reviews\ Dec 1, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Prophecy - GBA - Review

This isn’t Lara Croft’s "biggest" adventure, by any means. But even reduced to less than an inch tall, the adventurer still looks pretty good.

Core Design, Eidos Interactive and Ubi Soft have partnered for a new GameBoy Advance release of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Prophecy. Sure, the game is very linear and rather than challenge players to the same sort of cerebral and reflexive action-adventure that enthralled PC users ages ago, relegates the adventure to an arcade nature. But hey, this is Lara Croft, and that means action against a host of bad guys.

The backstory to this game has Lara deciphering the forgotten Tome of Ezekiel, which was penned by a mysterious medieval scholar and details what magic supposedly is. Thus she finds herself in the mountains of Sweden (not dressed for the occasion, but then she rarely is), searching for the Black Stone. It lies somewhere on Wolf Fang’s Peak and will reveal what magic was or is.

From the outset of this adventure, you will quickly understand that this game leaves little to the imagination. Hang from a ledge, climb up and down ladders, jump from platform to platform, hit the switch, collect power-ups and shoot almost everything that gets in your way ­ that’s about the extent of it.

The game’s visuals are two-dimensional but try to emulate a three-dimensional feel by staying away from the horizontal scrolling action popular with some arcade games. Lara can move vertically as well as horizontally. The game boards are mazes with traps and pitfalls that block the way.  The environments looks very good, and the animation is also well done.

The game’s sounds are repetitive and offer little new to the genre.

The game controls are very simple. The d-pad pushed Lara in the direction needed, while the L button has her sprint. The A button is to jump and the B button is the action button. The R button either pulls out or puts away weapons. There are three weapons in the game that Lara can use: her standard guns, an Uzi and Golden Guns (which are the most powerful weapon in the game).

Of course the snowy landscape of a Swedish mountain is not the only place that this adventure will take Lara. She will also get the opportunity to explore Grecian temples and a fortress in Romania.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Prophecy is merely an average arcade-adventure game. Lara’s presence, her range of athleticism missing, is really wasted here. The game does have strong graphics, and is a reflexive outing for those who enjoy the genre.

This game is rated Teen for animated blood and violence.


Reviewer's Scoring Details

Gameplay: 7
The game is linear and while the map boards are a reasonable size, this is a pure arcade adventure featuring the foibles encountered in that format.

Graphics: 7.5
The animation and environments are well done. The game tries to emulate the 3D look, but is merely a two-dimensional vessel.

Sound: 6.8
Nothing new or exciting is featured in this aspect of the program.

Difficulty: Easy
The control elements are simple to understand and use. There is challenge in the game, but not much excitement.

Concept: 7
For what it is, this game is well-designed and very user friendly. The player interface is simple and the control elements take little time to get accustomed to. However, in some regards this game is playing off the Lara Croft title for an average gaming experience.

Multiplayer: N/A

Overall: 7
While not a bad game, it certainly does not live up to the Lara Croft legend. This is an arcade-adventure game that is enjoyable, but rather average.


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