Play to your strengths.

(Originally posted on my personal blog)

Look, Tomb Raider.  I loved you back in the ’90′s.  You and I had some great times together.  When I first saw that T-rex in the jungle?  That was a magic moment.

And sure, you and I had fallen out of touch over the years.  Honestly, who wouldn’t?  From what I had heard and seen, you had been in a rut for years.

But just the other day, I thought I’d give you a call and see what you were up to.

Tomb Raider: Underworld

And for a while, you were like a breath of fresh air.  Where had you been for the last few years?

Tomb Raider: Underworld took up quite a bit of my time over the last week or so.  It was full of fun puzzles, and frozen zombies, and surprisingly well-written and well-acted dialogue.  Even the lovely Virginia noticed how well-crafted everything was.

But like any relationship with an old fling, it wasn’t meant to last.

In the last level, I encountered a rather irritating bug, and was unable to proceed to the end of the game.  So Underworld joined the long list of games that I haven’t been able to finish lately.  Ah, well.

It was only after I’d played about halfway through the game that I realized I was missing out on some story and character elements.  A quick Wikipedia search confirmed that Tomb Raider: Legend should have been first on my list.

So I picked up Legend and took it out for a spin.  And hey, it was fun, too!  I was a little put off by the fact that half the game involved shooting guys and moving around office buildings instead of raiding tombs, but hey, you’ve got to mix up the formula a bit.

However, as the great poet Dwayne Johnson once said:  Know your role.

Early on in Legend, there is an extended motorcycle-riding sequence.  There are other enemies on motorcycles trying to shoot at the player, but for the most part, the sequence was easily beaten.  I didn’t think much of it.  After all, the motorcycle sequences in Underworld were pretty fun — because Crystal Dynamics had obviously learned their lesson from the Kazakhstan level.

Look, I'm raiding tombs! Really!

In the Kazakhstan level of Legend, we have an even longer motorcycle sequence.  This time, however, there are SUV’s in addition to the guys on bikes.  And… it’s really hard.  As in, I’ve tried it ten times and haven’t successfully made it through the level.  And I won’t ever make it through the level.  Why?

BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO ENGAGE IN MOTORCYCLE COMBAT.

I WANT TO RAID TOMBS.

AND SOLVE PUZZLES.

It would be easy for me to say that I won’t be playing any more Tomb Raider games any time soon.  But, to be honest, they’ve got their hooks into me.  The games are fun, the puzzles are tuned just well enough that I only had to look on YouTube twice for hints, and the characters are interesting.

Until then, I’ve got what appears to be Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time mixed with ICO coming out in a few days.  That ought to tide me over for a while.

By the way, sorry for the lack of updates to this blog lately.  I’ve been working on another project that’s been taking up most of my time.  And playing way too much of this.

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