Tomb Raider Anniversary (Wii)
Crystal Dynamics' second Tomb Raider game is a remake of the original that was developed by Core Design. Anniversary stays true to the series' origin while it modernizes everything that didn't age well or was questionable to begin with. The result is a really good Tomb Raider title that has almost no weaknesses, but it doesn't compare favorably to the greats of the action-adventure genre. The main reason being that the semi-automatic platforming controls and the level design do not require much skill from the player, so while looking good, it doesn't feel amazing what you can do as a player. You are mostly following a clearly predetermined path instead of having the freedom to make some actual choices on your own.
The Wii controls are well thought through, although the pointer is hyper-sensitive. Motion controls aren't used for anything that would require precision; only quick time events ask for something more than the flick of a wrist, but the game is so generous that it's not a hassle. Also unique to the Wii version are a few puzzles and I feel neutral about them; they don't make the game better, but they don't make it worse either.
The biggest improvement over Legend is the length of the game. There are twice as many stages which on average take almost as long to complete as a Legend level. The bonus stage Croft Manor returns with a different layout for most rooms as well as an additional section, the garden.
The story takes a backseat in comparison with Legend, so Lara doesn't make as many smartass comments after prevailing in challenging situations. In regards to the overarching plot between Legend, Anniversary and Underworld, the only recommendation is that Underworld comes last; Legend and Anniversary can be experienced in either order.
|Controls||10||Sensible button-mapping for the Wiimote/Nunchuk setup.
The semi-automatic controls do not always work.
|Gameplay||Wii-exclusive puzzles embellish the formula that was
introduced with Tomb Raider Legend.
|Story||Rather barebones in comparison with Legend and mostly
devoid of entertaining quotes.
|Single-player||Four major locations on three continents satisfy the adventurer.
Broken down into smaller individual stages.
|Graphics||Bigger areas have commonly framerate dips and occasionally
tearing. Doesn't hurt the playability, but is irritating.
|Sound||Comfortably above average, but not memorable.
Good voice acting.
|Value||12-15 hours to clear the story. Hidden treasures and lots
of unlockable bonuses.
|Replay Value||The time challenges return with for the most part stricter limits.
A well-rounded Tomb Raider experience.
|Score||7||The remake of the very first Tomb Raider is convincing and ties
in its story with Legend and the later released Underworld.