Released for the PSone on December 31st, 1999, Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return is a sequel to Whoopee Camp’s charming 2D platformer, Tomba. As a young feral boy named, Tomba, your mission is to rescue your childhood friend, Tabby, and defeat the evil swine that captured her.
Tomba 2’s gameplay has changed considerably since the original game. Since the first Tomba was 2D, the player was restricted to exploring the foreground and background. Tomba 2’s 3D world allows for more flexibility, as you can explore a good portion of the game world, while being aided by an intersection system. This system, which is represented by arrows, appears on-screen when Tomba can deviate from his current path and explore different areas of the level.
By pressing the appropriate direction on the D-Pad and Circle button together, the perspective will change and Tomba can resume his adventure. Some levels are seen from a top-down perspective, allowing Tomba to move freely with no restrictions. Additionally, Tomba can also enter houses and speak to NPCs.
Since this version of Tomba 2 is from Japan, the dialogue is written in Japanese. This can make playing the game difficult since NPCs will give you hints regarding your objectives. While some objectives can be easily completed by experimenting (i.e. like rolling eggs onto poles that act like teeter-totters), others like saving a burning house can stump you because NPCs give explicit instructions on where to obtain certain items.
As the player progresses through the game, they must acquire Adventure Points (AP) to unlock chests that are scattered throughout the game world. Moreover, special suits can be obtained to give Tomba special abilities (i.e. think Super Mario Bros. 3 and its respective sequels). A good example of this is the flying squirrel suit – it gives Tomba the ability to glide long distances when he jumps from platforms. You can also teleport to areas that have been previously visited by using magical feathers that can be found in later levels.
With gripes aside, the core mechanics of the original Tomba survived the transition to Tomba 2. You can swing on tree branches to reach platforms; cling to pillars to avoid danger; and scale buildings to collect hard to reach items. The game includes 137 objectives that range from (as mentioned earlier) putting out a house fire to helping Santa find his sack.
Despite its age, Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return is a charming platformer that has stood the test of time. While the 3D graphics have aged poorly over the years, retro gamers will still appreciate the solid gameplay and perplexing puzzles. The only drawback to this release is the amount of reading required to solve some of the puzzles, and that can be difficult if you can’t read Japanese. Luckily, MonkeyPawGames have provided help pages on their website to aid gamers not fluent in Japanese. You can visit their help pages by clicking here.
Platform: PSVita (Available on PSN / Also plays on Playstation 3)
Developer: Whoopeee Camp
|The 3D graphics haven't aged all that well.|
|Classic Tomba music and sound effects.|
|Addictive gameplay and challenging puzzles.|
|Retro gamers will enjoy Tomba 2's gameplay .|