I started playing this one again and it has aged really well in my opinion. The atmosphere is simply top-notch. Even though it's dubbed as action, I see it more of a adventure platformer. The sense of physicality with the environment is superb for its time.
Simply a must play!
Man, what a coincidence! I am playing it right now and having the exact same thoughts. I even wanted to post a forum message here myself. Telepathy? :)
Haha, what a coincidence! Especially the fact that I am playing it back to back with the remake as well! Mind you, I'm playing the remake on PSP, but I've actually beaten it before so I'm mostly just using it to freshen my memory.
I do agree that the original is better, but I think Anniversary is good in its own right. It has a good mix of new and old, and it does flesh out some of the details that were lost in the original (like the second level - I never would've thought it's supposed to be a village judging from the original layout). The reason why I think it's difficult to criticize the remake is that a lot of the ambiance of the old version just comes from the fact that it was made at the advent of 3D gaming where compromises simply had to be made. That is also one of the reasons why I love that era of gaming because of the newly-emerged possibilities are contrasted with practical limitations, like a capped draw distance or low-quality textures. One of the reasons why the first Silent Hill trumps all the rest in the horror aspect is exactly this raw aesthetic design. I'm not a tech wizard, but I've read and one can notice how Playstation 3D characters always have this "jello" feeling (look at any Silent Hill gameplay footage) where the polygons sort of float around. Apparently it's the way the console architecture handles it.
Anyway, I think both versions are great. :)
Also, I'm playing the PS1 version of the original (I'm a bit too lazy to mess with DOSbox for this one) and I don't really mind the lack of save anywhere. I feel like it isn't as harsh of a game as the later entries where having access to save anywhere is a must (and the console versions starting with TRII have it) . I generally am fine with any save system as it fits with the overall game design. I'd rather play a tight game with checkpoints than a retarded mess like the later stages in Half-Life where you pretty much have to quicksave/load your way through the unintuitive platforming.
Do you plan to play the other games in the series? It might get a bit too repetitive, but I remember enjoying most of the games except for the fifth one, and I haven't played Legend or Underworld yet to share an opinion. Generally, even if the core mechanics don't change much, the level design remains interesting for the most part throughout the series.
And yes, the T-rex scene. I used to be so scared of playing the game back when I was younger. The idea of being alone in some caves with blocky animals out there to get me. The monkeys used to give me nightmares. What I do like about the original T-rex scene is that there's no cutscene, something of an antithesis to modern game design. Has much more of an impact on the player than some epic cinematic cutscene.
Nah, one Tomb Raider is enough for me :) I mean, even the first one just drags and drags with the same gameplay elements, it gets tiresome. Don't get me wrong, the first game is a masterpiece, but I've had enough key-hunting and block-pushing for this millennium.
And the more I play Anniversary the more I dislike it.
(Edited by Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (588), Jan 08, 2013)Re: Aged well
Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (588), Jan 08, 2013
Yep, for all the awesomeness of the remake, the original just had *something* that got lost in the translation.
Once I read an interesting theory, which said that in making the first Tomb Raider the developers' main concern was how to translate a 2D platformer into a 3D world, it was a new thing with plenty of potential for failure, so they fully poured themselves at that. Later games already had a precedent to base themselves on, and they started to focus on other stuff --mainly showing off whatever new trick their graphics engine could do.
Also, the T-Rex introduction is one of the top-5 best gaming set pieces of all times.
The T-Rex scene is amazing indeed, just passed it yesterday.
I'm playing it pretty much back-to-back with the remake and I must say that the original kicks its ass so far. There is way too much boring ledge-climbing in the remake, the controls are surprisingly stiff, the camera sucks, it has stupid "moves" I can never use ("adrenaline dodge"? seriously?), and, worst of all, it uses idiotic checkpoints instead of the wonderful save-anywhere policy of the original, which I anyway vote to make mandatory for all game designers and punish a failure to implement it with harsh measures.
By the way, I defeated the original T-Rex in about 10 minutes. I'm still stuck with the T-Rex of the remake because I can never lure him into crashing into those cylinders and my pistols do pitiful damage before he decimates me.
(Edited by Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (588), Jan 10, 2013)Re: Aged well
Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (588), Jan 09, 2013
YID YANG Wrote:
I remember when a friend of mine played it. We would swap places because she would have me pass certain tricky parts, and I was at the controls right before the T-Rex; then I remembered what was about to come so I gave her the controls back saying something like: "Oh, you want to be at the helm for this next part". She probably had a small heart attack when the thing showed up :P Which was pretty much the same reaction I had the first time too.
The scene is technically so simple and yet it's one of the most impressive things I've seen in gaming.
YID YANG Wrote:
Ah, that fight actually *requires* you to do that adrenaline thing. I don't remember exactly how it was triggered, it was something about a certain key press right when the enemt was just about to hit you, or some such. What I do remember is that only by shooting it in adrenaline mode will the T-Rex go berserk and then crash against those thingies. And you need to do it like 2 or 3 times.
For what it's worth, the thing I liked about the remake is the crazy mashup of mythologies that the trilogy Legend-Anniversary-Underworld makes, linking Norse myths with Atlantis and King Arthur's legend. Sure you can point out a million leaps and inconsistencies if you wanna be serious about it, but I sort of appreciate what they tried to do. It's clear that at least they bothered to read a book or two.
Maybe I should take a look then sometime. The main reason I stayed away far, far away from the old Tomb Raiders was my impression that they had checkpoints. I played Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine and thought it was alright, but without the save-anywhere feature I would have thrown it out of the window fast.
This game is superb. Back in '96-97 it blew my mind. Recently I played an add-on for it, it's interesting too, but quite far from the original.
Speaking of checkpoints - the luxury of saving anywhere is only available to PC-users.