Tag Archives: Tomb Raider

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris Review: More of The Same Co-Op Raiding

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics gave longtime Tomb Raider fans a fun sidequest to enjoy with friends back in 2010, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light . Introducing Lara Croft to the world of top-down, twin-stick gunplay and co-op puzzle solving, this winning formula breathed some life into the stagnant Tomb Raider series that was one so highly regarded by gamers. In 2014, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have once again decided to adopt this formula for Ms. Croft and her accompanying adventurers. 4 players now have the ability to battle an evil Egyptian God in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

The Lara Croft that ’90s followers have become accustomed to returns here, and this time she has three other allies in tow. All four heroes must deal with the wrath of an angry Egyptian God named Set, which means they are tasked with retrieving the idols of a kinder God and putting an end to Set’s plans. The increased player count makes this missions a lot more fun to engage in and introduces new powers for each player to utilize. Lara and her friendly rival Carter get around using a grappling hook that gets them to higher ledges and allows other players to climb up to them. The two magic-powered characters, Isis and Horus, can lift up specially marked platforms and create shields through the use of their magic staffs. Watching how all four characters and their associated powers work together is one of the better elements of this fun adventure.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

The bulk of this sequel features the same great gameplay seen in its predecessor – action-packed shooting sequences, intricate puzzle solving sequences and plenty of opportunities to collect gems and score more points than your allies. One of the newer wrinkles for this release is the addition of stat-boosting rings and amulets. While the introduction of these items is a nice change of pace, they don’t do too much to drastically alter the gameplay. While these equipped items offer nice bonuses such as increased weapon damage, your chosen character won’t be impacted as much by them. Later sections of the gameplay don’t get too difficult or include moments where your items are dire, so these rings and amulets won’t make much of a difference.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is fun, no doubt. The online co-op, and ‘short but sweet’ campaign provide a nice bit of fun. Solving intricate puzzles and besting the huge bosses you encounter with your buddies is always entertaining. Fans of the past game will certainly enjoy their time here, while others looking for something newer and a lot more improved will be disappointed here. The visuals, audio and gameplay elements of The Guardian of Light are clearly evident here, yet the only real change is the addition of two extra characters. This newest installment in the Tomb Raider series may be enjoyable for some, but its repeated gameplay elements bring this game’s replay value down just a tad.

Images: Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics

Need for Speed Movie Set For 2014

Video-game-to-movie adaptations started in the early 90’s, with Super Mario Bros. Until recently, those movies had an uncanny tendency to flop, hard. However, with Tomb Raider and Resident Evil movies garnering much success, film studios decided it’s a good idea to invest in adaptations again. Hell, Ubisoft set up an entire studio just to produce movies based on their own games.

And of course, they’re never popular with the critics, but as long as they make money, and are remotely entertaining, who really cares?

Unless they’re directed by this guy. I hope he isn’t up to anything lately. Wait, he is.

EA also thought this was a good idea, and decided to sell the movie rights to Need for Speed. DreamWorks execs, perhaps high on coke and feeling overconfident, bought the property. Now, they have announced a release date.

On February 7, 2014, we will get a chance to watch a movie about cars with zero storyline (which in itself is a major understatement). Trust me, I know my Need for Speed games. When you talk about NFS, you don’t talk about their storylines. There was no plot in the first place. If there was any, it mainly revolves around you being a racer, and your need to win money and earn recognition so you can race against an asshole (Underground, Underground 2, Most Wanted, Carbon, Pro Street), who probably screwed you over earlier in the game (Underground 2, Most Wanted, Carbon).  There are also hot female sidekicks solely for the sake of making teenage boys horny. It’s guilty pleasure when the horrible storyline is in a racing game, not so much when it’s in a movie.

In case you didn’t know how bad the acting and writing were.

There were a couple of times where EA decided to go with different plots. In Undercover, you play as an undercover officer who is trying to infiltrate a gang, or something. It doesn’t really matter. You race, and then your boss (played by Maggie Q) orders you to take some people out. After a while, you find out that your boss is actually a mole, and you take her down. Wow, that took stupidity to a whole different level.

I never quite understood EA’s logic. Why bother shooting live-action scenes when nobody really cares about the storyline? All that waste of money should have went to my bank account. You know, someone who actually needs the money.

And The Run. How can I possibly forget about this atrocity? This game actually has a negative value of plots. I didn’t know that was even possible until this game was released. Basically, you play this guy Jack, who is in a lot of debt. Jack’s ex-girlfriend (portrayed by Christina Hendricks) tells him that there’s this cross-country race which can net him a whole lot of money. Jack races to pay off debt. Jack pays off debt by winning the race. Seriously, that is it. It’s not a joke. How EA managed to get Christina freaking Hendricks involved is just mind-baffling. I swear to god someone must be holding her husband, or her dog, hostage. No amount of money can convince anyone to be involved in the project. It’s that bad. Don’t believe me? I dare you to watch an entire playthrough of the game and tell me that there is a plot.

Yes, this Christina Hendricks. THE Christina Hendricks who is on Mad Men.

We don’t need any more street racing movies. We have The Fast & The Furious for that purpose. Please for the love of god, don’t do this. Don’t make me suffer through an hour and half of torture.

*gun cocks*
Not Dr Kronner: Jason, you will watch the movie, and you will write a review for us.
Jason: How the hell did you even…
Not Dr Kronner: Shhhhhhhh. If you don’t follow my orders word for word, you will be swimming with the fishes.
Jason: You maybe able to kill this body of flesh, but you can never kill my soul.
Not Dr Kronner: …
Jason: Ha!!! Now you have no leverage over me!!!
Not Dr Kronner: I shall kill this kitty instead.

Jason: What? You don’t kill no kitties. YOU’RE A MONSTER!!!!
Not Dr Kronner: You’re gonna do it now?
Jason: *in tears* Do what?
Not Dr Kronner: Watch the movie and write a review for us.
Jason: Yes. *sniffs* Just don’t kill the kitty.

When the movie is released, you may return to Grizzly Bomb for a full-length review, even though I have no idea how to write a movie review. I’m not the one with the gun. Dr Kronner did not, in any way, force me to do this. I am doing it voluntarily, for you guys and gals, so you won’t have to suffer through the movie.

Sorry, I just had to.

Tomb Raider: E3 2012 Trailer Impressions

Before we get to anything Tomb Raider, I wanna take a second to apologize for not giving you a sneak peek of this article two hours before putting it up. It’s completely on me. In order to atone for my mistake, I shall perform a Japanese ritualistic suicide known as seppuku to myself. No, I won’t post pictures; I can, however, describe the scene. Imagine a fat ass teenager cutting his stomach open with all of his intestines oozing out, dying a slow, painful death. Yea, let’s just pretend that actually happened and get this over with. Let’s move on to what you clicked on the article for – my impressions. Here’s the trailer, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

First and foremost, we’re finally getting a release date for this game. This game will hit store shelves in March, 2013. That is a good 8 months away from now. Given how many blockbusters are coming out in fall (such as Hitman, or the 9 millionth Call of Duty game), it seems to be a logical move for Square Enix to push this game to the next fiscal quarter and give Crystal Dynamics more time to polish this game.

Assuming the world doesn’t end in 2012

As I mentioned last time, the game is looking great. This time, we get to see a greater variety of environments and weathers, ranging from dark, gloomy caves, to large, open forests.

This time round, we finally get to watch some more gameplay. Lara Croft can be seen wielding a bow in the picture above, which she would use to kill the deer.

Pictured above: A non-PETA member doing something very anti-PETA

Soon after, Lara can be seen cooking what I would presume to be deer meat. This leads me to wonder if there will be some sort of hunting feature in the game, similar to Metal Gear Solid 3.

Pictured above: A non-PETA member cooking some very anti-PETA food

We also get to see a bunch of cutscenes which I would assume to have incoporated a series of quick time events. The first of such occassion is the wolf attack, and the second being the rape attempt. Personally, I’m not digging these button-smashing features. They cause frustrations, and lead to a decrease in intellectual levels. Furthermore, you know it’s an overused gimmick when you see it in a racing game.

Pictured above: A non-PETA member protecting herself from a PETA-endorsed individual

Men think with their dicks. FACT!

In one  of the cutscenes, Lara Croft communicates with some of her allies. This begs a question: will there be a companion system of some sort? It makes sense for Lara to stick with her pals since they are in the wild, fighting off some people with guns while waiting for help. Interesting…

There is also a sequence later in the trailer which shows Lara sneaking around a burning site (until a guy tries to rape her, as mentioned above). Stealth seems to play a role in the game, and staying quiet and unseen might be important in the game. After all, Lara is stranded on a deserted island, where ammunition sources should be scarce. Plus, it doesn’t help that she’s going up against trained mercenaries.

In addition to the bow and arrows, Lara can also use pistols. The sequence shows her drawing her sidearm in slow-mo and fire a few rounds into the bad guys.

I thought only alcoholic pill-heads can slow down time

There are also melee combats, but we could only catch a glimpse of them. I actually feel there is a good amount of potential in this aspect of the combat system, since she is in the wild and should be able to use whatever nature throws at her. For example, she could try combining a huge rock and a tree branch to make a hammer. I can’t tell if there will be such a mechanic in place from this still.

Last, but not least, we also get to see some platformer action. Nothing much can be told at this moment, except that they seem to require some reflexes. Duh.

I’m disappointed with the complete lack of puzzle-solving in the trailer. I sincerely hope we can see more of that in E3. From what I’ve seen so far, the game is capturing that “fight for survival” tone pretty well. This is certainly looking promising thus far. And before you ask, yes, Tomb Raider will totally piss PETA off, which is a major plus in my book.

The Teaser For the ‘Tomb Raider’ Trailer…

A teaser to a trailer? You can’t be serious, right? What kind of world do we live in nowadays? We’re having foreplay’s before foreplay’s. I don’t get it. Whatever. I’m here to give you some of my impressions on (the teaser to) the upcoming Tomb Raider, pending a release window sometime next year.

Before we get into anything, it’s vital for you to understand that I have never played a single game in the franchise, nor did I watch any of the movies. I wrote this article after skimming through a few Wikipedia articles, and watching a couple of gameplay videos. Most of the time, I just end up staring at Lara Croft’s two lumps of meat, located right above her abdomen. I’m not even into boobs. Talk about dedication.

One of the bigger deals about the game is that it’s a reboot to the Tomb Raider franchise. You can obviously tell from the new, re-designed, “I am going to be taken seriously” look to her, as opposed to the “I am actually a blow up doll playing someone with brains, or no brains? I don’t know. My boobs are larger than my brain anyways. Wait, do I have a brain? Oh no, I don’t!!! I’m a sex toy!!!!”

Trivia: Lara’s huge boobs are the result of an accident on the artist’s end as he was making adjustments to her figure. They decided to stick with it.

Anyways, here’s the teaser to the trailer to the game:

I hope they realize how ridiculous it is to give us a preview to a preview.

First of all,  I have to say that this game is looking amazing. The environments look vibrant. Lara actually bears great resemblance to her conceptual design unlike*ahem*FemShep in*ahem*ME3*ahem. It is also worth noting that the cut scenes seem to be rendered using the in-game engine. At least that seems to be the case when Lara Croft lights up a match and sits right next to the campfire. CGI cutscenes are falling out of favor fast, given how realistic graphics in modern video games look.

There isn’t much exploring in the teaser. The sequence they have shown involves Lara walking on a plank of wood, and climbing up the frame of a dismantling aircraft stuck to the edge of a cliff. To the best of my understanding, the game is supposed to be somewhat “sandboxy”, so this might just be a linear portion of the game.

Compared to previous games, which focused on puzzle-solving, Crystal Dynamics has decided to place a larger emphasis on combat. I’m somewhat intrigued by this direction, since there are already some well-established franchises which share the same vision (eg. Far Cry). I’m excited to see how the devs are going to mix things up.

We’ll be back on Friday to give you our thoughts on the trailer. In a shameless attempt on hyping up that piece and generating traffic to the site, we will also release a snippet of that article two hours before putting up the article for everyone to read.

Grizzly Dailies – Neighborhood Watch, Looper, and Bullet to the Head

Welcome to Grizzly Dailies! A new feature where we will cover a bunch of movie news in the manner we love. Jam packing a ton of links and info in one post so you don’t have to waste your valuable time (and ours) by combing through a ton of articles!

And if you are unaware of the term ‘Dailies‘ don’t expect this feature every day. It’s a film term and not a promise. Just wanted to get that out there.

Continue reading Grizzly Dailies – Neighborhood Watch, Looper, and Bullet to the Head