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By Jessica Brister On 20 Sep, 2015 At 06:52 PM | Categorized As Featured, Old School Otaku, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarEvery once in awhile there are a few special games that come around and really push the boundaries of what games can be. For me, Tomb Raider II is one of those games. Being the sequel to the extremely popular original Tomb Raider, there were a lot of high expectations the second installment to be even better. Tomb Raider II passed with flying colors to be an entertaining adventure with one of gaming’s most iconic characters.

Tomb Raider II is an action-adventure, puzzle-based game that was the sequel to the original Tomb Raider, which came out in 1996. It was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive. It was released October of 1997 for PlayStation and PC (it eventually came out for Mac later) and had critical acclaim and sold very well.

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The game follows adventurer and tomb raider, Lara Croft. The story revolved around the Dagger of Xian, a weapon that was used by an ancient emperor of China to transform into a dragon and command armies. Monks were able to get a hold of the dagger and keep it hidden within the Great Wall of China. Lara goes to investigate the dagger and realizes that she’s not the only one after it. Marco Bartoli, a man who is obsessed with the dagger, is also digging up artifacts in order to wield the dagger’s power. Lara’s adventure goes to places like China and Italy, where she is pushed to find out more about Bartoli’s plan.

It’s quite a fun story with an Indiana Jones-like adventure to it. Whether it’s driving a boat through Venice or exploring an underwater shipwreck, the game has a delightful entertainment value to it that you only experience with adventure games. However, it’s actually Lara who really shines. Unlike the new direction Crystal Dynamics is going in with the Tomb Raider reboot games, this Lara Croft is strong, confident, and fearless. She pushes herself to the limits as she works against the forces of evil.

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The third-person perspective game play improved with Tomb Raider II from the original by adding new weapons and moves, as well as having vehicles, more human enemies, and larger levels. There’s even a level with a snowmobile that is an absolute blast to play. There was also a training level that allowed the player to roam around Lara’s mansion. The best change, however, was the fact that a player didn’t need a save crystal in order to save the game, making complicated jumping puzzles much easier to manage.

The original Tomb Raider franchise was all about exploration and puzzles with some enemies thrown in to keep things fresh. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore with the reboot, but Tomb Raider II really shines in both instances. Puzzles typically are usually jumping or timing-related, and there is a lot of exploration involved. The levels might not be the huge open-world maps that gamers are used to now, but it’s a lot of fun trying to figure out how to get to certain places or find key items. Shooting is emphasized in Tomb Raider II more than the original, and it features Lara’s signature dual pistols, as well a grenade launcher, and M16 rifle, dual Uzis, and a harpoon gun for underwater fighting. The fighting sequences utilize a jump and dodge system, instead of the sit under cover and shoot. This type of game play is not considered ideal anymore because it’s not very realistic. However, it is super fun.

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The only real problem with going back and playing Tomb Raider II is dealing with the outdated graphics. They were really awesome at the time, but the sharp angles and grainy textures are hard to get used to. People who enjoy retro-gaming won’t mind, but it’s glaring for those who prefer modern games. The cut-scenes aren’t bad, but Lara is definitely very square and so are all of the other people. It’s amazing to see how far graphics have come since then.

So, if you want a fun, action-adventure game with an amazing heroine, you might want to play or replay Tomb Raider II. You do have to like puzzles, but that’s half the fun. It was a different game for a completely different time. Sadly, I just don’t think we’re going to get anything quite like it again.

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Excited for Rise of the Tomb Raider? It’s expected during the holiday season of this year exclusively for Xbox One and Xbox 360. Check out this pre-E3 trailer below!

What do you think? Excited? Let us know in the comments!

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This year Microsoft’s media briefing did not disappoint as Phil Spencer promised to devote the “entire briefing to games!”  Immediately, you could hear the applause around the theatre.  Last year, there was a lot of disappointment as Microsoft spent a lot of time talking about other features on the Xbox One like the Kinect and the TV features.  They seemed to learn from this mistake as they enthralled us all with game after game!

Further excitement came when Spencer stated that all the games shown during their media briefing would first get add-on content on the Xbox One!

The briefing began with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. We saw new footage that included gameplay.  I’m not a huge fan of the Call of Duty franchise, but I may just check this one out.  It also helps that Kevin Spacey is in the game. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be out on November 4, 2014.  Here is the gameplay that was showed:

Dan Greenwalt, Creative Director, came onto the stage to talk about Forza Motorsport 5 and unveiled the “nuburgring” which is available TODAY for free to those that own the game. Ralph Fulton, Creative Director, presented Forza Horizon 2 which will be available September 30, 2014.  The game will be in 1080p, have 200+ cars, include various weather conditions, and drivatars.

I’ve been highly anticipating with glee, Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Microsoft and BioWare unveiled a new trailer for the game, which will be available October 7, 2014.

Another game that garnered a lot of excitement from the masses is Sunset Overdrive. We saw a bit about this game last year, but this year we got to see a lot more of this game!  Ted Price, the Founder and CEO of Insomniac Games, came on stage to talk more about the game.  Sunset Overdrive will be available October 28, 2014 and  is exclusive to Xbox One.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a new IP from Moon Studios that looks absolutely stunning.  I’d love to see more of this game before it comes out this fall, but so far I like what I see.  Ori and the Blind Forest will be available Fall 2014.

A Microsoft briefing wouldn’t be the same without some Halo for us all! Bonnie Ross, Studio Head at 343 Industries, presented a spotlight on the much anticipated Halo 5:

Then we were presented with the Halo: The Master Chief Collection.  The collection will include Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4, Halo: Nightfall, and access to the Halo 5: Guardians Beta.  Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be out on November 11, 2014.

A very nice surprise to the mix was the Rise of the Tomb Raider world premiere! We will get to follow Lara Croft after the last installment to see how she rises from what she went through to become the character we know and love.  Rise of the Tomb Raider is expected to be available Holiday 2015.

Ken Lobb, Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, expressed his passion for reviving games that garner cult audiences as classic games.  He then presented Phantom Dust, an absolutely beautiful game.

Scalebound is a new IP that shows a lot of promise from Platinum Games.  This game is one of my favorites so far from what I’ve seen at E3. It is absolutely beautiful and I would love to see more

Microsoft wrapped up the media briefing with Crackdown.

Other games that were shown included Evolve, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dance Central, Fantasia Music Evolved, Fable Legends, Project Spark, Inside from Playdead, The Witcher 3, and The Division.

I’m VERY impressed with Microsoft’s E3 Media Briefing. They brought it with the games and I even got a look at new games that definitely interest me.

To look at the rest of the trailers that were shown at Microsoft’s media briefing, check out their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjBp_7RuDBUYbd1LegWEJ8g.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

By Jessica Brister On 11 May, 2014 At 11:08 PM | Categorized As Editorials, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThere was a point in time that I used to be a hard-core, old-school Tomb Raider fan.  I have all of the early games and have actually had the pleasure to play them on both PC and console.  When I heard about the new Tomb Raider origins/reboot game that came out in 2013, I put it on the list to play.  My chance finally came when I whittled down the backlog of games this spring and got a chance to play Tomb Raider.

If you are not familiar with the game, Tomb Raider is a 2013 action-adventure, 3rd-person video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix.  It is a reboot of the original franchise, concentrating on how Lara Croft became the world-famous adventurer.  It was also released on next-gen consoles as the “definitive edition” with slightly improved graphics.  It is also the first in the Tomb Raider series to ever have multiplayer, though for the purposes of this review, I will only be reviewing the single player aspects.

If the game wasn’t a Tomb Raider game, I would probably rate it as “okay,” considering that the game is fun to play at parts but copies to heavily from the Uncharted series.  However, this is supposed to be a Tomb Raider game, and here is what went terribly wrong:

Where are the puzzles? 

The first thing I noticed right away was that the game barely has any puzzles.  There’s a few sprinkled throughout the mostly 3rd-person shooter game, but they weren’t that hard.  I never felt stumped on them, and they only took a few moments to figure them out.  What was even worse was the fact that there are no jumping puzzles at all.  Some people may rejoice that the jumping and climbing bit of the franchise has been made easier by almost “auto” directing for you when you go to jump.  The problem is that jumping puzzles were have the fun of the original Tomb Raider games.  Trying to figure out what angle to jump and how many steps into the jump you needed to take was part of the charm of the game.

 Too much shooting

The Tomb Raider franchise had been all about balance.  The original only had a little bit of shooting (animals and the very occasional bad guy).  As more games came out, shooting became more and more prevalent, but the focus was also want adventuring and puzzles.  This new game is all about the third-person shooter experience with duck and cover elements.  The problem?  Old school Tomb Raider games were jump and flip.  I have had people point out to me that the game needed updated.  I can agree with that to some degree.  However, I do have a problem with the developers fundamentally changing the whole feel of the game play.

There was too much focus on the third-person shooting aspect of the game and not enough on puzzles.

There was too much focus on the third-person shooting aspect of the game and not enough on puzzles.

 Where are the tombs?

This game has basically become “survival raider” because there really weren’t any traditional tombs, at least the type that one would expect in a Tomb Raider game.  The player is stuck on one island for the whole time, so there is no variety.  There are some ancient houses and temples built  there, as well as some areas the game calls “tombs.”  I call them “rooms.”  They are barely big enough to do any actual exploring.  There is nothing really adventurous about the game.  It’s sole focus is on survival.

 The tone is off

Tomb Raider games used to be fun and hip.  Playing the older games, you felt like Lara was in control of the situation, even if the situation was a little out of control.  Even given the fact that this is supposed to be an origins story, the tone just felt off.  It was too dark and depressing.  It wasn’t actually that fun to play.  The franchise used to be about adventuring and exploring and having fun.  This new game felt as if the developers wanted everything to be a little “too real,” though the franchise has never been like that before.  Some people have pointed out to me that they enjoy the realism, that it was nice to see a more realistic side of Lara.  However, I would like to also point out that right off the bat at the beginning, she had a metal stake go through her body.  Now please tell me how she was up and walking around for the rest of the game?

The tone is a little dark for a Tomb Raider game.

The tone is a little dark for a Tomb Raider game.

 Is this really Lara Croft?

I wasn’t exactly sure who the woman was in this game, but it wasn’t the original Lara Croft, that’s for sure.  This woman went from apprehensive to super aggressive in a matter of a few hours.  The problem is that the original Lara never got that crazy aggressive.  Sure, she knew how to kick some serious butt.  However, there was always control.  When I played this new Tomb Raider, it didn’t really feel like the same character anymore.  Sure, she looks like Lara (sort of), but it’s not the same Lara I grew up playing.

So, is this a bad game?  No.  Most people will probably like it to some degree.  I know a lot of people who gave it high praise (critics included).  I also got some enjoyment out of it.  However, it just didn’t feel like a Tomb Raider game, orign story or not.

By SarahTheRebel On 11 Mar, 2013 At 06:42 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 1 Comment

No Gravatar“There are no heroes here, only survivors” – Matthias, Tomb Raider

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When the first trailer was shown for the new Tomb Raider, I was among the skeptics. It looked like another game with an over-sexualized heroine, and there was even a potential rape scene! However, as I mentioned in a previous article, after watching all of the trailers, I came to a different conclusion: Tomb Raider was probably going to be awesome. Other journalists told me not to get my hopes up.

It feels good to be the one smirking now.

I was right! They did it! They told a woman’s story, the story of her growth into a survivor, in a completely compassionate way. Yes, her body is still a little on the fantastical side (also, why didn’t she ever steal someone’s parka so she could stop shivering?) and yes, she often makes dumb mistakes and gets herself into all sorts of ruckus, but those are minor details and really such an improvement over the norm. One step at a time! And this was a pretty big step.

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The game also includes a few homages to past games and movies, which I loved. This new Tomb Raider is completely modern, and yet retains the feel of the classic Tomb Raiders. I felt it the first time I wandered into a water-filled cave. As I moved slowly through the water, a wave of nostalgia hit me. Luckily, no bats or batshitcrazy T-Rexes made an appearance!

So, without further ado, let’s zip-line-and-crazy-pickax-jump into this review! This covers the PS3 version of Tomb Raider, which does not include her fancy “every strand of hair moves” technology that the PC version came with.

Package

Check out my unboxing video here. The game came with a code for a scavenger hunt (that I was apparently supposed to do before the game came out) a mini art book, and Tomb Raider: Final Hours, which works through the Amazon Appstore.

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Plot

“Armed with only her instincts and her innate ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight, explore, and use her intelligence to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island and escape its relentless hold.”

In this reboot of the series, a young, 21-year-old Lara is on her first archaeological adventure, looking for the kingdom of Yamatai. Following a hunch, she convinces the crew to head into the Dragon’s Triangle and its deadly storms.

From there, everything hits the fan in a rolling avalanche of crazy.

Characters

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  • Alex – Know-it-all nerd boy who just wants to impress Lara.
  • Jonah – The spiritual brown man, he’s nice, patient, never loses his temper, and gives me presents. He also has a dark past.
  • Sam – The director of the expedition’s film. I loved seeing a woman in this role, as it’s very rare to see female directors represented in any medium. She also cares deeply about her roots, as well as Lara. She miiight be sweethearts with Lara.
  • Reyes – The tough girl with a heart. She is tough on Lara and has little patience for her. She’s also a mechanic and single mother.
  • Roth – Is the fatherly figure who taught Lara everything she knows.
  • Grim – The badass old man. You get the idea that he, Roth, and Lara’s dad had some crazy adventures of their own.
  • Whitman – The prima donna douche-bag and head archaeologist of this expedition.
  • Lara Croft – The young and passionate Lara lives on instinct, much as she is told to. Unfortunately, her instincts tend to lead her and others right into danger. Also, she comes off as a little book smart but street dumb, constantly tripping on vines, loudly calling out for people instead of hiding, and never picking up a parka from one of the many dead, fully-clothed people around her. As for her new look, her arms should be way more muscly, but in general, her body is proportional and more realistic than past representations (though I still think her lower back is probably aching and hey, she keeps using a bow but doesn’t bind her breasts, but whatever, survivor, wooo!).

I love this multicultural cast of characters and I enjoyed learning more about each of them. You find out most of the info through reading documents or, rather, having documents read to you by their voice actors. It often lends a haunting and melancholy air to the adventure.

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As great as it is to have a diverse cast, I do have to point out that they each turn into tropes by the end of the game. The exciting news is that those tropes aren’t based on their race or gender, but more on roles of other characters in action movies. Yes, Reyes is a single mother and has a bad temper, but she is also a mechanic, a strong leader, and has a sweet side that is shown only when talking about her daughter or around her secret beau. Jonah is the mystical brown man, but he also has a troubled past, and his mysticism has more to do with his personality than his race.

All in all, I was very pleased to see this group, and I hope other games take note!

Graphics and Sound

This game is lovely. Environments often equate to eye-porn, with the complementary music adding a sense of loneliness to Lara’s journey. The atmosphere in this game was just spot on. I was freaked out, excited, sad, whatever they wanted me to feel.

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The characters look stunningly realistic, and on the PC version Lara has TRESSFX, lending super realism to her…hair.

I played on the PlayStation 3 and saw only one glitch, where a gun was floating in the air, lonely and aloof.

Gameplay

The gameplay of this game is really and truly a blend. It’s not exactly a survival game, because you don’t need to eat to live, and ammo is plentiful. It is an action game with strong puzzle and shooter elements.

In general, the gameplay made me think of Far Cry 3 (PS: holy fast-travel batman!) and Uncharted. Oddly enough, a lot of the controls reminded me of DMC: Devil May Cry, but that’s probably just my brain being strange. Either way, I felt that this was the kind of game that would have been more difficult to play if it had come out a few years prior, but instead feels like a natural evolution of game mechanics.

QuickTime

QuickTime events were used heavily throughout the game. You all know how much I hate QuickTime events, but at least these generally did not take away from my ability to see what was happening on the screen.

Tools and Skills

There were a few interesting mechanics, such as lighting things on fire, environment interactions, and scaling walls with your pickax. Using fire continuously to help you in various puzzles and in traversing the environment was very interesting to me, as fire is usually a damaging feature in games, as opposed to a helping one. The game uses a system of base camps to allow you to upgrade skills and weapons based on experience points and loot (called salvage in game). Lara can also change outfits and collect relics and journal entries, adding clues to the island’s mysteries.

The UI of the skills and gear was very awkward and non-intuitive to me. It took me forever to figure out where everything was, and I found it difficult to compare weapons in any way.

I also had to figure out that when I dug in a box and didn’t find something, it actually either just made an automatic change in my gear or added to my salvage, without me appearing to have grabbed anything.

Environment

Lara’s interaction with the environment is also a solid gameplay experience. She automatically takes cover when enemies are near, she reaches out to touch walls when she gets close to them, she lights a torch in dark tombs and looks around in interest at scenic areas. I loved the automatic cover, and would enjoy seeing it as an alternative to sticky cover in other games.

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As I mentioned before, the game is vaguely reminiscent of the old Tomb Raiders, especially in the optional tomb maps. Each area is its own puzzle/platformer, and there are enough varied moments that no section ever becomes dull. You could be doing anything from steering a fall to jumping around sunken ships to scaling an ice cliff to running from flames. This was truly a game that kept me on my toes, and even the most ADD player would have trouble being bored.

However, one issue I had is that sometimes areas are so clearly traps that it feels ridiculous that you have to actually go to them. This is a combination of narrative and level design that leads to this issue though. It just made Lara seem dumb for going into those areas.

Although the level design is usually very fun, sometimes it was a “learn by dying” experience, as you slowly pieced together how best to proceed in the level. Some levels needed to be stealth, which wasn’t always apparent since most areas allowed you to choose your own approach. These areas were particularly punishing and frustrating.

Stealth

When it worked, stealth was mildly addictive. When it didn’t work, it was horrendously annoying. As most of you know, I don’t generally enjoy stealth games. I am very impatient, which resulted in my death numerous times because I didn’t wait for an enemy to move, or pay attention to where they were facing. Eventually, I learned to treat the game as if every mission required stealth until the mission proved otherwise.

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Combat

You will probably die in at least one fire-fight, as waves of enemies relentlessly pursue you, shooting up the frail boundaries you hide behind.

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In general, combat is very well-paced with the story. Modding weapons leads to very satisfactory shooting experiences. One issue I had though is that Lara is so weak compared to the enemies. I can shoot some of them in the head twice and they don’t die… but if one of them has a rifle, I’m dead in seconds.

Enemies honestly cause more harm to themselves sometimes, setting things on fire, dropping napalm, cramming a choke point…lol, blowing up entire levels…lots of ways.

In general, combat became a more enjoyable experience the more I played and became used to the aiming mechanics, which felt slightly shaky in the beginning.

Multiplayer

Tomb Raider has four multiplayer modes:

  • Team Deathmatch – Team vs. team and highest score wins
  • Cry for help – Round based mode where survivors must activate radio transmitters while preventing batteries from falling into enemy hands
  • Survival of the Fittest – Kill other players without dying to become the executioner before time runs out
  • Rescue – Attempt to recover medical supplies while the Solarii must finish you with a melee execution

I played Team Deathmatch to get a feel for the multiplayer. It has a fairy simple set up: gain XP to get new weapons, mods, skills and characters. You get to choose which team you will play on, Survivors or Sollari. I liked that the system rewarded me not just for epic wins but also for epic fails, with a Feats and Setbacks feature.

The multiplayer is not bad, I just really wish they’d made it relate more to the main game. For example, all of the times the crew was separated from Lara could have been the setup for each of the multiplayer maps, with Lara calling in on walkie-talkie at the end of them.

Final Thoughts

This game took me on a journey. I went from scared and naïve Lara to a badass warrior woman. There was a moment at the very end, where Lara does something iconic to the Tomb Raider franchise, and I actually cheered. This is the Tomb Raider we’ve been waiting for.

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You know what else is amazing about this game? Women stood behind it. Girl gamers asked for it, bought it, played it, and mostly loved it. This is the proof the industry needs that “if you build it, they will come” should be their mantra! Gamers are hungry for more strong female leads in games.

Another favorite aspect of the game for me was something that even my male friends noticed: no one called me rude names! I was never “bitch” or anything like that. They called me the “Outsider.” Heck, some of the bad guys even talked about what an amazing shot I was! I love that positivity in things I kill.

Despite the sometimes punishing combat and Lara’s almost unbelievable naivete in the beginning, this game proved to be a fun, fast ride worthy of any action flick, but with the solid gameplay of a classic.

First appeared on Nerdy But Flirty.

By SarahTheRebel On 8 Feb, 2013 At 05:39 AM | Categorized As Featured | With 0 Comments

No GravatarSo, if you follow my Twitter, you may have noticed that I did not originally have a very positive outloook on the new Lara Croft in the reboot of Tomb Raider. Besides her ugly haircut, it really seemed like another Metroid: Other M move, where a newer game makes a female character more of a crybaby and more weak than she was in previous games.

However, after watching the rest of the trailers for the new Tomb Raider, I’ve realized that might not be the case at all; at least, not in a bad way.

Survivor Over Everything

There are at least four new trailers, and they each show bits and pieces of the story. A young Lara Croft is off on an adventure and runs into a terrible storm. She has no training, no skills. She’s a young adventurer getting ready to go off and prove herself to the world. It’s obvious that she isn’t at all ready for what she stumbles upon. I suggest watching “Tomb Raider 9 Trailer” first.

Lara is forced to push herself. Climbing to scary heights, jumping over canyons, killing animals for food, and killing the men who try to abduct her. Watching each trailer added a vital puzzle piece for seeing the trend of the game towards an action-survival game. I also got a very Uncharted feel from it, and that’s not a bad thing, since one can argue that games like Uncharted owe a nod to the original Tomb Raider (both series owe Indiana Jones, so don’t get started on that). I am also reminded of Far Cry 3, which is another game with great gameplay. Here’s a video showing off some of that gameplay.

I really did get the sense that Lara was going to have to do things that she wasn’t comfortable with to survive, and I like that notion of actions having weight and consequences in games.

Are Tomb Raider purists going to love this game? Probably not. Although tombs are mentioned, they definitely don’t look like the sprawling tombs of past games, and most of the footage shown takes place outdoors on an island. I also didn’t see any T-Rexes or bats. >_>

Controversial Rape Scene

So let’s talk about the rape scene. Yes, some places have said it isn’t rape at all, and they’re right. That was an attempted rape, which Lara aborted by fighting for her life and succeeding in killing her attacker. As a rape survivor, I honestly felt proud of this scene. You can see the trauma, the desperation, and then the cost of victory. This is something that a young woman, stranded with a group of hostile men, would really be in danger of. It’s a realistic, not contrived, occurrence and it was handled well. You can see from these trailers that Lara gets stronger and stronger, and she continually has to push herself further and further.

Here’s that trailer

But What About the Series?

Now, the real question will be, how will they move forward with this in the sequel? Will she end the game as her normal cool, calm, and badass Lara who we know and love? And then will the next game not involve any of this survivor vibe?

Notably, this is the first Tomb Raider game to be rated mature. As the newest game in one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time, Square Enix has its hands full living up to that legacy.

Check out this behind-the-scenes look

I honestly think they showed the wrong trailer first, and I’m very excited to check out the new Tomb Raider, which will be released March 5th for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

How far will Lara go to survive? I look forward to finding out.

First appeared on NerdyButFlirty.com

No GravatarIt’s the days after Christmas. You have gift cards abundant and games coming out for all girls and boys. But what can you get? With all the choices lying ahead?

Have no fear, with all the bundles abound, waiting to be found, I got the ones with the most “extra” kick aside from the gaming bit (Sorry for my cheesiness).

 

Tomb Raider Collector’s Edition 

Collector's edition view

First and foremost, I love Tomb Raider, so I had to list it first. It doesn’t have the best content, but I believe it has the most bang for your buck. It includes:

  • A realistically rendered Play Arts Kai Lara Croft figurine approximately 8 inches tall
  • Weapon pack DLC
  • 3 iron-on experience shield badges
  • Tomb Raider soundtrack with 10 songs
  • An Endurance survival tin made to look like it was recovered from the shipwreck
  • 5″ X 7″ Lithographic print
  • A double sided poster with an island map and the box art
  • Access to the Tomb Raider Scavenger Hunt to participate in challenges for prizes and more

I simply love the Lara Croft figure, it’s so detailed and perfectly muddy not getting it would kill me. I hope the DLC weapons are exclusives to these game copies with the collector’s edition to get my money’s worth, and the CD is a nice touch (I legally download all my music).

Price: $99.99

 

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm Collector’s Edition

Starcraft 2 Collector's bundle

Starcraft is an MMO with its own fanbase, so I listed it mainly so Starcraft fans can assess if the collector’s edition is worth the extra money. All of the great additional merch that comes with the game seems reasonable to me, especially with the extras for other Blizzard MMOs you might play.

  • A behind the scenes DVD and Blu Ray 2 disc set
  • Heart of the Swarm Art Book
  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack
  • Zerg Rush mouse pad
  • Exclusive in-game content

The in game content includes a Torrasque Ultradisk and portaits in Starcraft II, pet banneling in World of Warcraft, and blade wings and a banner sigil in Diablo III.

Price: $79.99

 

Aliens: Colonial Marines Collector’s Edition

I don’t have much hope for this game except for the fact it’s made by Sega, but because this list is about the extra and not the game itself, it earns a spot. This game has some very good extra content.

  • Resin Powerloader figurine in a limited edition Xeno Hive box
  • USCM Dossier, iron-on badges, and graduation certificate
  • Recruitment card
  • LV-426 Recon photo
  • USS Sephora schematic
  • Mission brief

But this is just physical extras. The exclusive in-game content includes:

  • Four playable movie characters
  • Extra game level
  • Additional Marines character customization features
  • Exclusive multiplayer weapons
  • Sonic Electronic Ball Breakers
  • Phase Plasma Rifle
  • Ripley’s flamethrower
  • USCM Academy firing range

Price: $99.99

 

Bioshock Infinite Premium Edition

Bioshock Infinite Premium

This bundle definitely comes with awesome stuff.

  • Collectible mini edition of The Art of Bioshock Infinite
  • Exclusive digital soundtrack
  • Murder of Crow keychain
  • Handyman figurine
  • Lithographic print of propaganda

It also comes with a gear pack that gives three exclusive power ups in the game.

  • Bull rush: Sprints become melee strikes and can knock down enemies
  • Extra! Extra!: Audio logs give “Silver Eagles”
  • Betrayer: In the PC game causes possessed enemies to explode once you kill them. In the PS3 you get Bioshock Infinite themes. The XBox 360 players get Booker and Elizabeth avatar costumes.

There is a way more costly bundle that costs $70 more. What’s the difference? It comes with a Songbird statue. You must really really want that figure to spend so much money for the Ultimate Songbird Edition of the game.

Songbird figure

Price: $79.99

 

God of War: Ascension Collector’s Edition

God of War Ascension Collector Edition

The God of War franchise has outdone itself with this beautiful pre-order which includes:

  • An exclusive 8 inch Kratos statue
  • Premium Steelbook case
  • Digital game soundtrack
  • Multiplayer Double XP unlock
  • PS3 Dynamic theme and PSN Avatar pack
  • A pass for all future DLC

The last perk seems very promising.  Especially since I don’t like always paying for future DLC.

Price: $79.99

 

This is the best of the best I’ve gathered so far. I hope as the year reveals more new games to try out, they come out with more tempting bundles like these.

By otakuman5000 On 6 Jun, 2011 At 08:50 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Featured, News, Uncategorized, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe Microsoft Press Conference kicked off with a bang this year. Starting things off was some new footage of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. What was shown was new footage of an underwater submarine, where the main objective was to plant charges to surface the sub. Once that was done, we got a taste of a war torn New York City. Complete with sinking war ships, chopters, and drivable speedboats.

 

 

But that wasn’t all we got to see. There was also the new Tomb Raider reboot that made it’s debut to the public for the first time. We got to see a new Lara Croft try to find her way out of a mysterious cave after her plane crashed landed. The main focus was to show everyone how Lara this time around would be primarily about survival and exploration.

 

 

EPIC Games also showed some more footage of Gears of War 3. A scene where Marcus and Cole are aboard a ship in the ocean fighting a giant squid like locust monster. Alongside this, Mass Effect 3 showed off some new features that involved Kinect voice recognition, allowing players to use voice command to make choices during dialogue.

 

 

Most of the conference was dominated by a heavy push for Kinect intergrated software. Microsoft promised everyone that more Kinect hardcore and sophisticated games would be present this year, and they delivered. We got a glimpse of new titles like DisneyLand Adventures, Dance Central 2, Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster, Kinect Star Wars, and Kinect Sports Season 2. All of the games used the Kinect’s features in different ways, some including the new voice command introduced during the conference. What was interesting was how different the lineup was for Kinect, and just how much support the Kinect has received from most of the bigger titles shown during the conference.

 

 

During the conference, other new surprises were shown, including BING on Xbox Live, UFC coming to Live, and how Kinect Voice Command would change the way we interact with our games and console. Most of the games featured during the press event were confirmed to have Kinect support and features, the only one to not be confirmed for this was Modern Warfare 3.

 

 

Finally, the conference ended off on a nice teaser of the earlier leaked HALO 4. The teaser was brief, showing Master Chief awakening from his slumber from the end of Halo 3 (after the credits if you beat the game on legendary). He awakes to Cortanna screaming for his help and after grabbing her, he flings himself down a corridor of the ship he is in toward the outside of space. There we see a giant machine of some sort, and his ship is heading towards it.

 

 

Prior to the trailer earlier in the conference, the Halo remake called HALO COMBAT EVOLVED ANNIVERSARY. It is the same game we played for the first time years ago, only this time it comes with an updated graphics filter, Campaign Co-Op over Xbox Live, Classic Halo maps with Halo Reach looks, and Fire Fight mode for the masses. It was a great way to get everyone excited for Microsoft’s Exclusive.

 

 

Overall, Microsoft’s Press Conference was much better this year then last year’s E3 2010. While much of what was shown was either expected or much of the same from past E3s, this year felt like a much better presentation. The line-up of games got more people excited about this coming year for Microsoft. With a bunch of great third party games, an awesome exclusive over the horizon, and a ton of new features coming to their online network, Microsoft is looking forward to a good year for their Xbox 360.