She's been around quite a bit, our Lara. Beginning with a rather unsuccessful attempt to seduce Sega Saturn owners in 1996, she soon moved over to the Playstation, which subsequently proved to be a much more prosperous platform from which to show off her enviable assets. From there she has grown - and not just in the popularity department - to the point where her annually-serialised adventures never fail to make it to the top of every young, Playstation-owning male's Christmas list. This year (2002) is a little different, however, as only the Game Boy Advance is set to see a piece of the action.
In Tomb Raider: The Prophecy our favourite heroine discovers a manuscript that tells of a power, known as 'magic', that would bring devastation to the Earth at the beginning of the new millennium. The prophecy also tells of three legendary stones, resting in three places in the world, that will bring destruction as a punishment since 'magic' has been long forgotten by mortals.
Being the enterprising and inquisitive archaeologist that we all know and love, Lara embarks on a quest to uncover these holy stones, travelling across the globe, from Norwegian mountains to Aztec temples.
The game sports a new, quasi-3D view, which exploits the unique characteristics of the sexy star. The models of both Lara and her enemies are originally derived from 3D models, which, when coupled with the real-time character shadows, give a realistic feel to the proceedings.
Also here are an impressive set of 3D animations, an improved combat system specifically for the Game Boy Advance, and environments that develop in height rather than in width - an element that emphasises vertical gameplay, allowing characters to reach tall places and not fall down.
Overall, The Prophecy delivers an involving little adventure for the GBA - something that should satisfy Tomb Raider fans until the next release.