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Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

video game review video game review video game review video game review Video Game Review: Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Category: Action, Adventure
Platform: PS1, Dreamcast, PC, Mac
ESRB Rating: Teen    Release Date: November 1999

Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 4

Review by Darvan
4 Stars out of 4
(Review of PS1 version)

Tomb Raider. What was once an innovative 3d action game has become a world wide franchise. And with the 3 previous installment of the series, this one comes with hopes for a return to the roots of the original game. Well this game starts out with a short introductory game play sequence where you learn about Lara Crofts past. It is basically a training level. This is an interesting feature but for people who have already played the game or one of the other games its annoying to have to go through the training level every time you want to play the game. That however is a small disappointment. The game then picks up and you are placed into the heart of the action with your pistols and some health packs.

Something that is different about this game is its location. Instead of the game taking place in locations all around the world, as seen in the previous games, it sticks with the one location, Egypt. This allows for a much more interesting plot. The graphics are exactly what you will see in the previous games if you are playing the psx version, however if you are playing the other versions you will see much more detailed textures, better lighting, and real time shadows. This creates for better realism. The psx version is what you would expect, meaning alot of pixelization and not a great draw in distance. The levels through out the game do look good though and add to the atmosphere of the game. Lara also looks pretty detailed as well. You won't see any gaps in her elbow or knees anymore either.

Lara returns also with some new moves. The rope swing and corner shimmy being my favorites allow for more intricate puzzles and greater depth in play. The rope swing is hard at times but once you get a hold of it you will do it with ease. She also retains the same moves found in TR 3. The enemies or the lack of are harder then what you will find in the other versions and smarter but there is not a whole deal of them. You usually have to cross alot of the level before encountering one. But when you do encounter them they are usually fun and challenging to get rid of.

The story of the game unfolds through in-game-sequences and some spectacular FMV's. This will make your journey with Lara all the more pleasurable. This game offers alot in the way of replay with loads of secrets you can find. It is definitely better then TR3 , and it returns to the much loved roots of TR1. So i would recommend it if your into the whole action/adventure scene and have always wanted to relive the moments of your favorite Indiana Jones flicks.

Review by Tom Allen
3½ Stars out of 4
(Review of Dreamcast version)

I am still a loyal Tomb Raider fan! The PlayStation version of The Last Revelation was a tad disappointing, but the Dreamcast game feels polished enough for a full recommendation.

The controls feel much better, except that it's awkward to switch from the analog thumb stick (walk/strafe) to the digital D-pad (run). On the other hand, you'll get used to this quirk. Thankfully, both realms of control feel responsive and intuitive in and of themselves.

However, I think the R button should have been used to toggle between running and walking modes. This way, players could choose not to use the D-pad or thumb stick.

Aside from the controls, The Last Revelation (TLR) offers a notable improvement in graphics. The Dreamcast version sports amazing shadows (relative to the game's sun) as well as smooth underwater textures. Playing this game makes you appreciate the game's art direction.

I realized that graphics have a much larger effect on the overall experience than I would have imagined after spending so many years reviewing PlayStation titles that almost mirror each other in terms of graphical quality. At some point, graphics ceased to be a focal point of games, simply because the playing field was so level.

The same phenomenon will occur in a few years for the Dreamcast, but right now, Dreamcast is top dog for graphics. If you haven't already played TLR, you really should check it out.

Review by Tom Allen
3 Stars out of 4
(Review of PS1 version)

Lara fatigue is setting in a little bit; however, I am much more faithful than other reviewers out there. This game is not bad, but the cookie cutter is starting to wear out. Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, popularly referred to as Tomb Raider 4, does not capture the same sense of adventure and suspense as the first two titles. Levels that should be cool (i.e. motorcycle level)… are not.

The influence of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is more noticeable than ever (to the point of excess), with character look-alikes and desert temples. I was wondering when Lara would start complaining about snakes.

The most surprising aspect of playing this game was how detached I found myself from this style of control. I always loved the controls in earlier games. The controls here are 95% the same, but I found them somewhat irritating. Don't ask me why.

Perhaps I was more patient in 1997; perhaps I didn't mind fussing with the oh-so- incremental rotating that is necessary to turn Lara effectively. The analog control is useless as far as turning is concerned.

The save-anywhere feature is still here, thank goodness. If this feature is ever taken away, I will boycott the franchise. Tomb Raider 4 feels incredibly long. I haven't counted levels, but it feels like three games in one.

The cinema scenes are the rewards of any Tomb Raider game. While the FMV sound is executed with typical Hollywood excellence, I found the scenes to be too cliché or derivative of previous games or action films.

I was perplexed by the fact that you can skip FMV scenes but not "cut scenes," or in- game scenes. It should be the other way around.

The tradition of cheating lives on in Tomb Raider 4. Press Select to see the compass. When the compass is pointing north while you hold onto a ledge or something, make sure you can see the compass, then enter one of the following three codes:

Cue up the Load Game icon. Hold all shoulder buttons plus Up, plus Triangle. You will advance to the next level.

Cue up the Large Medical Pack. Hold all shoulder buttons plus Down, plus Triangle. Every item appears in stock.

Cue up the Small Medical Pack. Hold all shoulder buttons plus Up, plus Triangle. Every weapon and more appears in stock.

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