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TR series [old review found]

 
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dosraider
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:54 pm     Post subject: TR series [old review found] Reply with quote

One of the first reviews I wrote for that defunct AW site ......djees, I don't like the Lara games.

TOMBRAIDER SERIES. by dosraider.

Core design’s developers decided to apply a strategy through the whole tombraider series.
One main character, recognisable, a main character with a well defined personality. They have applied it and with good results, more, the main character is a woman, not the first time in gameshistory –Alone in the dark-Jill of the jungle … and others- but for the first time a real woman, without going on the pronounced sexual side of things. Oh yes you can see her as a sexual loaded woman, but it was not the main goal.
At first the idea was a military look, soon abandoned for a more Indiana Jones accent.
Originaly developed for the Saturn console, it was soon ported on the Playstation and to the PC. From the release date in the year 1996 the game helped bring the PS to the world top of games consoles. The game was and still is a real hit in the gamers world.
You love it or you hate it. I hate it, I dislike the 3th person view, but even I can not look aside the influence this game has in the games world.
So here is an overview of Tombraider , by someone who doesn't like Lara.




TOMBRAIDER

The work on tombraider started in the early 1990's (93) and it took 3 years developing before it's release in November 1996. Even if not really completely inovative, the game is interesting because Lara has a whole arsenal of moves and weapons. You could train her -read: yourself- in her gym at her home, learning walk, run, jump, side flips, for and backward flip, even swandive, climbing and swimming.
The game itself has a well tought learning curve, the jumps getting harder and harder, the fights easely ends in her death.The perils Lara has to face goes from easy to not-so-easy to pretty hard.Also all the puzzles in the game are well designed, never to hard, always hard enough to solve so you keep interested in this game.
A nice feature is the ability they has given Lara to look around, keep the numpad0 key down and you can use the cursor keys to look around freely.
The sounds are PS quality, good , fullfilling their goal, the music? better cut that one off.
The story line is good, even more than good. A game with a real story line, wrapped around a female ,armed and fighting heroine , nicely brought and with extended merchandising. You can only admire the achievement from Core Design and the publisher Eidos.

Is it all good then ? No , alas the game suffer many flaws, mainly on the graphical side.
First developed for the Saturn, the developers faced many difficulties porting it to the PS and to the PC. As result the many graphic glitches in the game. Also the PC version was released as DOS game, while in this period the first windows games with their accelerated 3D graphics were looking much better.
The PS and the DOS based engines had reached their maximum capability's, as result of the restrictions in the number of polygons and the application of wired frames in a full 3D world Lara wasn't what you can call a curved woman, she looks very sharp at the edges.

The AI of the enemies isn't very good.
The first enemies you encounter are flying bricks, sorry meant bats, strange bats with less aërodynamical capacities than clay pigeons. They fluttering around towards Lara, fly some circles around her, sometimes bites Lara, and you kill them easely. If I was a bat I would be ashamed to flutter as this, do the developers got their inspiration on some obscure low budget vampire movie or so ?
Oh yeah, then you have to deal with some happy doggies, euurh meant ferocious wolves, now, i have a german shepherd , and believe me the behaviour of Lara's wolves isn't very bloodthirsty , they look very happy to see her, jumping around her waiting for some goodies. Now shoot them, as expected from you, if they get to close take a jump over them, or a sideflip, please don't try this at home if you should ever get in trouble with some great dog, they pluck you in the middle of your flip as a lame duck. After they eventualy die the wolves gonna lay on their back, djees, as if they were asking you to squawk their breast, I never saw a dead wolf laying on his back.
And so I could go on, the bears ? Sleepwalking animals, lazy, the same goes here : if he is coming to close save yourself with a for- back- or side flip,fire the neccesary rounds in him and done.
I blame Disney movies for this, they have a bad influence on how people think animals behaves and fight.

Don't forget, Lara has the incredible possibility to flipping around as crazy whilst shooting and hitting the aimed target, eat this Billy the Kid !

All by all a game with a good story, some good fights against ferocious but lazy animals.
Graphical not the best of his period.
Third person view who is sometimes frustrating, makes you unable to aim so you are almost obliged to play with the auto-aim on.

Also ported to the N-Gage platform.
Also ported to Game Boy Color.


PC screenshots.
Workout in the gym

Polygon Lara

Climbing exercise

The adventure begins

Looking around feature

First kills

Finding your way out

Kill or die






Platform: Game Boy Color.
Released as Tomb Raider the game boy color game has in fact no ressemblance with the PS/PC/Saturn Tomb Raider.
It can be considered as a pure platform game, vertically and horizontally scrolling.
Mostly considered as a boring game with poor graphics and lamentable gameplay.

Screenshots by Marco0551-THX.
Walking Lara


Jumping


Widejump


Climbing



Release history of Tombraider (1)

============================
Platform:Playstation.

Developer: Core Design Ltd.
Publisher: EIDOS Inc.
31.10.1996

Developer:Core Design Ltd.
Publisher : Victor Interactive Software Inc.
14.02.1997 (Japan)

29.09.2000 Australia Value Series.

============================
Platform:PC-DOS

Developer: Core Design Ltd.
Publisher: EIDOS Inc.
31.10.1996

Main patches:
1997- Rendition patch.
1997- 3DFX patch (VOODOO chipset)
1997- VOODOO rusch patch.
1998- S3Virge patch.

============================
Platform:Saturn.

Developer: Core Design Inc.
Publisher: EIDOS Inc.
18.11.1996

============================
Platform: Game Boy Color.

Developer: Core Design Inc.
Publisher: THQ Inc.
June 2000.

============================
Platform: N-Gage.

Developer: Ideaworks 3D Ltd.
Publisher: EIDOS Inc.
07.10.2003.
N-Gage screenshots by Marco0551.



*****************************************************************************************

TOMBRAIDER GOLD
Also known as:TombRaider 2 , Unfinished bussiness.

To be short: Tomb Raider (1) with four additional extended good designed levels who brings Lara around the world solving puzzles and fighting her way trough.
Basal Tomb Raider with extensions.
If you liked Tomb Raider you will like this one to.(I still don't.)

Publisher: EIDOS Inc.
Developer: Core Design Ltd.
Platform: DOS,Windows.
Released: 1998.







*Edit: added some screenies that I found ....


Last edited by dosraider on Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:07 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

TOMB RAIDER II : The dagger of Xian.

So, the next round tombraider.
A new game they say. And yes there are much improvements done on the second tombraider.
A better balanced game engine, better 3Dsupport and better sceneries. The ingame resolution can be put pretty high, up to 1280X768 but strangely enough on my PC i get the best graphics on 800 X 600 /16. Seems weird and cluttered in 1280X768.
Lara can (and must) drive a whole scala vehicles, doing strange things with those. Bad point: Lara still disappears sometimes in the walls or decorum.
You can do a extended training parcours, highly advised to learn the moves, jumps, all kind of flips and wall climbing. In TR2 it isn't in a gym, but around and in Lara's mansion. In Lara's garden there is a full equiped training facility, you wouldn't believe it if you wouldn't see it. Also there is an old relic, sorry meant butler who constantly is in your way, if someone can explain me why this butler is always there, i would appreciate. I tried to kick him, jump on him, lock him up in the mansion, no dice, he always comes back and irritates me.


The game starts at the great wall in China, not much to say really, visit some cave's, kill some tigers, some crows, switch up here , switch down there. Oh yeah, find some keys , kill some more thinghy's, spiders and so, swim a bit here and there, some more switches, some tiger again. Nothing special, except maybe the T-Rex's , but they are gentil, fire enough rounds in them and they lay down and play death.

Get yourself to Venice, ah la bella Italia! While you are on it, screw things up there also, kill dog's, people, set a switch or two, find some keys, do some wild jumps left right, wall climbing and swimming. Oh yeah find the motorboat, climb in it and here you go for a joyride on the water. The rule is pretty easy: kill everything, animal or guard , switch all switches (sometimes go back and reset them ) sink other boats, yeah, Italia will know Lara was there !

Time to say hello at guy named Bartoli or so, what can i say, he works on Lara's nerve so we gonna blowup his hideout. Kill again all animal-man-guard-spider and rats you encounter. Yes you read well: rats. And some doggies. And the switches and some blocks you have to pull-push whatever. Find the detonator box and the neccesary keys, and bye Bartoli's hideout.
Gonna learn him the hard way: don't mess around with Lara !

After all this excitement time to relax ! Do a night at the opera sounds relaxing ? A date with Bartoli ?Forget it, not with Lara !
Djees this Bartoli must be a real big boss, you will have to kill some whole bunch of guards and dog's to get at him, with of course the whole range of puzzles to solve. There is a lift, but strangely enough noone can use it because a relay box is missing. No problemo, Lara gonna search and find it, repair the elevator in good working order and set the score once and forever with this Bartoli. Bye Bartoli.

Whoopsy, things are going bad from here with Lara, taken prisoner, lost all her weapons and gear. No situation can be so desperate or Lara will get out, pull push some boxes, lure a guard to shoot a window, get in some plane, get guns and we are back in bussiness ! The killing of guards and doggies can begin again ! In this level you must find a lot of coloried keycards, regain all your weapons and the ammo, and don't forget: do a lot of killing. The most important gear are the uzi's and the riotgun, those are pretty effective against all kind of vermin who get's in your way.

Now you have the neccesary heavy gear, we gonna clean the wreck of the Maria Doria. Understand: kill everything that is on board, from the bottom up to the deck. Of course solving some puzzles on your way, do the obligated jumps and flips, switch settings and so, yeah , i know, it's getting a boring story. Anyway, clean this wreck, get the artifact and up to the next chapiter.

Aha something new, you are in Tibet, and fearing loosing your touch you first kill some eagles, guards, panthers, jump out the way of enormeous snowballs, and steal a snowscooter, a girl may have a nice time, isn't she ? Time for another joyride, this time with a tuned snowscooter. Of course it isn't that simple, you will have to learn doing some jumping with that vehicle, the -again- switches and kills, and here we go visite some monestary , filled with monks and mean guards. You free the monks, they help you kill all the nasty guards and so on again. Don't forget to collect the five praying wheels ,shoot some windows and get the artifact. Well done, no time-out, up to the next round.

Go trough some catacombs, fire here and there enough rounds to get some peace, switches, boxes, levers, get a leopard skin after killing him, kill some yeti's whilst you're on it, and find your way trough an ice castle. All this to get to your main target: The dagger of Xian.

Ha ! How convenient ! You will find the dagger in a temple, you guess'd it : the temple of Xian. Now now, the great finale ! You find some spiders, tigers and other creatures on your way, they are all after your skin, so kill the whole bunch. Here it is that you will need the most the agilitys you have learn'd on the training facility at your mansion and throughout the game. Deathly traps all around, killing blades, pins, name it you have it. Even the fish are deathly in this temple. Main goal is to find the master key , and that will help you go further on in this killing adventure. You are tired, but hell, here we go for the next round! We gonna visit some floating islands and whilst we are there, guess ? Clean up everything , solve some puzzles again, do the killing business so you can jump to the dragons lair.

Turn some switches, kill all the guards who comes looking what is going on. Get in the next room, kill all the ninja's , find the plaquette, and here we go up for the real final : walk into the next room, your enemy will turn into a dragon. Now you have done already so much killing, some dragon will not stop you. Kill that creature, and take what's all that fuzz was for: The dagger.
End ? No not really,no. Get yourself at your home, get some key (again!) open some door and start killing all the bad guys there, a clean home for a clean girl, mum gonna love it !

So that was TombRaider II : the dagger of Xian.
The AI of the enemies is still worthless. Tigers who are created to defy the gravital laws are crawling as suckers, birds can hardly fly, T-Rex ? The 'Rex' is meant as king, djees nothing of the T-Rex you encounter in this game gives you this impression, they are lame. The guards are completely stupid.
The only major improvement are the vehicles, you gonna have some fun in the motorboat in Venice and on the snowscooter. Nothing can beat a good joyride!
Graphical the game has really improved, but still with some glitches, and the disturbing fade-out into walls and borders that Lara does. On the PC platform released as a windows game, but in fact still a dosgame. They have extended the graphical possibilitys of this platform to the maximum, and i'm convinced they would better made it a full windows game.
The sound effects are good. The music worthless, as in most games.

Training


You rang mylady?


Still on the training


Dead tiger, good tiger.


Big boys.


Joyride on the water in Venice.


Snowscooter fun.


Spreading the joy around as usual.


Ugh.





==================================
Publisher : Eidos Inc.
Developer : Core Design Ltd.
Platform : PlayStation, Windows
1997
==================================
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:16 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

TOMB RAIDER SERIES

TOMB RAIDER III : The adventures of Lara Croft.


Aha, finaly not a recoded PS engine to fit on a dos environment but a good balanced windows game engine. A full windows setup, 3D video card support, and so on. The result ? Better graphics and at last an exit game possibility without having to do some strange things on your PC keyboard. Also the use of the native windows sound system makes the SFX sounds pretty good, the music ?euuurh ,kill the music , as usual.
You can crank the graphics up to 1600X1200, but that was a bit optimistic from CoreDesign, better keep it on a newer PC on 1280X1024, works smoothly and with less glitches.

As usual the release of a new tombraider demands a new training level, this time they have used the mansion from TR2 and adapted it on the new engine with some new artworks, some improved moves and training facilities. Lara gets a semi-military look on this training level. The mansion is better furnished, and the butler is also present. You get a full shooting practise section at the end of the obstacle runway, after you get the automatic pistols. With a moving target: the butler, yes really you can shoot the butler who has for the occasion an WW2 army outfit. But alas you can't kill him, each time you lay this relic down he stands up again, shame. As in the other TR's Lara can flip over all directions and keep her aim on the targets, shooting with one or two pistols. Lara can also die in the training level, in the TR2 training you could stand in the middle of the fire place without harm, here she is gonna burn and die. Try it out: neat flame effects.

Enough about those preliminaries, time to get to the real action and kick some asses. And get Lara's ass kicked on the way, cause the developers at Core design were pretty inovative in TR3. Don't misunderstand me, it's basicly the same game as TR, (read the first) but yeah the deathtraps are somekind better designed, the fish deathlier, the quad looks as a quad and drives kinda as one. The enemies are still stupid and moving as they are intoxicated, you can't have it all. But still Lara will have some nasty fights, mainly at the end of the game.
The game begins in the jungle, the why or how Lara stands on a slope is not very clear, she is there, that's all. Only one way to go: sliding down, avoid some deathtraps , get some shells and medkits, leave the monkeys in peace or they bite you. Sometimes the monkeys will help you find some secrets or switches, just follow them and look. Sometimes you must kill the monkeys before they get away with the keys, the decision must been taken fast, wait to long and you may run after your key.

In the ruins level you have no choice: kill all the apes, or you gonna get in trouble with them. Also with the snakes, they have an issue with Lara as so many animals, kill them on first sight.This level is further on mainly a gathering of clips, goodies and switches, puzzles with water and doors, boring. The only real excitement is when somekind of statue comes to live when you approach it, yeah Lara can turn cold stone into live, that effect she has on things. Some fast fired shotgun rounds takes care of this little annoyance. You get out this level with a lot of swimming, running, jumps, running around as crazy to avoid the timed traps and doors, now let's say it's an agited level, that is covering it.

Now while we are in India, let's visite the Ganges, the river is there, so some sightseeing is always fun. And this time the joyriding will been done with a quad, several quads to be precize. Jump with the quads using some slopes, don't get into the water, the fish are fast and really don't like our Lara, she dies very fast once she gets in the water. If you see a bird and it is a vulture: kill it or get killed. Even if vultures aren't in any way birds of prey, they look at Lara as their next meal. She has something with animals the lady, and the dislike is mutual . Why this level is created is a mystery, maybe to give Lara the opportunity to joyride, kill some things and collect a large amount ammo, desert clips, harpoons, rockets, rocketlaunchers, you find it all in this level, but you will have to search for it.

OMG, The caves, now to say as is: find your way out by crawling half of the time around, it's a great maze this level, nothing more, extremely boring. Get out as fast as you can. Only the end sequence has some action with some kind of a boss firing rockets at you, kill him and get some stone, done.

Time to get back in good ol'England: London , Thames warf. A nicely designed level, with good artwork, and a Lara in sexy outfit. Don't look to much at Lara's outfit but concentrate on the game, this level is pretty hard and the difficulties are all around you. Much killing to do in London. Much searching and switch works. You get through this level somehow, and to the next London part: Aldwych, same stuff, same story, same killings, same riddles and puzlles. There is something however that needs special attention: some enemies will leave you in peace and sometimes even help you if you leave them in peace. Attack or kill one of them and you get several of them after your ass. Your choice anyway how to handle the situation, you can go easy on it, or go in as a madman, or as a Lara... .
London City, a level designed to get the real action, a fight with Sofia, follow her, avoid as much as possible her green lightnings projectiles, cut the power and she will be vulnerable, strangely enough by cutting the power off you put the environment under tension, weird. You will have to push a button to move freely again without hazardious electroshocks.

Next stop :Nevada, the desert , several sublevels to play, boring. The same story all over again, find explosives, detonators, blow this and that up , you get captured, prisoner again whitout gear OMG not again, this is TR2 allover and over again.
Get your ass out of Nevada , oh yes you have to do some visit at Area 51, they wouldn't miss it, the X-files in minor, even the UFO is present, pffff, get out as fast as you can, believe me. Kill the guards as fast as you can, or they push an alarm button, good thing you found the powerfull desert eagle , now you're in the desert isn't it ?

You saw enough of the desert ? Time to get to some Pacific islands. Those islands has lots of natives, animals , guards and others, kill all those. solve the puzzles and done. They have velociraptors on those islands, the "veloci" means fast , yeah whatever, they are lame ducks , sure thing. Also our old friend the T-Rex is back again, and some kind of dragon, kill all you see. The joyride in this level is done in a kayak , travel through some rapids, get what you want, kill everything that moves, and done. Amost done, you will have to kill the boss, Puna , and he is not an easy creature, he can summon dragons, but kill him anyway and get some element that allows you to jump to the next level.

The South Pole, Antartica.
Again something new here, when you get in the icecold water , there is a new gauge, a health gauge, if you stay to long in the water you die by undercooling. This is a huge level, do the things you know best, killing and solving puzzles, a kind of a joyride in a mining vehicle, some kind of mutants, you loose some relics, fight your way out and get some action. Girls wanna have fun, as they say. The endlevel and endgame boss is pretty hard, you will have to move fast , he can easely kill you.
Whatever, at the end you get him , kill him, kill some more soldiers who wants to do things with you you don't wanna do with them, jump in a waiting heli and get some rest finaly.

Or not ? If you have colected all the 59 secrets you can play the bonus level, do a lot of jumping, some killing, get yourself on fire, jump in the water and so on ...finish the bonus level... If you still feel the need to play the whole game again you will have all weapons and unlimitted ammo.


What I think of this game ? Better graphics, still some graphical flaws, the storyline is worthless, the level design is sometimes good, the puzzles are still the same as in the first tombraider.
The AI is in fact almost unexistend, it is still a PS game who relies mostly on handiness to make moves.
The new vehicles, quads and kayaks , can't hide the fact it is chewed over and over again.
Core Design should ponder if they still want to release this same thing over and over again.

PC screenshots:
SiliconLara III


Training


Graphic glitch.


Zip Sliding


Hotbabe


Butler kill


The begin


Quad joyride


Maze in caves


London vertigo
http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/2336/009vertigo2xe.png

A hard fight sequence


Swamp




=========================
Publisher : Eidos Inc.
Developer : Core Design Ltd.
Platform: PlayStation, Windows
Release date : 1998.
=========================
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:27 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

TOMB RAIDER SERIES

Tomb Raider IV : The last revelation.

This time no "HOME" selection for training, you must play the game beginning with training levels, where you meet a 16 year young Lara Croft. She is learning the job from her mentor, Von Troy, a german who talks english as the germans in 'Allo Allo'. Lara can die in this training levels, also she can find a lot of secrets, golden skulls. Also she finds her everlasting backpack and the former owner, he don't need it anymore so our Lara begins her career stealing this backpack.
You will have to learn some new moves, swinging on a rope isn't the easiest to learn but you will need all the handiness in this game. Another new scenery are the mechanismes to open some doors, Lara reach in and activates it.The training levels ends with a Von Troy trapped and left behind by Lara, that explains why he becomes her opponent in this TR adventure.

One real improvement in this game are the cutscenes, they do a lot of explaining, but also are sometimes longwinded. The quality is pretty good. Graphics are really improved towards the earlier TR's, also the animal behaviour. But they still don't like Lara, so the slaughter can go on. The human enemies are still slow and to easy to kill sometimes.
The ninja's or bedouin(?) moves slowly and needs only some rounds to kill. The most difficult to kill are the snipers, mainly because you first have to locate them, not so obvious when they are on roofs aiming at you with machineguns or grenadelaunchers. Other die hards are the skeleton guards you will encounter, automatic's don't harm them much, the shotgun put them down but they stand up again, the best way to deal with those skeletons is the crossbow equiped with explosive arrows, so be sure you don't spill those needless on other targets. Another possibility is to blow their head off with the revolver combined with the laser, this don't kills them but they becomes harmless.
The scorpions are nasty, the red ones bites and the black ones are poisonous. Crocodiles are fast and bites damned hard, kill them fast whilst avoiding their great teeths.
The bats, as usual don't like Lara, but they are easy to kill with the automatics. They still have a strange way of fludderuing around as drunks. Red eyed dogs will attack Lara, she brings the worst up in man and animal, even skeletons in this game will get a go on her. I still wonder why all animals are so hostile towards Lara, I don't have problems with animals, never has any, must be that they feel that Lara is a superbitch.
You also will have to deal with some mechanical guardians, some of them rides mechanical horses, best move a lot, don't stand still, shoot at them for what your worth, and you will get them at the end. Beware of the horses hoofs, they are deathly.

The game itself is one of the hugest of the TR series t'll now. Extended levels, and some levels will be visited twice by Lara. The puzzles-ridles are somehow better designed, they aren't just put in to give you something to do, they mostly serve a purpose, defending and hiding an entrance. Several new traps are implemented, rotating blade traps, timed spikes, and others. Every trap needs his own specific approach to survive them.

In The last revelation Lara is able -and has to- drive several vehicles, a jeep and the motorbike with sidecar are the funniest. Specialy the bike was good, you can crash some enemies smearing them allover, yep, Lara is guaranteed for action and fun.
Already mentioned is the possibility to visite some levels more then once, but the game is also build less rigid then the earlier TR's, depending on the secrets and artifacts you find you will be redirected to earlier levels, you even can access more levels depending the secrets you have found. I have (kind of) enjoyed this TR4 more then all others, much better game engine, neat graphics and cutscenes, good , not to difficult puzzles, the enemies are a bit better.

After going through this game, I all by all still don't like this genre, and certainly not the third person view, I find it annoying.

Lara and her mentor Von Troy


Learning her way around


Hanging on the ceiling


Lovely Joyride


Ninja Fight


Skeleton Guard


Dangerous Sniper


Cleopatra Level


Whoopsy Nasty Croco


Bad Guys



=========================

Publisher : Eidos Inc.
Developer : Core Design Ltd.
Platform : Dreamcast, PlayStation, Windows
Released :1999
=========================
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:38 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

TOMBRAIDER SERIES

Tomb Raider V : Chronicles


Lara Croft is death, time to get a game about her achievements. Her closest ones will come together and discuss her life and adventures, the player shall witness it all, and play those adventures. A strange angle of approach for a game ? Maybe, but it works, more : it works good and well-balanced. The reason it works is that the developers have put enough energy in the level design and have created a good working game engine, combined with neat graphics. Nice FMV cutscenes who explain the storyline in each episode. The game isn't one long adventure, it's made of four episodes who are completely disunite from eachother, four huge episodes composed of several sublevels.

No apart training level here as usual, the training facility is included in the first level of the first episode, the streets of Rome. Almost obligatory to do this training, even if addicts to Lara will easely discover how to use the new possibilitys she has, several secrets and medpacks are hidding in the "Opera backstage", get them. And while you're there practise the tightrope walk exercise.
Back in the streets you will be in the full game, several enemies waiting for you, snipers and bats, dogs, killers , all after your skin again. Several puzzles further on and you will find yourself in Tarjans market. Two hard fights here, a mechanical kind of head who fires laser beams, if Lara gets hit it means instant death for her, and the other is when she comes to be entrapped with some sort of statue looking as a roman centurion, and he is big, and fast, carrying a great sharp blade. Use your heavy armement to get out those traps, no need to restrain yourself using them, each episode begins with his own equipment.
The last level of this first episode is situated at the Colosseum, more a great maze with some puzzles, lions and gladiators, and again astatue who comes to life, armed with a big hammer .This whole episode ends when you get the philophers stone.

The second episode brings us to the frozen north, where a submarine base awaits a Lara in military look. Infiltrate the base , solve the puzzles, kill some soldiers, get some keys and gather ammo, find the secrets (mainly golden roses), kill the guard dogs, give the snipers the necessary attention and kill those, somekind the usual actions Lara is used to do on a normal day . Get a crane in good working order inserting a fuse in the right slot, sneak Lara in a waiting sub, here we go for a sightseeing in the deep ocean. In the sub mainly use the airducks to get where you must be: a deepsea diving suit, put that one in good working ordre with the items you have gathered in the sub, get yourself in the ocean, do some joyride in the suit and go in a old U-boat wreck where you will retrieve " The Spear of Destiny", get back in to first sub, drop flares on your way to it because some bad guy is chasing you in a mini sub. The first sub is sinking, an admiral will give you a silver key, make your escape and get the escape pod back in good shape, make your way to the surface where Jean Yves awaits you. This ends the second episode.

Back to the time Lara was a lovely sixteen year young girl with two plaits swirling around when she moves. This is the third extended episode, who brings Lara to Gallows Tree situated on an Irish island, in compagny of father Patrik. Weird things happens there, spooky. She will meet speaking copses , begging her to find their heart, Lara also witness some exorcism rituals performed by father Patrik.
Father Patrik will warn her to stay out of trouble, yeah yeah, that smart talk will surely do, the right thing to say at our wisenose, she will surely listen. So she get into trouble for sure,in a wide labyrinth with deathtraps, spikes and some other neat stuff. Whilst she stay out of trouble as only Lara can, she free a demon who goes in the clinch with father Patrik, Patrik looses, and gets abducted by the demon. Up to Lara to find a way to get rid of the horsedemon and release father Patrik, some levels further it's done with the demon, Lara finds a way, summoning his name. This whole episode is played weapons free, a young Lara isn't armed, she uses her brains.

The first episode was with a classic Lara, the second brought a Lara in military look, the third as youngster, and the final fourth episode brings a high tech Lara, in a adventure worthly of a James Bond. She finds Von Troy on her way again, trying to steal the Iris from a highly secured 13 th floor.
This is a really hard episode, certainly the last level "Red Alert", you only have limited armement, consisting of a not so powerfull H&K (Heckler&Koch assault rifle) with never enough ammo to feed it. Carefully learn to use the different fire modes, single, burst and salvo. You have a headset and stay in contact through it with your friend and assistent Zip, who will help Lara as much as he can. Security lasers are deathly, touch them and Lara dies. Plenty of those red beams in this episode, not always easy to shut them down.
Snipers will target Lara from different places, kill her on sight. Some cyborg guardians are hard to put down, the H&K doesn't hurt them, you will have to knock them out with chloroform. Sometimes it's possible to shoot the cyborgs by aiming at the open facial plate, but great chances another one will come and then you're done and you gonna be killed. You will need to save a lot in this levels, Lara dies very easely, her enemies are strong and without mercy. Getting the Iris is your goal, and you will have to be smart and fast to get it. Getting the Iris brings you at the final level, Red Alert, I may hope you have saved as much ammo and above all have a large number of medpacks, you will need them all. This is probably the most difficult level I ever had to play in a tombraider game. Lara has to deal with X-ray security, poison gas filled sections, some cyborg who she can't subdues , and those cyborgs have a closed face plate, so the only way is to shoot, hide, shoot, hide again , and keep doing this until they go down. A helicopter will also get several salvo's fired at Lara , regardless the damage inflicted on the building. Oh yeah, this is a great final level, but Lara get's out, via the roof and a waiting sort of Delta wing.

As far as I understand Lara Croft is death, or not? Some end FMV will show Von Trapp eurh meant Von Try in the desert looking for clues to find Lara. Understand who can.

You may suppose reading this short review that I liked this game, you're wrong.
Dispite the good graphics, the reasonable storys in the four episodes, I still don't like the third person view. The game still remains a typical PS platform game, mostly leaning on the handiness with the buttons. Even if the actions are good in this Chronicles, it lacks a straight forward storyline.

Training Entrance


Some Action


Some More Action


Equilibrum


Lasersight


My Favorite


FMV Cutscene


Techy Lara, latex look, waw.


X-Ray Lara


Death By Sniper


Big Roman Centurion


Big Lion


Military Look Lara


Deep Sea Joyride


Sweet Sixteen Lara


High Tech Lara


===================================

Publisher : Eidos Interactive, Inc.
Developer : Core Design Ltd.
Platforms: Dreamcast, PlayStation, Windows
Release date : 2000
===================================
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:47 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

TOMB RAIDER SERIES

Tomb Raider VI _ The Angel Of Darkness

Lara is back, also are the problems she is always having. She must be the most asocial lady that walks on the surface of the Earth. What a bitch. In this 6'th game she gonna kill again a whole lot of people, because she wants to save the world, yes you read well, the world , nothing less. Waw. What an original story line. She still has the same issues with animals, they don't like her and she hates them. So killing them is the solution.

The short version of the game:
Lara meets Von Croy, gets some info, Von Croy is killed, Lara gets the whole French police force after her, so she escapes over roofs, bla bla as usual. She finds out (of course) that the whole mankind will be in danger if a creature revives, i thought the Nephelim, some hybrid offspring of humans and angels who were exterminated. As so many times in TR the exterminated kinds are not so exterminated, also the sinister Nephilim. Waw again. She will be trapped in an abandoned building with a working elevator, chocolate bars and a gun, the police will shoot some gas grenades who apparently are deathly, yeah what a realistic adventure. The industrial rooftops level is a maze, Lara is hunted by a police helicopter, when she is caught in the beam of the searchlight she will take some hits, only minimal damage will come from those hits, better ignore the police copter and concentrate on the jumping, hanging and find your way through.

A trip in Paris whitout passing by the Louvre? Unthinkable, so she gonna visite this museum, after some short levels and FMV's, we will see Kurtis watching Lara blow up Rennes pawn shop, and Eckhard, her opponent, giving orders to his goons. Lara is and will always be Lara, so she enters the Louvre but she first pay a visite to a night club, a graveyard , a guy named Bouchard or so. No doors in the Louvre, Lara enters via the storm drain tunnels, a girl may have some fun. Some big fat rats, mostly harmless. The Louvre is a place of peace, so put the guards on sleep with a taser, quiet and nice, no bloodshed. You have to find a map, hidden by the Mona Lisa, get out via the airducts to the roof. Find some other stuff and get yourself on a archaeological dig, kill some more guards, make a high tech X-ray, get a map and so on.

Gets boring ? OK, for me also, so do some more stuff in weird places, fight some skeleton guards, outrun some other skeleton or knight kind guards, and so on. You will get to Prague, do the same things you did in Paris, meet Kurtis again, and then play a while as Kurtis. I thought it wasn't possible but he moves clumsier than Lara, can't crawl, but he has something as farsight or so, he can see things, and uses sometimes telekinetiks of some kind, anyway do the stuff and go further. Somekind of a boss level, he gets in a fight with a mutant or proto Nephelim, whatever, kill it two or four times and it stays down, need to spend lot's of ammo on this creature, Kurtis only has a handgun, nothing more, what a hero, pfffff.

Lara and Kurtis meets again and join forces , or better the knowledge of the Master Evil Plan is exchanged. Lot's of bla bla further we find Lara in Eckharts lab, you will have to kill him and his clones , but the final killing of Eckhart is done by a Nephilim, Lara don't likes nobody, no exception for the Nephilim, so she goes further on her elan, killing the Nephilim. End game , finally, what a relief !!

This game needs two cd's, not because you will get a huge game, more to fit the FMV's in and some other stuff. Two CD's because otherwise they couln't put all the bugs on it, oh yes it's a game with many bugs, and i don't mean bugs as in insects but flaws. Several back to desktop crashes, frozen games, not want to load a saved game later, i'm disappointed in this crap. Crap it is, or it must be that someone find it is a normal procedure to release a game with several major bugs in it. I don't agree with this politic of releasing a game and release patch after patch to correct the flaws. If you want to see a shotgun in her hands you need a 5 Megs patch, to have some stable gameplay you need to patch it again, to be able to save in some episodes again a patch, and so on. CRAP. Happens in XP and in W98, and please don't say it's my PC. I still don't understand why i have to get trough all the startup screens before been able to finally get the game on, evenso closing the game must be done by passing all those pesty screens. Is a simple "START" and "EXIT" so hard to accomplish ? The only fast save game slot is not enough, far from. Some saved games refuses to load again, crash and exit. Crap.

So my rant is done, back to the game.
Graphics are nice, FMV's also. Lara has some new features who make the gameplay somehow more interesting. She learns troughout the game several moves, now she can fight unarmed, kicking and boxing if needed. There is a energy bar added, out of energy whilst hanging from a ridge? She can't hold and falls. Lara has to build up strength to be able breaking through doors or doing efforts. But I had the feeling they put this in more to keep me busy a bit longer. There is some interaction in the cutscenes with other figurants in the game, the guided kind, you don't have much freedom of speech. Also they had a look at Resident Evil and brought a male hero in the picture in a friendly association with Lara. They first don't are friendly towards eachother, who could with such a bitch? But later on they become allies in the fight against TheEvilThatWillDestroyMankind. Big deal.

Will I ever replay this game ? NO WAY.
More: I will forget this Angel Of Darkness, fast, faster even.
Says enough I think.

Some PC screenshots:

The New Look Lara


Hazardous Situation


Force Powerup


Exterminated Or Not ?


Louvre Storm Drain


Modern Archaeological Site


Keycards


Deja Vue


Flaming Sword Dude


Kurtis Trent


Big Nasty Spider


Eckharts Lab


===============================

Publisher : Eidos Interactive Ltd.
Developer : Core Design Ltd.
Platform : Windows -PlayStation 2
Released : 20.06.2003

===============================
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:38 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

TOMB RAIDER SERIES

Tomb Raider III : The lost artefact, AKA TR3-Gold

This is a sequel for TR3 The adventures of Lara Croft, released in 2000, somekind strange is the fact that TR4: The last revelation was released in the year 1999, so the old game engine was used on a new sequel for an old game. They must have a lot of guts releasing this "new old" game in the year 2000, that was also the year of Unreal Tournament, Thief 2 ,Final Fantasy 9, Shogun, to only name a few excellent games. Clearly a TR fans-merchanding release.
To be honest, sequel or not, this new old game is a full game, not only a hastly job but a full featured sequel.
You get a lot of new artworks, decorum and whatnot.

The training level in the mansion is the same as in TR III-1. They had to fill a CD.
That's covering this training session, up to the game.

The lost artefact seems to be the fifth one Lara did not know about in the first TR 3 , so she gonna go and find it, leaving a whole pile of corpses on her way.

The game begins in Scotland, the highlands, where Lara gonna clean up Willard's lair. Contrary to TR3-1 this time you get to know where she comes from, a heli brought you there, how convenient , a Union Jack labeled heli. That heli will bring you to some levelsl in the TR3-2.
Back to the lair, well designed highland castle, good artworks, idiot army look uniformed guards and worthless guarddogs, kill all and everything, solve the puzzles, whilst you are on it also solve the enigma about Nessie, oh yeah , busy girl our Lara. In this level you find the Uzi's (hehe) and the MP5 (yehaaw) , don't forget to pick them up, Lara gonna need those heavy gear, also take as much ammo and MP5 clips as you find, search thourougly for those. Try to do the most killings with your automatic pistols, save the other ammo for the next levels. Some stone dogs will come to life, deal with those and put them back to sleep, the crows can be annoying, they still don't like Lara. You will need the two stones to access Willard's lair. Don't miss them !
Willard's lair is mainly the same , lots of caves, nasty rolling boulders who wants to smear Lara allover the floor, moving ceilings and walls with sharp knifes or spikes, and so on. If you haven't found the Uzi's or the MP5 in the first level you will get them here instead of ammo clips. You really need the heavy gear further on ! You will have to go through some radioactive area's, kill some highlanders for the change, on kill some more highlanders. End level.

Time for some real action, Shakespeares cliff, and the subways. Kill all you see fast, don't hesitate, look out for the trains, they also don't like Lara, watch your step, solve the puzzles who aren't very difficult in this level, get some huge drilling machine to work, get the ( good designed) quad for the joyride through the tunnels, jump with the quad over a speeding train, yup, good designed level this one. Lot's of action and a really nice ride on the quad. Something strange: you need a keycard to exit this level, and you must use it in the toilets, weird, seems the main switch for the pumps is located there. On the way to the level exit you can get in a cave, whilst you're there kill the Pterodactylus, some kind of dinosaur bird, they are long time ago extinct, so this one must be put onto sleep.

Next level: Sleep with the fishes, why ? No idea again, swim a lot, kill some guards and scuba divers, find your way out, done. The whole level is an extended pool and research facility, why under water? Pfff, all this fuzz to find "The Hand of Ratmore", get it, get in a yellow boat and don't forget to kill the mutant fish before leaving.

Now you get in the "It's a madhouse" level, and a madhouse it is, as usual again find keys, kill tigers, somekind of lizards, the most monkeys you can leave in peace, except when they are nearby goodies or keys, then you must shoot them or you will may run after your keys / goodies. A maze is included, seems they can't make a TR whitout putting a needless maze in it. This maze you will have to cross twice, big deal. To open some doors you will need two keys, let say to keep up the fair play, we don't want to get bored, do we ? Get some more lizards, they look nice on your scoreboard, pass by some floating corpses and other creeps, and then finally you get in the endlevel.

Endlevel: Reunion. And a reunion it is, you find Sophia again, if you first do the neccesary killings, jump out the way of some burning cauldrons who swirl around, pass some fire places. The why still isn't very clear to me, but hey i'm a good sport so let's do it. Hopefully you still will have the needed ammo for the lovely tender desert eagle, you will need it fighting some creeps. The desert eagle is pretty fast and powerfull, you can also do the killings with your shotgun, but not so easely. Sophia can take a lot of hits, even with the heaviest gear you have, except when she is standing where the hand of rathmore is, there you can use your uzi's or MP5 to finish her. And the game. Almost, regaign the hand, a door opens, you can go through it, a hot air balloon appears, ?? a hot air balloon?? and then it's end game at last. R.I.P.

You can call me sarcastic, but what is going on ? This whole game is crap. Story ? What story ? The only two good levels are the Willard's lair and the Shakespear cliff. Point.
The game is old, a release 2 years after the first one ,why ? Some new artworks can't save this game, it's not enough to justifie this release, far from it.
The third person view is not a good thing, you get in trouble several times throughout the game when the camera takes a strange angle of view when you get in a fight with your back against a wall.
Gonna do some Unreal COOP to get my skills back on track.
See you.

Swim Party


Killer Girl


The Deep


Highlander


No Hope


Quad Joy


UZI's speading joy on the surroundings


Barbecue with Lara


Can't do whitout zipslide


Final Fight


Montgolfier balloon ?



==========================
Publisher : Eidos Inc.
Developer : Core Design Ltd.
Windows
Release year: 2000
==========================
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:56 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomb Raider 2 Gold - The golden mask

This is in fact a TR2 with some extra levels, if it is released separatly it's for merchandising reasons only. The game engine is the same, with the same good and bad points. The same flaws also.
This gold release is some 4 extended levels big, and believe it or not an extra bonus level. The bonus level has no relation towards the four levels from TR2 gold. I presume they were out of ideas ? And to justifie this useless release had to give it some body, so an extra bonus level will do it.
No training here in this gold edition, only the main action.
The story in short: Lara reads an old article about a gold mask, and decides it will be here's. Some thousand dead peeps later Lara has the mask, END.

Want some more details ?
Our Lara Croft is dropped from a heli into ice cold water, of course she isn't alone. A big shark is also there, what a shark is doing in the frozen north, don't know, but hey the story must be interesting , isn't it ? Of course Lara will have to dive deep to find a harpoon gun and harpoons to do her first kill in this level, many kills will follow, more about that later. First get the fish, climb out of the water, kill the big kitten, do some scouting, avoid the enormeous snowballs, get the other leopards and done.
And from then on she will not only have to deal with those pesty animals but also with a whole army of mercenairies. Something about an organisation called AVALANCHE, I must be honest, I didn't really got the point of what or who this organisation is about. No problem, keep on killing all you encounter, man or animal, who cares ?

It's getting very boring so I will keep this short: a sliding on a zipline, eagles who don't like Lara, rats, guards, mercenairies, leopards, panthers, jump here jump there, get the neccesary guns and ammo, medpacks,flares.... switch here switch there and more switches and levers.
Ah yes, something of some interest to break this boring game, snowscooters, and some of those are armed with two heavy machine guns. Keep your finger on the trigger whilst riding around, kill all and everything that moves, don't forget to search the body's for keys, ammo and other goodies.

I must admit the levels are pretty great, you will need time to get trough each one. The most of the levels are in huge caves, and composed of puzzles and searches for the exit. The usual lethal traps are obligatory.

Then we get the bonus level, and there we find our butler back. Still have no clue what the guy is doing in this game. The way to get this bonus level is to have gathered all the secrets in the golden mask levels, that's why they called it bonus level. You find yourself in Vegas, why ? no idea, really no idea at all. Except maybe for some more crazy puzzles and killings.
Very funny level, you gonna laugh, djees, example? Lara has to climb down a gigantesque statue and at the bottom you find a warning: "NO CLIMBING ON SCULPTURE", or something, really funny, haha.
You also find here somekind of zoo with some T-Rex, now now , what an action Lara gets. This complete level is designed under influence, sure thing. Psychedelics artworks, some TV set with Elvis on, and so further. Very funny.

I begin to believe this Lara Croft must be the bitchiest bitch on earth. Everything, every creature, all man guards, whatever wants to get her skin. You encounter someone: kill or die, an animal: kill or die. Oh yeah the monks don't wanna kill her, they even help her against those mean guards. Must have something to do with their oath, maybe they want to get rid of their chastity?

So that was another tomb raider game done, i'm curious what the others will bring.
Maybe finally a EXIT GAME possibility? Seems they forgot the exit in TR1 and TR2 on the PC release.


Bigfish


Bigkitten


Bigballs


Bigbird


Bigscooter


Bigshrimp


Vegas


Bigboobs


Crazyvegas


TRexdown


Bigsliding


Bigboss
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