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on 1 February 2012
Tomb Raider Chronicles was released on the PSone in November 2000, and it was the fifth and final Tomb Raider game to be released on that console. It's an interesting game. TR has always been a series renowned for telling big and exciting stories in addition to providing addictive gameplay, unless of course you put the word "Angel" together with the word "Of" and "Darkness." But Chronicles actually provides four smaller stories which delved more into Lara Croft's past. These mini pieces of storytelling became irrelevant after the franchise reboot with Lara Croft TR:Legend, but in any case Chronicles is still an addictive game and one that should be enjoyed by TR fans.

Chronicles begins a few days after the ending of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. A memorial service is being held for Lara Croft not far from her mansion home in England. In attendance are three of Lara's closest friends: her loyal butler, Winston; Irish priest, Father Dunstan (DRINK!!! Sorry, bad joke); and Charles Kane, a man who worked with Lara on one of her adventures. Although Werner Von Croy is still searching for her under the pyramid rubble in Egypt, the woman sporting the Pamela Anderson chest and the Kylie Minogue bottom is presumed dead. But we all know she was actually alive and well in future games; and if you didn't...well...I'm sorry I spoiled your surprise! So anyway the three gentlemen retire to Croft Mansion for tea and crumpets, and it's there that they start reminiscing about Lara's past exploits and introduce us to four bite-sized pieces of adventure gaming.

The first story is told by Winston, which -according to the hunch backed, raspy voiced butler himself- was one of Lara's earliest conquests. Taking place in Rome, Italy, Core Design risked getting a lawsuit from J.K.Rowling by having Lara search for the Philosopher's Stone. But TR1 bad guys Larson and Pierre also want to get their hands on the stone, simply because they are bad guys. Although Larson and Pierre provide a hint of Beavis & Butthead-styled humour, this first chapter is typical Tomb Raider. You start out in an area (the streets) which doesn't seem too out of the ordinary, and the evening sky is nice to look at. Then we find ourselves in a tomb. The passages are narrow; the atmosphere is tense; and there are some Roman gladiators to gun down. All that plus Lara is wearing her classic outfit of a tight green tank top and tight brown shorts. It's all brilliant.

The streets in this chapter kind of remind me of the Venice levels in TR2. In fact all the chapters in this game remind me levels from the previous games in the PSone series, and I'll reference them as we go through this review. The point is this game has that classic TR feel with classic PSone gameplay. You've got your running, jumping, shooting, sprinting, switch pulling and (one of the new moves that was introduced for this game) tight-rope walking abilities. Some may say that after the first four games this was all rather repetitive. Me? Hey, I'm cool. It worked for me then, and it still works for me now.

It's onto story number two, and it's Charles' turn to enthral us. Lara is at a Russian dockyard, her task being to get on board a submarine. She then plans to search under the sea for the Spear of Destiny, an artifact that the German dictator Adolf Hitler was apparently planning to use before he started doing epic rap battles with Darth Vader. I quite like this chapter. Lara's camouflage outfit and the chilly surroundings remind me of the Antarctica levels in TR3, and the cold and cramped corridors on the submarine make it a bit of a challenge as there is not much room for error as you fight with the guards. Tension is also created when Lara starts to run low on oxygen whilst wearing a robotic underwater diving suit, forcing you to make a mad dash back to the submarine. All in all a good level.

Father Dunstan takes up the story telling duties for chapter three. Lara is only a teenager and sporting the pigtails and clothing she wore in the training level of TR:TLR. Curious for adventure she sneaks on board Dunstan's boat. The priest sails to a spooky island off the coast of Ireland to check out some strange goings on. In this adventure Lara has no weapons, again like the training level of TR:TLR, and her only methods of progress are running and solving the occasional puzzle. The story is fairly interesting in that it has a bit of a spooky vibe about it. Also, in my opinion, it's where the camera shots in the game's cutscenes work best, although Lara's teenage voice is guaranteed to annoy you like a cat trying to sing the Neighbours theme tune.

However of the four mini-adventures this is by far the worst. Firstly the levels are very dark. There are a couple of flame torches to help light passageways, but there will still be times where you'll be struggling to see where you're going, and this can be a problem when you've got imps nibbling away at your ankles. The other problem is...it's got no guns! I want some guns! I want to do a bit of shooting! I want to send a few bodies to an undertaker's funeral parlour! Oh well, I guess you can't always get what you want.

The fourth and final chapter revolves around the artifact that caused animosity between Ms.Croft and her one-time mentor, Von Croy. The Iris. Set in Von Croy's headquarters in New York City, Lara sports a shiny catsuit similar to the one she wore in London in TR3, and proceeds to get all Matrix on the security's backside. Under the headset guidance of hip computer expert Zip, Lara must use her skill and cunning to grab the Iris and make it back home to the comfort of old Blighty.

I LOVE this chapter. It's got so much going for it. It's got hi-tech surroundings (a bit like Area 51 in TR3) with some interesting equipment set up, including an x-ray machine that shows off Lara's skeleton. But Croft has some interesting equipment of her own: a rifle gun with three different settings, and a cool pair of shades to help her see and dodge infrared beams. There's also a bit of a stealth element to this adventure. OK it's not Metal Gear Solid, but it's still interesting to be able to get past certain guards without them seeing you. Zip's high pitched Afro-American voice is actually quite amusing to listen to as well; but in all seriousness of all the chapters in this game, this is the one I'm sure you'll enjoy the best.

Tomb Raider Chronicles in my opinion was a fitting end to a series of great PSone games. It's not longest TR game in the world, and once mastered you'll be able to complete it in less than five hours, and that's if you go after all the secrets. But it's still a great game to play. Definitely one for the PSone owning TR lovers.
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on 24 September 2014
I have always loved this game since i was a kid I had it originally for the dream cast.
I bought this PS1 game which can be played on a PS2 also if you don't have a PS1. But it seems to require a pPS1 memory card.
Iv only just started playing it and so far there are no glitches no sticking etc but the disk was in great condition so I doubt there will be any.
Brings back childhood memories :)
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on 11 May 2017
My boyfriend and I bought this for my brother's birthday as it was the only physical copy of an original TR game that he didn't have and he was absolutely thrilled! Package arrived quickly and, as far as we can tell, the game is in great condition and he's had no problems so far.
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on 4 February 2017
brilliant game
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on 17 June 2017
The best TR game
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on 20 July 2016
Great game
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on 21 February 2017
Works great, would highly recommend seller
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on 3 March 2015
thank you very much for the item and the speedy delivery
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on 1 October 2015
great
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on 9 February 2015
Excellent Item! Had no problems!
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