ColecoVision to iPhone Games 30

Jul 8 07:09 2010 M Frizzi Print This Article

In this thirtieth part of the series we will examine some more of those classic moments where video game designers undoubtedly got it right and delivered a memorable, enduring and progressive gaming experience.

In this ongoing look at significant moments in the history of video game design,Guest Posting we have already taken a look at Nintendos Kid Icarus, Electronic Arts Mirrors Edge, Raven Softwares Soldier of Fortune 2 and several others.The goal of this series is to go beyond simple gaming magazines and iPhone App Reviews, and take a closer look at what defines memorability and quality in game design.In this thirtieth part of the series we will examine some more of those classic moments where video game designers undoubtedly got it right and delivered a memorable, enduring and progressive gaming experience. Tomb Raider (Multi-Platform) Part 2 When not overcoming the visual limitations of the title, players were likely spending the bulk of their time navigating the games many jumping puzzles.In these instances, the bulk of player frustration was, in fact, caused by designers.In many instances a player would navigate Lara to the top of a structure or set of jumping blocks, only to see no obvious place to go.This is where players began taking their leaps of faith.These leaps would be made in an arbitrary direction or at an object seemingly far out of Laras jumping range, all in the hopes that a miraculous landing would be made that somehow revealed the next step in the players journey.Most of the time, however, the jump merely resulted in Lara screaming as she plummeted to her bone shattering death.Thankfully, the game had a save anywhere option that allowed the player to save their progress before making their blind leaps. Taking into account the immense frustration players had to overcome in the form of the graphically camouflaged clues and less than intuitive jumping puzzles, one begins to wonder why the game has become so beloved.The answer to that question is two-fold.First off, as with every frustrating game, there is an immense feeling of accomplishment felt when the player overcomes a particularly stubborn obstacle or, through either luck or skill, finds the next step to take in their journey to the end credits.Many players completed Tomb raider not because they were particularly enjoying the title, but because they refused to let the game get the better of them.A second reason for the games success has to do with its unpredictability of gameplay.While the game was incredibly frustrating at times, it was also quite an effective adventure game.When not stuck in progress or in the middle of a jumping sequence, the player was able to enjoy some of the more interesting aspects of the game such as: outrunning boulders, overcoming pits of spikes, taking on both gun toting enemies and out of control creatures and solving puzzles.These elements of the game are truly what saves the title from being a forgettable exercise in frustration, as they are well implemented and executed.The Tomb Raider games became famous partly thanks to Lara Croft and her considerable assets.Many conservative organizations took issue with Laras unrealistic physical proportions, helping the title to stay in the headlines long after its release.It earned positive reviews due to its incredible use of 3-d space and clever gameplay elements.But, it remains a classic because it was the introduction to one of gamings most enduring characters a strong female lead that did not depend on any men for success, but instead relied on her own abilities and skills.Tomb Raider is certainly not a flawless game.Attempting to play it in todays age would most likely result in gnashed teeth, a broken controller and a new found respect for modern day graphics.However, for its time, Tomb Raider was a very progressive title that did far more right than it did wrong, pushed the envelope of 3-d space, created a billion dollar franchise and helped legitimize female game characters.For these reasons and countless more, Tomb Raider deserves its place among the greatest and most important games of all time

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