Review by KFHEWUI
"Tomb Raider is a lengthy and solid game with a few minor issues"
The game begins with Lara meeting an old friend, a professor, and he shows Lara a manuscript that tells of an artifact that houses an evil presence. Being the curious and adventurous person that Lara is, she sets out to meet a man at a camp. When she arrives, the camp is deserted, and Lara sets out into the forest to unravel the truth.
The music in Tomb Raider is great however it only plays during cut scenes and the beginning of levels. The lack of music does help to create an atmosphere when you are exploring the forests, tombs, and caverns, and the sound effects are great excellent quality however the only audio problem is when Lara picks up an item she goes "ah-ha" however it sounds like she is sighing instead of being excited.
Unfortunately the biggest problem with Tomb Raider is the controls which are awkward and take some time to get used to. Even after getting used to them, the controls never feel fluid and natural especially when it comes to jumping, which makes up a huge chunk of the game, since Up is used for jumping while hold B and pressing left or right results in a running jump and the running jump is used a lot. The climbing is more complicated and mastering it, like the jumping, is mandatory. Hold B and hitting up results in a small leap while holding UP and hit B grabs on monkey bars and higher ledges while hold left or right and B climbs up smaller ledges.
The graphics are good, and the backgrounds are detailed however the game is too dark even playing on my GBA SP I still had difficulty distinguishing some of the enemies and traps from the background.
Tomb Raider is a 2D action/adventure platformer that plays like Prince of Persia and it spans 14 levels including forests, tombs, and caverns. Also included is a save system however the game only has one slot which means if you make a mistake and get trapped well restarting the game is only thing you can do which is a shame considering that Tomb Raider is a long game and unlike the previous TR games, there is no level select code and no option to restart the level.
The game begins in a forest, and the first level is simple and basically lets you get used to the game mechanics like a tutorial which should have been included and it seems strange that it is absence since most Tomb Raider games have a tutorial level.
Combat in this game is easy, and it is too easy. Killing enemies is way too easy because all Lara has to do is stand there and shoot at them even if Lara takes a lot of damage it does not matter since the game is very generous with health kits.
Each level is like a giant maze, and the only way forward is flipping switches, finding keys, and solving puzzles which is no easy task since hitting a switch does not show what they effected which encourages exploration. The problem with this is that the corridors all look the same and it is very easy to get lost.
Of course no Tomb Raider would be complete without traps, and the traps in this game include arrow firers, spike pits, steam vents, lava, and metal blades. Some of the traps have some problems. The arrow firers for example are difficult to see and also the arrows blend right into the background even more annoying is when they are placed on opposing walls from ladders. Climbing down past the arrow firers is very simple however Lara climbs down faster than she does climbing up so when you climb up dodging them is near impossible. The other trap that suffers from a problem is the metal blades which fall from the ceiling then retracts, and the only way to dodge them is by rolling under however the hit detection is questionable. If Lara rolls under while the blade is retracting, she will take damage even if the blade does not hit her however if she rolls under while the blade is fully retracted and about to fall, Lara will take no damage even though the blade touches her.
Tomb Raider does have some problems. The game is long, and it will take a long time to beat without a guide however there is no replay value. Also the controls are awkward and take a while to get used to, but the jumping controls never feel natural. There is a save system however there is only one slot which means if the player gets trapped cannot progress forward, restarting the entire game is the only solution which is not fair considering how long the game is.
Tomb Raider is a great and long game that is worth checking out even though the awkward controls takes some time getting used to.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/31/12
Game Release: Tomb Raider Starring Lara Croft (US, 06/12/00)
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