Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

F254- Sinbiote

This is probably your fault, Gluttony. You mocked the bad guy and now he's slapping himself and speaking in plurals. When the Sins are absorbed into the dream pools, they'll be thinking of you. And not just because you're adorable and dreamy. They'll be peeved until they remember you're adorable and dreamy and sink back into happy sleeps.

We're starting up a new community project with another Choose Your Own Pipventure comic! Round 1 Patreon voting is up, so make sure you head over to the Sins Patreon to start setting up our options and then everybody can vote for how the story progresses!

Quick Critique: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

I was a big fan of Guardian of Light when it first came out, but going back to it for our end of PS3 retrospective, it lost a lot of its shine on a second playthrough. Because of that, I held off on getting Temple of Osiris when it first came out but now it's on sale and there's some time between me and the first game, so I jumped back in. And from the very first impression, this is the Tomb Raider I like. Classic, fun Lara, mystical macguffins and cursed artifacts, and nobody even blinks an eye to find out that, yes, Egyptian mythology is 100% true and Lara is talking with an actual, factual goddess. Kind of odd though that your traveling party is Lara, two gods, and... some random dude? Somebody decided a three-player game doesn't make sense so they made up some random guy to show up to fill the last slot.
For the gameplay, ToO has made some big changes and I don't like any of them. It introduced a terrible loot system where you spend the basic coin pickups to open mystery chests but there's little to no feedback. I spent the gems at the first box only to find out that they're color coded so I had wasted gems on a bronze box and got a lousy item. There are some lights on top of the boxes, I didn't know why though. It glows when you can afford it, but there's a bar that's slightly full on it so I didn't know if I came back later it would be more full and pay out better prizes like it's on a cooldown or the prizes you can get are gated by story progress or what. It's bad UI. I thiiink the red dot signifies that I as player one can afford the chest, versus my non-existent companions that possibly have their own colors but I don't know because I played solo, but after buying a gold chest, I only got "uncommon" class items. It felt pointless because I saved up and still got bad items, so I was just annoyed by one of the major new additions to the game.
ToO also now has an overworld and hub instead of the nice, clean menus of the first game. It's
not particularly laid out well either, so they had to resort to big glowing statues to point you to your next objective. I wanted to complete all the challenge tombs, but I'm not sure if I did because there may be some I just never walked by in the overworld. Without the ability to quickly see what challenges and items I missed and then jump into a level, it destroyed the game's replay value for me. That's a problem the game has in general where you just don't have easy access to important information. You can't look at old levels to see what items or challenges are left unless you enter and load into that level and you can't easily compare two equipment pieces. For the two major additions to the game, the game tries hard to make you not want to engage with them.
As a whole, the lighting is super dark and it's hard to see. Pushing ball puzzles now seem to make up the majority of the obstacles and they get old quickly. The boss fights are fun because they usually have some kind of gimmick or puzzle to them but the regular combat is really tedious. It feels like everything has way too much health. I only equipped items that raised my attack strength and it still felt like I was sitting there pumping bullets into every enemy for far too long. A lot of the set pieces in the game revolve around trial and error where the ground breaks under you or something smashes you from above. There's little penalty for death outside of messing up a score multiplier, so just a frustration more than anything. The game is also fairly buggy with several instances of Lara moving through walls and a LOT of instances where I'd drop a bomb and then it would fall through the world. That one was really annoying once you start to face enemies that can only be killed with bombs since you'd drop a bomb, it would disappear, and then you have to roll around dodging while the bomb cooldown expires and you can use another one.