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Old 07-07-18, 18:36   #21
Karen_Leslie
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The playthrough returns, yaaaaay:

http://otakusphere.com/2018/07/07/to...tolis-hideout/

Hopefully I'll be able to post these more regularly now, unless my computer spontaneously combusts or something...and let's be honest, I'm not ruling that out
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Old 07-07-18, 20:56   #22
Anne Boleyn
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Baller! Thanks for the heads up, Karen!

Edit: have read and enjoyed your post. One thing struck me:

“A fun level to play, but it lacks the big ideas and beautiful views of the best Tomb Raider levels, landing it somewhere in the middle.”

I think this applies to a lot of TRII. In some ways I find this game more fun than the first one, but none of the set pieces (except for some bits of The Deck) come close to the awe-inspiring sense of scale and grandeur that the original had in, say, Sanctuary of the Scion or The Lost Valley. Even the Temple of Xian and Barkhang Monastery’s central hall statue always seem to me to lack the wow factor of the original game’s big moments and places.

TRIII, despite having better graphics, just lacks “wow” places entirely, I’m afraid.
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Last edited by Anne Boleyn; 07-07-18 at 21:05.
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Old 07-07-18, 22:20   #23
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I thought the graphics were beautiful in TRIII, and still do, but they're impressive in a different way. So many of the areas in TRIII just look so lovely and inviting, but you're right; they rarely, if ever, have the wow factor of the original.

I think it may be a struggle to get through TRII, since I don't want to end up basically saying what I said about Bartoli's hideout for the whole game. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick out more nuances of the experience as I go along. Thanks for reading
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Old 07-07-18, 22:51   #24
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I always enjoy your observations (especially loved the one about how Bartoli can't be all bad cos he has such an awesome library ), and while I disagree with the low Venice score - I ADORE the mines stunt and the big race to get through the timed doors at the end, it's one of the most iconic parts of the game for me - I do agree about the difficulty of the first few levels. I recently posted in another thread about the ultimate TR level, and while considering my choice, I mentally compared Opera House with Tomb of Qualopec, the fourth level of TR1, and the difference in difficulty, size, scope, puzzles, baddies, objectives, is huge. Maybe the devs worked off the assumption that most people playing TR2 would have played TR1 first, and so they wouldn't need as much hand-holding?
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Old 07-07-18, 23:13   #25
Anne Boleyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen_Leslie View Post
I thought the graphics were beautiful in TRIII, and still do, but they're impressive in a different way. So many of the areas in TRIII just look so lovely and inviting, but you're right; they rarely, if ever, have the wow factor of the original.

I think it may be a struggle to get through TRII, since I don't want to end up basically saying what I said about Bartoli's hideout for the whole game. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick out more nuances of the experience as I go along. Thanks for reading
I agree - for example, the opening of the Coastal Village is just stunning, with all that crystalline water and the schools of fish. But for whatever reason I just never, in either TRII or TRIII, get that awesome sense of tiny little Lara dwarved by huge, cavernous, ancient ruins. Even in TRIV, with its big ancient spaces, I donít think the developers were able to recreate the fall into the huge area underneath the already-huge area of the Sactuaryís Sphinx.

It occurs to me that the draw limitations probably inadvertently helped. With many backgrounds fading into blackness, one could almost imagine there was no end to the spaces Lara found herself in. Just a thought!

Hope itís not too much of a struggle to keep going. I adore this game and love your write-ups, so will be greedily looking out for the next instalments.
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Old 08-07-18, 13:44   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquabird View Post
I recently posted in another thread about the ultimate TR level, and while considering my choice, I mentally compared Opera House with Tomb of Qualopec, the fourth level of TR1, and the difference in difficulty, size, scope, puzzles, baddies, objectives, is huge. Maybe the devs worked off the assumption that most people playing TR2 would have played TR1 first, and so they wouldn't need as much hand-holding?
That's an interesting point; Opera House is like four times the size and difficulty of Tomb of Qualopec. I think the creators were assuming that most, if not all players would have played TR1 first, otherwise the difficulty level is hard to justify. I remember talking to someone who took out TR2 from a Blockbuster back in the day, got really frustrated on The Great Wall and returned it; there were probably more than a few people that had that experience.

I almost fell into that trap myself. I got into gaming when TR2 was coming out and wanted to play TR2 first; I was a kid and just assumed that the original game was old news, lol. Fortunately the clerk at the game store talked me into playing Tomb Raider first. I will be forever grateful to that guy.

Now if he could have talked my Mom into letting me buy a memory card, that would have been even better, lol.
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Old 08-07-18, 13:47   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Boleyn View Post
I agree - for example, the opening of the Coastal Village is just stunning, with all that crystalline water and the schools of fish. But for whatever reason I just never, in either TRII or TRIII, get that awesome sense of tiny little Lara dwarved by huge, cavernous, ancient ruins. Even in TRIV, with its big ancient spaces, I donít think the developers were able to recreate the fall into the huge area underneath the already-huge area of the Sactuaryís Sphinx.
Assuming I get up to TRIII, I'll have to resist the urge to overrate all of the levels because I find them so beautiful, lol. I have a love/hate relationship with that game, whereas with TRII it's more like "this isn't quite my thing, but I can see how well-done it is."
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Old 08-07-18, 14:38   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen_Leslie View Post
Assuming I get up to TRIII, I'll have to resist the urge to overrate all of the levels because I find them so beautiful, lol. I have a love/hate relationship with that game, whereas with TRII it's more like "this isn't quite my thing, but I can see how well-done it is."
TR3 always struck me as a bit soulless. Beautiful, but a bit show-offy. I can sense that the developers were less interested. I think the discussion of how TRII developers expected players to be already familiar with the original is proved by TRIII. The makers of ďThe JungleĒ (and everything else) seemed to assume that those playing hadnít just played but had MASTERED the first two games.

The first TR game I owned was TRIII, and I couldnít get past the first level. As a kid I just skipped every level after little bits of gameplay. I was delighted to learn that the two previous game werenít nonstop death traps; I could actually get through them! The Jungle makes The Great Wall seem like a walk in the park!
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Old 09-07-18, 17:19   #29
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Another great level write-up! I like how you appreciate what the game design did for its time, but are also honest about what didn't work. Reviews are always much better when they point out the bad as well!

The conversation that follows each entry is always interesting
I'm suspicious that TR3 and TRLR were so impossibly difficult because if nobody actually finished them, Core Design wouldn't be forced to create a new one without fail every year Of course, with such a dedicated fanbase nothing stays lost or unsolved forever.. poor Core
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Old 10-07-18, 13:37   #30
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Nice, you could continue your playthrough
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