Unmined Tombs in Lara's Latest (1998)
We separate rant, rage, and hype from fact in the wake of TRIII's release.
by IGN Staff - December 10, 1998
Recent reports on the Net have pointed attention to the PlayStation and PC versions of Tomb Raider III, which, like many games, appear imperfect, despite being plastic wrapped and appearing on retail shelves. Consumer complaints appear to range from calm, ho-hum reactions to overblown rants of disgust and frustration.
Though few companies will admit it, most games that get the final seal of approval aren't picture perfect. They're close, but not perfect. PlayStation game companies (and the industry as a whole) oftentimes re-issue new "burns" of the game with minor corrections after the first shipment, despite arduous months of research and debugging cleared and OK'ed by their own and Sony's professions.
The case in point here is Tomb Raider III, which has a few minor flaws in it, and recently has appeared in news groups and in newsstories. While the PC version has about seven bugs most of which were addressed and solved by the company's newest patch, the PlayStation version has only two flaws appeared, according to The Croft Times: Invisible Walls, and a few non-working movies.
Our affiliate site, FGNOnline ran a headline story on the subject and quoted Core's chief executive Adrian Smith, who addressed the issue:
"[In] Temple Ruins, if you save your game in the room with the Statue (at the bottom of the slope) and then go back into that room later in the game (there is no reason to) then you won't be able to go through doors that have already been opened, thus you won't be able to complete the level." He added: "The solution to this is to not save the game in this room and don't return to it."
IGNPSX telephoned Eidos, and spoke with members of its technical team, about these issues. "I can list three PSX games off the top of my head that are completely buggy, and you guys haven't written a word about them. Well, we've tested through this game for months and months and we did not encounter either of those problems, ever. Still, the area being discussed is the Temple Ruins area, and you would have to complete the level and then go back into a particular room (that you wouldn't even need) to go find that bug."
Eidos' PR manager explained the situation another way. "We do rebuilds through Sony all of the time; all companies do that. And we'll do that with Tomb Raider III, we'll burn a new gold disc, and send it out, but everybody does that. They just don't advertise it because they don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill.
"We'll selling a phenomenal amount of Tomb Raider III right now, the game is selling really well, and we've only received about 100 calls, which is like .001% of the people who are buying the game. That's miniscule."
What's the final solution? That's a tough call. Gamers want it all and want it now. Game publishers have to meet the demand in a timely matter -- and making a winter holiday deadline is everyone's highest priority. Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, however, takes longer than anyone to finish a game. Gamers whine up until the day it's shipped, and then all is good (i.e. Mario, Zelda). The results speak for themselves. Eidos made its deadline, but at what cost? Most likely, 99% of the PlayStation gamers won't even find these bugs, which don't directly effect gameplay.
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