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Old 18-10-13, 20:02   #151
Mytly
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I just wanted to say that I really like your screenshots, Sheepman. The Cistern is far from a beautiful level, but you manage to make it look quite appealing.
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Old 20-10-13, 10:47   #152
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Originally Posted by sheepman23 View Post
I always thought that the hole above Lara was where she fell down from at the end of Palace Midas. Atleast it's not as bad as the Cold War/Fool's Gold transition in TR2 Gold.
A better example is the transition between the Jungle cutscene and Temple Ruins and the transition between Streets of Rome and Trajans Markets.

I think this one, between Palace Midas and The Cistern is acceptable.
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Old 26-10-13, 10:02   #153
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I think all of the transitions are acceptable.
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Old 11-11-13, 04:36   #154
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After a much-needed hiatus...

GREECE
Level 9 - Tomb of Tihocan



I c wut u did there.

Replaying Tomb of Tihocan helps me understand a bit of Crystal Dynamic's logic in combining the previous level and this one into a single adventure in Tomb Raider: Anniversary.

While I do not necessarily condone how they combined the two levels, I don't blame them at all for taking away some lackluster bits of the final chapter of Greece. The first 60% or so of this level is pretty much Cistern 2.0, only much more linear and, to some degree, much less exciting. The bottom line: the first portion of Tomb of Tihocan is forgettable. It's there, and it doesn't really do anything wrong, but it's just not memorable at all.


Let's just madly shoot at eachother instead of taking a moment to talk and work things out!

That being said, the first half of the level isn't long enough to get boring. There are a few simple puzzles, an encounter with Pierre, and we get to flood a few rooms, and then we move on to greater things.

Such as... the easiest block puzzle in the game. It really seems like the room with the four pressure plates and the pushable block was put in just to halt our progress a little bit, rather than to actually challenge us. Granted, there's a troop of gorillas and a mischief of rats (yes, a group of rats is actually called a mischief) to greet us, along with two simple-yet-surprising traps guarding each of the keys.


What a mouthful.

Unlike the previous tomb sequence, the Tomb of Tihocan has a climactic feeling as we descend deeper and deeper into the Greek caverns, until we finally wind up in this vast, flooded subterranean cavern. This has to be one of my favorite rooms in the entire series, and my only complaint is that the designers didn't take this opportunity to scatter a few secrets around. There's not much to do here aside from opening up the main door of the tomb.

Speaking of which...



Whenever I think of this level, the first thing that pops into my mind is the centaur statue bursting to life as I approach the final door. It's such a simple, yet such a meaningful moment. It's the first "Atlantean" that we come across, for starters. At the time, I thought that it was a right nasty foe as well since it could shoot frickin' fireballs. Nowadays I've nailed the "jump left and right" tactic to make short work of the centaur, but man. Memories like that stick with you forever.

In fact, it actually makes the consequential battle with Pierre less impressive. He finally decides to speak, and then about 10 seconds later he's on the ground after being filled with Magnum bullets. I guess he didn't have time to Apparate like he normally does.



The culmination of Pierre's shenanigans also lead us to the culmination of the Greek adventure. We add one more memorable moment to the brilliant sequence at the end of this level: the cutscene inside of the ending room. I really love this dialogue for a variety of reasons. It shows Lara (and voice actress Shelly Blond) in a completely new light as she carefully reads the hieroglyphics on the wall. And unlike Anniversary Lara, who reads them as if she was reading the morning paper, it's obvious that classic Lara has trouble reading them even though she has the ability to do it.

Above all, this is the first time in the game where Lara has seemed to show an active interest in learning the story of the Atlantean rulers - something that will come into play later when she continues Qualopec and Tihocan's work in stopping Natla.

Conclusion

The Tomb of Tihocan is one of the trickiest levels to rate. The first half is nothing very special. It's really just an extension of the Cistern. However... that final cavern and ending sequence inside of Tihocan's tomb just screams "memorable." Far more so than Qualopec's tomb did, anyway. I would give a 9 or maybe a 10 to the final part of this level if I could rate it separately.

But unfortunately, I can't. What Tomb of Tihocan does well is somewhat overshadowed by the lack of cohesion that this entire level has. That's not all bad, mind you, but it can be distracting. I wasn't really a big fan of the block room prior to the final part, either, as it just seemed like a cheap method of extending the gameplay.

What wasn't cheap, however, was everything about the ending sequence, from falling into the flooded cavern and awakening the centaur to listening to Lara decipher the hieroglyphics. And, at the very least, I have to applaud the designers for that.

Rating - 8/10
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Old 11-11-13, 17:11   #155
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Great you have your reviews back, very much enjoying reading this

I think you've hit the nail on the head with the review of Tihocan. I was very critical of the level and had very bad memories of the level from my playthrough about 18 months ago. But i recently played it again and 100% agree with you that the while the first half of the level is essentially an extension of the Cistern the second half is brilliant!
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Old 16-11-13, 11:10   #156
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Nice review on tomb of tihocan. I'd give the level a 9/10.
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Old 03-12-13, 01:54   #157
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Thanks for the comments guys.

I apologize for the extended leave, but I probably won't start working on the review again until the new year (or maybe over Christmas break). Then I can start with the Egypt levels and hopefully have a fresh writing ability... I feel as though a few of the previous reviews have been a little stale.
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Old 03-12-13, 11:16   #158
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It's no big deal. you can take your time and do it whenever you're ready.
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Old 02-04-14, 16:24   #159
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looking forward to when Sheep comes back to finish this
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Old 02-04-14, 19:18   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airrr13 View Post
looking forward to when Sheep comes back to finish this
Me too. Reading his awesome reviews has inspired me to start a complete replay of all the TR games myself!
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