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Shallow Remake

Reviewing: Eidos Tomb Raider: Anniversary  |  Rating:
Kevin Roman By Kevin Roman on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Gaming Expertise:
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Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a remake of the action/adventure game, Tomb Raider. It stars the archaeologist/explorer Lara Croft, as she explores ruins and shoots down beasts that are in there. This game has good graphics but its problems are caused by how counter-intuitive the controls and camera are. First of all, the camera is bad. One time, there was a ledge that I did not even see in the 1st level and I just shimmied around towards it in order to feel it from around the corner which I could not see due to its poor camera. There's no excuse for that game flaw. There is also a camera rotation around Lara but unfortunately, it does not provide you with a first-person view, which is necessary for exploration games to figure out where to go and plan your jumps in advance. This can lead to you getting lost in some areas, even with your flashlight.

Tomb Raider: Anniversary also has Lara do lots of climbing but you need to push A instead of up to climb the ledge. However, up on the Wii Remote has her pull up to the ledge instead of climbing it. It's annoying because you will use the left and right on the Nunchuk for shimmying, down on the Wii Remote to drop down, down on the Nunchuk to aim for the ledge behind you and A to climb/jump the ledges.

I also did not like the aspect of grappling in mid-air; the grappling hook will not hold if you throw it first while you are on the ground. You had to shake the Nunchuk after you jump, which her vertical leap is only a couple of feet, making you have to time things right. Fortunately, there are a lot of checkpoints, the load times are not bad, and you can save easily; this salvages the game's cheap deaths via camera/control issues.

The grappling hook controls really do not make any sense but I suppose the developers wanted things to be more climactic with a death-defying jump while you throw your grappling hook rather than be prepared first, like any smart person would, by throwing your grappling hook first and then jumping. To descend from your grappling hook, you have to hold up on the Wii Remote and press down on the Nunchuk; you will let go of your grappling hook and probably die if you forget this and press down on the Wii Remote instead of the Nunchuk.

The gunfights are also counter-intuitive. You can target enemies but this more or less centers the camera instead of your guns on the enemies; you still have to point your Wii Remote at the enemies to shoot them.

The only reasons to play this game are either for nostalgic reasons from the original game or to be engrossed in its exploration if you never played a Tomb Raider-like game before. The puzzle elements are also not too exciting; you clean off dust for clues and input them for solving puzzles. Tomb Raider: Anniversary can be fun to play, but only if you can get used to the disorienting control setup which needs you to think about your inputs before acting upon them.