I'll Give it this at least, they're certainly getting better at bastardising the 2D Looney Tunes universe into cel-shaded 3D. Now all they need to do is pour some authenticity into the format so that it doesn't look like the ill-fittingly modernised franchise leeching whore it obviously is. Which leads us on to asking the question, is there a decent platform game hiding behind the Taz: Wanted name?
On a superficial level, yes, it's competently put together. It's colourful, it looks busy, and there are no major faults. Yet play for a while and you get the feeling that it lacks a certain finesse. You have to knock out seven targets on each of ten worlds, and there's a degree of variety in getting at each one, but most of it seems to involve blindly travelling from one area to another until you chance on the solutions. Finding bonus items and cash in each level add to the obsessive collector conformity of the genre (in order to unlock gallery pages. Coo, eh?). And that's your lot.
It looks frayed around the edges in comparison to the greats. Imitating instead of innovating. Springboards, slippery surfaces, wobbly logs, timed jumps, it's all there. It's easy to concede that you can play through Taz once over and get what you paid for. Just don't expect much more from it. Oh, and in case you think I've forgotten, the camera sometimes gets stuck behind scenery. Fancy that.
Download Taz Wanted
A cartoon character starring in console games isn't that amazing, but the star of Infograme's latest game just might be a surprise. He doesn't bring the kind of comic clout that Bugs or Daffy does, but Taz does bring a ton of chutzpah and a wicked Tasmanian spinning attack. Does he have enough appeal to succeed as the star of his own game? Perhaps not, but Taz aficionados will find this game appealing, especially at the discount price of $29.99.
The premise of the game is simple: Yosemite Sam, out to earn a buck, decides to convert Taz's home into a cheesy theme park. He incarcerates Taz in a zoo and kidnaps Taz's true love. Your job is to break out, avoid capture, dish out as much destruction as possible in the 15 immersive levels and rescue your beloved She Devil.
Cell shaded graphics brings to life the world of Taz, drawing you into the cartoon mayhem. The primary goal of each level is to destroy the 7 wanted posters, but you can also earn points by completing other task such as: collecting 100 sandwiches in each level, destroying over 50% of the destructible objects in the level, finding hidden objects, etc. Destroying objects primarily consists of eating them, spinning into them (this effect is reproduced faithfully), or spitting other objects at them. The reward for completing the first world is a game of Elephant Pong. Not to be missed.
Game play is subtly addictive. While it plays like a platform games, the architecture of the worlds is wide open. You aren't forced down a path. If you get frustrated with a level you can leave it altogether and try one of the other two levels in that world, or better yet, you and a friend can go head to head in a multiplayer game. The multiplayer experience isn't spectacular, but it's a nice touch.
If you have a soft spot for Taz and breaking things, or if you are looking for a kid friendly game then this game is for you. Everyone else should rent it first.
Taz: Wanted is really just another 3D-platform action/exploration game. The object is to cruise around parts of the zoo and destroy 'wanted'? posters with Taz's image on them. Subtasks include wrecking as many fixtures as possible and finding yummy sandwiches lying about. Destroying the posters usually involves some sort of Rube Goldbergish antics such as bouncing off some life preservers into a cannon and then being shot at a poster. I think this game is either geared for younger players or the developers just think you're stupid because at the beginning of each level you're shown how to destroy the wanted posters which takes away most of the puzzle solving you'd otherwise have to do. I hesitate to say that the game is designed more for children, however, because of its semi-complicated rules, controls, and frustration level.
The control is typical for a game of this genre including troubled camera angles. The biggest frustration is being caught by your enemies since you often have little chance to escape. For instance an alligator will smack you around a bit and then smack you some more before you can get away. The Taz catchers are just nuts ' if they see you at all then you'll probably get caught no matter how fast you move which is excessively frustrating. You can get beat up, drowned, or caught over and over again since you have no lives to lose, but you can lose hard-earned cash and time.
The multiplayer aspect seems as if it were added just so they could say it's a multiplayer game. It consists of a few mini two-player games that have horrible control and use some sort of fish-eye lens perspective. They just aren't fun.
I didn't get much of a sense of depth with the graphics and some of the art seemed a bit fuzzy. There is a very nice usage of bright colors that stays true to the cartoons. The sounds are fine but the repeating music became annoying quickly.
You've played one 3D-platform game, you've played 'em all, right Taz: Wanted helps reinforce this statement. If you're really into Taz, Looney Tunes, or 3D-platform games then you should check out this game but otherwise it's nothing worth jumping up and down about.
One trend in the gaming industry is to develop games starring our favorite cartoon or comic characters. The latest cartoon character to make the leap from your TV to your Xbox is Taz, the Tasmanian devil, in Taz Wanted. Taz definitely has enough chutzpah, but does he have enough appeal to succeed as the star of his own game?
Taz Wanted's premise is simple enough. Yosemite Sam, out to earn a buck, decides to convert Taz's home into a cheesy theme park. To ensure the success of his plans, he incarcerates Taz in the San Francisco Zoo and kidnaps (or is that Taz-naps?) Taz's true love. Your job as Taz is to break out, avoid capture, dish out as much destruction as possible in the 15 immersive levels that span 4 huge worlds, and rescue your beloved She Devil.
Game play is subtly addictive. The longer I played, the more absorbed I became. It plays like a platform game, but the architecture of the worlds is wide open, giving a very non-linear experience. If you get frustrated with a level you can leave it altogether and try one of the other two levels in that world.
Although the primary goal in each level is to destroy the 7 wanted posters, you also earn points and bonus games by completing other task such as: collecting 100 sandwiches in each level, destroying over 50% of the destructible objects in the level, finding hidden objects, etc. Destroying objects primarily consist of eating them, spinning into them (this effect is reproduced faithfully to the cartoon), or spitting other objects at them. One of the bonus games you unlock for completing the first world is elephant pong. Definitely, a new take on an old game!
The wonder of cell shading graphics authentically brings to life the Looney Toon world that Taz lives in. If you have a soft spot for Taz, like the idea of immersing yourself in a cartoon world, breaking things, or if you are looking for a kid-friendly game for your Xbox then this game is for you, however, everyone should give it a quick rent first.
Snapshots and Media
- Bugs and Taz: Time Busters
- Escape From Mars Starring Taz
- Settlers II: Gold Edition
- Taz Express
- Taz in Escape From Mars
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Fantasy Zone - The Maze
- Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files
- Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
- Looney Tunes Cosmic Capers
- Sonic Lost World
- Surf's Up
- Tiny Toons - Buster's Hidden Treasure
- Toon Car: The Great Race