Level: Search the true Christmas Gift - Remake Part 1 back home search
Author(s): birdmonster
total rating:2.67 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
DJ Full 2 3 2 2
dmdibl 4 5 4 3
eRIC 3 6 3 3
Gerty 2 4 2 1
herothing 0 3 2 0
Jay 4 3 3 2
JesseG 4 2 2 3
Jorge22 3 3 2 2
manarch2 2 3 2 2
MichaelP 3 4 3 1
Obig 3 3 3 2
Ryan 2 3 3 2
category averages
(12 reviews)
2.67 3.50 2.58 1.92

Reviewer's comments

"This levelsets requires you to play the three levels separately, with one not having a provided executable. Having played two of this builder's other levels, I kind of knew what was expected, and indeed... Ridiculous amounts of enemies to slaughter, some of them having ludicrous amounts of health (particularly the Torso Boss and the two ninjas at the end of "Clown Pirates". The texturing is repetitive throughout and missing in a few places (particularly in a climbable pole shaft) and it can get gloomy one minute, bright the next due to erratic lighting. Also, some of the flybys were way, way too long. At least the music choices were nice, but that's as positive as I can be. Why did I play it? Because I'm a completist, and stubborn, I'll admit." - Ryan (15-Mar-2017)

"Sorry to say but after playing the first Christmas level this 3 level part was three too many. Huge, huge rooms, wallpaper textures, long, long ladders to climb, crawlspaces also like they never would end, bright light in and out doors. Must be a guy thing as the enemies are very hard to slay. To tell you the truth I hardly know how the first level looks. Thank you DJ Full for the walkthrough I never would have finished it, as at a certain time I couldn't be bothered to explore. A pity that the builder didn't learn much (in the mean time)." - Gerty (07-Dec-2010)

"LEVEL 1: Gameplay is poor, there is some jumping and climbing, but we can clearly see where to go next, there's even no corridors splitting in two, so I can give only 1 point for the gameplay exists and nothing more. Puzzles are mostly obvious, but one of them requires patience (I mean the Indian guy that is easy to be considered as immortal and left without checking out what he drops), so I give 1 as well. Enemies - 1 point for mentioned Indian boss, some sharks, snakes and fire cobras (I just like the variety, not the placement). Objects - those inside the mosquee are fine, so let it be 1 point. Secrects are none - as well as points for them. Atmosphere - 1 for the mosquee with its domes and interior which (after using some imagination) can convince a player she/he is inside some Muslim stuff, and Quran piece helps it. Sound - 1 for nice TR2 samples ("Aha!" is always good). Cameras - 0 (no comment). Texturing is poor, monotonous, sometimes disturbing - I killed myself while climbing the polerope, because I thought I'm on the roof already - so 1 only. Lighting allows a player to see something - 1 point. Overall 2/2/2/2 COMMENTS: Technically, this level is not so good. But it's so short it doesn't have to be boring during those 20 minutes of playtime. However, it's still only low average. LEVEL 2: Gameplay is a bit better - we can shatter objects, avoid some fires and falling stones, use the crowbar we find plus do everything else what we do in the first part, so I give 2. Puzzles are worse than in the first part of the levelset - 0 points. Enemies - 2 points for demighost and dragon. I like customization, and I got it. Objects: 2 points for interior architecture and monks sitting here and there, making this temple alive. I liked it very much, this level gaining some soul. Secrects - the same as in the previous episode - so 0 for them. Atmosphere is sometimes great, sometimes none, so I give average - 2. Sounds are those used in the first level, and rated like them as well - 1. Cameras: AWFUL!!! 0. Both texturing and lighting get 1 - acceptable only for me. Overall: 2/4/3/2 COMMENTS: The best one. If you are going to choose the one episode only - pick this one. Brings back memories from TR2. LEVEL 3: Gameplay: endless coriddors, swimming, falling and climbing. Maybe it exists, but I won't give any single point for that. It's simply unneccessarily tiring. 0. Puzzles: if you miss one coin and get to the place you need to use the item, there's no way back and you are either doomed or forced to use the author's savegame. So no mercy here - 0 points. Enemies: 1 point for Torso Guy and challenging SASes, another 1 for customized pirates - the toughest battle ever, I think, testing player's agility, ability to save ammo and use a weapon that can either help, or kill Lara. This makes creative ending. Objects: I assume I can't treat enemies like standard "objects", and this is shame, but I can give 2 points for something else - Atlantean monsters mining gold. That was awesome idea! Secrects: you know. Atmosphere: I know this is a cave (1). Sound: 1 (see above). Cameras: 0 (too long, and overflown-by). Texturing & lighting - just like described in two previous cases. Overall: 0/4/2/2 COMMENTS: Technically the worst one, but has the best battles of the whole set. However, even the most epic fight can't balance neglecting all remaining elements of the level. OVERALL OVERALL: 1,33/3,33/2,33/2 SUMMARY: For today, "Search for the true Christmas Gift" can't be recommended. This level is all low average. We can see some symptoms of open mind here - well customized enemies and some nice objects - but we can also assume one half of author's brain is fighting with another one. The first half wants to be open, while the other one tries to remain asleep. I think if birdmonster frees himself by not being afraid of letting his imagination get loose and take over, the open half will wake up the sleeping one and we all gonna see some great thing made by this builder someday. I'm waiting forward to play it." - DJ Full (31-Oct-2010)

"This download has three levels, packaged separately. Level 1: Builders, if you are about to create a wide open space, you had better know what you are doing with it so it's not a dull amount of empty space as in many places in this level. It seems that the effort into the environment was little beyond randomizing the floor at some parts, using the Texture floor, ceiling, and wall buttons, and adding some various objects about. That sword baddy had way too much health, but at least the enemies made it a little interesting. Actually the gameplay wasn't half bad, and it was interesting to pull out "treasure" to dig out a key from the middle. Lighting is very limited and goes from too bright to too dark. 20 minutes. Level 2: There is no program provided for this one, but I took the tomb4 from level 1. Way too many long corridors and crawlspaces in this one. The temple at the start looks nice except the flyby that shows it off is messed up, ruining the effect. The alien and dragon take way, way too long to kill, and there's the chance that the dragon's key will drop in the lava. Thankfully that did not happen to me. The music was pretty nice though. 20 minutes. Level 3: This starts with a long, useless flyby that pretty much shows you the whole level. Again the "bosses" take way too long to kill, and having limited ammo is a drag. There are many ways to get stuck in this level, such as not getting a certain coin before defeating the giant atlantean dude - if that is the case then the exit is closed forever. Not to mention that there are two coin slots, but one is fake, so you are screwed if you pick the wrong one. Another way to get stuck is leaving the motorbike after driving up the slopes with it. The armed baddies have grenades that are instant death, which is highly frustrating. Nothing too memorable in this level. Again, 20 minutes. Conclusion: Thank God for fexinspect, because with no walkthrough handy there would have been no way to figure some areas out. It is an hour long adventure that will not be very impressionable, except in mostly negative ways, with its huge bland environments. Again, at least some tunes were well-chosen. The builder must be more careful with choosing room sizes, and being creative with texturing. And, of course, levels should be beta-tested, although I'm conflicted about whether this project was even alpha-tested." - SSJ6Wolf (17-Sep-2010)

"Not much better than original. Some parts in the mosque were a bit more well-looking but the gameplay as a whole was still tedious and I nearly gave up because it was so uninteresting. Still not worth a look - only if you want to see how to not make it." - manarch2 (17-Sep-2010)

"I tought the remake levels could bring more than the original ones. Unfortunately not. Author have to work more for a quality, nice level. There are a sort of good ideas. Everything is oversized here. Huge areas, long ladders. Sorry, but I don't liked these levels." - Obig (30-May-2010)

"If you know anything about this author, you'll know that this has nothing to do with Christmas. The first level, "Indian Mosque," seems different and better than previous author levels. It actually has something one might identify as a mosque. The author has added a green Muslim ninja-type enemy, who is effective. There are good elements such as a gold key placed at the center of four pushable blocks. It has a long bridge obstructed by boulders and bodies of soldiers, yet Lara has to cross this quickly while dragons on either side snort fireballs at her. Unfortunately, there are still irritations: the ladder-to-the-sky is here replaced with a climbing-pole-to-the-sky; and when Lara crosses blocks in lava, the sky becomes a ceiling, so she crawls under it when she ought to be able to stand. In my game, when Lara shot the green Muslim enemy, he fell onto a steep slope above lava--impossible to approach his body. So reload, but this time the green Muslim fell onto that slope by himself, to run back and forth on it. So reload. Finally Lara lured this enemy to flat ground, shot him, and discovered an essential key. Without precautions, that key would have been missed. "Chinese Haunted Buddhist Temple" is mostly about an uninterrupted trek through landscapes and buildings. It does have a white demigod ghost, and a dragon to battle at the end. "Clown Pirates" has ways to go astray, so that I had to abandon it and start this level again. Lara can ride the motorcycle early, but that is her only exit, to be saved for later. Players must follow the route of the fly-by to get a red key first. The next sore point was when Lara finds two coin slots, but she has only one coin. No way could I find a second coin. Lara inserted the coin into the left slot, and nothing happened. Only if Lara inserts a single coin into the right slot do the doors open--the left coin slot is meaningless. This is too devious. The high point here was Lara dropping into a room filled with vicious Atlanteans when she has almost no ammo. How to cope? It turns out that the four guards are the only danger. The Atlanteans are doing forced labor with pickaxes, prisoners themselves, and are completely harmless to Lara. In sum, it might have been better to submit the first level, "Indian Mosque," as a stand-alone entry. It can be played and enjoyed by itself." - dmdibl (15-May-2010)

"We are searching for what Christmas gift exactly, there arent even any pick-ups, let alone a Christmas gift. I thought the lighting was very poor along with the textures which were stretched and were used to excessively. There wasnt any gameplay if not none and the level lasted for about 5 minutes. I thought the atmosphere was also very poor but it did exist at least. The sound was fine, nothing to great and the cameras were a bit buggy at some times. Overall 1.25/10" - herothing (06-May-2009)

"Search what true Christmas gift? There isn't any storyline to this game in three separate parts. And all I can remember is never ending corridors, huge empty rooms, repetitive textures stretched to infinity and looking like they were made in a hurry that are always disappearing, missing sounds, trap-like textures that make no sense, wrong animations, a grenade gun that always explodes in Lara's hands, I could go on... In a word, after playing a few very neatly built games, it's really hard to speak any better of this. But maybe I'm missing the whole point or something..." - Jorge22 (25-Mar-2009)

"The author has packaged this in a way that you actually end up playing the three levels as three standalone games.
Indian Mosque (5/5/4/1, 20 min): Not sure I remember the original version much, but this level is the one that clearly has been 'remade' as it is longer and there is more to do here than before. You get some fun back and forth for keys and levers and overall a nice kind of round trip to get through this part. The architecture overall and especially the texturing is still rather poor, but in comparison to the other work by this author I found this to be a level with a positive difference and actually some good camera work.
Chinese Haunted Buddhist Temple (2/4/2/1, 20 min): You will have to start this level from the first savegame provided by the author, because otherwise you will not have the weapons you need to shoot something later on. This is actually not a bad thing to do as I think it saves you from watching the painfully bad long flyby of the temple at the start. From here it then becomes a fairly boring linear run-through with only that ghost hammergod causing a brief chuckle along the way.
Clown Pirates (3/4/2/1, 30 min): Quite a tough level as you need to manage the initially scarce ammo for the shotgun and later the grenade gun well to make it through to the end - but it is really quite doable if you avoid a few guards that you do not need to kill initially. Do not use the bike too early as you will then be stuck later on. Only go there when you do already have the first key. The relatively good elements of finding and beating the enemies that hold the coins and keys you need and the nice return to the starting point are always spoiled a bit by the intermediate long and eventless running through long empty corridors, but a level where you get to battle the good old TR1 monster is always worth a look." - MichaelP (22-Mar-2009)

"Having played the first 'Christmas Gift', I very nearly decided to spare myself the agony of a revised version, but I chanted my reviewer's mantra (try to review them all, however dire), gritted my teeth and waded in. Indian Mosque: OK, I thought this was a remake and I know I've got a dreadful memory, but I don't remember this at all. Surely I wouldn't have forgotten trying to get past two dragons on a narrow walkway, with boulders in the way, would I? I suppose it could be protective amnesia. Hoorah for a revolver and loads of ammunition. Now I can go back and shoot every last thing I had to run away from when I had no guns at all, not even pistols. Short, bloodthirsty, but definitely the best section of the game as there is at least a hint of entertaining gameplay. Chinese Haunted Buddhist Temple: This has to be played separately and there is no tomb4 exe. Use one from the other two parts of the download and Lara has no pistols, which means she gets trapped not far into the level. Use the first of the savegames provided by the author (???) and she has got pistols. There's only one ghost, but he is pretty fierce. Apart from that, there's a lot of not very much happening other than dashing through huge rooms and doing a bit of climbing and jumping. Did get a crowbar though. Clown Pirates: Guards with red noses actually in an Atlantean style setting and much shooting of enemies to be done to gain various keys and tokens. This part seemed much more familiar to me so maybe it's not been revised quite so much. I could really have done without the 'canned laughter' sound file though, that really began to grate on the nerves in short order. Hmm, what can I say? It's no masterpiece, but it is a slight improvement over the first game so I suppose that's good. I can't really recommend it though and I still don't know what it has to do with Christmas." - Jay (22-Mar-2009)

"3 independent levels , that lasts a little above 20 minutes each. Strange is the fact that Lara starts with no weapons, so I used the first of the savegames provided by the author for each of the levels. These levels are much more than remakes, in fact the great quantity of the places seemed totally new to me. What we have here is an Oriental, an Atlantean , and a level that looks Egyptian. The settings still suffer from repetitive texturing , absence of lighting and other problems as far as the looks are concerned, on the other hand there are good things such as diagonal walls. As for the gameplay , it lacks some punch , even if there is some good battles. Beware of the SAS throwing grenades, there is also many other enemies , demigods, tigers, some monsters as boss, and some clown/ninjas which took me a long time to defeat in the 3rd level. What else can be said ? The sfx sounds are good, the flybys are bad, and I appreciated the occasional good and original idea, such as the key placed under movable boxes in such a way that you have to move all 4 boxes to get it." - eRIC (22-Mar-2009)
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