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alienjesus
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by alienjesus Tue May 09, 2017 6:19 am

Any chance of some screenshots of the visual improvements?

The thing with Tomb Raider for me is that it's basically a perfect 3D recreation of a cinematic platformer. It plays exactly like Prince of Persia or Flashback but in 3D, with all the clunkiness that implies. I'm not a cinematic platformer fan, but I've pushed through both Tomb Raider and Oddworld and had an OK time with both. Not desperate to return to either though.
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noiseredux
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by noiseredux Tue May 09, 2017 8:22 am

great post, null! Glad to see you around (and talking PC mods :wink: )
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dsheinem
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by dsheinem Tue May 09, 2017 8:49 am

I can't see myself playing the original TR again...I tried a few years ago and couldn't get past the jank.

I might watch the movie(s) though as I've never seen them. Are they any good?
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noiseredux
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by noiseredux Tue May 09, 2017 9:07 am

dsheinem wrote:I can't see myself playing the original TR again...I tried a few years ago and couldn't get past the jank.


How about Anniversary? It is FAR more playable honestly.

I might watch the movie(s) though as I've never seen them. Are they any good?


Good? Not really. But fun/entertaining, absolutely.
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Speedy-Mcspeedz
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by Speedy-Mcspeedz Tue May 09, 2017 11:00 am

I feel some of the first game's appeal was the utter randomness. bats-sure wolves-sure bears-okay raptors-..alrighty t-rex-whoa. So on and so forth.
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nullPointer
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by nullPointer Wed May 10, 2017 1:03 am

I got properly started on Tomb Raider on today, and much to my surprise I quite enjoyed myself with a few niggling reservations. Regarding any issues with the antiquated control scheme, I found that I had a much better time when I finally gave up the notion that an analogue stick was a good pairing with this game. Perhaps this is due to the fact that my initial Tomb Raider experience was on PlayStation and the fact that this game was developed before the DualShock was officially a thing. Once I reverted to the good old d-pad for movement things just sort of clicked into place. I still use the analogue stick for looking around though; that's one aspect for which the d-pad doesn't feel well equipped.

One thing that's really striking to me is how good the voice work is in this game, particularly for the time of it's release. I mean we're not talking Oscar worthy performances, but at the same time there are no cringe-worthy "Jill sandwich" type moments either, far from it. The actress voicing Lara does a particularly nice job here.

So let's talk about where this game really excels. It's no surprise to say that Tomb Raider knocks it out of the park on the basis of its exploration elements. This is the gameplay aspect upon which the entire series was built. The curvaceous (albeit polygonal) heroine may have attracted flocks of adolescent male gamers, but it was the clever exploration elements that kept them playing. There's something about the intricately crafted level design in Tomb Raider that identifies it firmly as a product of it's time. That may sound like faint praise or a back handed complement, but I feel like there was a design philosophy prevalent in the late 90's - early 00's that's sort of fallen by the wayside for better or worse. It's fun to be reminded of it here.

Tomb Raider is interesting because while the exploration elements keep you on the hook to see what's coming next, I also feel like this game has some significant pacing issues. On one hand I feel like this game is sort of relaxing (at least in the early stages, before some rather diabolical jumps show up late game IIRC). For the most part any platforming is very calculated and methodical, and while the combat is occasionally exhilerating, it's not exactly twitch based gameplay either. So yeah it really is pretty relaxing exploring these caves, making slow graceful leaps where necessary, and occasionally shooting the shit out of the local fauna. The trouble with this is that it doesn't exactly make for compelling gameplay. In some ways it's more of a meditative experience. And as such I'm good for a couple levels, and then I'm perfectly ready to move on and do something else for a while. I don't think I could binge this game, and have an awesome time doing so.

alienjesus wrote:Any chance of some screenshots of the visual improvements?

You bet. As I mentioned before I feel like the changes are subtle but significant. Mostly it brings support for higher/native resolutions, some nice anti-aliasing, and much better vSync. I should clarify to say that higher resolution doesn't mean it will support wide screen resolution (at least not without stretching everything to hell, which ... no thank you), but it will support native resolution at proper aspect ratio and look fairly nice which is what I'm running in these screenies. It doesn't attempt to replace textures or any of that sort of wizardry; for the most part it preserves the look of the game with nice understated improvements. I'm not terribly far into the game, having just cleared City of Vilcabamba, so there's not a whole lot of variety in these screens. I'll likely be snapping off more screenshots of as I come across interesting vistas. One thing I really like about the Steam/Xpadder pairing is that I can map Steam's screenshot button (F12) to a controller button and easily snap off screenshots with no muss, no fuss.

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TEKTORO
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by TEKTORO Wed May 10, 2017 7:37 am

Game totally does feel like an adventure!
If you can see the future while remembering the past, you may just have control of the present.
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by Mad Gamer Thu May 11, 2017 11:06 pm

I haven't played through Tomb Raider in almost twenty years. I may try to pick it up again somewhere in the near future, just to see what I think of it these days. Unfortunately, while I own 2 and 3, I forgot that I borrowed 1 off of a relative - and subsequently returned it.

The last time I played it through, I seem to remember dying. A lot. At the end of numerous long falls from mistimed jumps. Also, the game was my first real, true, and hard lesson in the proper use and conservation of Health Packs. Using a Health Pack for what effectively was a paper cut on Lara just turned some levels into a miserable slog when I was really down on health. Same goes for ammo.
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nullPointer
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by nullPointer Fri May 12, 2017 12:51 am

I just finished the St. Francis Folly level and in some ways I think that this is where Tomb Raider really starts to come into it's own. The traps in this level are slightly more diabolical, the enemies are a bit tougher (with the exception of the T. Rex in The Lost Valley, but in that case there are a number of ways in which you can cheese your way through that battle), and it's in this level where you really have to start thinking about your jumps in terms of standing jumps vs. running jumps along with the occasional flips and rolls. This last bit becomes particularly true if you're aggressively pursuing the secret sections of this level. The real centerpiece of St. Francis Folly though (both figuratively and logistically) is the roughly cylindrical room that rises six stories in the center of the level. Essentially you wind up corkscrewing your way down a column in the center of this room alternating your jumps from the perimeter of the room to the center and back again. Branching off this tall chamber are four trap rooms named after various mythological gods in which the traps are thematically ties to the God of that particular room. It's just a very well thought out and fun level to work your way through.

I'm definitely enjoying Tomb Raider more than I thought I might. Having said that I'm still only good for about one or two levels before I'm ready to do something else. So I feel like the pacing of the game remains an issue, but the clever level design sure makes it easier to overlook ... for a while at any rate.

How's about a few more screenshots!?
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Entering the central chamber of St. Francis Folly
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Xeogred
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Re: Together Retro: Tomb Raider

by Xeogred Fri May 12, 2017 7:13 am

Hmm, that's definitely on PC. Looks awesome.
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