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-   -   What Makes TR 2 so Special to anyone? (https://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=223773)

yifle 01-12-19 15:01

What Makes TR 2 so Special to anyone?
 
Over the last 8 years TR 2 went from my second favorite TR game to my least favorite and Im trying to figure out why

I still think its an amazing game even if Its my least favorite
I know my biggest gripe with the game is the amount of enemies you fight
but other than that I still think its got top notch level design, fantastic music, really varied locations.

Maybe you guys can help me to discovering why it happened and maybe even help rediscover why it was

So post what you makes the game special to you and why you love it so much

SnatchingEdges 01-12-19 15:25

Maybe the huge amount of praise it gets? It has happened to me with other things, like every entry of a saga is compared to the 'best one' and it gets tired not to see recognition for them and you tend to care more about the rest entries. It happened to me with Asylum in AHS lol.

michaeldt 01-12-19 16:14

Because it's perfect <3

In all seriousness though, it may have to do with the fact it was my first TR, but I can list multiple reasons.

- Expertly paced, the game feels as if it's constantly moving and evolving. (There is not a point in the game where the player should not know what they need to do, they should only question how they need to do it) The level design reflects this as it slowly becomes more complex and engaging, reaching its pinnacle with The Temple of Xian and Floating Islands.

- Amazing soundtrack. So many memorable motifs that add a perfectly executed cinematic flair to the game.

- Level variety. Going from China to Italy, to a oil rig, to a sunken ship, to a tibetan monastery and to the fourth dimension... It can be argued that TR2 features the series greatest level variety, also ending the game with the immensely satisfying 'Home Sweet Home'.

. Solid but fair difficulty. Alongside TR1, I feel that TR2 hit a perfect difficulty curve- If ever anything bad happened to you it was your fault as the player. The player would always be given a sound cue, a visual cue or foreshadowing about oncoming danger. The difficulty of the game encouraged the player to learn and think deeply about your actions (Unlike TR3 which often said "**** you" to the player and would throw random one hit death traps at you without warning). Even with the combat difficulty, the game still provided more than enough med-kits and ammunition for players who aren't a fan of combat to progress.

- Atmosphere. For an adventure game, TR2 certainly has a lot of Horror moments... Who doesn't remember venturing into the cave in Temple of Xian only for the creepy music and rattling of spiders legs around Lara to seep into your subconscious, or realising that the Maria Doria is upside down, or hearing the distant thuds of the Guardian coming for Lara after stealing the Talion. How many of you had a panic attack at the beginning of '40 Fathoms'? Moments like these were perfectly executed, and naturally fuelled the escapism of the game.

- Lara. Although Lara was for the most part, a silent protagonist in TR2, her personality still shone through the voice of Judith Gibbins- whom to this day is still regarded as one of the better Lara VAs due to the way she personifies the character- Cool, collected, smart, tough and full of British first-class taste. On the other end of the spectrum, because Lara was mostly a silent protagonist, this actually allowed players to project their own version of Lara into the game, deepening the players emotional connection to the character and world.

- Iconography. TR2 has some of the strongest pieces of iconography out of the TR series. Speeding through Venice in a motor boat, exploring a sunken ship, mowing down mafia members in a snowmobile, fighting a frickin' fire breathing dragon, facing off against a horde of home invaders whilst donning a nightgown- the list goes on. The varied, and justified iconography not only enriches the story elements of the game, but leaves a lasting legacy- people are more likely to remember unique iconography.

- Going against player expectations. How many of you gasped when you found out you could befriend the monks and have them fight with you? Or when you realised at the beginning of 'Offshore Rig' that you had to force the enemy to shoot the window and break the glass for you to progress? These are moments that actively reward thinking out of the box.

- Refined the controls. Compared to TR1, TR2 feels a lot smoother, the controls feel tighter, Lara overall feels like she responds faster and has more moves at her disposal.

Overall, TR2 did everything that is set out to do perfectly. It's a perfect piece of action-adventure escapism with amazing pacing and intelligent design that encourages the player to overcome challenges at their own pace and think carefully about their actions. It has some of the most memorable cinematic moments of the TR series, alongside its striking iconography- leading to a memorable experience.

Purcell91 02-12-19 10:24

I think the reason it got so much hype and praise initially was that it was a heck of wild ride after the first tomb raider, TR1 on steroids if you will. We got a vast array of weapons this time from an m16 to a grenade launcher, not to mention our first time experiencing vehicles. Cruising through the canals of Venice on your speedboat & scaling up mountainous peaks with your snow mobile.

The game had a lot going for it in many ways and even though its still my second favourite in the franchise, i can kind of see why others might not warm to it.

- The Rig levels really drag down the standard that the opening 4 levels presented us with. Bad design to the levels & some pretty boring gameplay to add to it.

- The Maria Doria were far too long than they should have been, too much backtracking involved with these ones & weren't exactly the most aesthetically pleasing levels. Although i appreciate the size & challenge the deck presented.

- Floating Islands is the most overrated level in TR history for me, never liked the overpowered enemies in this or the ridiculously cheap deaths you suffer at the hands of a mis-timed jumps. I could say a lot worse about this level but it's something i look to get through as quickly as possible when playing it.

EDIT: Misread the title:

Reasons i do love this game.

- The Great Wall is a perfect opening level to introduce anyone into the franchise, beautiful scenery, excellent location with it being on one of the natural wonders of the world. The relentless traps & challenge it brings would thrill anyone.

- Venice, Bartoli's Hideout & Opera House are definitely up there with the best bunch of levels in any TR game we've seen. Beautiful location, excellent level design & great set pieces were portrayed across all 3 levels. I never tire playing the 3 levels at any stage.

- The Tibetan levels hold a special place in my heart, as a young lad in the early 00's all i wanted more than anything was to level skip to tibetan foothills just to play on the snow mobile, I'd spend hours just playing this level for the snow mobile alone, it wasn't until i got older and realised how good Barkhang Monastery, Catacombs of the talion & Ice Palace were. All Stunning Levels in their own right particularly BM. The Snowy setting was beautiful in this game and i was very happy to see more added in TR2 Gold.

- Before playing one of the worst levels in TR history one has to enjoy one of the best in Temple Of Xian....Man if you don't like this are you even a TR fan? jk...but seriously this level had it all, the design, the atmosphere, the beauty, the challenge, the complexity, the fear(damn spiders) I absolutely adore this level it would easily be top 5 in all of the TR games and i think it really delivered home on how good of a game we got in Tomb Raider 2.

TonyLee 02-12-19 21:17

Those were the days of having to post in a Tomb Raider newsgroup to get answers to questions. TR2 was my first Tomb game. I found a demo of Tomb Raider in late 1997 and tried it, and then bought it. I can still see my postings from the late 90s if I search for them. Quote from one in 1998.

Hello,

I recently purchased a Diamond Monster 3d II video card and now I can't view
the videos between the various levels in Tomb Raider 2. The Matrox card
plays them fine, but the game looks better with the Diamond. When a video
begins, the screen just blacks out and I have to hit the escape key to
bypass them. Does anyone know of a possible fix?

Thanks,
Tony D

I had just upgraded to a Pentium 200MMX cpu, but the board would register it only as a 166, so I got a new board to actually run it at 200. I also bought the Matrox Mystique card to play that game.

whosyourdady 03-12-19 23:14

it was the first TR I've played
 
All the levels and the game scenery had that special touch that makes you remember a game like this many years after you've finished it.

Also, at the time it was launched, it was a game at a level of detail and magnitude comparable to the most recent TR games of our time.

All other things I could mention had already been said in previous posts, you said it better than I could!
The snow caves, Maria Doria, Venice, the final battle... all were memorable.

Stryke 04-12-19 14:37

I see TR2 as Core Design first custom level. And they nailed it. Not only the improvements but a great storyline too. I love the feeling of a good FMV that can leave you almost shaking before you start the game.

TR3 is my personal favorite but I'm starting to see why TR2 is an all time favorite. It's just some areas in TR2 I don't quite click with personally. TR3 is a better fit for a player like me.

Maverin 05-12-19 16:29

Most people tend to love it due to nostalgia.

It used to be very high on my list as well, but after replaying it a few times it lost it's wow-factor. The introduction is amazingly fun. Traps everywhere! Then the Venice levels introduce a warm and soothing environment despite having to kill human enemies everywhere. After that.. it changes completely. Things get darker starting at the opera house, which is quite an 'ehh' level to me. While most praise it as iconic.

Offshore rig is fun again but as soon as the underwater levels begin, so does the drag. The music is like brainwashing your ears, the mood is dark and unpleasant. I know that this is the point and that they tried to create it that way to make it atmospheric, but it's just too long. There are too many forced health losses, too many block puzzles, boring secrets, backtracking, enemies and all around weird level design. The biggest problem is that it's so long. The Snowy levels are fun again because you're finally in the open again but then they lure you again into a darker environment. Which worked miles better here than it did earlier. The monastery is arguably the best level in the game, along with temple of Xian. The ending is amazing. Everything China was executed in an almost perfect manner. But the midgame is just... I don't know. There is definitely something wrong with it.

matrix54 07-12-19 07:28

I like it because of the overall feeling of adventure. The pacing is solid (for the most part) and the progression feels like we're constantly moving ourselves forward. Even details like Venice getting progressively darker and we move from level to level adds to the overall feeling.

It reminds me of an Indiana Jones movie. :p

Blackmoor 07-12-19 12:29

I love the vibrancy of Venice and I love city levels in general anyway. I like that as Lara we get to explore usually off-limits parts of cities - going into people's apartments, climbing over rooftops, entering derelict buildings like the Opera House. All with the beautiful canals nearby...

I also love the Maria Dora levels. The entire concept of it.... a glamorous, Titanic-style ship to explore, which is decayed and creepy also with caves nearby and great white sharks in the water. The Deck is particularly atmospheric and even though we are underwater in a ship, they managed to make some of the levels exceptional in exploration terms. Discovering where to go was not always easy or obvious.

The later levels I'm less into although I still think they're excellent - the highlights being - the yetis, the flying warriors (very scary on first playthrough), the monastry and of course, the dragon itself.

Kapu 07-12-19 16:25

Of course it boils down to a matter of opinion, but I think the majority of players loved this game for the reasons that michaeldt listed.

I wrote up a mini review back in 2013 when I beat the game. Pulling a few lines from there -

Quote:

The Living Quarters was thrilling to explore in a very haunting way. [...] These levels tell a story of their own, y'know? And without the aid of a single cutscene. I was in such awe. [...] As much as I enjoyed [TR2013], none of the island had the same sense of thrill and wonder as the Maria Doria.
I typically hate underwater levels in TR, but the Maria Doria section of TR2 proves to me that it's just a matter of design. There's a unique feeling that comes from exploration in TR, right? It's part excitement, part frustration, part awe, and part terror. The Maria Doria levels, for me, encapsulate that experience perfectly. I love the whole game, but that section alone really made such an impression on me. It's not something that I've really felt while playing any other game. For me, that's a big part of what makes TR2 so special.

NoahCrofRaider 09-12-19 14:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maverin (Post 8157112)
Most people tend to love it due to nostalgia.

It used to be very high on my list as well, but after replaying it a few times it lost it's wow-factor. The introduction is amazingly fun. Traps everywhere! Then the Venice levels introduce a warm and soothing environment despite having to kill human enemies everywhere. After that.. it changes completely. Things get darker starting at the opera house, which is quite an 'ehh' level to me. While most praise it as iconic.

Offshore rig is fun again but as soon as the underwater levels begin, so does the drag. The music is like brainwashing your ears, the mood is dark and unpleasant. I know that this is the point and that they tried to create it that way to make it atmospheric, but it's just too long. There are too many forced health losses, too many block puzzles, boring secrets, backtracking, enemies and all around weird level design. The biggest problem is that it's so long. The Snowy levels are fun again because you're finally in the open again but then they lure you again into a darker environment. Which worked miles better here than it did earlier. The monastery is arguably the best level in the game, along with temple of Xian. The ending is amazing. Everything China was executed in an almost perfect manner. But the midgame is just... I don't know. There is definitely something wrong with it.

I agree with a lot of this. Even for me, I used to love TR2 and have it near or at the top of my list... but, it was more nostalgia than anything else. Beyond that, Iím not the biggest fan of the Maria Doria section and (though this has been said numerous times) thereís too much combat.

laracroftswest 09-12-19 20:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by michaeldt (Post 8156178)
Excellence

Everything about this post sums up why I love TR2 so much. People say the middle section (Offshore Rig - The Deck) drudges on, but I find this section exceptional. Maria Doria is one of my favorite levels :hug:

The only level I truly dislike is Opera House.

dcw123 10-12-19 10:13

For me TR2 just had the whole package..

Music was awesome, locations were varied and exciting to visit (except maybe Rig)
TR3 was a close 2nd in that regard...

4 and 5 sadly cut down on the globe trotting, and I suppose for good reason - Lara was quickly running out of locations to visit hehe

Hazelphoenix 10-12-19 11:32

Iíll be honest, it mostly comes down to nostalgia and the memories linked to it (being my very first TR game and whatnot). The other classics, except for chronicles, are so much better replaying them now. TR2 has some highlights that I consider to be among the best this saga has to offer though, like The Deck, Barkhang Monastery, Temple of Xian and Opera House.

Itís a solid game, but plenty of people usually rank it very high on their list of favourite TR games due to nostalgia (at least from what Iíve seen over the years).

The Great Chi 10-12-19 11:54

TR2 is still my favourite TR game and I will tell you why.

When TR1 was launched it was groundbreaking, with third person shooter perspective, ie, instead of just a pair of hands and guns being shown which we were used to, suddenly we had a character in front of us, ie, Lara Croft. It was brilliant, though the visuals were rather low pixel quality, the best that could be achieved at that time.

TR2 though was a massive step forward, with fantastic visuals, a fantastic story, and not just about tombs but instead the story travelled the World, and had entirely different levels to explore. It was totally immersive and atmospheric with the looks, the music, just everything was right about it ;)

My favourite level of my favourite game is the Floating Islands, just due to the surreal layout of a mystical realm and that background music atmosphere and those flying baddies. It just gave me goose bumps on my arms the first time i played, and just love playing it.

Yep, TR2 is for me, though I can see why others have their own favourite TR game :tmb:

noonbob 10-12-19 13:09

It was my first TR game but that's not the reason it's my fav TR game.

Like others have said, it has everything. I always loved it and preferred to replay it over the other games (though I replayed them too).

My most to least loved classic TR games are:

- TR2
- TR3
- TR1
- TR4&5

Yeauxleaux 11-12-19 12:15

I think it had just the right amount of complexity in level design. While Chronicles (and anything post-Core) were a little too easy in terms of working out what you had to do, and TR3 and 4 were a little too convoluted and confusing, TR2 (and TR1) hit the sweet spot in between.

I also love the choice of locations. I like the dive into Chinese mythology, but I also love Venice and Tibet. The Maria Doria is just as good to me, even though other people say they hate it. I do feel like Core were very much thinking "ok 1997, we're gonna do a Titanic-inspired level because everyone is aniticipating that movie". I guess if you were playing the game back then it was kind of transparent that's what they were doing, and might have felt a bit contrived. However you can play it at any time and without that context it's a tragic, dark and intensely eerie location in its own right, and I love the atmosphere. What I also like about the globetrotting in TR2 is the organic irregularity of it. It's not 4 formulaic levels in country A, then off to country B for another 4 formulaic levels, then another country for the same again. TR1 and 3 felt a bit too "forced" like that. We start in China for one small level, then have 3 in Venice, 6 somewhere in The Mediterranean, and so on.

The literal only criticism I have of TR2 is that it's too combat-heavy, that I do agree with. If the game were theoretically remade, I'd hope they do significantly scale back the number of human enemies we encounter. This would be especially important for the Maria Doria levels, where I'd want almost all human enemies removed and maybe replaced with something a little more supernatural and creepy.

Feder 11-12-19 23:40

Many people have complained about the number of enemies to fight :ponder: still, that was the best part for some of us. That was the real challenge, that's why you get such a vast arsenal and find ammo and medipacks everywhere. TR1 was similar in that regard, enemies were mostly animals/mutants, but plenty as well. TR3 cut back on the combat, as you never have to face more than 2 enemies at the time. Plus it has a very unbalanced arsenal, the MP5 and desert eagle are the most powerful weapons, leaving the rest of the equipment almost unnecesary once you got them.

Now that I think of it, if it weren't for the combat, there is not much else that challenges you on TR2. Puzzles are almost absent in this entry, everything is mostly hunt for keys and switches (in amazing scenarios). Oh but I do love the TR2 traps.

I remmember how I got killed in so many parts when I was a young TR player, I was even scared to come out to a new room, because I thought thugs could be just standing there waiting for me to come in :vlol:

ThatSassyKid 12-12-19 14:43

Some people just enjoy overhyped games, other people have games killed for them due to high expectations from too much hype.

The Great Chi 12-12-19 15:45

Too many enemies, not at all, because fighting tactics came into play.

What was interesting about all these human enemies and animals, etc, that Lara had to fight, was that you had to learn all the best ways and different ways of beating them. Back flip shooting, side to side uzi jump shooting, long range shooting, sneaky shooting, and all the other fighting method.

Sometimes it was quicker and less messy just to run by them, knowing that she would be out of their range soon enough, run away, run away :p

You soon learned the 'run and jump' method to move quicker LOL.
(the days before TR4's fast run button).... :D

Legends 12-12-19 22:49

Go to 2.18.

Judith just such a lovely woman. I wish there was more interviews with her.



tomee 14-12-19 12:38

Tomb Raider II is like the perfect classic to me. It hit a perfect balance in almost aspects. The difficulty, the complexity, the level design, the innovation. The only thing that one can say is the overabundance of enemies, but honestly, considering how powerful some of Lara's weapons are, I think it's fine.

Literally if someone told me to describe TRII in 1 word, it would be "Fun", and that's what every video game should aspire to be. :princess:

TonyLee 17-12-19 00:28

I would love a modern version of TR2.

The Great Chi 17-12-19 22:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by tomee (Post 8158840)
Literally if someone told me to describe TRII in 1 word, it would be "Fun", and that's what every video game should aspire to be. :princess:

In one word ....'Re-playable'

I cannot help returning to it every year and play some of my favorit levels.

That's the sign of a good video game :tmb:

BlackWolftr 24-12-19 11:04

Tomb Raider 2 its perfect game! TR2 has beautiful, atmospheric, difficult and really good architecture levels.:tmb: It's a most nostalgic and most played TR for me :o Sounds in this game are masterpiece and they are some vintage. In my opinion count of enemies is perfect. Not too many and not too little enemies.:)

Rufinoman 31-12-19 10:44

Out of all the games in my collection, TRII is the game I go back to most frequently. I have the original CD, a Steam version and a GOG version, all of which I picked up in sales just to keep for the collection.
If I were to end up on a desert island, I'd take this game with me, to while away the evenings.

Kivlov 31-12-19 14:19

For me it's special because:

- Nostalgia (it was the 1st TR game I played)
- Diversity of locations (the latest reboot games are boring due to lack of this).
- Puzzles and platforming is almost ideal for me (true for almost all classical TR games).

TheLizardofOz 01-01-20 20:35

The game's atmosphere and level design are just great.
Plus the main theme is my personal favorite of the classic trilogy, it just makes you feel like getting ready for adventure :)

Maverin 05-01-20 18:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLizardofOz (Post 8162528)
Plus the main theme is my personal favorite of the classic trilogy, it just makes you feel like getting ready for adventure :)

This theme is so special. Magical even.

The nostalgia is utterly strong with this one... it's like I travel back in time for a few minutes. Takes me back to happy summer days as a kid and I can't explain why.

trfan16 05-01-20 22:59

TRII was the game that provided the ultimate Classic TR experience for me. It improved and added a lot of new things from TRI, but didn't go off the rails too much unlike TRIII. I think the globetrotting is the best part TRII. You didn't know what to expect in each new area you entered. The entire set of final levels (Temple of Xian, Floating Islands, and Dragon's Lair) are probably one of the most epic final levels in the series. :D


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