That'll do, pigs. That'll do.
Oh, Tomba. You are yet another mascot of the nineties that was cast to the wayside, forever forgotten by most of the world. Sure, now Sony has the big guns like Uncharted's Nathan Drake, God of War's Kratos, Ratchet & Clank's eponymous duo, and whatever passes for a front man for the Killzone series, but they are definitely missing someone of notable caliber in the pink hair department. Tomba! was and still is a very original PlayStation One-era 2D platformer with loads of charm. Its recent release on the PlayStation Store has revitalized some interest in the title. Is the $9.99 USD price tag good enough to pig out on this game?
Tomba! follows a simple story, and for a platformer, that's all you'd really want anyway. One day Tomba is resting in a meadow when suddenly a group of Evil Pigs steals his prized possession, his golden bracelet, given to him by his grandpa. Now, the Pigs are doing a mess of other things, other than giving Tomba trouble. An Evil Pig has been dispatched to each main area of Tomba's playing grounds, and they are causing quite the stir. From turning the citizens of Baccus Village into rodents to create fierce winds on Phoenix Mountain, these Pigs have got to be stopped. Of course, Tomba just wants his golden bracelet. Saving the peace-loving people and habitats of the game by nabbing each and every Evil Pig to stop their tyranny over a given area of the land is just a bonus. After all, it is pretty clear from the darling opening movie that Tomba does not have all his proverbial pigs in a blanket. (I'm calling him a bit stupid and naive, for those who don't follow.) Speaking of the movies in the game, there are plenty of them sprinkled throughout Tomba's adventure. They have a cute aesthetic to them that yells distinctly "Saturday morning kids' anime." Oh, no worries - that's an adorable thing.
|No shirt. No shoes. No problem.|
|Tomba can change planes, climbing up|
the house (door-side) and standing on the roof.
|So thick you can cut it with a knife.|
Many Events will have Tomba collecting an item to complete the quest's request. Aside from Event-specific items, Tomba can stow away in his inventory health-restoring Lunch Boxes; destination-transporting Clarity Wings (though there is a way to be able to move to any area that makes this item unnecessary); new weapons and equipment such as boomerang, grapples, parasols, and pairs of pants; and mushrooms that can turn Tomba into a happy, neutral, or crying mess. An item that our jungle boy can nab that aren't in his inventory include the invaluable Vitality Max +1, which bestows one extra slot of health for our hero.
|They say laughter is the best medicine.|
Well, at least it kills time.
The areas of Tomba! are all interconnected. As you can possibly imagine with all of the Events, there is a lot of backtracking involved. Apart from the 2D landscape levels, Tomba visits various towns where the game shifts to an overhead point of view, reminiscent of any typical RPG, where he can chat with the locals, get assigned new Events, and unwind. Saving is performed by walking up to the numerous signposts in the game and examining them.
| Tomba feels a bit under-dressed |
compared to the locales.
Tomba! is a good length for a 2D platformer. It took me about 10-12 hours to complete most of the Events and see the ending. I didn't get to complete several of the Events because the game glitched three of my items (three Crystal Balls) and removed them from my possession. (This seems to have happened with other players, so I am not alone, thankfully.) That said, there really is no exceptional special bonus for clearing all the quests except that you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
|Each Evil Pig has caused |
some trouble for a specific area.
Ultimately, Tomba's first adventure is a successful one. It really is a platformer in RPG's clothing. Or maybe it's the opposite..? Nonetheless, Tomba! has its fair share of problems such as copious amounts of backtracking, imperfect hit detection, mediocre music, but for every problem it has, Tomba! is blessed with a positive. The game is charming, there are plenty of Events to accomplish, the RPG elements are refreshing for a 2D platformer, the visuals are colorful, and it has nice replay value. It is a shame the original developer of the game went out of business shortly after this game's sequel. I would have loved to see a trilogy out of Tomba! Perhaps someday... or perhaps that poor, wild jungle child could wind up in a certain Sony fighting game... A man can dream.
[SuperPhillip Says: 8.0/10]