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Thread: Are you really a "Tomb Raider" fan?

  1. #1
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    Are you really a "Tomb Raider" fan?

    I was lurking around (better not mention the name in case I'm advertising or something illegal) and I saw a thread asking people what one thing they'd be prepared to drop from Tomb Raider games. To my surprise some fans would rather drop puzzles and keep combat. Some of them didn't like puzzles at all, but regarded them as nuisances that hold up the game play. I wonder if it's Tomb Raider games that they really like? Surely there's a better genre of game out there that will allow them all the combat they like? Resident Evil? Serious Sam?

  2. #2
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    Interesting. I think puzzles really help make the games fun and challenging. Now, the first Tomb Raider game I ever played was AoD. Being a noob at the time, I thought it was fun enough, but after playing Anniversary and Legend, I can see why AoD recieved bad reviews from older fans of the series. I like running around a shooting bad guys too, but there are plenty of games out that let you do just that. But, I really like puzzles in games so, personally, I wouldn't want to see them dropped from TR.

  3. #3
    Even first person shooters have some sort of puzzle-element, as meager as it might be; pull the switch here, drop explosives there, move the power source over there. No matter how much the focus of the game lies on action, you'll need those things to have some variety.
    To say whether people would rather drop the puzzles or the action from a game would be like saying: would you rather drop the wheels or the fuel from your car?...

  4. #4
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    Surely the puzzle element (progression through levels) in Tomb Raider is paramount?

  5. #5
    Well I'd say that most games have some form of puzzles now-a-days and hell... it's just they tend to be a bit more watered down as with Resident Evil. The classics had some really cool puzzles and plenty 'o back tracking through a zombie filled mansion with about 3 bullets. Ah good times.

    But in a sense I can see why people want to drop puzzles in favor of combat as games are like books, the formula changes. Like if I wrote a description driven story it probably wouldn't sell as it doesn't move the story forward, therefore the 'modern rules' are more geared towards stories that are more dialogue driven.

    I think the same applies to games. But I think it takes a good development team to be able to work multiple aspects into one game without compromising one or the other.

    I might have the wrong end of the stick but that's what my heads telling me.

  6. #6
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    I'd say its more of a unitary experience, in that dropping any one part of what is generally considered the "Tomb Raider experience" would, for me, invalidate the whole thing. For me, it isn't Tomb Raider without Lara Croft as the character, crypto-archaelolgy as the backdrop, identifiable villians, and solving puzzles as well as shooting things. Drop any of the above key elements, for me it becomes something else, no matter what you call it. By that set of criteria, "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light" was a "Tomb Raider" game despite its different format from "Tomb Raider Prime", while the new game, promising as it may be in many ways, has yet to demonstrate that it will also be a "real" TR game.

  7. #7
    In my opinion, the reason why Tomb Raider is so epic is because of the right amount of balance between the edgy combat and trademark puzzle-solving (pulling boxes, flipping switches, item collection, etc). It's been part of the gameplay for over a decade, and I think it should stay that way. ^^
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  8. #8
    The puzzles are what make a big part of the game
    That being said, I wish there was a little bit more combat, kinda like in the older games.
    That's the only element I wish to come back a bit. There's a way to make puzzle and battle one.

  9. #9
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    For me, Tomb Raider is not just about the puzzles, or just about exploration.
    What makes this game so fine is its complexity. I can't imagine a good TR game without puzzles, exploration, combat, platforming or Lara Croft. All these elements have a great impact on the final appearance of the game.
    The key to make a perfect Tomb Raider experience is to find balance between all these factors.
    I do hope Crystals can achieve it in the next installment.

  10. #10
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    IMO they're all important. However given the gameplay Tomb Raider covers it's highly likely to find some fans who who enjoy the combat over the puzzle solving.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Natla View Post
    To my surprise some fans would rather drop puzzles and keep combat. Some of them didn't like puzzles at all, but regarded them as nuisances that hold up the game play.
    These guys are playing the wrong game then. Puzzles MAKE Tomb Raider. I'll take puzzles and exploration over combat any day.

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    I don't think liking puzzles is part of being a tomb raider fan. I personally believe that to be a "true" TR fan, you have to love Lara and her strong K.A. character. That's it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natla View Post
    I was lurking around (better not mention the name in case I'm advertising or something illegal) and I saw a thread asking people what one thing they'd be prepared to drop from Tomb Raider games. To my surprise some fans would rather drop puzzles and keep combat. Some of them didn't like puzzles at all, but regarded them as nuisances that hold up the game play.
    I've heard the exact opposite on TRF. Every single poster said they'd drop combat over anything else, especially puzzles.
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  14. #14
    I would keep the puzzles definetly but I don't mind the action every now and then.

    If I had to drop something (and I really wouldn't want to drop anything), I would get rid of Lara's creepy butler but that's just me. Alot of people will probably come on and flame me now

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachie View Post
    I've heard the exact opposite on TRF. Every single poster said they'd drop combat over anything else, especially puzzles.
    Every single poster? I must have been looking at a different thread.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natla View Post
    Every single poster? I must have been looking at a different thread.
    At the time I posted that, every single poster was saying combat. Now only a couple suggest platforming or puzzle solving, although most state they would rather keep all these components.
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  17. #17
    i gonna take a bit of everything!
    puzzles, action and exploration..this is tr..
    but it focuses on exploration..
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  18. #18
    i think they should add Hand-to-Hand combat on this game (aswell as weapons) because lara is a expirensd fighter in Marshal arts , i that would be really cool
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  19. #19
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    It really wouldn't surprise me if more people wanted puzzles dropped. We do live in the C.O.D. and Halo age now, and we all know how big of bombs those series are...
    Personaly, I prefer a good combo of combat, puzzles, and exploration/item collecting ('Legend' had the perfect ballance, IMO). And I'm also VERY glad I'm not the person in charge of deciding how much of each to put into a TR game, 'cos it's gotta be stressfull trying to find a balance and not pi$$ to many people off while also trying something new. Either way tho, people are gonna complain about something. You just can't please everyone.
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  20. #20
    Tomb raider is all about a mix of gameplay styles including adventure, platforming, puzzles and gun/evasion combat. When it comes to puzzles I think the classic/TRA style of exploring areas to find levers and items to open new areas really works. What I don't like is when you fly though a level and get stalled ages in small rooms by ancient machine puzzles. The example of a perfect puzzle section for me is the 2nd half St Frances folly and hope to see more vast level puzzles with sub-puzzles like that.
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  21. #21
    I'm not sure it would be possible to drop any of the things you'd expect to find in a TR game and still have it be Tomb Raider. The puzzles, the combat, the death-defying acrobatics - all have their place. And all add together to make for a truly versatile and fascinating game series.

    Aha! I have it! If one thing HAS to be dropped, it should be the razzle-frazzin' adrenaline dodge! Though they did that already, which is fair enough!

  22. #22
    Well I think we need to define puzzles and then discuss pacing.

    That chess game with Set (I believe in TR:LR), it was interesting the first playthrough but a bit annoying with subsequent playthroughs. So a puzzle like that might be high on my list of things that could go.

    The platforming physical challenges? Well, they definitely should stay. However, you need to both vary yet keep the amount of puzzles appropriate. Most call this pacing but I call it puzzle density.

    I distinctly recall descending down into one tomb where choosing the right door put in into earth wind, fire, and water rooms and the wrong one put you into a grinder of a tunnel of terror. The descent took so long that the pacing was ruined and I got bored. Not enough puzzle density. Definitely saved and returned later with that one.

    One example of excellent pacing was the escape from Natla's Mines in TR1. There you had lots of tiny physical challenges one right after another. At the time I thought I had to hurry because the tomb was coming down. That made for some white knuckle playing. Last level, high puzzle density but very short duration puzzles (physical challenges).

    You also need to monitor the frustration level. In the same tomb as above, I never figured out the pattern to the correct door (versus trapdoor) except for analyzing the floor very carefully to see if it was a tile or object. So you basically randomly pushed levers until you got it. Very frustrating. Random is bad. So are troublesome controls.

    In Chronicles, I used a savegame from Stella to get past the shooting range (made it on the second playthrough). The shooting range was hard when you were used to the arrow keys as controls.

    Even in TR1, the Timed sequence of jumping on the fire columns was very frustrating and took multiple sittings. However, by the time I saw it again at the end I blazed through it no problem (save an "Really?" when I first saw it).

    I never made it past Boaz and used a savegame for that. You get to a point where you toss the mouse aside and say "What the <heck>!"

    It could also be that people feel that the puzzle creation is already at an acceptable level where combat needs some remedial attention.

    I agree that the adrenaline dodge could go. I actually made it through TR:A without using it. I simply chipped away at the T-rex for about 10-15 minutes.

  23. #23
    Puzzles is what makes tomb raider challenging! I actually have to say i couldnt get rid of anything. Every part of the story of all the games just fit well for me

    But if my life would end if i hadnt chosen, i would want to get rid of ... uh, i actually cant really think of anything ahahah!

  24. #24
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    @ 9er Fan: I'm pretty sure by the time the 3rd and 4th TR's rolled around Core either intended or planned on everyone going out and buying the Prima Guidebooks. They gave me that impression, anyways, when I recently went back and played them again. 1st and 2nd ones, not so much, but by the time 'LR' came out for sure. There's no way they honestly thought: "Right, they'll have patience for the Cairo level, especially if they got past Alexandria."
    But, I could be wrong. Maybe I'm just not patient enough for the Cairo level.
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  25. #25
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    I think when I said puzzles I also meant what some people call platforming - levels that are puzzles.

    By the way, I finished all the games without using a walkthrough and enjoyed the challenge.

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