REVIEW – Tomba! 2 – PSOne Import on PSN

An Interesting Choice –

Even though there have only been two Tomba titles ever created, this pink haired Neanderthal sparked enough of a cult following that copies of the PSOne originals sell for big bucks on eBay. Now thanks to the dedicated work of the wonderful people at Monkey Paw, both Tomba titles are easy available for download on PSN.

The seesaw puzzle early in the game
The seesaw puzzle early in the game

Unfortunately, the digital re-release is not what you expect and is actually a bit baffling. You see, Tomba 2 was localized and brought to the States as Tomba 2! The Evil Swine Return. This PSN download however is the Japanese version of Tomba 2. Out of all the import PSOne titles Monkey Paw has just released on PSN over the last six weeks, Tomba 2 requires the most reading. While the small amount of Japanese text displayed in the other games is easily worked around, there is just enough text in Tomba 2 that makes gameplay a struggle without English translation.

Tomba 2 plays very similar to Tomba 1. Even though the game takes place in the 2D side scrolling point of view, each environment twists and turns to provide a unique 2.5D perspective. While ledge climbing and ball-and-chain attacking are fun as ever, the lack of English translation makes the gameplay more tedious than it needs to be. Tomba 2 also has not aged as well as jumping is touchy and the low res textures are not as pretty as you would like to remember. Unlike Mario’s simple side scrolling run to the right easy to understand gameplay, Tomba is more mission based. The player is required to complete specific fetch quests, read signs, and talk to NPCs to receive and complete these quests but can become a trial-and-error style of challenge thanks to the lack of translation.

Jumping and wall climbing is touchy and clingy
Jumping and wall climbing is touchy and clingy

While it is not known for sure, it might be safe to assume that some type of legal dispute has prevented the English version from being re-published on PSN so instead Monkey Paw settled on the next best thing – the Japanese version. The Tomba titles are definitely not bad games but this import Japanese version will require more patience and dedication to work through.




Not As Good As: The fully translated English version

Better Than: spending a ton of money on eBay for a used copy

Also Try: all the other Monkey Paw import titles


By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

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