Awful Review: Tomb Raider Anniversary (Xbox 360)

A long time ago, on a small island somewhere in the North Atlantic, a bunch of Brits got together under the banner of "Core Design" and cobbled up a game made using a new-fangled technology that faked the appearance of 3d rendered graphics by calculating the relative position of triangles in a calculated space, and applying shading and skewed textures to them before writing them to the display buffer in inverse order (back to front), and then blitting the buffer to the display (this is known as rasterization).  It wasn't very beautiful, in part because they weren't able to draw triangles fast enough to make things look realistic, but it did feature a large breasted woman with guns and short shorts, and it sold a lot of copies.
 
Following the release of Tomb Raider Legend in 2006, all of these people came to be without jobs because everyone realized that they were no longer the only ones capable of making games featuring said large breasted woman with guns and short shorts, and that in fact some guys from America with fabulous teeth could do it better and sell lots of copies of their game.  This was important because the other people who owned the idea for the large breasted woman didn't have much money left and were on the verge of bankruptcy.
 
After they'd all had their game taken away from them and their contracts traded for a six pack of Killian's Irish Red, two foil packs of Premier League football cards and a roughly used Subbuteo set  to Rebellion, they leaked a video of the game on which they had been working to the interwebs.  This game was called Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition.
 
The week after they leaked the video, the Americans who had finally managed to make a Tomb Raider game that wasn't shit announced that they were throwing away all the hard work of Core Design and remaking the original Tomb Raider using the same engine that was used for Tomb Raider Legend.  This angered and frustrated unemployed British game designers everywhere.
 
Just one year later, the Americans had made good on their threats and unleashed Tomb Raider Anniversary on the world, and it was pretty good.  Much later, they released the game on the Xbox 360, and while it was better than the PS2 version, it wasn't really as good as Tomb Raider Legend.
 
Some of the characters in the game were fantastically ugly, particularly Natla.  The storyline made very little sense, and Lara fought dinosaurs, a skinless doppleganger of herself, lizard minotaur things, and a bat-winged Atlantean sorceress.  However, the world was substantially tidied up, and the controls were every bit as streamlined and responsive as they had been in Tomb Raider Legend.
 
But something was missing, just like in the first Star Wars film, where you knew there was a good idea there and you really liked it the first time you saw it, but after you'd seen The Empire Strikes Back you realized that they were capable of so much more...Crystal Dynamics had created such an amazing alternate second chapter of the Lara story that retelling the first chapter just didn't have the same impact.  However, gamers everywhere were glad that they could play the version of Tomb Raider that they had in their imaginations rather than the clunky and terrible original game.
 
Tomb Raider Anniversary is recommended, but only as a rental unless you're a fanatical games collector (like me).

1 Comments
1 Comments
Posted by FalcomAdol

A long time ago, on a small island somewhere in the North Atlantic, a bunch of Brits got together under the banner of "Core Design" and cobbled up a game made using a new-fangled technology that faked the appearance of 3d rendered graphics by calculating the relative position of triangles in a calculated space, and applying shading and skewed textures to them before writing them to the display buffer in inverse order (back to front), and then blitting the buffer to the display (this is known as rasterization).  It wasn't very beautiful, in part because they weren't able to draw triangles fast enough to make things look realistic, but it did feature a large breasted woman with guns and short shorts, and it sold a lot of copies.
 
Following the release of Tomb Raider Legend in 2006, all of these people came to be without jobs because everyone realized that they were no longer the only ones capable of making games featuring said large breasted woman with guns and short shorts, and that in fact some guys from America with fabulous teeth could do it better and sell lots of copies of their game.  This was important because the other people who owned the idea for the large breasted woman didn't have much money left and were on the verge of bankruptcy.
 
After they'd all had their game taken away from them and their contracts traded for a six pack of Killian's Irish Red, two foil packs of Premier League football cards and a roughly used Subbuteo set  to Rebellion, they leaked a video of the game on which they had been working to the interwebs.  This game was called Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition.
 
The week after they leaked the video, the Americans who had finally managed to make a Tomb Raider game that wasn't shit announced that they were throwing away all the hard work of Core Design and remaking the original Tomb Raider using the same engine that was used for Tomb Raider Legend.  This angered and frustrated unemployed British game designers everywhere.
 
Just one year later, the Americans had made good on their threats and unleashed Tomb Raider Anniversary on the world, and it was pretty good.  Much later, they released the game on the Xbox 360, and while it was better than the PS2 version, it wasn't really as good as Tomb Raider Legend.
 
Some of the characters in the game were fantastically ugly, particularly Natla.  The storyline made very little sense, and Lara fought dinosaurs, a skinless doppleganger of herself, lizard minotaur things, and a bat-winged Atlantean sorceress.  However, the world was substantially tidied up, and the controls were every bit as streamlined and responsive as they had been in Tomb Raider Legend.
 
But something was missing, just like in the first Star Wars film, where you knew there was a good idea there and you really liked it the first time you saw it, but after you'd seen The Empire Strikes Back you realized that they were capable of so much more...Crystal Dynamics had created such an amazing alternate second chapter of the Lara story that retelling the first chapter just didn't have the same impact.  However, gamers everywhere were glad that they could play the version of Tomb Raider that they had in their imaginations rather than the clunky and terrible original game.
 
Tomb Raider Anniversary is recommended, but only as a rental unless you're a fanatical games collector (like me).