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shirl123
11th Oct 2006, 18:19
hello all :)
I wrote a month ago a review on TRL on the Israeli TR community, and later I saw Ruum Taedor's review here, so I thought to myself "hey, I can translate my review! maybe the members will enjoy that one too"...so...uhhh...I hope you'll enjoy your reading, because it's a long one! :p
btw, there are a few spoilers...so be alert!

Shirl123's review for TR: Legend [the full game]
I'll begin with an introduction...

I've been a TR fan since I was 11, that was 9 years ago. my best friend and her younger sister were really into both TR1 and TR2. so...I got to play TR2 at their place, and I bought the game on the next day. that was in 1997, when it was still new. been a fan ever since.
my favourite TR's are 1&2.
just like any relationship, I had my ups and downs with this series. downs: TR4 (too long, too boring, too depressing IMO), AOD (I really don't need to say why), TR movies (I'll put it in short: I think that video games and movies are not ment to be together). ups: just about anything else.
been a member on the OLD eidos forums, and logged-on on this one when the old was closed. I've also been a member on Threasa's forums [tombraiders.com].

well, enough about this. now - for the real thing. the review :p

action movies, acrobatic tricks and a large ego

I'll start this way: Legend is unshamfuly boosting Lara's ego, as a character. you can even see it on the box-picture of the game. true, "Lara Croft" has been through a lot, but as a character she was never full of herself and/or deep. does she deserve all that? YES! especially after AOD...but not such high level.
after installing, the game loads...and we get this intro: Lara, Lara and more Lara. in this outfit, in that outfit, and with the dress-that-is-showing-too-much-IMO.

Legend, unlike the previous games, offers an unlimited variety of acrobatic tricks. from smacking your enemy, to bigger jumps. we can also see this on the cut-scenes, especially on the Peru level: she makes a huge jump to the back, shooting the driver and continues to Anaya's jeep (an action movie, anyone?). Lara's new moves, battle options, the controling-of-Lara system (she's a lot "lighter" on Legend then in AOD- which was like controling a freezer) are new and good additions to the game. unfortunatly, with them comes the new general-controls system (the mouse, camera, running to the sides). I did change the buttons, but I still had many difficulties during the game.
more special, new additions are the motorcycle scenes. they kind of reminded me of the good 'ol "Full Throttle" (one of the best adventure games ever created!), which is something that I like, but not all is good in TR's case. both scenes were far too long, especially the one on Kazakhstan, that was also more difficult because you could fall and die in so many places...which is hard for people who don't get along with the new general-controling system.
those scenes included the big jumps [over a bridge and so on...], and sometimes Zip would comment on your performance. "wooooohooooo! yeah!"...ego boost? :p

plot, cut-scenes, characters.

the plot confused some people, mostly the ones who didn't follow the whole "change of biography". was it worth it? we'll see about that...
the game continued with an exposition of Rutland and Amanda, at the end of the 1st level. I must admit that at first I asked myself "who is that guy?! and from where does she know him and Amanda?". I knew a little about Amanda before I got the [full] game. at that point, I didn't know much about Rutland, but I thought that he was an annoying character...
as the plot continues, I "met" more characters. the one that impressed the most was Amanda, for being mysterious and dark. all other characters seemed anemic compared to her.

side-kicks! this time Lara has 3 diffrent side-kick characters. Winston, who's doing more then serving tea (and farting?), Zip who's much more pleasent here then on TR5 and Alister with his VERY sharp wit.
all were amusing at some parts, but pointless and/or useless at others. during the levels, I felt that Lara's "partners" are making her less authoritative...and many of their hints weren't needed. I would like to see them on the next games, but not as much as on this game - less then that.

the cut-scenes were simply amazing, and the story-telling was smooth (unlike TR3, for example) - and both succeeded keeping some things in the dark (Amanda, for example)...so that we're waiting for all of our questions to be answerd ;)
Lara herself is still sarcastic and intelligent, but also got an ego boost. it can be a good thing, but I personally don't want the game to focus only on Lara (and Legend does), but also on the adventures and everything else that surrounds her.
the plot itself isn't very bright, but it's deeper then most (most! not all!) of the other games in the series. it could've been deeper if it were loyal to Lara's original biography which was darker and mysterious. but still, this game FINALLY gives Lara some emotions, and she didn't have much of 'em in the previous games.

[B]gameplay, controls and the levels in the game

a lot of people complained about Legend being too short. I have to agree with that, but it isn't the only game that is short in the series or the shortest. TR5 had 13 levels, and many of them were shorter then the ones on Legend.
each level on Legend has it's "long course" - you begin in 1 place, and end in a completly diffrent area. also, you always had to move forward (yes, even at end of the Peru level I consider "forward") and you were always on a run...something that makes the game interesting and not boring.
the levels reminded me a bit of the older games (especially levels from TR5, TR3 and TR2 - that part with Nepal), but not too much. they all were pretty original. Legend had much of the older games in it, more then AOD, but still - it was diffrent and fresh!

so what made the game look short? probably the quests\puzzles being too easy. in most cases it was too obvious what was needed to be done.
Legend is unlimited when it comes to puzzles-options, and they were real good too! none of them were similar to the other(s).
the only puzzle\quest that reminded me of the ones in the classic games was the one in Peru, with the underwater buttons.

short or not - this game is a lot of fun! the battles were super-fun and the interesting puzzles made me addicted to this game.
the only addition that did hurt a bit the fun-factor was the interactive cut-scenes - it's a nice idea, but pointless. having many of those doesn't add much spice to the game. some of were similar to the others.

the only thing that REALLY bugges me in this game was the new general-controling system (lara running to the sides instead of turning, for example). I did change the buttons so that they'll be similar to the ones of the classic TR's. however, I still didn't get along with it.
adjusting the camera with the mouse caused me to be very inaccurate, and a lot of unnecessary deaths during the game.
another thing is running to the sides instead of just turning into them, also because it made me very inaccurate.
I could've finish the game in less time if it had the old system. also, the new system makes it more difficult to explore the levels.

other features in the game

the secrets are back for good! this time they have 3 diffrent catagories. most secrets in this game are well hidden, after all they are called "secrets" for a reason...
however, unlike in the previous games, the secrets on this game aren't very practical - unlocking outfits and models instead of extra ammo.

speaking of ammo, I didn't really enjoy the whole thing of "being limited with that". true, now we have to consider more our usage of it, and it's more "realistic", but being limited, or having 3 as max, with first-aid is a bad idea. it's easy to get hurt for this and/or that reson, and 3 isn't a large number.

sound, graphics and voice-acting

I don't have much to say here,
the VA's were PERFECT (I love Lara's new voice! it fits so much!),
the graphics - with or without the next gen. - was breath-taking (and I'm not very impressed by graphics),
the soundtrack was simply amazing...
however, in my opinion there just 1 problem with it - since the music is always on, it less...way less dominant, unlike in previous games (TR3 and snakes/rocks, anyone?).
but the over-all job on all these was superb!

some final words...

even though the general-controling-system got me out of my mind sometimes, and the game's few flaws, I have to say that I really really REALLY enjoyed this game. Lara, finally stepping out of the darkness into the lights!...the TR series is back on track :)
like I said before, TRL had much of the previous games in it, but not too much - it was still a bit diffrent, but in the good way. it was fresh and unexpected.
I want to thank Eidos and CD for making this great game! :D and hopefully the next games will be even better ;)
unfortunatly, after 2 monthes of playing and enjoying this game, my PC started making problems with all of my recently-released games, Legend being one of them. hopefully I'll fix this soon, I really want to get back to it.

and now...the numbers!

[all factors are from 1 (awful) to 10 (masterpiece!)]

Gameplay: 8
Controling: 6
Difficulty: 7.5
Graphics: 9.5
Action factor: 9
Puzzles/Quests: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Fun Factor: 9.9 (could've been 10, if it weren't for the general-controling system)
Over-all (this is NOT the avarage of all other factors): 8.5

RuumTaedor
11th Oct 2006, 18:36
I wrote a month ago a review on TRL on the Israeli TR community, and later I saw Ruum Taedor's review here, so I thought to myself "hey, I can translate my review! maybe the members will enjoy that one too"...so...uhhh...I hope you'll enjoy your reading, because it's a long one! :p

Oh, I get it, its *my fault* that you are posting your novel! :lol: (You know I'm joking.)

I certainly welcome opinions. I don't have time to read, um, your entire post at the moment, but I'll get around to it later. You are more detailed in your review than I was. Looking forward to it. :thumbsup:

shirl123
11th Oct 2006, 18:44
Oh, I get it, its *my fault* that you are posting your novel! :lol: (You know I'm joking.)

I certainly welcome opinions. I don't have time to read, um, your entire post at the moment, but I'll get around to it later. You are more detailed in your review than I was. Looking forward to it. :thumbsup:

hey, I wrote it in my native language a while ago. it was only a matter of time 'till I translated it [but the question is how long since I'm very lazy...] :rasp: but your review did give me a "push" to do that. I thought it was a great idea, writing reviews.

I wrote a lot, haven't I? :o but that's because I tried to examine just about everything in this game. so, I wrote down most of my thoughts...and this is what I\we got from it. :p

Terminatorvs
12th Oct 2006, 03:22
Controling: 6

I disagree with your opinion about the controlling system. The controls are great. They are very convenient. I had absolutely no problem with exploration or time trials (completed all time trials,except the Japan level, from the first go). Perhaps, playing other third-person shooters, or third-person slashing games could get you more used to the controls. Try playing more first-person shooters too. Both TP and FP games can increasy your mastery of controlling the camera.

RuumTaedor
12th Oct 2006, 03:48
Great review, Shirl! :thumbsup: No doubt you'll get varying opinions (and familiar opinions), but that's what a forum is for, right?

As I've mentioned in my review (and in Legend Analogies), I also did not care for the new controls. Even though movement in AoD was, shall we say, difficult, you didn't have to "get used to the controls", you already knew how to run and walk forwards and backwards and look etc. I still speculate that there was no intention to change the controls, the controls were a side-effect of using the LoK engine. One thing I found particularly annoying was going through the doors in the mansion. Every time you go through a door, you must adjust your view, you cannot just continue forward. Am I missing a trick or something? However, just because we weren't crazy about the controls, doesn't mean we think it's a crappy game.

You must have spent a lot of time on your review. Lazy, you say? I'm in good company then. :D But then, you can't be THAT lazy. Nice work.

shirl123
12th Oct 2006, 04:13
I disagree with your opinion about the controlling system. The controls are great. They are very convenient. I had absolutely no problem with exploration or time trials (completed all time trials,except the Japan level, from the first go). Perhaps, playing other third-person shooters, or third-person slashing games could get you more used to the controls. Try playing more first-person shooters too. Both TP and FP games can increasy your mastery of controlling the camera.

yes, I do play FPS games from time to time. ;)
yet, I had difficulties with TRL, but not with the other games. it usually doesn't take me too long to get used to these kind of stuff...unfortunatly, it wasn't the case with Legend.
I prefer the old system, or the old "camera", it was a lot more accurate. same goes for the "running to the sides" and not being able to WALK. I don't have a problem with changes, really. but I'm no fan on this one.


One thing I found particularly annoying was going through the doors in the mansion. Every time you go through a door, you must adjust your view, you cannot just continue forward. Am I missing a trick or something? However, just because we weren't crazy about the controls, doesn't mean we think it's a crappy game.

true. it was pretty annoying :mad2:
but hey, the controling system factor got a 6 from me, yet the other facotrs got much higher grades :p I think that TRL is a great game, even though I have my difficulties.
ahh...I'm glad you enjoyed readint this :o

Headache
12th Oct 2006, 19:24
Good read shirl!!!
I enjoyed your opinions :)

Leak
13th Oct 2006, 14:51
not being able to WALK.
Ummm... that's what the "Walk" key (for the keyboard) or pushing the stick just a bit (on a joypad) is for...

np: Fat Jon & Styrofoam - Upgrade (Grace Period Mix) (The Same Channel)

shirl123
13th Oct 2006, 15:27
Ummm... that's what the "Walk" key (for the keyboard) or pushing the stick just a bit (on a joypad) is for...

np: Fat Jon & Styrofoam - Upgrade (Grace Period Mix) (The Same Channel)


I'm not stupid, I know it exists. :-\
but the "walking" on legend isn't useful, unlike in previous games. that's why I don't really consider it as "walking".