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Tomb Raider I II III Remastered


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I waited until after the first patch before buying this for my PS4. I've played these all in the past, on Playstation.  So,  I played through Tomb Raider and beat it in about 13 hours. It was really cool to switch between the 90s pixelated graphics and the remastered 60FPS visuals.  The retro style looks pretty rough and framey at times depending on the camera and scene, but almost always brighter.  It plays exactly as I remember it.  I had forgotten many of the rooms and puzzles;  some were much more complicated than I remembered, others I tackled more quickly than I expected. The new textures in Atlantis really drive home the feeling of being in a hellish womb for those mutant creatures. Ech!  I laughed to myself, after playing in the bleak and suspenseful environments the other night, I felt a twinge of fear as I walked up the stairs in the dark at 2AM, like I had an urge to look behind me.  The game's mood had affected me.  

 

The OG game Tomb Raider holds up quite well IMO.  What a great team effort, and it is just the right length, not excessively too long.  With this remaster, I could see myself replaying TR1 every year or so. 

 

Here is the real reason driving me to post a thread:  After completing TR, I anxiously began a new game of Unfinished Business, extra levels I had heard of, but never got to try.  Well, the 2 Atlantean levels are CRAP. :DThey seem like a sadistic modder hacked these levels together, with none of the fun of OG Tomb Raider as you guide Lara through the stupidest designs, unclear objectives and most obtuse paths and jumps ever.  Around every corner await multiple mutants which will attack every few steps.   If you want more challenge, it's here.  Even so, because of the easy save system, it didn't take too long to beat the 2 Atlantean levels.  Now I am just starting the Egyptian bonus levels which already seem much better designed and rewarding.  Lara revisits levels from the OG game,  but they are flooded now, totally changing how you tackle each room. 

 

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I liked tombraider bitd, but as time progressed the "tank controls" and uber slowness of it really kills it for me. This, and resident evil. Even today I get the concept, its great on these games, but why stick to the horrible controls?

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I finished the first game (and Unfinished Business) a few weeks ago and had a blast. It was nice to finally beat another childhood game. This was before the patch to fix the camera and controls. I'm now working on the second one with the updates and its so much better. 

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I completed Unfinished Business tonight - Temple of the Cat.  It's also temple of mummies, gators, and panthers. I noticed there is a sky box even in the OG graphics mode, unlike Tomb Raider which just had black as the distant background.  

 

I started Tomb Raider 2 next, I played through The Great Wall (its not very long) and a wee bit of Venice.  Swam around, drove 2 boats, got shot.  The thing is, I am really not looking forward to the ocean floor shipwreck parts, those dragged on too long, I felt. 

 

I also learned there is a photo mode if you click L3 + R3.  This doesn't really interest me much.  I experimented with a dead T-Rex in The Great Wall, but the photo was nothing great. You can use photo mode to look around your current stage, zooming way out and moving the camera around. I will try to avoid this temptation as I play. 

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I finally finished Venice just now.  Bartoldi's Hideout and the Opera House.  Even though I've played through this before, the Opera House was once again difficult to figure out. The new visuals and lighting are nice and do help though. Nice textures.   I thought I had soft locked my game at the final room, with 2 tough thugs and 2 Dobermans.  I got there with no health packs, so I tried 15 or 20 times to find a way to kill them all before their sniper shots did me in. It wasn't going well, then I realized I had unused gas grenades. Those quickly took care of the dogs and the thugs, who dropped ammo and a health pack. I hit the switch, exited and jumped onto the sea plane to start the next level, Offshore Rig. 

 

 I noticed in these levels, there were one or two doors that opened just by walking up to them. This was different from the usual rules of the game, which usually require a switch or key.  Also, somehow I beat the watery Venice part without having to drive the boat up a ramp and smash through to the other side, a fondly remembered sequence.  I thought that part was mandatory, but evidently not.  

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I got through Offshore Rig and Diving Area levels, more complex than I remembered, lots of back and forth running and hitting switches and opening doors, sprinkled with some gunfights. Don’t let the flamethrowers burn you or Lara will burn up entirely.  I resorted to a guide for parts of these stages to speed things along.  
 

of all the parts of the game so far, I found that I had very little memory of these challenges. I do make it a practice to not save after everything I do, replaying a few jumps or rooms helps me to remember where I am in level and doesn’t take long to retry if necessary. 
 

in the offshore rig part, you initially need to get into the floating sea plane to get your pistols. There is a switch to open a hatch underneath it to enter, but I didn’t find it at first and found a way to jump and enter through the top of the airplane. I thought that was good design, it made the level a bit less linear.

 

Now I am on the 40 fathoms level.  Even though a real adventurer would be stupid to reach the ocean floor without any oxygen, I still really like playing this sequence with lack of oxygen, swimming blindly, and avoiding great white sharks.  I remember feeling claustrophobic playing through this part on the old PlayStation.

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Lara has made it to Tibet. Snowmobiles and snow leopards. 
 

I got fed up a couple times in the Maria Dora, Living Quarters, and The Deck sunken ship levels, so I read tips at Stella’s TR walkthrough site. 
 

I keep wondering how I figured out some of these puzzles back in the day, especially with low res and dark lighting requiring flares of the PSX era.  It’s a bit too much for my time limits now.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/4/2024 at 1:32 PM, Cafeman said:

Now I am on the 40 fathoms level.  Even though a real adventurer would be stupid to reach the ocean floor without any oxygen, I still really like playing this sequence with lack of oxygen, swimming blindly, and avoiding great white sharks.  I remember feeling claustrophobic playing through this part on the old PlayStation.

 

I finally finished this level tonight. I enjoyed it but man was it crazy long. It felt so refreshing to get to Tibet!

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I finished Tibet over the weekend. Monks, Ice Palace, Yetis. I remembered one part clearly, in a dark giant room with cages of Yeti, but some of this I didn’t remember at all. I started to wonder if I level skipped some of it, bitd.  
 

I started the Xian Temple stages last night, Lara is back at the Great Wall, and I didn’t remember much here either until I ran into some giant spiders, I did have a vague recollection of that.  It’s lengthy and complicated and good thing you can save anywhere, because there are traps galore. 

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