Pros: lighting, and sound
Cons: controls, camera angles
I am starting this opinion by saying that it is a joint review of the first three Tomb Raider games. I am rating each of these games in five categories: Graphics, Sound, Control, Replay, and Others. I will rate on the time period in which they were made. I will also say that these games can be fun with a lot of patience and time.
ABOUT THE TOMB RAIDER SERIES:
In these games you control Lara Croft, an explorer/adventure seeker. Each game has it's own story line that picks up after the end of one game. Usually she will be searching for a lost artifact or such and end up in a mess with enemies of her. I think the games are more puzzles than fighting, but there is also a mix of frustration.
Tomb Raider- This is the original game from way back when, and it shows. Now days these graphics are way out-dated, and cheap like. When it first came out though it was top quality, especially looking at the vast levels it had. These levels are well put together, and formed. The game has flat scenery such as trees and bushes, which really is a minus. Not to blame the graphics, wait, yes you'll blame the graphics for frustrating you to the fullest. The camera angle is sick and often leaves you stuck in corners or not able to complete crucial jumps. Also this accounts for you not being able to see items and ledges you must collect. The graphics are old timey, and it shows.
Tomb Raider 2- A huge improvement over the first game was the graphics. This game added lighting for the first time, like when you shoot your gun light shows in shadows. Also a great use of lighting was the flair option, as now you can explore dark areas with a lit flair. This is a great touch up to the graphics, and carries a long way. Lara's model is more rounded and smooth. The enemies still are quite a bit blocky though, which brings down the overall game. I mean, why touch up one person if the rest are going to look choppy and cut. Besides that the scenery is still flat, but vehicles are introduced and look great. The frame rate is faster, and the game plays better. The camera angle is still a pain, but can be handled with some patience. Overall, the graphics are better, but still not great.
Tomb Raider 3- A major improvement in the graphics of the series was the addition of lighting. Now TR3 has colored lighting to offer. This is a more high tech form of lighting were you can see different shades and color. An example being fire. Instead of you seeing the same yellow as the gunshot you know see a mix of red, orange, and yellow. This adds to make a great graphical feel. The enemies received a rounder body type, and look more believable, while matching up to Lara in the second game. The scenery has been fixed to be 3D, but still looks a bit cheap. A blocky tree is better than a flat one though. Another big change is the water. It now resembles a wave race type game with moving waves and splashes. This is very cool. With the major graphical improvements, this game shines above the rest.
Tomb Raider- These controls are tough to learn and master. They are extremely irresponsive and annoying. When you go to make a jump you must hold the jump button for about 2 seconds. I want and I?m sure you want to be able to move when you command it. A major downfall to this game being the controls, don?t worry about the enemies, worry about if you can move.
Tomb Raider 2- The controls are the exact same. The only difference being the addition of vehicle driving which can be very tough at times. You would think someone would say something about this and demand a change, but it doesn?t happen.
Tomb Raider 3- What they did here was make controlling more complex. They have added a sprint and crawl. Now not only are you going to have to explore Lara?s eye level, but also under her and in every crack. I?m not sure why they did this, I guess to make the game more realistic. What they did was make put you in an extremely tough and frustrating situation. Who wants to sit in the same area looking for a place to crawl for 2 hours? Oh yeah, the slow reactions of the buttons still wasn?t fixed.
Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider 2, and Tomb Raider 3- These are combined because all the SFX and soundtracks are identical. Luckily, this is a better area for the series. The game plays mostly classical music followed by fast paced beats in intense situations. The voice acting in the CG movies is great, and very well put together. The sound effects are okay, but not great. Mostly it?s just tiger roars and animal cries. Waterfalls and jungles sound cool, and the overall sound is consistent and above average.
Tomb Raider- This game will get old very quick if you are not patient. If you are though, it will probably keep you gaming for up to two weeks.
Tomb Raider 2- This two can get old it you have little patience. The overall improvements and addition of vehicles is a real boost. If you can stay focused, you will get up to a month of playing out of this game.
Tomb Raider 3- They boosted the difficulty level really high in this one. Some levels can take up to five hours plus for the average gamer to beat. They usually end up getting old after a while though, and I know a small percentage of people willing to play one level for that long. Overall, more irritating than fun, and I give it two weeks max.
Tomb Raider- This game has no real bonus features though a practice mode exist. For the record books, the myth of jumping on the statue in Lara?s house is not true, and she won?t strip.
Tomb Raider 2- This game has an improved practice mode and course. There are some secrets if you are skilled in practice mode, but if you are normal, depend on manual cheats.
Tomb Raider 3- This game also only includes a practice mode. It?s kinda fun though, because you can now practice shooting and advanced techniques.
OVERALL SCORES ON A SCALE TO FIVE:
Graphics- TR=2, TR2=3, TR3=5
Controls- TR=2, TR2=2, TR3=1
Sound- TR=4, TR2=4, TR3=4
Replay- TR=3, TR2=4, TR3=2
Others- TR=1, TR2=1, TR3=1
FINAL WORDS FROM joe14 ON THE TOMB RAIDER SERIES:
These games have the right idea, just not the right technique. As I have said over and over, they take a good bit of patience. Don?t expect a thrill ride from any, but a lot of puzzles and confusion. I don?t recommend buying all these. You should own at least one though, that?s Tomb Raider 2. It introduces a lot of new ideas and is fresh. It will suit you better than the others.