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Tomb Raider Chronicles

Score: 95%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Core Design
Developer: Eidos Interactive
Media: GD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure


Graphics & Sound:

Lara's back, and badder than ever!!! Tomb Raider Chronicles looks incredible on the Dreamcast. Textures, lighting and special effects never looked so good. I was a bit disappointed in Lara's shading, as I would have thought that the power of the Dreamcast would allow for more detailed characters. Nonetheless, Chronicles is the best looking game in the series.

The music and sound fx are also very well done. As you progress through each level, you will get drawn into the action by the music alone, not to mention the action all around you. Characters in the game speak very well, and every little noise in the game will come through loud and clear.


Gameplay:

After learning of Lara's death, a group of her acquaintances get together to reminisce over Lara's accomplishments. This is where we join our digital damsel in her quests around the world. Throughout her journeys, Lara Croft will have new moves, new weapons, and more inventory options. Tomb Raider Chronicles offers a TON of gameplay and will have you stammering for more!

In Chronicles, you control Lara Croft on missions to collect artifacts throughout the world. You will travel to 4 very large areas throughout the game, exploring an amazing amount of area. In fact, you will now be able to explore shelves and drawers in this newest adventure. Walking tightropes and swinging from parallel bars rounds out some of Lara's new abilities. Throw in a few new weapons like a sniper rifle and grappling hook that you will use to swing across large gaps, and you have the complete adventure.

As with the other games in the popular series, Tomb Raider Chronicles will have you racking your brain while you try to figure out puzzles and find the items you need to complete your missions. Another cool feature that you will need to solve puzzles is the new laser sights for your gun. You will be able to take aim and shoot precisely where you need to. Chronicles is a very fun game and a must have for fans of the series.


Difficulty:

Tomb Raider Chronicles has more than one element of difficulty. There is the element of puzzle solving, which can be as easy as flipping a switch to as difficult as completely backtracking to find something you've missed. Then there is the enemy AI (artificial intelligence). Yes, everyone can be beaten. No, it won't be easy. As a note, however, there just didn't seem to be as many enemies as past adventures. Finally, another difficulty comes in controlling Lara. Although the buttons are easy to learn and use, sometimes your fingers just don't react fast enough!

Game Mechanics:

Tomb Raider Chronicles consists of two major things: solving puzzles and staying alive. It is the latter that can be frustrating at times. The biggest threat to Lara is usually huge falls, which can be resolved by fast fingers and grabbing for any ledge you can. But sometimes it is the bosses that will drive you to the brink of insanity. I don't know if I am just too used to the PlayStation controller or not, but I struggled with the DC controller not responding the way I wanted it to (both in analog and digital modes). Okay, maybe it was just me. Either way, sometimes the best thing you can do to solve a puzzle or defeat a boss is to take a break and return to the game at a later time. I now know from experience!

If you can handle having to actually use your brain to think about a game instead of just mindlessly playing it, then Tomb Raider Chronicles is for you. You won't find any other games out there that surpasses the overall enjoyment of the Tomb Raider games. So get out there and pick up Tomb Raider Chronicles, 'cuz Lara is back and waiting for you! The only question that remains: Is Lara really dead?


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Sega Dreamcast NFL 2K2 Windows Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza

 
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