68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
For old school adventure game nostalgia, I always go back to Tomb Raider 1 & 2. Here, we have the excellent remake of the original Tomb Raider in Anniversary, the fantasic Legend, and the not-half-bad Underworld. It's great to finally see Anniversary and Legend in 720p on the PS3. Graphically, all three of the games look great, with Underworld being the standout of the bunch in this regard. Sound design is nothing special in any of the games here, except in one department: the soundtracks. Orchestral music has been a staple of this series since the beginning, and these entries do not dissappoint. As with all of the Tomb Raider games, the controls and camera angles will at times get the best of you, but these issues aren't deal-breakers here (unlike the bug-riddled Angel of Darkness back in 2003).
Bottom Line: For long-time Tomb Raider fans, this is a no-brainer: Pick it up; it's a must-buy. For those who have never played Tomb Raider, this is the perfect place to start.
70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2011
It's simple really, if you loved the two PS2 games then you should buy this game. The updated HD graphics are beautiful. And it's a lot more convenient to play the games all on one disc than have to load them into your PS2. Also, if you don't already have Underword, it's another reason to get this. Great value.
One thing I am NOT happy about is that they didn't put Underword's DLC on this game. Once again PS3 users get screwed. Maybe Microsoft put up the cash to make it exclusive to them, but Eidos should have given to it Sony since it's always been Playstation users who have been loyal to the Tomb Raider franchise. Or just give the DLC to EVERYBODY! I really hate this exclusive business. It just seems selfish and unfair to the gamers in my opinion.
45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
While we wait for the next official installment of Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics has compiled its first three Tomb Raider games in one convenient package. The result is a compilation that is 1/3 amazing, 1/3 good, and 1/3 mediocre.
Legend is the oldest of the three and it really shows its age on the PS3 version. The upscaling on the PS3 looks really weird thus making it the ugliest of the three. The game is also criminally short with 7 main stages that take mere minutes to finish once you get the flow. It's the most diverse of the three featuring bike riding (yuck), turret shooting, and lots of action sequences. Variety may be the spice of life but Legend is not what Tomb Raider fans necessarily want in a Tomb Raider game, Anniversary explains it why.
Released in 2007, Tomb Raider Anniversary is a remake of the original 1996 classic Tomb Raider. The crown jewel of this collection, Anniversary is clearly the game with the most polish of the three. The game boils down essentially what a Tomb Raider game should be, lots of platforming and death defying stunts, little to no human-on-human violence, and an excellent sense of being alone in a desolate place. Of the three it sits in the middle for best looking, it is upscaled much better than Legend with a much cleaner look. While nostalgia freaks of the original scoff at Anniversary's trimmings of the original, the end result faithfully recreates the original while brining it in to the modern age. With less long stretches and non memorable areas removed.
Tomb Raider Underworld is the native HD game of the three and story-wise is a continuation of Legend's tale. While it is the best looking, Underworld sets itself as the worst of the three games for various reasons. Lara has more animations in this game but none of them feel right. The controls are iffy at best and glitches are everywhere. You would think that the developers would have fixed Underworld's numerous flaws by now but that's not the case. Falling 15 feet seems to mean doom for Lara in this game and there are times where you'll even be stuck in mid-air for no reason. Again this is to be blamed by adding a bunch of animations that did not need to be done. They were going for a more organic, realistic game but this is not the case. On the Xbox 360, Tomb Raider Underworld got two extra levels as DLC, none of them appear on this PS3 re-release which really makes the game and package half-assed. Add to the glitches and bugs, Underworld does not have even a third of bonus content that Legend and Anniversary posses. No Time Trials, no Croft Manor puzzle stage, no unlockable costumes.
The compilation is priced right and you'll get some fine adventuring here to last for a while. Legend and Anniversary will keep you replaying stages (especially Anniversary's Time Attack on its later stages) and extra content while you'll probably just fly through Underworld and never touch it again.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2011
- For anyone who enjoyed Uncharted, this is an extremely easy recommend. Nathan Drake stole the majority of his moves from Lara Croft (all the climbing mechanics, vistas, treasure collection, etc).
- 3 full-sized games for less than the price of one is a fantastic deal
- Underworld, being the most recent entry, still looks amazing in several regards. The other two have received layers of shader polish so that they're up to par.
- And for trophy hounds, you'll be able to get 150 trophies including 3 platinum trophies.
32 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
I should begin by admitting that I really loved these games when they were first released. Playing through them again has really brought home the fact that gamers are quite spoiled these days. We expect amazing everything. And most of us grow weary when games don't deliver. In their time, these games were the best of the best; they offered unique gaming experiences and were responsible for a great deal of what is common in today's platformers. That having been said; these are all showing their age. There are simply a vast number of games which have come along that look, control and please much more than these will. They aren't bad games. And the fact that they're being bundled at such a decent price makes it a worthwhile investment. It also doesn't hurt that there are three decent platinum trophies to be had here. But just don't expect to feel the same fondness for these titles that you may have when you initially played them. Titles such as these have the unfortunate disadvantage of being unlike certain other platformers (think Mario or Sly Cooper), in that they've been shown up a number of times since their creation. I played the Sly Collection recently and it (much like the original NES Mario games would) still felt worthwhile. Games like this weren't choppy and overly pixelated, the controls were near-perfect, and the direction was usually pretty clear. The Tomb Raider Trilogy can't really claim most of that to be true. They don't look great comparatively, the camera and controls are certainly not the greatest, and the game isn't always good with directing players to their next objective. Even I have to admit that that last complaint isn't always a bad thing. The frustration of these once-groundbreaking games is something that many of you may consider its greatest strength. And I'm on board with that. Some of the puzzles were simply too unclear for my tastes. And that really saying something, considering I just finished playing and loving Portal 2. Regardless, I think the game rests somewhere between a 3 and a 4. It's certainly no 5. And newcomers are likely going to agree with me on the 3. Nostalgia, trophies, and an excellent package price drive this ever closer to a 4 for me. But the look, camera, and controls wedge this one much closer to a 3 than a 4, in my opinion. I don't expect everyone to agree. I just know that there are better games out there to be played at this point in time. There are even better PS2 re-releases to be found (the god of war collection, for instance). Again, these are decent games. Playing them, you'll quickly realize where most puzzling elements in newer video games had their roots. Those newer games owe lots of credit to these groundbreakers. I gladly admit all of that. So invest. It won't be the worst gaming purchase you've ever made. That much I know. But, as a consumer, I must admit that these have not aged well. As much as I hate admitting that fact; I still feel it right to give fair warning.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2011
Quick note: this trilogy seems to have been made primarily for one of three groups of people - those who have/had a PS2 but not "Legend" or "Anniversary", those who have a PS2 and a PS3 but no longer have "Legend" or "Anniversary", or those who have a PS3 and were wary of playing "Underworld" due to the lackluster reception and sales. Well, rest assured, your worries are unfounded: this is quite possibly one of the best collections I have ever seen.
Crystal Dynamics' impression of the Tomb Raider series is an impressive one, to say the least. While all three of these games can be completed in less than ten hours each, they are never anything short of enjoyable or fun. "Legend" begins the trilogy by providing a creative, compelling backstory and heavily story-driven gameplay.
"Legend" takes Lara all around the world, from an ancient underground castle to the chilly mountains of Nepal, boasting breathtaking scenery, fantastic music, and an intuitive control scheme that rivals many of the other games I have played. The story is surprisingly personal and rarely boring, as Lara begins by looking for "an ornate stone dais" in Tiwanaku, Bolivia, that eventually expands to include Arthurian legend and an old Soviet project called "Carbonek". The ending both provides a sense of closure and a sequel hook, proving a short but wholly engrossing experience that only Lara can provide.
"Anniversary" is an expanded reimagining of the original "Tomb Raider", revamped to fit with both "Legend" and "Underworld" while providing tighter controls and a wider moveset for Lara, set in - as a series staple - beautiful crumbling ruins and lush, hidden jungles. Lara now has the ability to use her grapple for wall-running. Some levels from the original game have been compressed into one another, some streamlined, and still others made bigger to account for Lara's new abilities. The story takes Lara from Peru to the lost continent of Atlantis as she searches for the fabled Atlantean Scion, a device her father had been searching for, and one he had hoped would discover where Lara's mother disappeared to. Lara continues his quest, leading into the last and, in my personal opinion, best entry in the trilogy.
After hearing so many complaints about "Underworld", I was reluctant to pick it up, but this collection forced me to, and I am very pleased with it. Although graphics don't necessarily "make" a game, they help with the sense of immersion, and "Underworld" does exactly that: immerses you in a huge, unbelievable, gorgeous world with a story so tight and twisting that to mention much about it would give away plenty of spoilers. Varied enemy types, massive underwater complexes, and intricate puzzles will keep you fascinated for hours. Lara looks, moves, and acts like a real, living woman, and her expanded range of moves not only makes her believable, but also gives some unique answers to puzzles and gameplay. All in all, the game gives an awesome wrap-up to the series while providing a bittersweet sense of closure - both as Eidos Interactive hands off Tomb Raider to another developer, and for Lara and going on twenty years of pure awesome.
- The trilogy includes some media for PlayStation Home, a PlayStation theme pack that changes the wallpaper and icons to a Tomb Raider style, and making-of videos and trailers all accessible from the trilogy's main menu. Each game also launches individually while all being loaded on one disc - my guess is that the disc is dual-layer and Square Enix packed all fifty gigabytes full of content. It shows.
- "Legend" and "Anniversary" are indeed the Xbox 360 versions of the games transferred to the PlayStation 3. After having heard this mentioned once, I double-checked using bug notes and screenshots and discovered that this is true... meaning that these two games come with all the bugs and glitches the 360 version has. This includes a potentially game-busting bug in "Legend's" England level that requires you to load an earlier save if you happen to come across it. Replaying this level after completing the game, though, does not re-trigger this bug.
- "Underworld" has its share of bugs, though I encountered none of them due to having a walkthrough listing the game's bugs handy. If you find one of these and follow it carefully, you won't have any problems at all, especially some of the game-breaking ones in Mexico and Croft Manor. In spite of complaints to the contrary, I rarely had issues with the camera and mostly fought with the controls. If, however, one keeps the pace down and is patient with Lara rather than rushing through the game, you shouldn't have many issues with the controls at all.
- The Xbox 360 exclusive downloadable games, "Beneath the Ashes" and "Lara's Shadow", are not included.
- All three games run at a maximum of 720p. Upscaling to 1080p will cause some anti-aliasing issues, while upscaling to 1080i will cause blurring, at least on "Underworld". All three look perfectly fine in standard definition and nothing is lost if that's your only option.
- Load times for "Legend" and "Anniversary", but particularly the former, are surprisingly long. Considering the capabilities of Blu-ray, I was very surprised with the waiting, especially after accidentally killing Lara. "Underworld" has long load times when first beginning a level or loading a manual save, but considering each area is essentially one massive level with cutscenes splitting it into manageable bits, this is understandable. Load times after sending Lara to her death are refreshingly brief.
- Both "Underworld" and "Anniversary" have a manual save limit, which is unfortunate.
Overall, the collection is a great buy for any fan of Tomb Raider - from those who began with Lara's very first adventure to those who never got the chance to play it way back when, for those looking for the thrilling conclusion to Lara's tale, for those looking for a graphical paradise and a great sense of immersion, and those who never got to play the first two when they were released on the PlayStation 2, Lara never fails to disappoint in her many globetrekking adventures. A great swan song to the old series, and a great example of a three-part story done very, very well.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2011
After all the love 360 has been getting Eidos finally decide to throw us PS3 players some love. We finally get Legend and Anniversary remastered in beautiful HD, that not only puts the 360 versions to shame but the PC versions also.
Both games were redone from the PS2 versions, higher quality textures, a lot more bump maps. Legend Lara is no longer orange like she's from Jersey shore. Bottom line is that Crystal Dynamics weren't kidding around when they said Playstation 3 would be getting the best versions of Legend and Anniversary. Anniversary is the game that takes the cake graphically, even Lara herself was redone and looks amazing.
As another bonus TR Underworld is also included, but no facelifts for this game, sadly.
As bonus content we get,
-TR outfit for PS Home
I highly recommend this set to any TR player!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2011
Wow, I had high expectations for this one, and it's everything I'd hoped it would be. Crystal Dynamics did a fine job in fixing up this trilogy, it feels just as special as the GoW & Sly Collection did upon their arrivals. Trophies are easily the best part about this one, 117 in total, 3 plats. A true value for the hunters, that will keep you playing for a bit (especially those who haven't done underworld yet). The games play and feel naturally on the PS3, no worries of this one containing botched ports. Just about everyone and their mother has some knowledge about Tomb raider, so there's no need for me to go into detail there. Overall, 40 bucks goes a very long way here. i'd reccomend to just about anyone who is interested in these titles, or the 3rd person shooter genre in general.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2013
I previously bought every game in the collection but I wanted to see the remake and it was excellent! I especially like the bonus content of the trilogy theme. There's also interviews with the game designers and playstation home avatar outfits. Even though I bought this new it froze twice so far, but that doesn't deter me from playing as it shouldn't for you.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Ah, so I've finally wrapped up playing the Tomb Raider Trilogy on the PlayStation 3 and I feel a proper review is in order. I specifically set out to experience as much of TR: Trilogy before writing a review and I'm happy to say that I've finished all three games to 100% including acquiring the platinum trophy in each.
I've been playing Tomb Raider since the days of the PS1 back in the mid-to-late 1990's. I've followed the series from its heyday with Core Design to its eventual decline and then resurgence with Crystal Dynamics as the developer. Tomb Raider Trilogy consists of two modern games: Tomb Raider Legend and Tomb Raider Underworld. The third game of this trilogy is Tomb Raider Anniversary a remake of the original Tomb Raider game.
If you're new to this series and have purchased or are considering purchasing TR Trilogy then I would recommend playing the games in this order: Legend > Anniversary > Underworld. That way the story will make more sense although there are considerable gaps in time from one game to another.
Tomb Raider Legend is arguably the weakest game of the trio. The graphics are early next-gen (X360) and definitely show their age more than the other two games. The entire design of the game really strayed from the original Tomb Raider formula. The game is less dependent on exploration and puzzles and is extremely linear. The few puzzles presented in the game are ridiculously easy and offer virtually no challenge. The game is also very, very short and can be completed in one play session or a few short ones.
The basic plot (spoiler free) follows the events of Lara's life after a horrific plane crash in the Himalayas when she was a child. Lara's ultimate goal is to collect the fragments of a fabled sword which she believes is the key to her goal. Along the way Lara encounters an old friend turned enemy.
All that said there is still some positive. Mainly the game is entertaining and offers a clear and concise story driven by short cut-scenes between levels. The environments are also varied from the typical tombs and ancient sites Lara is familiar with to modern day Tokyo. It's a neat deviation albeit feels a bit out of place in a Tomb Raider game.
Challenge and replayability mainly come from the time trials after you complete the game. In order to unlock cheats, costumes and extras like artwork you'll have to complete each level in a timed run. The time trials are also a part of acquiring the platinum trophy. No online modes or DLC here folks.
Next up: Tomb Raider Anniversary. As I said TR Anniversary is a remake of the original game. Certain liberties have been taken with the remake including (of course) vast improvements to the graphics engine as well as improvements to level design and overall gameplay enhancements. While the game is leaps and bounds ahead of the PS1 version of Tomb Raider folks who played Anniversary on the PS2 will immediately notice similarities. I believe that Crystal Dynamics in essence ported the PS2 version of Anniversary to the PS3. The game looks fantastic though not up to the level of the latest PS3 games.
TR Anniversary is in essence the best of the three games included in this trilogy. Anniversary is the way Tomb Raider was meant to be; large open-ended levels with much platforming and a variety of challenging puzzles that can be completed in (mostly) an order of your choosing. Later Tomb Raider games are extremely linear and lean less on exploration and puzzle solving.
Some Tomb Raider vets may be put off by the story changes made to tie Anniversary in with the plot set up in TR Legend. Personally I've no problem with this as early Tomb Raider games were light on story anyway.
The gameplay, graphics and camera control are all smooth here and generally very good. There are times when Lara gets herself in situations where the camera simply doesn't have a good angle. This is probably the biggest weakness of TR Anniversary and the series as a whole. Core Design and Crystal Dynamics have both struggled to get the camera right.
Once again the main challenge and replay factor come from the time trial events after you finish the game. The time trials here are considerably more challenging than those in Legend due to the nature of the levels and presence of more enemies and boss fights. Completing the time trials is required to unlock cheats and the platinum trophy.
Last up is Tomb Raider Underworld. This is where I'm most critical of the Tomb Raider franchise and the work done by Crystal Dynamics. The short of it is that Underworld would be probably considered a flagship platformer if it weren't for Naughty Dog's title Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. TR Underworld is completely eclipsed by Naughty Dog's game in every way imaginable.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune established in one game what Core Design and Crystal Dynamics have failed to get right in 8 separate Tomb Raider games spanning over 10 years.
So what exactly are the problems in Underworld? Sadly many of the same old problems that have always plagued the Tomb Raider franchise. The camera is terrible and actually worse than the camera in both Legend and Anniversary. The camera is jerky and moves entirely too fast. It also fails to position correctly for many platforming sections leading to many frustrating deaths. The controls are equally jerky thanks to said camera.
The game also shipped with various bugs which affect not only gameplay but also trophies. If you're planning on working toward the platinum I strongly encourage reading the known glitches related to the trophies first. Glitches regarding the gameplay include Lara not grabbing certain ledges/platforms or falling after doing so. It all leads to a very frustrating experience.
The story in Underworld continues and possibly concludes the story arc started in TR Legend. However, the massively disappointing choice to cut out almost all fighting cripples the game. There are barely any enemies in the game and zero boss fights. When the game concludes it sort of just... ends.
There are curious design choices too. Both TR Legend and Anniversary include a chapter select feature and the ability to quit the game to the main menu. Those two basic options are missing from Underworld. Trust me when I say this will be frustrating later on after finishing the game.
All is not lost though and there are some genuine positives to Underworld. The graphics are excellent and many times I found myself just looking around at the incredible work Crystal Dynamics pulled off. Environments are lush and beautiful and full of small details. Out of the trio, Underworld is head and shoulders above the rest in the graphics department. Additionally, Underworld features a much better level design than that of Legend though still short of Anniversary.
In conclusion Tomb Raider Anniversary offers and incredible amount of value for the dollar. Three full games for less than the price of one. The series is definitely not the `AAA' premier series it once was and Underworld especially shows the shortcomings because of the inevitable comparisons to Uncharted. For those that have missed out on these games I would recommend purchasing.