GB – #46 – Tomb Raider

Never played this game. In fact, before this project I never knew there WAS a Tomb Raider for the Gameboy!

I’ve really never enjoyed these kinds of side scrolling games, but I’m hopeful. Pitfall with guns?

Night 1:

Here’s a good time to point out one of my pet peeves. I really get turned off by games that try to outperform their hardware limitation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pushing boundaries, but there’s a point where it just feels cheap. This is why I really dislike more popular SNES games like Stunt Race FX or Star Fox. With that in mind, when I fire up a Gameboy game and see this…


…My eyes do a mighty roll… I mean really, here’s a fine opportunity to show Tomb Raider in a different light. Comics, cartoons, hell, chibi sprites I don’t care, but don’t force feed me these garbage stills from the PS1 games. The look awful. Luckily, it got worse when I pulled my gun…


Blurry, I know, but… sigh…

LUCKILY the game got much better right after I started playing. I wonder how much less frustrated I’d have been if I had a manual with this game, but I slowly started figuring out the controls, many of which are contextual, and really started to get a feel for the game. A good one! Nothing seemed to drag on for too long, I didn’t find myself getting lost as often as I thought I would, and the challenges were all reasonable.

Unfortunately, I looked at the clock and realized that more tomb raiding would have to wait until tomorrow. Saved at the end of Level 2.

Night 2:

I spent my lunch hour finishing out Level 2 and working through Level 3. I made it towards the back-end of the area only to realize I’ve missed an item early on, that’s one issue. Another is that once I find it I have no idea where to use it. This is kind of what I was worried about coming into this game. Every corridor looks just like the last, and I believe levels may be just a bit too large. As a result of constant backtracking and dead ends, I’m starting to get bored.

The game still plays well enough, but after three levels it seems like it’s just more and more of the same. I’m on the last level of the Temple zone, so I’m hoping to see a boss fight and then hopefully something new in the next area. In the meantime, I’m just going to have to slog through it…


Night 3:

Another lunch time play session in the temple. Now, armed with a map, I’m finally able to navigate this enormous area. I also learned, luckily right after saving, that bumping these Gameboy cartridges in a GBA can have catastrophic consequences. After a reseating and resetting I continue on through the level.

Finally finding all the needed keys and holes to put them in, I advance to the Royal Tombs…


Awesome! I thought Castlevania was further down the list…

So far it’s more of the same on a different, albeit welcome, backdrop. Toss in a couple new enemy (skins) and bullet-activated ceiling switches, and it’s basically Temple C all over again. I’m not trying to imply this is a bad game or anything. The more I play it the more I come to accept it as actually being fairly solid, it’s just not how I prefer my platformers. The game is 12 stages long, and I’ve just entered the fourth, putting right around the 25% complete mark.

I’ll just have to keep trudging on, but it’ll have to wait until later. Lunch time is over!

Night 4:

I’m done.

I feel awful about it, but, I’m done. On a technical level there’s really nothing wrong with this game. It plays “okay” it never feels cheap or unfair and really I’m just one frontal lobotomy short of being able to sit through the whole thing! Every stage is about as big as a Super Metroid zone only Lara moves about half as fast as Samus and handles twice as poorly.

The entire game is the same: Go across the stage, find a switch to open a door to find a key to open a door that leads to another key to open another door behind another switch, then there’s two more keys and two more doors then the last door opens and takes you to the next level REPEAT 12 TIMES!

The game is just so boring. I moves so slowly and is so remarkably unremarkable that just the idea of playing it makes me sleepy.

Play it Again?
No! God… just… no… I need a nap.

Tomb Raider

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s