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Showing posts from April, 2017

Tomb Raider and TTC

These past few weeks I’ve been obsessed with Endurance mode on Rise of the Tomb Raider. As other reviewers have pointed out, Endurance is much more what we expect from the series: Lara Croft surviving against ridiculous odds as she fearlessly explores and plunders ancient structures. It’s challenging, nerve-wracking, and has led to marital shouting matches in our household while Junior pretends to play the game with "his" (Wii)  controller. In short, it’s a fun family DLC!

***But actually: Endurance has moments of blood and violence. Parents can avoid exposing their small children to scenes of Lara brutally knifing men in the neck by sniping distant targets and explaining that they’re napping, or resting, or whatever lies work on your offspring, I don’t know.

In Endurance, Lara is in the Siberian wilderness to claim the prizes hidden in crypts before members of the evil organization™ Trinity can. She has limited supplies and two pressing needs: hunger and warmth, r…

Junior: Mid-Year Report

Several noteworthy developments have emerged since I submitted my last report. A summary is below.

Section I: Skills 
Junior has demonstrated remarkable growth in the following skills:

1. Cycling
Junior can pedal his tricycle along flat surfaces, with only a slight tendency to inadvertently go backwards. He dutifully wears his helmet, and likes to point to older children riding their bicycles. We are currently working on maneuvering and expect to continue training at this level for at least another year or two.

2. Climbing
Junior is an excellent climber of household furniture. His first foray into indoor rock climbing resulted in many cute photos, including the one above. However, he was not a fan of all the safety gear.
For the time being, he is honing his skill via playground jungle gym. The ultimate goal, of course, is to graduate to climbing trees like a monkey, a la his father:

3. Playing
Junior is now capable of surprisingly sophisticated social interactions with his peers. For …

Game Review: Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a solid sequel to 2013's Tomb Raider reboot. This time, Lara Croft is pursuing her father's research, which had led to his downfall and death. Most of the action takes place in Russia, with a brief interlude in Syria. Mechanics from the first game have been improved, locations are diverse, and Lara now starts out as a badass. Overall, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a terrific action/adventure platformer that has me looking forward to the next installment.

Ways Rise of the Tomb Raider Rocks
The game has plenty of strengths: a compelling lead, lots of exploration, fun puzzles, gorgeous visuals, and a thrilling soundtrack. As always, Lara is a star: she's a force of nature, laser focused on her goal; and neither words nor bullets will deter her. It's a joy to have her perform improbable physical feats as she seeks the Divine Source that her father obsessed over. Lara scales sheer walls of ice, mows through mercenaries with only a bow and arrows, and …