Galactic Taz Ball for Nintendo DS features Taz and Marvin the Martian, two of my favorite Looney Tunes characters and they are going at it on Earth. Marvin and his army are attacking our planet (Australia specifically where Taz is based) in order to get their resources to bring back to Mars. Taz goes through the game chasing a chicken leg as he battles Marvin’s army of martians and robots. As usual, it seems as if Taz is not aware of what is surrounding him, but he is very focused on chasing that chicken leg.
The game is broken up into two different platforms. Overworld and Underworld. In the Overworld platform the game is more controlled with the stylus and a virtual trackball. You can control the direction and how fast Taz spins with this trackball. You can also put Taz into a tornado with this. When Taz is in his tornado spin he is able to trample Marvin’s martians and robots with ease. This reminds me of sonic spinning around with the difference of how Taz is controlled. Beware that even though Taz is faster and stronger in his tornado mode, it is a lot harder to control him and he can literally and very easily spin off the map.
The Underworld platform reminds me more of a Donkey Kong style of play i.e…. side-scrolling. Taz is controlled by tapping the stylus in the direction you want him to go. You can change direction by tapping again in a different place on the screen. In the underworld Taz can collect coins, jewels, and extra lives. The Underworld parts of the game are typically shorter and tend to be a good way to collect coins
Overall the graphics in Galactic Taz Ball are pretty good and are especially detailed when Taz is in his tornado spin. In the Overworld mode, the graphics go for more of a 3D feel versus the 2D approach of the Underworld mode. Both modes make it easy to identify enemies, coins, jewels, and golden kiwi birds. The controls in the Overworld mode are so awesome and unique that I would love to give a high-five to the developer of this game for this mode alone. In the Overworld mode you can control Taz with a virtual track ball. The gamer has to navigate Taz through a maze of incomplete land collecting coins and jewels.
One minor gripe I had with the game is that Taz doesn’t look all that cute in the game as he usually does in the traditional Looney Tunes cartoon – in fact he looks a bit scary. However, his trademark characteristics are still intact in the game – while whirling around he makes grunts and crazy noises that sound like farts. Overall, while Galactic Taz Ball is geared towards younger gamers, adults will like it just the same since it is amusing to a gamer of any age. Being an advanced gamer I was able to fly through each of the 25 levels within the hour and there are 3-5 levels to each board. However, it might take a casual gamer a little longer to get the hang of the controls. That said, with the combination of endearing characters and innovative gameplay – players young and old will keep coming back to Galactic Taz Ball. Taz and Marvin have never before been this inviting on a handheld console. Galactic Taz Ball for the Nintendo DS retails for $29.99.
The Good: Extremely fun game that has a unique game style utilizing the stylus. Will appeal to adults and kids who are fans of Marvin and Taz.
The Bad: Advanced gamers will be done with the game quickly.