Posts Tagged ‘Tomb Raider’

Drawlloween 2016 Gallery 2

October 31, 2016

img_20161001_195150Final picture drawn and posted on twitter for Drawlloween, was a challenging year as the daily themes were pretty vague, and led to some pretty weird drawings.

Below you can take a look at the pictures I drew for the second half of the month, from the 17th “Mad Science Monday” to the 31st “Trick ‘R’ Treat”. Each picture has the date/number and the theme for that day.

From this second gallery I think my favourites have got to be the 19th “Witchcraft Wednesday”, 25th “Entombed Tuesday” and the 31st “Trick ‘R’ Treat”.

Thanks for looking and have a Happy Halloween!

All the best,



Eurogamer Expo 2012: Highlights Part 2

October 10, 2012

Minecraft meets Earthworm Jim, with a sneak attack from Sub-Zero! Only at the Eurogamer Expo.

Eurogamer Expo 2012 highlights Part 2, a collection of random thoughts and pictures from the event. Tomb Raider and the Wii U pretty much took us up to lunch time (we had burgers). After that it was back to the show floor for some more gaming. At this point I’m actually a little fuzzy on which order we did things in but here are few of the games and other activities we tried in the afternoon.

I headed over to Far Cry 3, another game on the top of my list to try. Unlike the other demo’s so far (Tomb Raider was a whole playable section, no time limit) Wii U and Nintendo Land (you could probably stay there all day if you wanted) where as Far Cry 3 was a more free reign open world experience, with your first and only objective (as far as I could see) to locate the radar station, something pointed out to you by the Far Cry 3 team, rather than the game.

One thing I should probably clear up first, Far Cry 3 looks good, graphics, game play and control system tick all the right boxes, with echoes of what made the first Far Cry game so appealing. However, the way the demo was set up didn’t do the gaming experience itself any favours. The team ‘on hand’ looking over your shoulder was a little annoying, poised ready to say ‘times up’, plus the sheer amount of onlookers who thought it best to give you a running commentary on your gaming skills whilst you were playing (I had at least 4 backseat drivers). My one and only irritating experience of the Expo. I still have high hopes for Far Cry 3, what I played of the demo I enjoyed, but it didn’t really reveal anything about the storyline and unfortunately I couldn’t block out the external influences.

After Far Cry 3 we wandered the show room floor, taking random pictures and playing random games. This included an arcade shoot em up in the retro zone, one that unfortunately I cannot remember the name of but it was pretty good. There was a stand with Carmageddon on the iPhone which we gave a quick go, as well as watching a few games being played in the indie game area.

Competitions wise we entered to win a Wii U, collecting the stamps for playing Nintendo Land mini games, a competition to win an Alienware gaming laptop by registering with them, and we also went along to the Insert Coin Tee’s giveaway, which was random at best, and occasionally a bit violent. We ended the day playing The Cave, reviewed in an earlier post. A fantastic day all round and another great Eurogamer Expo, already looking forward to next year! Thanks for tuning in.

Eurogamer Expo 2012: Highlights Part 1

October 6, 2012

That great British tradition, ‘the queue’, and Earls Court.

I arrived at Earls Court on Saturday morning just before 8am and joined the already forming queue of eager gamers. As usual, scared of the inevitable queue banter I hid myself away (banter is fine, just not this early on a Saturday morning). I kept an eagle eye out for the arrival of my gaming companion for the day @8_BitGirl.

We were duly entertained by several queue giveaways of swag, some of which people actually danced for, the hunger for gaming freebies never ends and is often quite funny to watch. Not wanting to miss out people will throw their hands, bodies, friends in the air to catch a free t-shirt or game they probably don’t actually want.

The awesome 8_BitGirl, with quality gaming wear.

At 10am we were let in, after grabbing an Expo guide-book and bag we looked at the array of gaming choice before us, stopping only for a split second to choose between the Wii U and Tomb Raider. We headed for the latter. We had a vague plan about what games we wanted to see but for the most part, and in good Indy tradition, we were making it up as we went along. Below are a few of the games and areas we decided to try out. Two of the games, Tomb Raider and The Cave have been covered in separate posts.

After Tomb Raider, we had a quick go on Borderlands 2, first time I’d played it so it was finally nice to see what the hype was all about. The demo consisted of helping out, and following through the level, the little robot (Claptrap?), who helpfully pointed out how terrible I was at the game.

Fun game, unfortunately I was pretty terrible at it.

8_BitGirl trying out some Borderlands 2

Next up was the Wii U, by this time the doors were opening for another huge rush of eager gamers at 11am, and this would inevitably be when the queues would get longer. Even at this point the queue to try the Wii U was around 40 minutes, there was even a separate queue for ZombiU (something we did not get to try) as this queue was a 2 hour wait. We decided to stick with the Wii U queue.

First off we tried out the Wii U Panorama View, this included making a selection from a menu of places to visit, we opted to take a boat trip and buggy ride through Tokyo, Japan, which included lots of tourists and lots of cherry blossoms. First thing we actually noticed was how light the Wii U GamePad felt, handy if you’re intending to play games for an extended amount of time, and for younger/older users. The Panorama View itself was nice, but more of a novelty and demonstration of the Wii U’s capabilities than anything exciting in terms of long-lasting entertainment.

The massive Wii U gaming area, was worth the 40 minute queue.

Wii U Panorama View, Tokyo’s never looked so good.

We also managed to try out Nintendo Land, which also included a competition to win a Wii U. Up to 5 mini games were playable in this area, by playing the mini games and collecting a stamp for each one, you could enter into the competition to win a Wii U. We managed to get around to playing 3 out of the 5 games available, Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, Animal Crossing: Sweet Day and Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, gathering a stamp for each one.The other 2 games available to play were Takamaru’s Ninja Castle and The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest. Some of the games are pictured below.

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, people crashed, a lot.

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course is fun, but takes a steady hand, quick thinking and a large amount of concentration. The player uses the GamePad to tilt a trolley through a platform-based obstacle course. The shoulder buttons and analog stick can then be used in order to activate levers, switches, bridges and lifts to see the trolley safely to its goal, one mistake and you’ll crash and have to return to the last check point. The scale of the level was massive and intricately designed, I didn’t see anyone get past the spirally bridge part (bottom left of big screen).

Animal Crossing: Sweet Day. Literally, cute animal head gear, sugar rushes, and vomiting candy.

Animal Crossing: Sweet Day was actually awesome. I’ve never played Animal Crossing before but this was loads of fun, only second to Luigi’s Ghost Mansion. Four players (wearing cute animal hats) have to collect candy as a team before they get caught by one of two guards (one with a fork, one with a knife) the guards are controlled by another player using the GamePad. As players collect more candies, their movement becomes slower, making it easier for them to be caught, to speed up again and escape the player is able to eject the candies from their mouth. Surreal but fun, we played with 3 other people we didn’t know and it was really refreshing game play.

This is actually The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, I didn’t get a picture of Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, I was having too much fun.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion takes its cues from the original Luigi’s Mansion on the Gamecube. In this game up to four players must try to find a ghost in a maze, looking from a top down perspective, and weaken it by shining their torch at it before it grabs them. The ghost is controlled by a player using the GamePad and controlled on their own screen (players on the other screen cannot see the ghost until it attacks them or a light is shined on it). Team work is required to take out the ghost, players torch battery life also needs to replenished by picking up battery packs appearing in the maze. This game was extremely fun and distracted me enough that I forgot to take a pic.

Stay tuned for Eurogamer Expo 2012 Highlights Part 2, covered in this part will be; Carmageddon, Far Cry 3, and the Replay Zone, plus other stuff that doesn’t quite fit in anywhere else.

For more information on the Eurogamer Expo please visit their site!

Eurogamer Expo 2012: Tomb Raider

October 4, 2012

Tomb Raider was on the top of my list to play at this years Eurogamer Expo, as soon as the doors opened it was the first place I headed for, tucked away in the 18+ area it was nice to get straight onto a machine and play.

The demo was on the X-Box 360, so after familiarising myself once again with the black handheld device with buttons in front of me (keyboard and mouse being my usual gaming weapon of choice) I jumped straight into the game. The demo allows the player to explore what feels like a ‘tutorial’ type level. The level is set on an island and surrounded by jungle, the stormy conditions have led Lara to be shipwrecked and injured, she is alone and must survive, as well as locate her fellow crew members who seem to have disappeared.

Once you have the hang of the controls (which are amazingly simple but effective) you make your way to your first base camp (save point), the usual running, jumping and climbing aside it’s a nice opportunity to familiarise yourself with the game play and your surroundings. From here you learn a couple of more useful survival techniques, including navigating terrain safely (climbing, crossing beams, using the map) and hunting (collecting and using a bow and arrow from a hanging corpse). You must then hunt animals for food, nearby are some unlucky deer, it took some practice at aiming but was satisfying when the target hit home (once in the neck and once in the backside).

Once food was acquired you made your way back to base camp, a walkie-talkie reveals the next clue the whereabouts of your fellow crew members. The demo ends here with a cut scene, which then leads nicely into the trailer. The demo was just a small but satisfying taster of things to come for Tomb Raider. The demo left me wanting to play more and I’m now looking forward to this being released next year, it looks to be shaping up nicely.  The new look and game play already feel different, and better, than previous offerings from Crystal Dynamics (although I still have a major soft spot for Anniversary).

The graphics were brilliant, I really enjoyed the stormy weather for part of the demo as it really added to the realism and atmosphere of the game. The surrounding jungle area did indeed have that ‘Lost’ feel about it, more so with the crashed plane dangling precariously on a cliff side. Even though I feel this will be more survival adventure rather than archaeological expedition (I may yet be proven wrong, naturally) I’m still looking forward to this new look and feel Tomb Raider.

On a rather random end note, when I saw the corpse hanging from the tree in the clearing, it was actually less shock and awe and more “Huh, just like on Monkey Island” (Ed – You bring everything back to Monkey Island).

Tomb Raider is released on the 5th March 2013.

Game synopsis below from Crystal Dynamics:

“Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.”

In case you missed it, or maybe forgot where this franchise all began, check out one of my older blog posts, Tomb Raider: A Brief History. Thanks for looking.

Tomb Raider: A Brief History

November 18, 2009

Tomb Raider follows the adventures of Lara Croft, a British female archaeologist in search of ancient treasures. Tomb Raider was widely praised by gaming magazines for its revolutionary graphics, inventive game play, and involving storyline.

It was developed by Core Design and is arguably its most famous (amongst other classics such as Chuck Rock and Heimdall) and its most successful game.

Developed by Toby Gard (hailed as the creator of Lara) and Paul Howard Douglas, the original Tomb Raider began development in 1993 but was not released until November 1996 for the PC, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn. The game was critically acclaimed and widely influential, spawning 5 sequels with Core Design. Core developed Tomb Raider games up until the release of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, which can be argued as the most unsuccessful game in the series.

Publisher Eidos then passed the reinvention of the franchise onto Crystal Dynamics, who in turn reinvented Lara for a new generation of gamers and hardware in Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider: Anniversary (a rethinking of the original game by Core Design).

There are two different continuities within the Tomb Raider video games. The first continuity was created by Core Design, and encompasses the first six Tomb Raider games. The second and current continuity was introduced by Crystal Dynamics for the series’ reinvention in Tomb Raider: Legend. Both continuities were created with the participation of Toby Gard who also returned to assist with the reinvention of his character in Tomb Raider: Anniversary (2007).

Core Design

Core Design was set up in 1988 by Chris Shrigley, Andy Green, Rob Toone, Terry Lloyd, Simon Phipps, Dave Pridmore, Jeremy Smith and Greg Holmes. Most were former employees of Gremlin Graphics. Core Design was acquired by Eidos Interactive in 1996 through US Gold. Core continued development of the Tomb Raider games until 2003 with Angel of Darkness. The company became defunct in 2006.

The list of Tomb Raider games released by Core is:

Tomb Raider (1996)
Tomb Raider II (1997)
Tomb Raider III (1998)
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (1999/2000)
Tomb Raider Chronicles (2000)
Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness (2003)

And expansions:

Tomb Raider: Unfinished Business (1998)
Tomb Raider II: Golden Mask (1999)
Tomb Raider III: The Lost Artifact (2000)

Crystal Dynamics

Crystal Dynamics was formed in 1992 by Sega veterans Judy Lange, Madeline Canepa and Dave Morse (Amiga). Crystal was the first licensed developer for 3DO. Crystal Dynamics was acquired in 1998 by Eidos Interactive and by 2003, Eidos Interactive moved development of the Tomb Raider franchise from Core (which had limited success with its later Tomb Raider titles) to Crystal Dynamics.

The list of Tomb Raider games released by Crystal Dynamics is:

Tomb Raider: Legend (2006)
Tomb Raider: Anniversary (2007)
Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008)

The latest Tomb Raider game from Crystal Dynamics has now been released, it not only breaks away from the ‘Tomb Raider’ brand but it offers more arcade action style gameplay from a raised isometric view and a fixed camera point. It also offers multiplayer and online play.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (2010)

The story in the game begins 2000 years ago in ancient Central America and focuses on a battle began between Totec, the Guardian of the Light, and Xolotl, the keeper of darkness. Totec’s army was defeated when Xolotl used the mirror of smoke to unleash hordes of ghastly creatures. Totec survived said battle, and found a way to defeat Xolotl, imprisoning him in the mirror of smoke and watching over the mirror as an immortal stone statue.

In present day, Lara Croft reads of the legend and attempts to find the mirror. After a long and dangerous hike she is successful. She stops to observe the mirror, only to find that a band of mercenaries led by the local warlord (why are mecenaries so interested in Archaeology?) followed her into the temple and took the mirror from her, but accidentally releases Xolotl. The stone statue of Totec comes to life and warns Lara that Xolotl must be stopped before the light of dawn. Depending on the number of players participating, Lara and Totec either join forces or go separate ways to try to stop Xolotl.

Eidos Interactive

Eidos Interactive is a publisher of video and computer games with its parent company based in England. Eidos plc became the parent company of Eidos Interactive and was founded in 1990 by Stephen Bernard Streater. In 1996 it acquired CentreGold which included US Gold and Core Design. Eidos has published all the Tomb Raider games to date. Eidos Interactive is now a part of Square Enix (April 2009). Some of Eidos portfolio of published games includes the Hitman series, Thief series and Deus Ex series.

Back in the Day…

Tomb Raider is the first game I had for my Sega Saturn and from the moment the title screen appeared and its signature title music began I was hooked. Even though I love the new games, and thoroughly enjoyed the anniversary Edition, nothing will match the feeling of playing the original for the first time. The graphics were impressive and a control system I’d not experienced before was quick and easy to get used to, it opened up a whole new world of exploration and puzzle solving as well as story telling and action.

One of my all time favourite retro games, some of my favourite levels from the original include St Francis Folly, which you may or may not recall contains the Neptune, Thor, Atlas and Damocles puzzles. How many people made it to the top of that tower and considered a nose dive straight down?  The Cistern and the Obelisk of Khamoon are also favourites, The Cistern mainly for how vast and impressive the playing area was when you first saw it. The title music (and incidental music) make playing this through again worthwhile and certainly brings back a lot of memories.

The first game also includes some more memorable villains, the more modern games the villains do not seem to make as much of an impact. The final boss fight in Tomb Raider with Natla is great, as well as the troublesome Pierre who always popped up to take a pot shot at you at inconvenient times!

For a taste of the original soundtrack see Tomb Raider Title Music!