You know,it took me hours to come to a decision after making this poll. In the end I chose Soul Reaver. At the time of it's release Soul Reaver was the most innovative, unique, and ultimately polished game out.
Soul Reaver 2 failed to polish many flaws that were there and failed to keep up with its contemporaries.
Defiance tried to be too much like Devil May Cry, and gimped it's two main characters to do so. Imagine playing in Defiance, but having the ability to turn in to a wolf, mist, a bat, or what have you as Kain. Imagine the upgrades they could've given Raziel. Instead, they both play the same, have the same combos, and don't play like the freaking gods they should be. Though, compared to the rest of the series, it was the most polished game and can still be enjoyed to this day. Defiance was just released in the wrong time. It feels like Soul Reaver 2 should have been like Defiance. Like, Defiance was an early PS2 game, and Soul Reaver 2 was a late PS1 game. Instead, Defiance was released later in the PS2 life cycle, and Soul Reaver 2 was released earlier in the PS2 life cycle. It's hard to explain, you'd have to play to see what I'm getting at. They just don't compare to their contemporaries despite being generally good games.
Blood Omen 2 was just bloody awful. It was clunky, had awful art, and a stupid story. I was so not satisfied with the "reason" Janos had to stay dead. This is probably because they didn't tap Amy Hennig to pen the storyline. It didn't even pay attention to the canon of the series. Vorador was alive after he had been killed in Blood Omen without any explanation given. I accepted it because I always thought at some point it would be explained. To this day, it hasn't.
Blood Omen was the only real competition that Soul Reaver had, and that's only because it was the introduction to the story and the character of Kain. Really, between these two, it really depends on personal taste. I had played some of Blood Omen before Soul Reaver, but Soul Reaver really grabbed me (mostly thanks to its opening cinematic [link] so awesome ), seemed more fun, and made me a Legacy of Kain fan. After Soul Reaver I went and replayed Blood Omen (fuck, this was almost ten years ago ) and enjoyed it more, thanks to Soul Reaver because I was more invested in Kain's development. Like, Episode III of Star Wars wouldn't be as interesting had we not known that he would become Vader. Though that's a poor comparison. Kain = Win Anakin = Fail
On another note, the fact that over 50% of the response is "haven't played any" really hurts... deep down... where I'm soft... like a woman. I hope that most of that 50 have at least heard of the games.
Though, if even half of those are people that haven't heard of the series then I find it kind of interesting that a single console generation removed, and it's an already forgotten franchise.
Nowadays, these games don't really hold up gameplay wise, and have a ton of faults. They're still charming, but flawed. The operatic story makes the gameplay faults forgivable.
I hope oneday they make a 360/PS3 game. It would be awesome.
"I tested Blood Omen 2" I'm not sure if I should be envious, offer my condolences, or fly in to a blinding rage.
Well, that's little Game Informer slip is great news because I actually have faith in Eidos now. I'd tried to play some of the old Tomb Raider games and they all sucked... hardcore. They only made so many because Lara was a sex symbol. (I've often joked that if Kain had tits, we'd have way more than five games.) Tomb Raider Legend was actually pretty fun, and the first Tomb Raider I really got in to.
These guys were able to take a shit series and make it awesome. It's possible they could take a great series like Legacy of Kain and make it epic win. Though, I really really sincerely hope that they get Amy Hennig to work on it. That's probably an unrealistic hope.
Not entirely sure what you're implying exactly but lulz, I said I tested it (which was awesome fun btw) I didn't say I OK'd the dev cycle or waived any of the bugs
The decision makers see LoK as a key franchise so (and I'm basing this on nothing more than an educated guess) I reckon we'll see another one sometime. I pass on the fact that every day of the year someone asks me about it.
The TR thing is a matter of taste. Hundreds of thousands of gamers would vehemently disagree with you about the old Core Design TR games, and not because of Lara's tits either. In fact the hardcore TR fans (who loved the grid based controls and level design) are up there with the biggest game purists I've ever dealt with. They are against Lara's..... assets being used or focused on, they love the puzzle solving, exploration and sense of isolation that only TR offers. What you're talking about is the main stream appeal and PR her character secured in the late 90s but I thought I'd stick up for Tomb Raider.
But yah, Crystal have worked wonders with TR. I'd recommend TR: Underworld which came out recently. A demo is available for 360 and PC if you feel inclined to give it a spin.
Gamefly informed me that they sent me a copy of TR: Underworld and I bet it's just sitting in my mailbox back at my apartment. (Visiting family for Thanksgiving at the moment.)
Anyone who argues that Tomb Raider doesn't owe part, if not most, of it's success to its attractive protagonist is unobservant or brainwashed.
The original Soul Reaver was a Tomb Raider clone, but it made a few adjustments to the gameplay and relied on a male protagonist that is essentially a decaying corpse.
Tomb Raider is still around despite never attempting to adjust it's gameplay and eventually becoming stale for more than one of its sequels. Soul Reaver isn't still around, despite always attempting to improve on its previous iteration. Anyone who doesn't see that the marketability of a sexy girl overrides the marketability of a decaying corpse is just... daft.
I mean, look at my gallery. I've got some paintings I'm pretty proud of. Stuff that I put a lot of effort in to, and generally wouldn't mind putting in my portfolio. Yet, if you opt to organize my gallery by popularity, very few of those paintings are at the top. What's at the top are simple and somewhat flawed drawing and cartoons of hot chicks. Stuff I'd never put in my portfolio. (I actually did once, the portfolio reviewer just gave me the strangest look.)
Sure, you can argue personal preference, and what one gamer my like over the other, but I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about marketability. In an objective comparison between both games it doesn't make sense that Legacy of Kain would not be around to this day, whereas a Tomb Raider game is virtually guaranteed annually. Unless you're willing to admit that an attractive girl will always sell more than a living jawless corpse and an old pea green vampire.
Moreover, this focus on the girl wasn't something that just sort of "happened" to the series. It was a part of the game from its inception in the mid 90s. It only gained momentum when they realized that that was all they needed to sell the game.
Oh, and I'm with people who don't want Lara's assets to be focused on for the game. Which is why I judge the previous games so harshly. I love the new ones, I really do. But the Core games were just--- They wouldn't exist if Lara hadn't been hot and well marketed because of that attractiveness. It's impossible to argue otherwise.
Oh, and I was saying that I'm not sure if I should envy you for testing Blood Omen 2, feel sorry for you for playing unpolished versions of an unpolished game, or get angry at you for not destroying the game and all of the participants who made (Simon Templemen excluded of course). You were there! There had to have been gas near by. All those electronic devices and outlets. PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHER MAN!
j/k (incase it isn't painfully obvious, I am being sarcastic and joking, I'm actually just mostly envious. Even though Blood Omen 2 isn't my favorite in the series, I still would've enjoyed testing it.)