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Best classic tomb raider?

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Well, you've got two eras of Tomb Raider prior to the modern reboot. There's the original/classics, then there's the post-Core Design 'Legend' era, which includes the remake of the first (TR: Anniversary, which is my personal favourite).

 

The original classic PS1 era games are a little old-fashioned and clunky, and vary little from one another aside from their settings and the amount of combat they cram into them. I have a soft spot for these old games but it's mainly nostalgia. I think the first two (TR1 and TR2) are the best of these. The saving system in the original is hard to go back to, though.

 

 

I bought the entire lot on Steam a few years back; I've been meaning to give them a replay.

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TR1 is the best but you have to put up with a tough save system and it being a "dawn of 3d action game" PS1 game.

 

If you can't stand that old style of game and the mehanics would get in your way of the enjoyment then Tomb Raider Anniversary is your best bet. It is a great remake with modern design and save system. However there were elements of the remake I didn't like. For instance I felt that St Francis' Folly was poorer and lacked the awe and nervy scariness of the original. Ditto for the appearance of the

 

 

 


Trex
 

 

Whose encounter was rather spoilt.

 

The Cistern also wasn't as epic in feel altho it was less frustrating :D

 

 

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I think Tomb Raider 2 was best of the originals, with bigger, more immersive environments and some great level design. It does get very frustrating towards the end though with plenty of instadeath, and the combat is brutal - but like the others have said, with modern saving it'll be much better. 

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yeah the tank-like controls and comparisons to new 3d platformers (like Mario64) was very unfair

 

I always saw tomb raider exploration platforming more as a puzzle than a flowing platformer. You stand look up and see the next ledge so you need to take a standing jump? step back one "square" and do runnign jump or do that and grab etc. And looking ahead 3 more jumps what is the best route?

 

Combat was only fun when you were in open arena and flipping/somersaulting firing twin pistols.

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1 hour ago, Sprite Machine said:

I never played the PS2 one; I understand it was a bit of a disaster.

 

It's surprisingly bad, like it makes zero sense how they thought it was fit for release. Especially with such a massive franchise, well worth getting a copy or watching a playthrough to experience it yourself.

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TR3 was the first one I properly went through and completed because someone bought it me and I did actually get into it, enjoying the London subway levels. It was quite a big game and has a bit where you lose all of your items and have to start collecting from scratch. I think it's some Area 51 spot if I remember rightly. I played a bit of Revelations and despite getting into it, there was a reason I never ended up going back and all I can think of is that I must have lost the save file because this was around the time I played FF9 and ended up losing 74 hours of it. I went through the majority of Legend on the Gamecube but didn't quite finish it as I was playing it on my uncle's console at his. That was OK but didn't feel as difficult as the older ones and felt like there was more action and more opportunities to get health packs to keep safe. The only other one I've played is Chronicles which I didn't try until around 2010 or so on the Dreamcast, and while it felt good at the beginning, the story is a series of unconnected areas which eventually end up feeling like you're playing a bond game by the time it gets to the final section. As was mentioned, that does feel like some sort of DLC expansion game stand alone sort of thing. Wasn't massively impressed at all. 

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4 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

I think Tomb Raider 2 was best of the originals, with bigger, more immersive environments and some great level design. It does get very frustrating towards the end though with plenty of instadeath, and the combat is brutal - but like the others have said, with modern saving it'll be much better. 

 

I thought that was the general consensus that 2 was the best. 

 

The series went to shit with Revelation. 

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I played Tomb Raider 1 after 2 so I don't have the bias of the original being the best. Tomb Raider 1 was good as well but the levels were much more limited in scope than 2. The original did have a better sense of isolation and actual tomb raiding, as mentioned above. But 2 does have plenty of lost cities and quiet moments with a nice sense of discovery. In 1 the fear comes from the unknown, with platforming and traps being the main obstacles. In 2 the combat encounters are as hard, if not harder than the platforming, but the more open level design allows for much more exploration and figuring out where you should be going - and how to get there. 

 

If anyone hasn't played the latest Tomb Raider games (Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider), they are actually really good. They don't capture the isolation and precise platforming of the original series, but they do have a lot of exploration, really nice environments and some good puzzles. Plus, actual tombs - although these are separate mini-encounters within the open world with tightly designed puzzles. The combat is generic 3rd person shooter/stealth affair but it's surprisingly fun. Overall they are well designed adventures, stuffed with secrets and romping storylines. They don't manage to nail the oppressive atmosphere of the originals (being more akin to Uncharted in style) but are still good games in their own right. I would like to see a new Tomb Raider which returns to the feel of Tomb Raider 1, with much less combat and more of an emphasis on exploring vast caverns, tricky platforming, puzzles and figuring out where to go for yourself. Platforming is the weakest element of the new games, ripped straight from Uncharted and co, where it's mostly just hold a direction and jump and very forgiving - unlike Tomb Raider 1 and 2 where making even the smallest jump made you sweat as you hoped you'd lined it up right, and got the timing for the grab spot on. Fail, and you'd whimper at the crunch of bones as you smacked into the floor in a crumpled heap - and then stare at a loading screen for 10 minutes to try the whole section again!

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I played TR1 first and you have mentioned the two main reasons that I prefer TR1

 

1) TR1 had a better sense of isolation and actual tomb raiding

2) TR2 had loads more combat and less platforming

 

Both of those made me lean more towards TR1

 

 

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I felt 1 had more wonder.  The bit that always sticks in my mind is when you come into a huge cave with a giant Sphynx, looking down from high and there's a huge swell of music. That awe and sense of amazement was unlike anything I'd ever seen in a game before.

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3 hours ago, Sprite Machine said:

- TR3. Another globe-trotting adventure, but levels can be tackled in a different order. Still very few actual tombs. Some graphical upgrades, some gameplay changes. Flares are shitter. Some enemies poison you. Glitches and bugs aplenty. Save system goes back to single use items but can be used anywhere.

 

3 added vehicles too didn't it? I remember racing a quad bike around the track in Lara's mansion. But in retrospect I doubt the handling would stand up next to dedicated PS1 racing games, let alone modern titles.

 

But that was the only bit of it I played: did it have any other vehicles as well as the quad bike? Were they used in the main game, or just for that bonus feature in the mansion?

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32 minutes ago, Nick R said:

 

3 added vehicles too didn't it? I remember racing a quad bike around the track in Lara's mansion. But in retrospect I doubt the handling would stand up next to dedicated PS1 racing games, let alone modern titles.

 

But that was the only bit of it I played: did it have any other vehicles as well as the quad bike? Were they used in the main game, or just for that bonus feature in the mansion?

You know, I can't quite remember! If they did feature in the main game, it wasn't very prominently.

 

Ziplines, I remember those. And ladders / slatted walls, I think they were new too.

 

And you could shoot the butler.

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6 hours ago, Dig Dug said:

If you do play tomb raider 1 do it on pc so you can save anywhere.

The Steam versions of the originals use DOSbox so I assume save states can be used.

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played all the ps1 ones but the only one i got far in was 3 or 4 (i remember riding a bike?). Even then i never finished them.

 

The reboots (especially the first game) are some of my favorite games.

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Are the Dreamcast versions considered any cop? Or just a resolution and texture increase. Seem to remember the Dreamcast pad being slated for TR controls. 

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Just now, ucci said:

Are the Dreamcast versions considered any cop? Or just a resolution and texture increase. Seem to remember the Dreamcast pad being slated for TR controls. 

 

They are the best versions of them.

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the first one, the first one, the first one!

 

I couldn't get on with TR2, the focus changed far too much to shooting human NPCs.

 

TR1 has that sense of discovery, layered with majesty, scale, mysticism, and great "natural" hazards (wolves, chasms, dinosaurs etc)

 

I absolutely loved it in 1996.

 

That said, i bet it's a bit of a slog now.

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On 01/02/2018 at 12:42, Sprite Machine said:

I think the classic Tomb Raiders get a lot of unfair criticism for their 'tank-like' controls. They're actually very precise games, and the use of uniformly-sized blocks for the level geometry means that you can accurately judge distances and mentally map out paths around the environments without having to rely on trial and error. Normal jump covers one block; running jump covers two blocks; running jump and grab covers three blocks. Walk button stops from falling off edges. Side-step buttons for lining yourself up without turning. Camera always faces forwards. It's a reliable system.

 

Agreed, it felt designed around precise digital control. Often one button press corresponded to a movement of one block forwards or backwards, albeit with some latency as the animations completed. Once you were used to this system it was easy to judge whether or not certain jumps were possible. I finished the whole of the first game in 1996/7 using a PC keyboard, manoeuvring with the four directional arrows. It was surprisingly pleasant.

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First one for me. It was that feeling of isolation and at the time only having to kill five? six? people in total was kind of novel for the 90's.

 

Mind you every animal in the world seemed to want to go you immediately. Especially crocs.

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I'd dread to revisit the first Tomb Raider now, but at release it was magnificent, and remained the best in the series through the lifespan of the PS1.

 

If you want to try a non-reboot Tomb Raider I'd recommend Tomb Raider Anniversary on PS2. Should hold up a bit better than the earlier versions too.

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