I also played Tomb Raider: Anniversary last weekend...I also played Bionic Commando: Rearmed not too long ago. I also notice that the Escapist from not too long ago had this article...http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_177/5502-The-Vintage-Game-Preservation-Society
It's all coming together. Bring back our videogames of old.
Except - I don't know, I'm guessing Tomb Raider Anniversary didn't sell that well, using the metric of there's only one FAQ on GameFAQs for it and its in Dutch. (And I was using Babelfish to translate it because there was one place I got stuck.) Me, I never finished the first Tomb Raider. In fact, it wasn't until Crystal took over the franchise and made Legends that I was able to finish one. (I nearly didn't finish this one, either - not because of needing to translate Dutch, but because I made the mistake of playing on Expert and when it got to the hard timing challenges I didn't want to start over from the beginning.) And although I bought the PS version in a jewel box for $10 a year or two ago to give it another try - it is *Tomb Raider* after all, groundbreaking, etc - I found I couldn't stand the controls. The franchise has come a long way, thanks partly to pollination from *Prince of Persia.*
Hey, I just discovered that Yahtzee did a review of Tomb Raider. (I was looking for his Bionic Commando review.) I had forgotten it. He says she controls like a cow - he must have forgotten the original. And then he disses on the whole remake thing. His problem with Bionic Commando was a slavish adherence to the old gameplay - something I agreed with. My first thought, playing the XBLA remake, was "Why can't I shoot an an angle?" (Nevermind "Why can't I jump?") With Bionic Commando, he says, If you're going to remake it, at least give it the new hotness. With Tomb Raider, he says, Don't remake stuff.
I don't know. I liked it. When you have nostalgia for an old game your imagination plays tricks on you. I remember Master of Magic as having 1280x720 resolution and 256^3 colors, for example...not 320x200 where each orc or lizardman is just an unrecognizable blob of pixels. But thanks to incorporating the new hotness, Tomb Raider: Anniversary was Tomb Raider as I remembered it. You can go home again.
The *Prince of Persia* / *Tomb Raider* kind of platformer is one I enjoy greatly, as I think I've said before. Although the pretentious game designer in me asks myself "Why am I enjoying this? It's linear...there's rarely an interesting decision...there's rarely a truly challenging puzzle..." I can't deny that I'm having fun, that somehow these games seem to tap into my pleasure center and I just want to make the next death-defying leap to the next precarious ledge. Lately I may have had insight into why that is, because I have a daughter.
Kids love to climb on stuff. To a kid, everything, a sofa, a table, a jungle gym, is an opportunity for climbing and jumping and climbing some more. Being barely able to reach the top of the counter parallels Lara being barely able to reach the top of the cliff - and pushing the stool over mirrors Lara pushing the crate. In short, I think these games are tapping into our childhood memories, possibly at a subconscious level. They make us kids again.