Publisher: Infogrames

Developer: Blitz Games

Category: Action

Release Dates

N Amer - 09/24/2002

Taz Wanted Review

Taz Wanted, at first glance, appears to have all the makings of a winner. A popular cartoon franchise, cool animation and a plethora of wacky powerups and puzzles are all present. These items together as a whole, however, aren't quite enough to elevate this game above the crowd of platformers due to some unfortunate gameplay issues.

Taz has ticked off Yosemite Sam and as a result has been captured and displayed in Yosemite's new theme park. Escaping is easy, but with a bounty on his head, being recaptured is a constant threat. Fortunately, Taz has several tricks to confound Yosemite and evade the zoo employees. Spinning and burping his way across the park, Taz must destroy the wanted posters Yosemite has scattered around, gathering sandwiches and creating havoc by destroying park property along the way.

At the beginning of the game, Taz is at the zoo after escaping from his cage. To escape the park altogether, he must clear all the levels by finding and destroying the Taz Wanted posters. Some are in easily accessible, obvious places, but some are in more difficult areas that will require some planning, as in using monkeys hanging from trees to swing his way to higher levels, and items that "shoot" Taz to higher areas. Lots of things can be bounced on, too, to gain a higher elevation and Taz's tip-toe move will help on slanted areas. While hunting the 7 bounty posters, Taz will also be busy eating sandwiches and destroying Yosemite's property, in a fun twist on the usual "collect everything" mode. To access bonus games, Taz must eat 100 sandwiches and destroy 50% of the items. One of the best features of this game is the fact that Taz never really dies, but has unlimited lives! This really helps when planning out the best ways to solve the wanted poster puzzles. Another cool feature is the Costume Phone booth, where Taz, in a superman manner, can change into costumes which give him unique powers. The main use of these is to take out the all the zoo catchers with one use. These costumes are quite zany! Mini-games are present, too, some with two-player capability.

Soon into playing the game, though, players will begin to notice several annoying features that take away from the pure enjoyment of running around with Taz. The camera views are awful, and Taz many times will end up getting into a corner where the view is totally blocked. There are buttons to toggle the camera view, but this is awkward to do while running, and it often just spins the camera around in a 180 degree arc. This makes avoiding the zoo catchers hard to do, when they're around a corner and not in view; the first warning is when a net is crashing down on Taz's head. And, when running around with Taz, the wildly moving camera leads to some motion sickness after awhile. Another detraction is the extreme difficulty of controlling Taz's movements with any preciseness. Jumping across items in the water is a joke, as Taz will repeatedly fall in and drown after over- or under-jumping. Coupled with this is the strange fact that just madly jumping across the water with no effort at aiming will often get him across!

The graphics are extremely bright and colorful and capture the Looney Tunes essence very well. Again, though, there was some problems with this as the colors are so bright, in fact, it begins to hurt the eyes, especially when combined with the motion sickness inspired by the out-of-control camera work.

The music is pretty good, according to my teen son, anyway. His favorite was "Dead Zeppelin".

Taz Wanted has a lot of potential that, sadly, isn't fully realized due to the interface problems. The unique puzzles, combined with the fact that Taz just can't die, make for an interesting game that is well-suited to family play because of the minimal violence, colorful animation, and fun powerups that involve lots of burping. The frustrations brought on by the camera, though, may off-put many players. It would have helped to have a better design of the camera and a "further away" perspective of Taz, who is too close to the camera. Our family is currently enjoying playing Taz, but for short periods of gameplay, as prolonged playing does hurt the eyes and tummy after while, no kidding. An interesting game, but one that would have benefited from more work before being released.


Gameplay: 7.5
Taz is a fun game, and offers players lots to do. Unfortunately, the camera view detracts from and ultimately frustrates the gameplay.

Graphics: 7 
At first glance, the graphics are cool because of the intense color. Soon, however, the very brightness of the colors becomes bothersome.

Sound: 8
The music is good and fits in well with the Looney Tunes cartoon theme.

Difficulty: Medium
The game is fairly easy for the most part, but some puzzles are more difficult to figure out. Just moving around can be a trifle tricky, too, sometimes.

Concept: 7 
Another platformer among many, but one that offers some unique aspects, like the costume phone booth.

Multiplayer: Yes
There are multi-player mini-games, but there's not that much to them, for the most part.

Overall: 7.2
A decent family game that offers some fun puzzles and items, but is hampered by lousy camera work.

GameZone Review Detail

7.2

GZ Rating

Gameplay7.5
Graphics7
Sound8
DifficultyMedium
Concept7
Overall7.2

The game that could have been...

Reviewer: Anise Hollingshead

Review Date: 10/07/2002


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