Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
03 July 2006
Tomb Raider boss sucks (and other tidbits)
As I said last summer, Sands of Time was what Tomb Raider should have become. Apparently, Crystal Dynamics was on the same page and ripped ideas from Prince of Persia without shame for Tomb Raider: Legend. Now, I don't remember them, but it seems that Prince of Persia: Sands of Time had bosses, other than the final one. That I don't remember them, except the important final battle, strikes me as a mark in favor of how they were handled. In classic Tomb Raider, there were also bosses, but each was a distinct challenge and memorable without being a burden.

Regrettably, Tomb Raider: Legend shows that Crystal Dynamics can make a memorable boss precisely because it isn't fun.

The first boss battle takes place in a confusing environment with terrible camera control. The best strategy is to rush the boss with guns a-blazin' with little regard for health. If you miss a key-but-hidden part of the environment, you'll languish as you die time after time. In a nutshell: I hated it.

The promised other tidbits:
  • Stuttering and dodgy sound lead me to believe that the PSP port was still rushed out the door at the end, as I had feared. Let's hope Crystal Dynamics optimizes heavily for the PSP when they do their 10th Anniversary game. (Note: Buzz Monkey did the PSP port of Tomb Raider: Legend. Makes me wonder just how much internal expertise Crystal Dynamics has with the PSP version of their engine...)
  • How do you know that Lara can't/shouldn't reach some part of the environment? The texture is super low resolution. So if a ledge is tempting but the texture looks like something on a Voodoo 2, forget it. (May only apply to PSP version.)
  • Lara's hip-wagging walk in a sexy party outfit is just shy of the nasty slink of a Vice City woman.
  • If nothing else was learned from Angel of Darkness, they at least realized that Lara is a character crying out for a good story. So far so good.
--Matt Matthews at 17:21
Comment [ 3 ]

Comments on this post:

The Sands of Time has no bosses.

By Blogger Mory, at 04 July, 2006 18:11  

The Sands of Time didn't necessarily have bosses, but I remeber this one part where you had to kill the dude that was in the prison. If I remember, he was hard as hell.

By Blogger Bigelow, at 04 July, 2006 22:46  

I didn't recall any bosses, but from Deadmeat X's FAQ on GameFAQs:

Finally, all normal monsters will be gone, and you're left with the King. He's pretty easy, actually. [strategy snipped] Then, just use the Dagger to finish him off. Congratulations, you've just beaten your first boss!

And later:

Alright, meet your first boss! This fat guard is a real menace. He will block most of your attacks, and he attacks very frequently.

Then the final battle, which I'd call a boss battle.

Like I said, I didn't recall these one-enemy-choke-points, which at some level resemble a boss battle. So while they weren't dramatic enough to stick in my memory, they also didn't evoke deep hatred either.

I can't say the same of Takamoto in TR:L.

By Blogger jvm, at 04 July, 2006 23:28  

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