One of the most beloved cult classic (yet hard to find) original PlayStation games is now available to download on the PlayStation store! And it’s one of my personal favorites, too! Such a great deal at only ten bucks, especially when you see how much the original disc cost now. Seriously, after reading this review, go look up Tomba on Amazon.com. YOWZA! Anyway, in the game, play as Tomba, a pink-haired jungle boy who had his grandfather’s golden bracelet stolen by some evil pigs. Now Tomba must stop the sinister swine from using gold to fuel their magic in this 2-D platforming adventure.
Tomba can jump, run, climb walls, and tackle enemies. He attacks with a mace-style weapon to stun baddies, but he can also jump on enemies’ backs and flip-throw them off the screen as his trademark move. Tomba can also jump in and out of the background at certain points, giving the game more depth and exploration opportunities. Later on, he’ll learn more skills to help him travel the land.
Tomba is different from most other 2-D platformers as the game is somewhat non-linear. As you play and talk to people in the game, you’ll open up objectives to help you figure out where to go. Then when you complete objectives, a fanfare will sound and you’ll earn points. These AP points also act as experience points in the game. Collect a bunch to open up new areas and skills. The explorative 2-D play found in Tomba is very similar to other games like Monster World, Wonder Boy, and Metroid titles.
As fantastic as Tomba is, it does have a few minor quibbles here and there. Sometimes the goals and objectives are a little unclear and it can be hard to know where to go next. Also, because of the weird ‘belly flop’ way Tomba jumps, it takes a couple of minutes to get used to the style of control. You don’t have as much control over Tomba when he jumps as I would like. But then, if you know that the guy who helped create Ghost N Goblins and the first few Mega Man games also helped create Tomba, then you can kind of understand why the jumping controls are like what they are. Finally, I would think that a PSOne game that was downloaded directly to your PS3 hard drive wouldn’t have load times, but it still does. Of course, I don’t know anything about how PSOne games are ported to the PS3 anyway. It’s just magic to me.
Despite the problems, Tomba is a true gaming treat and I’m very thankful that MonkeyPaw Games saw fit to re-release it here on PSN. Hopefully it’ll do well enough to encourage them to send out the sequel, too! Click here if you’d like to read a snippet of the official press release and video from the game.
Tomba is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Comic Mischief. Violence is all cartoony but I have to say the way Tomba jumps on those pigs is a little disturbing looking. Reading skill is a must as everything is text based, and younger players might get frustrated with some of the more difficult objectives. But it’s still a great game for the whole family.