Tomb Raider: Anniversary Review

Lara Croft. Edios brought her to us on the PC over 10 years ago. And what an amazing experience she (the game) was. Never before was there a game that gave you such control over the lead character and the locales were amazing. I can still remember playing it for the first time and thinking how amazing it looked. It has been 11 years since we first played Tomb Raider, since then we’ve had no less than 56 different variations over every platform, along with 2 movies. And while there were some pretty rough games, (and movies), in between at times, the past year has made up for them, first with Legend, and now with Anniversary. Although not quite suited for the PSP, Anniversary is still a pretty good experience and will remind you of fond times you may have had with Lara in the past. I have a definite love hate relationship with the graphics in Anniversary. While the character models and scenery look pretty good for a portable game, you can see the jagged edges on everything. Some of the areas look absolutely breathtaking- 6 years ago. This game honestly reminds me of the first couple of Tomb Raider games on the pc. Not that that is a bad thing, once again, this is a portable game. Maybe my expectations are kind of high. But after playing games like Daxter and the like, I tend to expect just a bit more. I tend to feel that the only bad music and sound effects are the ones that you notice are bad, and the good ones make you want to turn up the sound. This game is the latter.  There isn Controls are also a mixed bag. This type of game just screams for a second directional pad. You can tell this game is a console port. The game does the best it can with what you got, but is defiantly lacking from other versions of the game. You can remap pretty much everything to your hearts content, and once you get use to the control scheme it does get easier to play. First as usual your d-pad controls Laura and you control the camera with the L and R shoulder buttons. The menu system shouldn’t be too hard to pick up using the arrow keys but during all my time playing I never got used to it and it always gave me fits. Also, luckily, during gameplay you can turn hints on so when say you get to a spot to use a grappling hook, it will tell you what button to use. Once you get used to the controls you can turn this feature off, but I never did.

When you start out you have your choice to either play the game, or play Croft Manor. Croft Manor is a sort of tutorial/ place to get used to the controls, and is a short game in itself that I enjoyed playing through. I defiantly recommend playing through the area. After that you start the standard game, and those that have played the original Tomb Raider will know what to expect.

To the games credit, it is almost exactly like its big brothers on the consoles. But that is where some of the problems derive from. First, the camera can get hard to manage on such a small screen. The left and right trigger buttons control the camera, and you better get used to moving it around, a lot. It also feels sometimes like your field of view is limited. I again am spoiled by PC games and think this is just my bias but it feels like I am playing with blinders on and the camera sure doesn While the game is very linear, there is a lot of replay to be had here due to the use of rewards. You will want to go back and find every secret area and item, and there are a lot of them. You can unlock everything from new items and cheats to new clothes to wear.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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