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GBA Review - 'Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Prophecy'

by Chris "Fozz" Breci on April 17, 2003 @ 11:59 p.m. PDT

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Prophecy maintains the high standards people have come to expect from a Tomb Raider game.The game remains faithful to the spirit that has made previous game versions - as well as the movie - a worldwide success. Since the first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996, the series has gone on to sell more than 28 million copies worldwide.

Genre: Action
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Developer: Core Design
Release Date : 11/12/2002

As Lara sits at the bottom of the tall Swedish mountains her mind dwells on the thought of magic, the true meaning of this quest. After deciphering The Tomb of Ezekiel Lara becomes consumed with the legend and the mystery behind it. The legend touched on the topic of magic in a way that makes Lara believe that she can find the truth about Magic and whether or not it truly exists.

The GBA installment into the Tomb Raider series actually took me by surprise and found it’s way into my GBA more than I expected it to. However you can’t play this game in the same frame of mind or style you played the rest of the tomb raiders because it’s a whole different type of game requiring a different style of play. The game plays much like any other platform game, however it seemed to have enough gunplay in it to hold my attention for a lengthened amount of time. What kind of Tomb Raider title would this be without a couple of puzzles here and there? It just wouldn’t be right, but The Prophecy seemed as though it minimized the amount of puzzles in a trade for a bit more action.

One of the best things about this type of game is that you can pick up the game and be controlling Lara like a pro in ten seconds flat. D-pad controls your standard movement and if you hold the L-trigger you can sprint. Lara can be in two main stances, with or without guns-a-blazin’. Pulling the R-trigger determines whether or not you choose to put the barrels up. Lara is all about the stunt action that is out of the ordinary, not only can she shimmy and hang on ledges but she can also do side flips and fire at the same time. I find myself ready to do a side flip on the dime when I see an enemy I need to plug rather than steadying my shot. I prefer to play games that allow me to go John Woo as much as possible. It takes a little bit to find different guns other than the pistols. The bosses are pretty stereotypical and follow the basic clich├ęs but who is to say that some of those basics aren’t to be followed sometimes. This time around they are your standard “longer life-bar and more powerful” bosses.

One of the first graphical thoughts this game leaves is “Wow it looks EXACTLY like Tony Hawk 2!” Tomb Raider uses a revamped version of the Tony Hawk Engine. Other than that there wasn’t much to this games graphics. Sometimes it can be a little bit disorienting the way some of the tile sets are drawn. Some of the drop off’s and high rises are easily confused and can leave you jumping off of a cliff or trying to jump down and running into a wall.

All in all, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Prophecy turns out to be a basic game that gets the job done for a GBA game. The gameplay presented is solid and seems to work really well into the series (for a spin off sort). The gunplay provides for quick and easy entertainment that is excellent for a multi-hour drive or maybe an elongated plane ride but doesn’t really cut it for sitting down on the couch and turning on your GBA. The controls are easy to pick up and the graphics are decent for GBA making this a game that most people will say they traded in but end up keeping it. It is my prediction that this will be one of those gamers guilty pleasures that “mysteriously” doesn’t seem to leave the GBA.

Score : 8.4/10

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