It's big news this week for iOS lovers, thanks to the release of Square Enix's iconic title Tomb Raider. For just 99 cents, players can relive their first moments as Lara Croft, and even if the heroine has aged a bit since 1996, who cares? Downloading a classic experience on the cheap should be a no-brainer, but sometimes frustration can overshadow a seductive price tag.
The reasons to download this app is as plain as day. With over 15 hours of game play, including the two extra levels featured in its 1998 iteration, Tomb Raider is a worthy enough purchase for franchise loyalists and nostalgic gamers. The artifact seeking adventuress placed Angelina Jolie on the A-list map and proved that she could just be just as tough as action staples Sarah Connor and Ripley. Women loved a lady who could balance intelligence with physical prowess, while guys still fantasize over her frequently cosplayed outfit and stunning figure.
On a purely first impression level, Tomb Raider completely passes the eye test, as Lara Croft is still a looker.
Even with its PlayStation graphics, the sheer wonder of Tomb Raider remains intact. Part of the title's allure also rested in the idea of discovery and travel, as gamers could imagine their own passport being stamped as they ventured into the seemingly far reaches of the earth. We may be living in PlayStation 4 and Xbox One world, but a beautifully designed game knows no bounds, even in tablet form. As much as I love seeing Lara Croft once again, I love all that wondrous terrain before her. Two dead wolves by her feet doesn't hurt, either.
Graphics and sentimental goodwill may set us forth on an enticing journey, but without a dependable control mechanic that trip may be all for naught. Console to tablet transitioning can be a seamless experience, as evidenced with the June iOS debut of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
The controllers for Tomb Raider are, at best, sub-par. The directional arrows on the left side of your device points Lara in different paths, while the walk and leap icons on the right side enable her to run, jump, and climb. Both controls are needed if Lara wants to jump to a seemingly far distance, and unfortunately the commands aren't responsive to your touch 100% of the time. On many occasions, I've spent several minutes trying to employ the simplest of maneuvers, only to find myself stuck back on square one.
Part of a tablet's strengths lies in the sheer ease of navigation. Tomb Raider, even for the most determined gamer, can be a headache due to its control sensitivity issues. I've wasted more than enough time trying to move Lara from place to place, and by now my patience, as well as my lady's head, has vanished.
If you own a MOGA Ace Power or a Logitech PowerShell controller, your Tomb Raider excursions should yield a more pleasant, mobile experience. I prefer seeing Ms. Croft up close and personal, and with a bit of patience, maybe the iPad's control flaws will fade away.
For its cheap price and the ability to revisit one of video game's most celebrated heroines, Tomb Raider is a decent enough download. If you can get past its horrible controls and stay the course, you'll probably think this app is the deal of the century. I'd rather pay a bit more for the chance to see Lara spread her wings without any clunky mechanics. I may be a cheap date, but I know beauty, and one of a kind adventures, comes with a price.