.82]Hello again! I'm back for another article! Yea for me, lol. I'm not a big gamer but with the ones that I've played, I stick with them forever. My husband is a big FF series fan (especially the ever amazing FF VII). I'm not into much of the FF area but still it's a great RPG to play. For me though it's the action adventures that are my second in line behind survival/horror. This is going to be a big article so hopefully you sit in front of your screens with your bottle of Yoo-Hoo and come along with me down Memory Lane!

One big one that I LOVE the most is the Tomb Raider series.

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God I remember getting the PS one and got the game with it for Christmas back in '96, I believe, where the hooplah of Lara Croft was just beginning. I couldn't stop playing this game day in and day out. My mom once took it away from me because I would be playing it all the time and she couldn't watch TV. *sighs*

Looking back on it, it's so funny and strange to play. You play using the D-pad on the controller and it's on an x/y vertice and you just try to move her as smooth as you can like an analog...it's not possible to the untrained eye. The graphics are blocky, repeating backgrounds, fuzzy/pixelated close ups...well you look and tell me:

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The good ol' days of Block mapping, L0L!!

Check this out! Her hair is one thing. It's up in a bun, and she's smaller; small torso, big head, block feet. She's more petite and has a child like voice as she a young adventure/architech from England. I wonder if Lord Croft started off so young. Hmm...

Anyway you are trying to find the Scion through different parts of the world. I know in the beginning you are at these doors and dogs come out and eat the Spanish guy you are with. When Anniversary came out, it looks something like this :

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Now that's more like it!! Look at Lara, fine features, detailed in the color of her cheeks, jawline, bones, and eyes. She's proportiate to the rest of her body. Simply perfect. Anyways, what I love about Anniversary and the first installment is how much they are really related with options that usual games didn't have. If you think about it, what control would be considered the "action button"? The "X" button.(I'm use to PS One so...sorry to the PC, and Sega users), you can make her do handstands, and with Anniversary,the option of kill shots (WEEEE!!)
All in all, TR1 was only the beginning of a new relationship with my PS One and Lady Croft; Anniversary made me see TR1 the way if programming was a little more complex and descriptive.

Next, Tomb Raider II

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I also got this game for X-mas and I was smitten with the new adventure with the Dagger of Xian; which turned a China emperor into a dragon and Lara must find the dagger before anyone else does. Simple enough right? Nah, not with Lady Croft who loves to do things the hard way and along the trips to China, India, Jungles, there are plenty of other adventures to find.

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You get to drive boats, cars/jeeps; a feature that wasn't available in the first one (from what I remember). This game holds a place in my heart.
With the option of going to her Manor (or as I say BIG HOUSE ON STEROIDS) you are introduced to Winston, her butler. He's annoying, following Lara around, groaning and even farting.
Yeah! I said it, Farting. (ppppfft). At one point my gaming buddy mentioned about the meat freezer and to open it up (don't get too ahead of me if you know what I'm talking about) She said to "wait near the back until you see him with your 'look button'. Do a backflip, run out of the locker and push the button outside." At first I thought it was a joke but I did as she said and when I shut the door with Winston still in there, the door closed, with Winston inside. I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants...literally. I had to stop playing the game for 15 minutes because of it. But we still love him, even though we will still put in him the freezer when he's been bad.

Love ya, Winston!!!

This next installment I acutally beat without the use of any cheats or codes needed to get through the game. Tomb Raider III: The Adventures of Lara Croft
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Oh! How I adored, nay, lived this game. Also it's a new start on the game as it continues to gain so much popularity in '98. Basically Lara is after pieces of a meteorite after it hit Antartica millions of years ago. She goes to Indian temples, South Pacific Islands, Nevada (Area 51) and London for the Eye of Isis which has pieces in it. Of course she's trying to get these artifacts out of the hands from a big corporation that wants it for world domination, imortality and stuff, lol.
With the game you can play in the mansion again. There are other secrets you can look forward to. The pool is bigger, go ATV riding, ect. Also, you are introduce to Lara's fire place...which I found out one late night and thought if Lara would get hurt. Low and behold, she was running through her bedroom, on fire.When did this come about? I thought fire wasn't able to hurt you from the previous installments. I was wrong and I died 30 seconds later (BTW...get in the bathtub, if you go in the fire.) Her obstacle course is better than TRII and you get to learn how to crawl, monkey swing on bars and vines, sprint and Winston (remember we love him) is the target for Lara's bullets during weapon training. I love it how he gets up and says "oww!"
Author Note: If he would not wear a camo-like uniform with a big target on his chest, he wouldn't get hit....as much...well, he would but still it wouldn't be THAT obvious.
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"Winston if you would please stop following me around with your palsy tray and flatulence, you wouldn't get hit with my 9mm bullets."

I like the whole playing area, plus with the creepy music (at times) that plays when you are in a puzzle or as you are just casually walking through a world, sets the mood. I spent a lot of nights sitting in my room or over at a friends, glued to the T.V. after watching Wishmaster and Chucky, while it was storming out.
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The 4th installment: Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation comes with the introduction of a young Lara, investigating tombs and catacombs in Cambodia with her mentor, Werner Von Croy. Long story short, she had to abandon Von Croy and then is believed he died for her safety. The globe trotting is very minimal in this game, since she's only in Egypt in this storyline. You know the drill, find an artifact, get it before the bad guys come, defeat them but....she confront Von Croy after so many years. She falls into the darkness beneath the temple...and builds a nice little sitting area. Kidding!!

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"Hey! I like it here. It's quiet."

We know Lara! Suposebly she's presumed dead. I didn't like this game all that much. You get to see their mouths actually start to move but it's blocky and doesn't always go with the dialect. Just opens and closes, basically.

With features, she does more! She can grab ropes and she can shimmy around corners. We are starting to see the developement for the acrabatic means of Lara!

This is the end of part one of the frenzy we know as Lara Croft beginning in 1996. Keep a look out for part 2. Let me know what you like/dislike about the game. What was your favorite feature/background/place of adventure?

Until then...

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"I'll just hang around until Mysticwryter writes the next article."