they were unsuspecting .. but more of that later). The rest won’t surprise experienced players. You collect snacks and golden statues, destroy boxes to reveal the treasures hidden inside them, grab everything you can, stuff in your mouth and shoot it at your enemies (green dinosaurs or white fluffy ball anyone ?), solve various challenging jumping riddles, defeat a few Bosses and complete the game.
To complete a level and advance you have to destroy all of the game name giving Taz: Wanted Posters. Obviously that’s not too easy from time to time. Posters are often unreachable until you destroy obstacles blocking your way or solve a puzzle to open up new ways first.
Many of the puzzles and situations recreate the atmosphere of the movies quiet well but it seems that the delevopers soon ran short on good ideas and after a while gameplay gets really repeative, not to say boring nor frustrating. Hardcore players will of course none the less try hard to collect all the snacks and find all the secrets to unlock the various goodies you can unlock by spending your hard earned credits.
One last thing about gameplay I should mention before moving on. The enemies, mostly zoo wardens with nets will leave you alone unless you get to close to them. And if you get to close you are likely already lost. Catching you once you are in reach takes them only a second and you will loose some of your hard earned money. So always stay away from them and shoot them from a distance.
“Everyone wants Cell Shading”
Some people love cell shaded graphics, some hate it. The controversy around the upcoming Zelda title is proof enough for that. A very important thing when using Cell Shaded Graphics is how good you implement them. A comic based game like Taz: Wanted is a of course a perfect opportunity for using cell shaded graphics. And when you look at the characters, especially Taz, you really have the feeling to be playing IN a Loony Toons epsiode. What destroys part of the illusion is that the backgrounds lack contrast and sharpness. The surroundings are a little blur most of the time and sometime Taz looks a little out of place. With not too many cell shaded games on the market games it also a question of getting used to this still uncommon engines.
“Taz still hungry...”
A little short and sometimes a little frustrating, still Taz is a unique character and his spin introduces something new to the genre. Worth a look after all..