No, I'm not fixated.
Right before the turn of the millenium, the Victoria's Secret catalog was selling the "Millenium Bra." Tailored to fit, the bra featured over 2000 diamonds and diamond-cut sapphires in platinum settings. The price? A mere $10,000,000.
Nobody actually bought the bra, but if there is anyone who deserves to wear the Millenium Bra, it would have to be Lara Croft. She certainly has the robust figure to show off all those diamonds. She can afford it too, what with her palatial estate, huge tracts of land, and all those plundered, priceless artifacts.
Come to think of it, those artifacts do come with a price; usually a curse, or at least some people trying to kill Lara. You'd think she would have learned by now, but nooooo…This time, Lara has managed to loot the Amulet of Horus from an Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings. By removing the amulet from its ancient resting place, Lara has released the evil god Set and doomed the Earth to eternal suffering. It's up to you to help her put it right. Thanks a lot, Lara.
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is the 4th installment in the series
and puts Lara back where she belongs - in the tombs. Lara returns to her first
love, archaeology, which means no more military bases or oil derricks. Hooray!
Anyone who tells you that archaeology consists of painstakingly long hours of carefully sifting dirt and slowly exposing tiny shards of pottery is lying. Archaeology is all about charging through ancient temples, violating ancient cultures, stealing precious relics, and blasting anything that moves. Oh, and getting cursed, obviously.
Now, Lara didn't learn her archaeological skills just by watching Raiders of the Lost Ark. At the opening of The Last Revelation, you get to play as the 16 year-old schoolgirl Lara. Too rambunctious for her upper-class British parents, Lara is sent off on a field trip to Cambodia with famous archaeologist Werner Van Croy. It is there that he teaches her all the ways to plunder a tomb for fun and profit in their quest for 'The Iris'. Of course, in the end, the Iris is cursed, Werner is caught in a fiendish trap and Lara barely escapes with her life. This girl just can't take a hint.
For the rest of the game, however, you play as the classic adult Lara. She's even a bit more 'adult' than she used to be, as her mighty bosom is noticeably larger than before. Come on, Lara - were implants really necessary? Even Pamela Anderson had hers reduced. One more augmentation and Lara could be a freakshow stripper on the Jerry Springer show.
The Dreamcast version is basically a fairly quick translation of the PC edition. This means that Lara's buxom figure is rendered in the same old Tomb Raider engine, though slightly tweaked. The PC game was no great graphical marvel, and neither is this one.
The best thing they added to the DC version is Lara's shadow. With more advanced light sourcing, Lara now casts a moving shadow that bends approprately over objects and walls. This is more impressive than it sounds and makes the character feel more a part of the environment.
But other than that, the graphics are mildly dissapointing. The framerate is nice and fast, but the textures are flat and boring. Plus, the characters and objects are made from a surprisingly low number of polygons, giving everything a blocky, angular look. Other problems with the PC version, like the lame water effects and egregious clipping errors, have also found their way to the Dreamcast. Lara, get your arm out of that wall. While it certainly looks a hell of a lot better than the Playstation version, we know that the DC can do better than this.
The sound, however, is very well done. The voice acting is all top shelf, from Lara's sexy, posh public school accent to Von Croy's abusive German dialogue. The music is cued to certain areas and events for effect, but most of the time you hear only the eerie noises of the tomb. Fantastic.
The tombs themselves are great and remind me of those in the first Tomb Raider. Almost the entire game takes place in ancient Egyptian tombs, with a couple of breaks to drive a jeep and a motorcycle on wild chases. The puzzles are mostly object based (find the star-shaped amulet and put it in the star-shaped hole), but there are a few here and there that will test your gray matter as well.
Like the first title, the emphasis is on exploration and setting rather than on combat and jumping around on Mario-esque platforms. I felt that this was a poor direction for the 2nd and 3rd titles. So I, for one, am pleased to see the game returning to its superior roots.
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is easily the best game since the original, ground breaking Tomb Raider. However, besides a couple new moves and some better textures, it's exactly the same game. It's a breath of tomb air: spooky, challenging and enthralling, but perhaps a bit stale, sealed underground for a little too long.