There's never a bad time to get reacquainted with one of modern gaming's most recognizable protagonists, Lara Croft. In case you're one of the many thousands of gamers who played through Lara's various adventures before consoles packed the visual punch they do today, then the newly-released Tomb Raider Trilogy may be of particular interest.
Combining Tomb Raider Legend, Tomb Raider Anniversary and Tomb Raider Underworld into a single package, Crystal Dynamics has been hard at work maximizing and remastering each title's assets with the full power of the PlayStation 3. If the latest comparison screens are to be believed, then the improvements may be even greater than some had expected.
Releasing a collection of the developer's last three retail Tomb Raider titles is a great way to generate some renewed interest in Croft, with the upcoming reboot getting closer and closer by the day. But Lara doesn't need much to prove that she's still capable of delivering a fun and inventive gaming experience.
The female adventurer's most recent incarnation was in Crystal Dynamics' digital release Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, which carried enough innovation and nostalgia for us to think highly of it.
Still, there's no denying that Lara is most at home on consoles, and only Sony is giving fans of the series a chance to re-live three of Lara's better titles with brand new visuals. The idea of HD remakes is quickly becoming a popular one, with a Team ICO Collection, Metal Gear Solid Trilogy and most recently Beyond Good & Evil HD showing potential for the venture.
Whether or not it's a sign of developers running out of ideas or providing a fan service isn't an easy call, but the latest side-by-side screenshots of the Tomb Raider Trilogy show that the team didn't spare any expenses with their upgrades.
Take a look to help you decide if the improvements warrant another trip alongside Lady Croft:
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The comparisons don't lie, and will make it a bit more difficult to argue that the team at Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix are just trying to grab some more money before the series is rebooted and these titles are lost to the past. That's a fair opinion to have, but you can't ignore the substantial upgrades the games have undergone.
Is a new layer of polish enough to entice you to give these games another shot? At a price of $39.99, three games is a steal, but the success of the trilogy will likely have more to do with fan enthusiasm than a judgement being placed on the HD graphics.
The Tomb Raider Trilogy is available now - in glorious HD - exclusively for PlayStation 3.