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PlayStation Rewind - Tomba!

My brother and I were discussing classic games and what we used to play on our old systems last night. One of the first ones brought up was a much overlooked, but highly rated, game by the developers over at Whoopee Camp (who closed their doors quite a few years back). The game was called Tomba, a side scrolling platformer with a few 3D elements in the mix. Reason for it not selling enough to even hit Greatest Hits status? Definitely wasn’t because of reviews. Might have been lack of advertising… It did get a sequel, though.

The premise of the story goes as follows, according to Wikipedia:

You play the role of an energetic pink-haired youth named Tomba. Tomba’s island was once a beautiful, peaceful place. However, seven evil pigs appeared, and using their magical powers, they mutated the surroundings into a bizarre landscape. The underlings of The Evil Pigs, called the Koma Pigs, stole Tomba’s grandfather’s bracelet and a plethora of gold through a strange lust for it.

Tomba is on a quest to retrieve his bracelet, which requires trapping the Evil Pigs along the way. Trapping them involves finding Evil Pig Bags, keys to entering each realm of each Evil Pig. When Tomba confronts an Evil Pig, he can throw and seal them into their Evil Pig Bag. He must also complete missions for other people and areas to get items and Evil Pig Bags. Some side-missions are purely for fun and irrelevant to the Evil Pigs storyline.

For being a new intellectual property, it had a lot of great production values and was very fun. The only down side? Lots and lots of loading screens and backtracking (backtracking is only really important if you want to go and complete many of the side quests, other than that, yeah, there’s still backtracking, but it wouldn’t be as much). The game included 130 events in all, allowing you to get rare items for other missions, building your AP, and adding new items that enhance your abilities (such as being able to run faster, jump higher, etc which really come in handy).

There’s definitely a lot there for people if they love to get 100% completion on video games, looking for hidden stuff, etc. The gameplay is generally open and you can be in the middle of a quest and go ahead and start or finish others. It’s really lenient in terms of how you want to progress in the game. Be careful, though, if you’re trying to get all 130 completed, because there are cases where you wind up completing one that will inadvertently end another (it is possible, but Wikipedia says the most anyone’s ever gotten is 128/130, but there’s a walkthrough on YouTube that disproves that).

If you’ve never played the game before, you’re missing out because it’s one of the classic PlayStation’s best titles. Would the game translate well for a modern take on the series? Probably not (in terms of a 3D venture anyway. It would probably wind up like Sonic when it went 3D), but if they released the game on PSN (it is produced by SCEA after all), I would definitely pick it up. What would be really nice, though, is if they modernized it like the Bionic Commando side scroller on PSN (and Live) with more up to date graphics but the same basic gameplay. THAT would be worth every penny. If I had to rate the game in a review, I’d definitely give it at least an 8.5/10.

The PSOne had so many classics, it’s unbelievable. There were tons of promising franchises on there that never really made it into the PS2 era. Remember Jet Moto? Vagrant Story? PaRappa the Rapper? Dino Crisis 2 (the first one is confirmed to be hitting PSN, though, I think they should remake number 2 using current gen tech)? Legend of Dragoon? Hell, even Duke Nukem: Time to Kill was awesome! Tons of weapons and hilariously corny one liners! Do you think these should have PSN releases, or even just bring it into the current gen? Got any PS1 games of your own in mind? Shout off in the comments.