It's a Tomb Raider extravaganza! We dish on the latest incarnation of Lara Croft, female protagonists in general, and the state of the "Cinematic Action" genre, a term which I claim full credit for coining. With Richard Naik, Brad Gallaway, Ashley King, Sara Rich, and (later on) Tim "Skype Connection Dropped" Spaeth.

Also, check out this article by our good friend Rhea Monique if you have time. Well worth a read.

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Richard Naik

Richard Naik

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Richard received his first console (the NES) at the age of six, and from that point on games have been an integral part of his life, whether it's been frittering summers away with the likes of Mario, Mega Man, and the Zerg or partaking in marathon sessions of Halo, Team Fortress 2 or Left 4 Dead. After being a longtime reader of GameCritics, Richard joined the staff in March of 2009, and over the years Richard grew into the more prominent role of part-time podcast host.

In 2016, he spearheaded a complete rebuild of the website, earning him the title of Chief Engineer.

His gaming interests are fairly eclectic, ranging from 2D platformers to old-school-style adventure games to RPGs to first-person shooters. So in other words, he’ll play pretty much anything.
Richard Naik

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12 Comments on " Podcast Episode 90: The Raiding of (non-existent) Tombs"

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Excellent podcast richard, and I’m really enjoying the format even when I haven’t played the game in question. Please, please guys do a spoiler ridden podcast of Bioshock Infinite! I just finished that game, and it is hardcore calling for this treatment. I enjoyed Sparky Clarkson’s articles, (though I disagreed with his final assessment, I still thought it was an excellent game), but I’d love to hear the rest of you discuss it.


Cheers Brad, I think I was looking for some of the more inflammatory “best work” pieces.

Mousse Effect

… so many japanese games/series with decent female MCs.

HYPOTHESIS: I wonder if it’s because most games with female MC are japanese that they sell less on average!

I remember the original Tomb Raider games and they had these awful controls in where Lara would either go forward, back and rotate. There were a bunch of moves for the combat, but she mostly controlled like a tank. The offshoot of that was that each edge for a jump was approached with the same measure of caution. You would approach the edge, gauge the distance and then determine whether you needed a run-up to the jump. It did give this sense of tension for each jump. Since fluidity was introduced to this genre, it’s certainly (I feel) taken away… Read more »
Mousse Effect
Hi everyone. Something that boggles me every time is how come japanese games are so rarely discuss when it comes to gender/sexuality issue (except when it’s to mock the weird things on kotaku). Their take seems much more varied and mature than that of american games. Of course, things like .hack GU may be too obscure for people to compare to Mass Effect – in this game a male party member is in love with the male protagonist without there being any awkwardness at all. But for instance, FFXIII is probably the game with a female MC, right on the… Read more »
Brad Gallaway

Last I checked, we’re still listed with MetaCritic. Was there a particular review that wasn’t there?

Our Tomb Raider piece is up:

Scroll down to 65 and it’s there. = )


sorry to ask this here but wasn’t sure where else to post this. How come the gamecritics reviews no longer show up on metacritic?


I’m with you upselo on getting Sparky Clarkson on the GC Podcast. I want him as a semi regular too. He’s too good not to have his thoughts heard. I know that he hates hearing his voice on podcasts but he’s being too sensitive. I just recently listened to an old Brainy Gamer podcast that Sparky was on 5 years ago, and he sounds fine.

Break the drought Sparky.

It’s great to have Tim back for the podcast. He made very good points about Lara’s humbleness and her heroic status. Alas, I also regret the conspicuous absence of Sparky Clarkson, since he had so much to say in previous articles about the Cinematic Action Genre, Tomb Raider, Uncharted and Enslaved. Anyway, regarding Tomb Raider : I was never much of a fan of the series, because the first episodes featured pixel perfect platforming, nonsensical puzzles, no story or completely bogus ones (Tomb Raider Underworld…), and lousy fights (the fights with the dinosaurs in TR1 come to mind). Here at… Read more »
Tim Spaeth
Hey, how about that multiplayer! I wanted to make one additional spoiler-free comment about the endgame, but couldn’t thanks to Richard’s Internet connection and/or his cats. My favorite part of any Metroid/Castlevania is the “Go Back and Collect All the Goodies Once You’ve Fully Upgraded Your Equipment” sequence, and Tomb Raider really nails this. You might argue that putting waypoints on the collectibles ruins the exploration aspect (I’d argue that’s what the challenges are for), but for me the fun was figuring out how to traverse the environment to get to the waypoint. The reward for finding everything isn’t terrific,… Read more »
2 things- From Tomb Raider 2 onward, Lara was recrafted (or reCrofted) into an action hero to please fans who thought TR1 was too ‘boring’. Go play 1 & 2 back to back and you notice immediately that the number of enemies skyrockets. That’s what people wanted. It wasn’t what I wanted.. second, ‘raiding’ tombs in the game never amounted to anything more than navigating large environments and finding secret paths, switches, simple machines, and ways off the level. That has not changed, at all. What made the game about “TOMBS” was that you were looking for an “artifact”, and… Read more »
I agree with the sentiment that it’s definitely a good game, but it’s just not a good Tomb Raider. It feels like another series has fallen prey to the “gritty, colorless shooter” syndrome that games like CoD are responsible for. Also, I can’t help but laugh at the fact that the devs obviously want you to care about Lara being forced to kill human beings, and then go on to include a “kill 200 dudes” achievement. Am I the only who played (and really loved) Tomb Raider Anniversary, by the way? It did the exact same thing: force Lara into… Read more »