Tomb Raider Anniversary Rant (and some other crap)

25 11 2007

fiberoptic1Has anybody else gotten pissed off at this game and just quit? Am I the only one? I love me some Tomb Raider, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been playing since about the time III was released for Playstation, and I went back and bought I and II. Since that time, I’ve been snatching new editions off the shelf just about as fast as the dude at Wal-Mart can put them up there.

I liked Tomb Raider: Legend. I thought Crystal Dynamics did a bang-up job with it, and I had high hopes for Anniversary when it came out. I was a little disappointed later, when I got it home, to learn that it was basically just a remake of the original Tomb Raider, but what the heck. I haven’t played the original in a few years, and I was sure that CD would add enough interesting features to keep everything interesting. The game starts out well. In fact, the first 7.9 levels flowed by quite enjoyably. It was right at the end of level 8, Greece-Tomb of Tihocan, when the train jumped the tracks.

One word: centaurs. There are two things that will frustrate me to the point of abandoning an otherwise enjoyable video game. One is an insanely hard boss battle lobbed into the middle of the game like a grenade. The other is control/camera issues that make it nearly impossible to defeat said insanely hard boss despite the fact that you know exactly what to do because you cheated and read the strategy guide. The centaurs at the end of level 8 satisfied both of these requirements, and I almost walked away from it at that point. Hours of Internet searching later, it finally dawned on me that my problem was with the new “bullet-time” adrenaline-dodge feature that CD made a part of the game. I had been ignoring this feature–as cool as it looks–because I don’t much care for crap like that. Looks pretty, fine, but not using it wasn’t taking anything away from my game–until I got to these stupid centaurs. Fine. I’ll learn it, then. Whatever. I got past that point, eventually, but not without some vague misgivings about the rest of the game. I was barely over halfway through the game. How much more of this kind of crap was I going to have to deal with?

fiberoptic2Part two of this little drama occurred in level 10, Egypt-Obelisk of Khamoon. There is a spot where you have to jump backwards off of a wall at the upper arc of a wall-run to grab a ledge behind you. There are several problems with this particular sequence. One, you have to adjust your height on the grapple-hook line to a very specific spot in the wall so that you reach the correct position at the top of your run. Two, you have to somehow keep the camera adjusted such that, at the precise moment, it is directly behind Lara and facing the wall squarely. Improper camera placement means that when you make your jump backwards, she leaps off in virtually every direction BUT backwards, toward the G.D. ledge she needs to grab.

I got stuck there for several days, climbing up the same stupid blocks back to the same stupid area, making the same stupid run-n-jump, and hurtling to the same stupid death, over and over and over and over…. I work for a living. I don’t need another job. I play video games for entertainment and relaxation. There is nothing entertaining or relaxing about performing the same dumbass moves over and over again, all with the same dumbass result. The game play grinds to a halt. The fun grinds to a halt. Frustration sets in. Back to the strategy guide (very helpful, they advised me to “perform a wall run and jump backwards to grab the ledge behind Lara.” Thanks!), back to the Internet. Nothing, other than some kind soul somewhere posted a pic of the proper starting position that Lara should be at on the wall before you begin running back and forth like an idiot. I was this close to dumping the game again when I got it, entirely by accident. I sat there, stunned, staring at the image of Lara dangling from that stupid ledge while the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Hallelujah! faintly in the background. Then I found out that it just leads to a stupid artifact, or secret, or whatever the hell they call it, and I didn’t even have to make that jump to proceed through the game.


fiberoptic3Okay. My bad. I’m a dumbass. Fine. Just as long as they don’t put one of those in there where you HAVE to make the jump in order to move forward in the game…

They do. Natla’s Mines. Gotta drop down in this one area to grab the stupid green fuse, and by God you gotta do another wall-run to jump backwards and grab the ledge behind you to get back to the stupid area where you can use the stupid green fuse. I tried it a couple of times, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Maybe someone a lot younger than me has the patience required to sit there and do the same moronic move over and over (and over and over and over) until they accidentally make the right combination of button presses to complete the task and move on down the road (or mine shaft, in this case). I just don’t have it in me. I had to work half a day this weekend man, I’m gonna waste what little time off I have left fucking with that piece of shit? I don’t think so. At the very least, you would have thought that CD would put a “checkpoint” right in front of that thing so that you don’t have to go all the way back to the movable box, make all those stupid jumps back to the fuse area, and pick up the G.D. fuse again before leaping to your death (again).

I don’t know how long I’ll let the game sit. Probably not that long. It gnaws at the back of my mind…that game kicked your ass…you paid fifty bucks for that shit…Crystal Dynamics screwed you out of fifty bucks dude…they’re LAUGHING at you…Lara thinks you’re a weenie…

So, instead, I drank up a bunch of beer and took all these wacky pictures you see here. It’s a Christmas tree in my office, and it has all these fiber optic lights that change colors and shit. I set the shutter speed on my camera to 1 second and then set a 2 second delay so that I could move the camera around while the camera took the picture. Suppressed the flash. Can’t remember the f-stop setting thingie.

Maybe if I act like I’m gonna jump backwards, but then jump some other direction, it will trick the game into accidentally making Lara jump backwards and grab that G.D. ledge…yeah…that might work…




6 responses

26 11 2007

Stop Whinning about games being to hard and get alife. If it was all easy thered be no point.

26 11 2007

I disagree, edge. You’re right in that there would be no point if the game were easy. No argument between us there. And honestly, TRA isn’t really that hard, puzzle-wise and so forth. It’s the flaky-ass camera and controls. Crystal Dynamics needs to fix that shit, man. Seriously.


2 12 2008

Reading this has so far been the best thing about TRA. You really made me laugh! Mostly because I have just been doing exactly the same (Yep, I bought it recently so it didn’t cost me $$$) but I was LOLing sooo much. You and sak are right. TRA plays like the original (controls and really stoopid camera issues). And as for that adrenalin dodge malarky I nearly smashed my keyboard!!!

In fact I think I will!ih WQ[OI PO
]#[P\D []P8646-0FPLB,Z#’;S\D,;’VV.;C/V//V.C/VCZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz……..

24 11 2011

I got to the Great Pyramid … ledge 3. That really did me in! Maybe I\ll try again tomorrow. Thanks for the laugh!

25 11 2011

Thanks for the comment! I haven’t played TRA since I wrote this post…jeez, exactly four years ago today! That must be a sign. I’m going to dig it out and give it another go. Expect an updated rant here soon…:)

4 12 2012

what a bunch of rarfs, yes this game requires excellent timing and contol skillz, i played the game without the auto grab to make it more of a challenge, and i still found the parts you talked about a piece of piss, obviously you cranks dont enjoy the precision jumps and timing aspects of the game because you are not true tomb raider fans, thats what is all about man, go play uncharted and have your controls scripted so all you have to do is run and press x at around the right time, give or take 5 seconds noobs

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