TEMBO THE BADASS ELEPHANT Reviews
A good idea, nice art style and mix of ideas, absolutely terrible gameplay.
Tembo the Badass Elephant is made even more frustrating by the fact that it doesn't flat out suck. There's a solid sidescroller in here, but Game Freak's taken it in the wrong direction. This should have been an adventure all about momentum, but it does everything within its power to pump the brakes. Give this wide load a wide berth – it's made itself irrelephant.
Tembo the Badass Elephant could have been so much more than what is offered. SEGA seemed to be searching for a successor to Sonic with Tembo but at the same time wanted to get a piece of the market for particularly hard games, forgetting to make it fair at the same time. It is an incredibly nice looking and sounding game, and when everything falls into place Tembo is a joy to play, but these instances are rare. The poor control scheme mixed with stupidly hard late levels, which almost caused me to destroy my controller, take major points away from what could have been a promising game.
The controls and the way they unpredictably unleash the wrong moves at the worst possible time really disrupt Tembo's platforming gameplay. Pair this with a no-mercy difficulty and you have a frustrating mess that could have been so much more.
Tembo the Elephant starts strong. It seems peppy and fun, with a protagonist you can't help liking. Then, it shifts gears. That change in tactics takes something that stands out and feels unique and makes it feel more like others in its ilk. It's the last thing it needed, since so many of Tembo's moves are shared with other heroes. It's entertaining enough, but doesn't quite define itself as one of the greats.
A nice concept let down by predictable design
It's fun to furiously trumpet and get to smashin' stuff as Tembo for a while, but before too long you're reduced to hoping he makes his way over to a better sequel – or possibly the Virtua Fighter roster.
Regular jarring difficulty spikes sap the joy from this otherwise colourful and inventive platformer.
That retro approach is Tembo's greatest strength – and weakness. While levels are impressively designed, and the task of defeating every enemy soldier and finding each citizen adds a satisfying challenge, it also feels like a remix of titles you'll have already played. Fantastic animation and great visual humour provide saving graces.
Tembo could have been great, but sadly it's a game in which you're made to crawl over the line instead of gloriously smash through it.
Overall not quite a ton of fun but still bananas. Just don't tell Donkey Kong.
If you're interested in enlisting with a pachyderm that throws himself around like an acrobatic anvil, arm your trunk and charge full speed ahead – Tembo the Badass Elephant has brought the ruckus to Xbox One.
Tembo the Badass Elephant's ride may be a very short one, but it is undeniably a high quality romp. The game has very high highs with very few low points and not a single bit of filler or wasted moments. Tembo can almost be too lean by being so utterly focused in upping the challenge, though. The design and aesthetics are 100% on the mark and it is curious that Game Freak doesn't do more original titles like this as often, since it is clearly very good at it. Game Freak is so much more than just Pokémon and Tembo the Badass Elephant proves it.
Solid gameplay and a charming art style make Tembo a good platformer, but poor replay value.
Infused with excellent level design blended with all the good ideas from the 16bit greats of Donkey Kong Country, Yoshi's Island and Sonic the Hedgehog, Tembo the Badass Elephant is spoilt by the bizarre decision to force collectable progression in a game that feels based on travelling fast and hard, along with its reliance on one-stick-commands-all control scheme. Even so, anyone looking to spend an entertaining afternoon with a good platform game should dig their tusks into a jar of Tembo the Badass Elephant.
Tembo's style, pace and emphasis on mass destruction sets it apart from other 2D platformers, and it's almost an elephantine four tonnes of fun. While the need to replay levels to harvest points can transform it into a grind, this badass pachyderm's infectious energy gives him irresistible force.
Despite some of its more questionable gameplay choices, however, excellent presentation combined with tight controls make Tembo a terrific start for what hopefully ends up being a new franchise. If you're itching for some classic 2D platforming in the vein of the old Sonic games and yearn for a new "badass" character, Tembo hits all the right spots.
Overall, Tembo feels like a badass-tribute to Sonic the Hedgehog. It should have taken a few more pages out of the Blue Blur's playbook though in order to create a more complete experience that honored Sonic's legacy with consistent gameplay that focused on its strengths rather than constantly shining a spotlight on its weaknesses.
Though there are a couple of interesting gameplay twists, Tembo the Badass Elephant is largely a no-frills nod to old-school platformers – for better or worse
A few flaws short of a modern platforming classic, but although Tembo isn't perfect he is exactly as badass as promised.