Tomb Raider -- A series sadly lost on me.

Posted by xxizzypop (577 posts) -

I try. I have tried for many years. I will continue to try for the years to come. However, I don't believe that Lara Croft will ever click with me. For some reason, I cannot seem to muscle my way through the Tomb Raider series. I was stonewalled from an early age on the PlayStation, beginning with Tomb Raider II. I got to a point where I could clear the first level with ease, sliding into an underground cavern, fighting tigers and whatnot. But right around the time I hit these Venetian waterways, I just hit a point where I was missing out on these little details upon which so many of the Tomb Raider games seem to hitch upon. 
 
It's all about a key. A lever. A ledge. Some climbable surface that blends in with the environment. There is always just some hitch around the second or third level that I can never manage to discover and it completely hinders and ruins my experience. I'm not much of one to get online and check guides, and with the TR, it seems kind of hard to read a wall of text and understand how you are supposed to tackle a puzzle. Moreover, that's hardly an experience either. The only game starring Lara Croft that I have ever managed to make it through has been the first shot that Crystal Dynamics took, with Tomb Raider: Legends. It's not a terribly complex game, with fairly basic puzzles and a mediocre, albeit grand story arc being set into motion. 
 
It was the ease of the gameplay, the simplicity of the level layout, the accessibility that I was a truly a fan of. It felt like a much more guided experience, with my hand held much more than any other TR games. And I might be one of the only people who appreciated that. My ability to not only finish, but also enjoy Legend gave me hope for the series, and made me believe that I could maybe, just maybe get myself into what Crystal D was working on. I followed up a couple of months later with Anniversary and found myself in much the same position that I was so many years ago, stuck around the second or third level, missing out on some key part of the design that simply ground me to a standstill. I abandoned the game and sent it back to GameFly. I recently tried the series again, picking up Underworld. And once again -- TRII.  
 
Perhaps it's simply that I don't find these games compelling. The story doesn't grab me and the characters are often incredibly shallow. The level designs always end up frustrating me. I just don't know. The only thing I feel is some regret that I just can't give Lara Croft the kind of respect that I feel she deserves, and that I am forced to admire from the sidelines as Crystal Dynamics, whom I had such high hopes for with Legend, create further iterations on this long standing series.

#1 Posted by xxizzypop (577 posts) -

I try. I have tried for many years. I will continue to try for the years to come. However, I don't believe that Lara Croft will ever click with me. For some reason, I cannot seem to muscle my way through the Tomb Raider series. I was stonewalled from an early age on the PlayStation, beginning with Tomb Raider II. I got to a point where I could clear the first level with ease, sliding into an underground cavern, fighting tigers and whatnot. But right around the time I hit these Venetian waterways, I just hit a point where I was missing out on these little details upon which so many of the Tomb Raider games seem to hitch upon. 
 
It's all about a key. A lever. A ledge. Some climbable surface that blends in with the environment. There is always just some hitch around the second or third level that I can never manage to discover and it completely hinders and ruins my experience. I'm not much of one to get online and check guides, and with the TR, it seems kind of hard to read a wall of text and understand how you are supposed to tackle a puzzle. Moreover, that's hardly an experience either. The only game starring Lara Croft that I have ever managed to make it through has been the first shot that Crystal Dynamics took, with Tomb Raider: Legends. It's not a terribly complex game, with fairly basic puzzles and a mediocre, albeit grand story arc being set into motion. 
 
It was the ease of the gameplay, the simplicity of the level layout, the accessibility that I was a truly a fan of. It felt like a much more guided experience, with my hand held much more than any other TR games. And I might be one of the only people who appreciated that. My ability to not only finish, but also enjoy Legend gave me hope for the series, and made me believe that I could maybe, just maybe get myself into what Crystal D was working on. I followed up a couple of months later with Anniversary and found myself in much the same position that I was so many years ago, stuck around the second or third level, missing out on some key part of the design that simply ground me to a standstill. I abandoned the game and sent it back to GameFly. I recently tried the series again, picking up Underworld. And once again -- TRII.  
 
Perhaps it's simply that I don't find these games compelling. The story doesn't grab me and the characters are often incredibly shallow. The level designs always end up frustrating me. I just don't know. The only thing I feel is some regret that I just can't give Lara Croft the kind of respect that I feel she deserves, and that I am forced to admire from the sidelines as Crystal Dynamics, whom I had such high hopes for with Legend, create further iterations on this long standing series.

#2 Posted by bartok (2406 posts) -

It is definitely an overrated series that got unnecessary attention merely for having a big breasted protagonist.  The PS1 games were never that fun and I have to imagine have aged to a point where they are unplayable. That said this generation of Tomb Raider games are pretty entertaining and have a descent storyline and require a bit less back tracking but compared to Uncharted 2 they suck.

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