Video Games

Raiding a Regular Ol’ Tomb

Just recently I watched the Tomb Raider movie. There will be some spoilers about both the first of the latest Tomb Raider reboot games and the movie.

The movie was based on the first of the reboot games that have been released in the Tomb Raider franchise.

I don’t remember if I have talked about the Tomb Raider game franchise but I joined on the latest reboot of the franchise. And I have enjoyed it pretty well.

The games have a pretty interesting storyline, fun gameplay mechanics, and a solid upgrade system. If I haven’t talked about upgrade systems, there will be a post about it another time.

The plot of these games follow Lara Croft as she goes from a somewhat regular person with a crazy inheritance and archaeologist dad to being a… Tomb Raider.

Silliness aside though, the first game of the reboot is Lara gaining fighting and exploration experience as she fights her way through Trinity, an evil organization that is trying to rule the world by finding powerful supernatural artifacts.

The first of the reboot is about landing on an island where a powerful sorceress queen was laid to rest. It is in the middle of the most destructive currents and storms around called the Devil’s Triangle.

Throughout the game you find out that this sorceress queen is the reason the currents and weather won’t let anyone leave the island, and at the end when they finally lay her soul to rest then everything calms down and they can leave.

I just think that this is a solid story, I really like the supernatural elements of it. It was enjoyable to play through and explore the island to find out the different facets of the queen and her people and other expedition crews who have failed to get to her.

With all of the supernatural elements in account it makes sense that it took Trinity so long to find the tomb and even get through the tomb.

But the movie was different. It was still good, but not as good as it could have been.

The movie took the same major plot. Lara goes to an island, finds Trinity, opens tomb, finds the queen’s body, resolve plot.

But they just completely shied away from all of the supernatural aspect, and it felt like that was some of the glue that held the plot together.

For some reason Trinity, even though it is a powerful shadow organization with nearly unlimited resources, has been looking for the tomb on this island for years upon years.

Trinity can easily dispatch helicopters to the island at anytime, as shown at the end of the movie, and yet the people there seem to be at a lack of manpower or assistance given to the main antagonist to find this tomb.

The queen wasn’t some super powerful sorceress, instead she just carried a deadly plague and sealed herself away.

It was a strange decision to take out the supernatural, and I don’t really understand it.

To me this is like if Indiana Jones found the Ark of the Covenant, and then they opened it and were just like,”Oh, cool, it’s a golden box.”

Trinity as an organization is super cool when you realize that they might have these crazy magic super weapons or they are trying to get their hands on philosopher’s stones or they are trying to resurrect a sorcerer queen. That is an active threat that has insanely costly potential.

An organization that finds things that abide by the laws of nature in old tombs is far less threatening. This is especially true when you start factoring in how incompetent they have to be to fail at finding a tomb on a small to mid-sized island for at least a dozen years.

They announced a new Tomb Raider movie, and I’ll probably watch and put my review of it here. I’m curious to see what they do in lieu of the supernatural.

VGHS, Yu-Gi-Oh and the Games With No Rules

Hello all who read this blog, you beautiful, beautiful people.

I probably have said this before on this blog, but I read manga and watch anime. I also watch YouTube and enjoy the variety of content that is available.

Well, I was reading Yu-Gi-Oh the other day, and aside from it being more psychotic than the anime, I also realized that Yu-Gi-Oh truly gets a bad rap for a reason that I think is a little unfair.

Yu-Gi-Oh is very impressive because it not only has an anime, a manga, multiple video games, and large amounts of merchandising, but it also has an entire card game that is still relevant and highly structured.

This is where the problem lies. The Yu-Gi-Oh Manga started in 1997 and the card game started in 1999. The anime (not counting the questionable and spooky season 0) started in 2001, and 2002 for America.

By the time young kiddos started watching reruns on Saturday mornings the trading card game had been solidified. The rules are now known by every youngster in the land.

So when the show starts introducing the card game it becomes apparent that every character in the show has no clue what the actual rules are.

And it drives people crazy. Rules of the official card game being broken left and right. Somehow the zones that people play in affect the card abilities. Some cards can now be shrouded by darkness with other cards revealing them.

This is the most nonsensical amount of blatant rule breaking that could ever be in a show.

And it makes most people angry.

But most people don’t understand that the actual plot came way before the card game.

I’ve talked about shifting my frame of reference on this blog before, and I brought up how much I love Banjo and Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. I feel like this works the same way.

Once I realized that the manga was just trying to tell a story through a story within the story that took the form of a card game I realized that it was doing a very good job of it.

The card game doesn’t exist as a card game in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe it exists as a medium for the story to propagate through.

Another notable example of this is a web-series on YouTube called VGHS, by far one of my favorite web-series of all time.

It follows the story of a FPS gamer boy named Brian D who, by random fluke, gets his way into VGHS, the prestigious Video Game High School.

What’s great about VGHS is that they never describe the game more than what is needed for the plot to advance.

One could argue that the scenes where they are being depicted “in the game” are too lifelike when you consider that they are canonically just wielding a mouse and keyboard. You would probably win that argument.

But that’s the great part about VGHS, there isn’t an FPS like the game they are describing. They aren’t saying we play Call of Duty like this. They are saying we have a game that is similar enough to Call of Duty for all of our audience to recognize, but with enough expressiveness and flexibility to move a dramatic plot through.

Every game shown in VGHS doesn’t exist to follow rules, because it never makes strict rules that could be broken.

The same thing with Yu-Gi-Oh, they first show a card game, and then they have a couple of rules to setup the premise, which they follow! The rest of the story is exactly that, a weird fluff meant to move a plot.

Yu-Gi-Oh didn’t mean to break rules, they just wanted a card game that people could relate to and understand while still having an emotional investment in.