Completed Tomb Raider Legend

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I just completed the England level time trial unlocking the full 1000 points and found all the hidden artefacts finally unlocking all of the concept art and models (which is pretty cool), the cheats (which is pretty pointless), and all of the outfits. The outfits serve no purpose, though some are very well done. Goth Lara with mascara tears is my personal favourite as it is the most odd. I’m sure the younger demographic will enjoy Bikini Lara though.

Its the first game I’ve got the full 1000 points for. Each game has a different way of giving them out. I like Legend’s method, as it promotes you replaying the game and finding all the secrets, without going insane. There are some out there that just seem to be designed to instil madness, Ghost Recon and its get to the top of the leaderboard achievements for example. Multiplayer ones can be annoying especially ones to pull off a specific stat based trick like rack up 100 kills only using your toothbrush or something. I call it the BF2 effect after players of Battlefield 2 who run around the map with a knife getting shot in the face while your team are trying valiantly to storm a building, in order to unlock the knife badge. Dead Rising’s are interesting, as they consist of 50 20 point achievements, lots to do there.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted seems to have an easy set of achievements to get, you basically have to complete the game. I can’t get them though, because playing the game with its cheating AI makes me want to throw the controller at the TV.

Tomb Raider Legend

Call me crazy but I picked up Tomb Raider Legend for the XBox 360 in the 'January' sales for £12.99 despite having completed it already on the PC. To make things worse the PC version and its 360-esqe next-gen mode was one of the main reasons I spent nearly £300 on a new graphics card, only to buy a 360 a few months later on a whim (an expensive whim) which cost the same again. I managed to complete the whole game this time round on medium difficulty in just over six hours according to the game save (not including time spent plummeting to my death a hundred times and watching the load screen).

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So what's the difference between the PC and 360 versions? Almost nothing. The controls are more intuitive on the 360, its much easier to lock on to bad guys and keep them in focus. The graphics are again almost the same. The 360 renders the game internally at 720p so my PC wins on possible resolution. However the PC's next-gen mode seems to be just a little bit less well polished with Lara looking like she's always wearing too much make-up and also mis-rendering some shadows. The worst part of course is even on my capable PC with shiny graphics card, the game can barely generate 30fps when nothing on the screen is moving. But then again on the flip side the 360 with its resolution that is not native to my screen seems less sharp than the PC.

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So a tough call. The end decision comes down to price. When the game originally came out it retailed in shops at the usual £39.99-£49.99 you pay for 360 games and £29.99 for the PC version. Of course online you could save yourself a fair bit but for forty or fifty pounds Legend is pushing it. As I mentioned above I finished the main plot – including bouncing around in the mansion for a bit – in about six hours. When I originally played it took me about 11 hours to get a 100% completed score. You don't get a lot of gaming for your money. I do feel when you put the game length together with some of the rarer screen shots and interviews, you can speculate that a lot of content was binned to make the game hit a release date and make the company some dosh. Don't get me wrong, its a fantastic game, probably the best since the original.

Anyway all this discussion is pointless. I picked up Legend for £12.99, which is a bargain price for a fantastic gaming experience on the 360.