Review by anik_lc

"One of the best action-adventure game"

The best tomb raider after it's been almost 10 years since the first Tomb Raider was released, and while video games have come a long way since then, the Tomb Raider series hasn't kept pace. Problems such as clunky controls and a frustrating camera, which were excusable in the early games, have steadily degraded the quality of the series releases over time. The latest installment, Tomb Raider: Legend, finally brings the series into the 21 st Century while staying true to the adventurous spirit of the early games.

The game play sticks with the whole Prince of Persia inspiration, so the puzzle elements, while a little bit scattered in places, stays solid and challenging with a nice rise in difficulty in later levels. The secondary portion of the Tomb Raider design -- weapon combat -- is, unfortunately, not nearly as strong. In fact, it's easily the weakest part of the game design, so plastered in that it's almost unnecessary to utilize. Essentially the team thought it'd be a good idea to shove the shooting portion down on the touch screen where players would simply tap enemies with a finger or stylus to shoot them. In concept, we can see this idea having merit, but the way it's implemented it takes away from the adventure and makes things feel clumsy. Lara can only run forward and backwards when locked onto an enemy, which zooms them closer or further on the touchscreen...increasing or decreasing her weapon's accuracy. But honestly the enemies have such terrible AI routines that it's simple to take them out of play without getting a single scratch on Lara.

The puzzles in Tomb Raider: Legend can be a bit deceptive at first, but once you learn how the game works, the puzzles become very simple. Most of the game is spent solving basic switch puzzles as you work your way through each level in search of the next artifact. Aside from dragging around boxes to weigh down switches or jam traps, there are a lot of fun platforming sections that let you take full advantage of Lara's affinity for high-flying acrobatics. You can hang on ledges, swing on ropes, swing between platforms (via a magnetic grapple), and vault off conveniently placed beams.

It's the puzzle elements and the collection portion that gives Tomb Raider: Legend its challenge, not the weapon combat, but it certainly would have been nice to have a bit of focus in the latter segment of the game design. The entire product is solid enough and shows that the development studio's getting a grasp on DS game production, but the little loose ends scattered around the product are a little too obvious to ignore. If you haven't experienced the Tomb Raider: Legend story on the pc yet this game's a way to check out the tale.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/26/07

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