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Minor, vague spoilers for points about gear and challenges in Rise of the Tomb Raider


Busy long weekend with holiday stuff (pie), but I did manage to get some in.

Toodled around, did a tomb in an abandoned mine with mine cars and all that. Pretty cool stuff. Challenging, but not too bad. Got a bunch of relics, learned molotov cocktails (the world needs those), learned how to rope swing (Lara, I’m sure, was all “You have a hook? Pfft. Check THIS out, Drake.”), got a crackly thing from Jacob all “I’m under fire,” stopped. That Jacob dude is ALWAYS getting into trouble.

I would have played more, but I wasted some time. I found a door that could be opened with ropes, so I opened it, and went through it, and it was a slide that took me all the way to the bottom of the mill and I had to start all over. With the dudes dead, but still.


But I present, in this day of statistics and data analysis, some from the trophy list. I won a trophy last night: kill two dudes with one molotov. No doubt you have it as well. Indeed, I won it with my very first Molotov chuck, as two dudes were standing right there next to each other. But the stats say only 14% of players have won this one. Note, this is over the course of the whole game. I’ve had molotovs, like, 15 minutes and have done it twice.

Doesn’t everyone like molotovs and shotguns?

No accounting for tastes.


You know what would be ESPECIALLY awesome? A shotgun that fired molotovs! It’s the best of both worlds! Or, really, the best of all imaginable worlds, because honestly, what could possibly improve on that?

I’m surprised it wasn’t an option in Fallout 4. A gun that shoots railroad spikes? Pft. Small change by comparison.

So, yeah…relics, abandoned mine, etc. I’m only a bit beyond that. I spent last night’s session looking for documents and shooting down lanterns in the Vale. (I could only find 7/10, and can’t figure out how to get to a couple of the documents, but I’m moving on…I’ll come back to them later.)

And yeah, that slide that takes you back to the bottom of the mine! I did that! And it’s all very well, it’s a nice quick trip back, IF I was ready to go.

Also busy recently, but last time I did play, I got to the fire arrows. Fire arrows are good. Now I must go back and shoot them at those propaganda posters to complete that challenge. Because I obsess.


Oh shit! Need! There were a couple burny things I needed to destroy to get relics and nary a bottle in sight.

Can’t have that. Love the swinging, though.


Yeah, I spent about 20 minutes trying to get a bottle to a couple of places and failing. Clearly, I needed the flaming arrows.

I’ve got you now, posters and flammable barriers! It’s going to be awesome.


When I get the knife, those flags are going DOWN!

You know….literally….cuz they’re flags…..


Oh yeah, the flags…I have a knife! I should go try to cut them down! I kept seeing them glowing all over the Installation and thinking “I must need to do something with those,” but not being able to shoot them, so moving on and forgetting about it.

So many random challenges, so little time.

Butch [later]:

And now I have the knife!

Played. Climbed a building. Accidentally killed dudes BEFORE they opened a safe. What was in the safe? It saved after I killed the dudes. Sometimes it’s hard to know when the dudes are done talking and it’s time to kill them.

Did the very good bit with the mining machine. That was pretty cool. Lost Jacob, again, had to listen to Lara say “this is bad,”. (Really? “This is bad?”). Found some ruins.

But hey, when did you get PS Vue? Is it cool?


I have PS Vue? You know more about my system than I do, man. I have no idea if it’s cool or not. Maybe Mr. O’ bought it with Sony points late at night or something. I know he said he was going to get HBO Go, but he didn’t say anything about Vue. Unless maybe HBO Go would stream THROUGH Vue? That might be it.

I don’t remember anything significant being in a safe that anyone but me opened. It was probably either nothing, or just some random gears or other components.

The mining machine was pretty cool. They’ve got some really nice puzzles and climbing challenges and stuff. I’m definitely enjoying this game.


It was all “O’Ladybrain Household played PlayStation vue for the first time”. And HBO GO. Close your shades before you watch that HBO. Hoo-eee.

Vue is the cable tv service offered through PlayStation.

Silly Mr. O’. He’s supposed to save those points to buy his loving wife a Pro.

I, too, am enjoying this game. Even if I keep missing dialogue because I shoot too soon or charge towards a save point. That just happened! I was following Jacob, he’s talking, he hopped a fence, he’s still talking, I hop the fence and boom. Cutscene.

Do not hop over the cutscene fence until you’re finished talking.


Ah, there you go then. It’s all about HBO Go. Game of Thrones and…yeah, Game of Thrones. (I don’t actually watch that, but he has been. I just can’t be bothered. Basically, if the TV is on while I’m around and it’s not playing kid shows, I want to be using it to play a video game.)

Lara Croft is more important to me than Game of Thrones. Even though GoT does have more nudity, I hear.

But does it have MALE nudity? I don’t hear about that. Every cable show lately, and ESPECIALLY every HBO show, has female nudity at the drop of a hat, but everybody gets all protective of the johnson, even when it’s live action and there’s no need to be concerned about the animation physics!!!!

I do sometimes notice that I accidentally step on NPC dialogue by trying to move closer or whatever. I guess it’s nice that they don’t force you to keep listening if you don’t want to (we do always get annoyed when we have to hear the same line over and over if we have to re-do combat), but usually I really do want to hear it, at least once! I think maybe the game is a BIT too sensitive to our moves, and/or not quite clear on when a move is going to cut off dialogue, so I have missed some stuff.


Dude, got has every sort of nudity there is. They’ve got sex shit that hasn’t been invented yet.

Indeed, my beef with it is they overdid it. It spent more time being shocking, and ignored the fact it had a good story. I watched the first season. Underwhelmed. And the most memorable bits were just shocking bits that had nothing to do with the story!

Skip it. Play games.

My parents love it. And give me shit for violence in video games. Trust me: GoT is more obscenely violent than any game ever. Ever. EVER.

Speaking of which, played more. Got into the temple with the big statue. Cool set of puzzles there. And I didn’t die once fighting dudes! Although I craft and heal so much I will run out of materials at the worst possible time. I’m sure. But I DID die about 27 times on that bit where you have to run cuz the crane is falling. When you die on the easy bits, stop.


I watched the first season. Enh. Fine. Tracked closely to the first book, which was the only one I read and which I thought was enh, fine. (I hear books and show diverge dramatically after this.)

Neither book nor show hooked me, and I’ve got other things to read and other things to do with a TV.

I always kind of like and kind of hate the bits where you have to run because things are falling and/or the ground is collapsing under you and so forth. I like that there’s some tense, actiony stuff that isn’t combat (as we know, I love murdering some dudes, but it’s nice to have a change of pace), and yet it so easily becomes frustrating…somehow maybe more frustrating to die repeatedly at this sort of thing than to die repeatedly in combat.

Because with a combat scene you often feel that there are more options for ways to approach it, while with a “run over the collapsing bridge” bit you’re pretty much just trying to perfectly execute a specific set of moves? We talk plenty of times about how frustrating QTEs and timing challenges can be, when you know exactly what you have to do, but have a hard time doing it.

Combat, a lot of times (though certainly not always), FEELS more flexible, as if it allows more chances to try out different things until one clicks, rather than just waiting for you to finally succeed at the one thing that’s going to work.


Luckily, I got this before I got frustrated. And I didn’t die once in the mining thing bit. And that sort of thing is good tension.

But it’s sure true that you can adjust in fight bits. But when you can grab cans and chuck then, why would you?

I canned a riot shield dude then axed him. That was awesome.


Ha, yeah, I love to get the shield guys all disoriented and then ax them. My Lara prefers the hands-on touch you only get with an ice ax to the head. I’ve pretty much maxed out the ‘brawler’ skills, while totally ignoring the ‘survivor’ ones. Collect more resources from animals and plants? Boring. Instant kill while dodging? Sign me up! (Not that I ever make that work, but if I did it would be more useful than extra rewards for all the hunting I don’t do. I totally am not getting any animal-hunting trophies.)


Yeah but leaves, dude. Leaves.

Thems like healing poultices. I love leaves. Can never have too many leaves.


Ah, but you can! I have all I can carry right now. Need to get that “craft supplies pouch” skill so I can collect more.

Because agreed, leaves are key.


How? I burn through them.

I haven’t ever run out, but I’ve come close.

The skill that makes you immune for a bit after healing is so very awesome. Just got it. Where’s that been all my life?