Tomb Raider Legend
Lara is back raiding more tombs, but she might actually be worth paying attention to, again...
Going on 10 years now, Tomb Raider has been a franchise both welcomed and despised among the gaming community. Starting out on the PlayStation, Saturn, and PC, Tomb Raider eventually spawned many sequels spanning a multitude of consoles and handhelds alike. Recently, Eidos released the latest chapter in the Lara Croft saga, titled Tomb Raider: Legend, on the Xbox 360, PC, PS2, and Xbox. In today's world of gaming, it's pretty much a safe bet that a portable version of most titles eventually come to light, and it's a no-brainer with Tomb Raider. Rather than go out of their way to make a completely new story for the portable iteration, Crystal Dynamics has instead opted to go ahead and do an all-out port to the PlayStation Portable, but with a few extra additions.
I might be stretching it a bit, as the game will offer wallpapers for your PSP, along with several new outfits for Lara. While slim, it's obvious this stuff won't affect the gameplay, and are just minor cosmetic differences. The included local WiFi multiplayer modes are a much larger addition. One of these modes, raid and seek, is a simple friendly game of hide and seek, where you and your opponent hide treasures in the level and see who discovers it first. If that doesn't entice you, then maybe the timed mission mode will fit your style, so you and a friend can see who can finish a level quicker.
Taking into consideration the lack of dual analogue control, Tomb Raider has the player control the camera by holding down the square button and maneuvering it with the analog nub. This really isn't much of a problem since the camera follows Lara around most of the time, but sometimes you're going to need to survey the area to get a feel for your surroundings, and stopping to do so wasn't ideal.
While not on quite the same level as the PS2 version, Tomb Raider looks great for a straight-up port. The graphical differences are miniscule, so chances are you might not even notice the difference. Everything you would find in the PS2 version can be found here, cutscenes included, which brings up another one of the special features Legend offers on the PSP.
By allowing your PSP to connect to the PS2, Tomb Raider allows you to save your game on one version, then transfer it to the other and continue directly where you left off, and vice versa. This sounds somewhat useless, considering the slim chances of someone actually owning both the PSP and PS2 versions, but it could come in handy were you to have a friend who has a copy of either one. It's still a neat feature, nonetheless.
Aiming for a release around the end of the month, Tomb Raider: Legend is easily shaping up to be a quality port. Although it won't offer many new things, fans of the series and portable enthusiasts alike will be glad to know that they'll be able to adventure once more on the go.