Tomb Raider 2

Year: 1997
Platform: PC
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Core Design
Genre: 3D Action/adventure
Rating: ****

Lara Croft is back and better than before in this sequel that dramatically improves on the original in every way. This time, Lara is searching for the legendary Dagger of Xian which is rumored to have mystical powers. She travels all around the globe hunting it down, and ultimately finds herself in a bizarre alternate dimension full of unworldly monsters. The graphics and animation are considerably better than the original "Tomb Raider" and the controls are a bit more refined. This game beefs up both Lara's arsenal and wardrobe (not to mention her enhanced bust), and adds vehicles to the mix, which are a lot of fun to drive around. The game is also a lot harder than the first one, and the puzzles are mean and sadistic. The final showdown with the dragon is nearly impossible because of a glitch that causes Lara to stop running, which leads to certain flaming death. Fortunately, I found another bug in the game that allowed me to nail the dragon when he got stuck behind a pillar. It's definitely difficult, but finishing the game is quite rewarding.