Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Innovative and Challenging"
Tomb Raider is yet another gaming series that has spawned off many sequels across the PSX, Game Boy, and the PC. It offers you the first taste of actual challenge in terms of having to have precise control and button timing.
While not the most visually stunning game to be found, it offers you something in terms of detail. Everything in every stage is detailed to the point of where you can see vines hanging from the ceilings, tracks in the snow, and cracks in the walls. Shadows in every corner, and the types of environment that you explore, weither it be on the ground, or under the water, offer you much to look at, which is what 50% of the game is about.
FMV scenes in between stages also treats you to a visually great story that creates the background of the game. While some of the graphics probably could have been done a little crisper with the release of the Greatest Hits copy, Tomb Raider delivers the goods by what you can explore and look at.
There isn't much for music here, I won't lie. But, the music kicks in when it needs to, usually at key points in the game. The gunfire, and sounds of the animals growling and running, the footsteps of the outworldly enemies coming after you, and the actuall droning sound of being underwater does go far here...but Tomb Raider is more reliant on the visuals than it is the actual sound. Music probably would have been nice...but then again, what could you put into a game like this?
This is where the game fills in another 25% of what it is. Control is everything, and the PSX controller does it's job. With certain areas, where you have a long jump to catch a cliff, it may take a few times to get it, because a specific combination of button holding has to be done. On top of that, moving with Lara is easy..you move forward, side to side, walk backwards, and jump in four directions with your guns drawn, undrawn or even blazing. Button timing is crucial in a game such as this, and to be honest, it is challenging, but after a stage or two, you'll have it down pat.
Innovative is truly the best word for it. Giving you the opportunity to explore is what Makes Tomb Raider what it is,a game about exploration and adventure...not about run and gun, shoot everything up that you see. Secrets run rampart through this game, and climbing, jumping, and grabbing onto everything can pay off in the end. While playing, you're put into several different locations, from the mountain ranges to the pryamids of ancient Atlantis.
Gameplay really stops there, wiht nothing much more to do, than to explore, you have a wide variety of puzzles that you have to figure out, and some of them can be truly mind-racking. While playing the game, on a personal note, the first time through, I was stuck on a puzzle for a couple of hours before I figured it out. Visual clues are the most important...you have to search and find your objective, or the answer to the puzzle, and you have to be quick on the draw, with your guns, and your wits...both will get you through the game.
Innovative game for a first generation title. Tomb Raider offers you a new look on console gaming, in which you use your mind and eye, rather than your trigger finger. It's not about body count, it's aboud your brain cell count. If you can make it through the game, you can go back through, and test out some of the harder levels, just to see if you can breeze through them. While there is no sound to speak of outside of the occassional music track, and a load of sound effects, you're attention is drawn more to the visuals than anything else.
Tomb Raider is a must get for any PSX gamer looking for a challenge. While many people would be turned off by a game such as this, there is nothing that should stop a gamer looking for a challenge from picking up this title for the 20 bucks it sells for.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/20/00, Updated 10/20/00
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