trle.net
Level: Under the Moon - Clouds in Angkor Wat back home search
Author(s): Franco Bula
total rating:7.21 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Blue43 7 7 8 7
Christian 8 8 8 9
Diz 8 7 8 7
dmdibl 8 7 8 9
Ekrixi 7 7 8 7
eTux 5 5 6 6
Gerty 6 6 7 7
High Priestess 8 6 7 7
Jay 8 7 8 8
Jose 5 5 6 6
manarch2 7 9 8 7
MichaelP 6 7 8 7
Nina Croft 9 8 7 7
Orbit Dream 5 7 7 8
Phil 8 7 7 8
Ryan 6 7 7 8
Scottie 8 7 9 8
Steven Svorticher 8 7 8 8
TheStig 7 7 7 7
category averages
(19 reviews)
7.05 6.89 7.47 7.42

Reviewer's comments

"Again an adventure in India, and although I do like Angkor Wat this level however was very confusing for me. Also the author is pretty devious to hide a pick-up vase between more vases, so how would you know how to pick it up. For the rest it is sort of easy going, hardly any enemies, apart form some birds, dogs and soldiers. A bit unfair was also the lion statue one had to push, although it was sort of fun to see the statue change the direction where one had to push it." - Gerty (07-Sep-2017)

"Mixed feelings about this one overall. I liked the overall Angkor Wat setting and some of the gameplay, such as the brief pillar-jumping sequence, the gameplay was too obscure for my liking, even with the walkthrough. A vase you can pick up rather than shoot, an unfairly hidden movable block that totally halted the linear flow of gameplay, and friendly soldiers you need to shoot instead of leaving be. Not the best TR3 level out there, but OK, I guess. Took me 57 minutes." - Ryan (28-Jul-2016)

"Maybe it's been a while since I've played a level by the author, but this seemed like a vast improvement over his earlier efforts. Which is a good thing, since it shows that the author is willing to learn, and may improve much more with further releases. The lighting may be a bit bland, there are some squished textures on the 1-click high ledges, but overall the texturing has been done with care, the area is compact, yet intricate simultaneously, and once you know what to do, you can breeze through this level in a matter of some 30 minutes, and enjoy a fun moment or two along the way (like the jump sequence). That said, I didn't find this to be without pitfalls, in fact, it was somewhat frustrating on more than one occasion. Though the author has went out of his way to be player-friendly in terms of camera guidance, he went for the wrong methods when trying to increase the actual challenge of the gameplay (at least that's what I assume his intent was). I'm not exaggerating, when I say that the main gameplay drive here seems to be identical looking things with vastly different properties. Take the big vases for one - some seem indestructible, while others hide away not so crucial pickups and very crucial switches, most of the smaller vases are there only for decoration, but one elusive one is actually a crucial pickup (how it fit into Lara's bag, I have no clue - it looked positively massive), same with movable blocks/statues that don't differ in any distinguishable way from ones Lara can't interact with in any meaningful way. I mean, there's deception to sharpen our raiding senses and remind us not to go for the obvious thing and then there's this. The author actually has a good example of how deception can be used positively in form of the secret passage at the bottom of the jump- sequence-pit (since the intuitive thing is to just complete the jumps and move one, many wouldn't initially check it), but this item-doppelgänger-approach to gameplay isn't one that results in fun gaming. If you go straight for the walkthrough, you may not feel it as much, and in fact, if you want to save yourself the trouble and enjoy this much more - that might be the way to go about playing the level.. Found 2 of 3 secret gems." - eTux (19-Oct-2012)

"As I stated in my review of the author's previous level I was looking forward to seeing what they could do with newer generations of the Tomb Raider engine. This time Franco has chosen the Tomb Raider III engine to base his level on. The map itself for the level isn't massive, but it's quite complex with plenty of corridors and alcoves to explore. Anyone who attempts this without the odd glance at the walk-through will probably find themselves visiting the same location a couple of times over in an effort to see what door you've triggered. Texturing continues to get better, and I'd say that every room in this is well proportioned and nicely thought out. I think the biggest disappointment is the lighting which is dull and flat. The Tomb Raider III engine has so much capability in terms of colour, lights and shadow that it's shame Franco didn’t choose to take greater advantage of it. Gameplay is pretty straightforward though you I got caught out by the vase that I had to pick up, and pretty much found myself trying to either shoot or pull every other static object in the map by trial and error. All in all I netted 1 hour 14 minutes from Clouds in Angkor Wat. It's a good effort and worthy of your consideration. Stiggy" - TheStig (16-Jun-2012)

"This provided me with a good hour and a half of quality gameplay although I abandoned it and returned some weeks later because I found it hard to make any progress initially. The moving statue puzzle was different in terms of how the statue rotates 90 degrees dependant on the direction Lara is pushing it. However on the down side I felt there was rather too much back-tracking even though eventually some exit doors open but this problem is always going to be exasperated when one leaves the game and returns some considerable time later with little recollection of the areas already explored. But even though I stuck at it this evening until it's completion, a lot of doors that open in other areas are often identical and one forgets precisely which door and where to even relocate the doors per se. There were refreshingly few enemies and no nasty surprises to speak of, meaning one gets quite comfortable/confident running around after a time without being readily armed. I personally do tire after a time when the textures are unvaried (the Jungle levels of TR3 became tiresome for me after the initial wow factor), but as this was just one level and not a set of similar ones grouped together I did not find it monotonous but this was namely thanks to a small outdoor area and an area with a waterfall of sorts with a short tunnel of water to give the player something new to look at." - High Priestess (01-Dec-2011)

"This is a very enjoyable level. The lighting was sometimes monotonous. The textures were well placed and there were some nice parts of gameplay. What I think is complicated about this level, is that you have to shoot some breakable vases, without a clue which are breakable and which are not, or you have to pick up a vase which is exactly the same with the others. Many players would never thought about doing that. Also, it is strange to see some soldiers who are not attacking you, but you have to kill them in order to take their items. Whatever... It is a good level." - Ekrixi (29-Nov-2011)

"Here's a middle-of-the-road TR3 level that took me a little over an hour to complete. Nina Croft has provided a nice walkthrough to guide the player along. There were a few obscure touches, like picking up a vase as opposed to trying to shoot it. Never in my life had I stood in front of a vase and tried to pick it up. And speaking of vases, it was necessary for progress to shoot one or two of them, without any clues as to which ones were shootable. And since most are not, you have to shoot at all of them just be to on the safe side. Not very builder-endearing. The gameplay is straightforward for the most part, but there's a little required backtracking near the end. Not the best TR3 level around, but still worth playing." - Phil (14-Aug-2011)

"I shall never know how this level is so high rated (at this moment). Perhaps 'cause people got sometimes totally stucked? Because I've got no fun playing it. The difficulties in this level are only 'cause there are new objects you don't know they can be moved or another ones you don't know they can be shooted, but nothing more. It's not funny for me run through many areas looking for something I can't find and finding only dead ends. No puzzles, monotonous texturization, very few enemies, poor atmosphere... Also I'd like to know if users of the unofficial editor can select parts of the texture tiles in the texture panel or rotate the textures, 'cause all TR2 and TR3 levels I've played have the same defects in the texturization: stretched textures in small parts of the panels (rectangles or triangles). Sorry but it was not a good level for me, but perhaps to play with the walkthrough..." - Jose (11-Aug-2011)

"Not many Angkor Wat levels out there these days, so this was a welcome setting to play in for a little over 30 minutes. The map is actually quite small, but Franco in his usual fashion sends you back and forth a few times. Looks are solid, enemies are few, three secret gems to find and it all could have been nice and pleasant, but the author chose to be a bit devious with the gameplay. Originality is all nice and well, but I just don't like it when some vases that look the same can be shot and others not. Or when one of the small vases is an essential pickup, while others are not. Or when you need to kill a seemingly friendly soldier for a crucial key. So, I did have a glimpse at the walkthrough here and there - otherwise I probably would have been quite frustrated and scored this lower than I have. Still, a solid little level that is worth checking out." - MichaelP (23-Jul-2011)

"I had given the last few levels by Franco a miss,due to my impressions and comments for "I heard something". Seeing significantly higher scores for his more recent levels,I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. To a degree he has indeed improved - the construction of this latest level is solid enough,and it's well textured and decently lit.The playing area,while large,is actually quite easy to navigate around as you're sent on numerous back-and-forth quests;and the inclusion of a few enemies helps to spice things up. Unfortunately,the gameplay really lets things down;and indicates that Franco is one of those builders who seem convinced that players will be able to read his mind when it comes to solving some downright unfair puzzles: viz. a vase,out of dozens of identical static vases,which is actually a Key; a block out of hundreds of identical others,which is actually pushable;passive and helpful guards who actually need to be killed for their pick-ups. It's irritatingly cheaty;and the atmosphere,although acceptable,is not interesting enough to make the hours of aimless wandering worthwhile. Those players who automatically use Walkthroughs will find this easy enough to complete; but the remainder are destined to have a frustrating time of it." - Orbit Dream (21-Jul-2011)

"Just over an hour’s worth of pretty good TR3 raiding. I don’t like TR3 but this one’s well made with some interesting use of familiar objects. The difficulty level is nicely set to be available to most players without being too simple and boring the more experienced. There are few baddies and are easily dealt with so don’t expect a ‘shooter’. The gameplay is straight-forward with the exception of the aforementioned ‘interesting’ bits. A bit of bouncing about but, again, all fairly straight-forward and no timed runs. Definitely a level worth giving a go." - Diz (11-Jul-2011)

"This is a nicely made TR3 level with TR4 Angkor Wat textures. Although the game play didn’t have any challenges when it came to jumping and running, there were several situations where I had to read through the stuck level thread as I would have never thought that the statue was pushable. Also, the vase gave me some problems, as Lara just didn’t want to pick it up at all at first. There was a little too much back and forward between similar looking areas and to me it wasn’t always clear where to go and what to do next, but the layout of the map looked convincing, the texturing appeared to be well applied and the whole game had a good solid look and feel to it. The lighting department could have used a little more work, as some areas were pretty flat looking. According to the walkthrough I found three secrets but there was no secret chime and they didn’t show up in the final statistics either. I thought it was nice to see the old TR3 engine getting a good workout and would definitely recommend playing this one. (36min, 3 secrets found)" - Blue43 (05-Jul-2011)

"A good TR3 level with the setting and textures from Angkor Wat of TR last revelation. The level itself isn't very long and the gameplay isn't so difficult at all because there are no time trials or special jumps, but the main element that the player can find is the presence of several rooms that may apparently seem empty, without actions to take in, whereas we find very hidden and unexpected elements: among them we can see a statue of a lion to move, rather than another cube well hidden, or a vase to be collected rather than to shoot. Besidess Lara must find within the game some levers, each of which is fortunately accompanied by a flyby showing the relative door, and a couple of keys and other objects, but the important thing is to remember well the places visited. There are 3 secrets of medium difficulty (3 secret stones). As enemies we just find 2 eagles, a wolf and 2 guards, while as weapons we have the 2 guns and the shotgun (not bad amount of ammo). Soundtracks by TR3, several flybys, good atmosphere and good textures-lights. In conclusion, a level of medium difficulty: good points are the puzzles, while the weak ones are the few enemies; the gameplay itself is a bit static and boring, but dealing with the complexity of the puzzles, the game requires more time for reflection. Even if I prefer other Franco Bula's levels like Way of Relic, I found this level also original because of some selected objects and puzzles too: so I recommend it to everyone." - Steven Svorticher (04-Jul-2011)

"Although I wrote a walkthrough for this level few days ago, I decided to wait a little bit with giving the review of this level. As a reviewer, I must label this level by its difficulty, and that is definitely a big question for this one. Yes, it is easy to finish, no hard jump sequences (even jumps across sloped pillars were so exciting and not at all difficult), no hard enemies or boss fights, no millisecond precise jumps over traps, everything goes smoothly when it comes to platforming. The probability of dying here is very small, if you know the basics about TR3. However, some puzzles here are indeed very hard, and you will definitely need some hints to figure them all out. Other reviewers already mentioned three major and most difficult puzzles in this level: movable lion statue, pushblock which is impossible to find, and pickable vase, which gave us all quite a headache on the forum board... Even one switch that opens a door to one secret is ingeniously imagined and placed, and can easily be overlooked. So, easy gameplay and challenging puzzles... These make this level a pearl of custom TR3. I had a great fun playing this level, and felt sorry for it being so short... Although I missed some additional camera hints, or better lighting, the overall impression after playing this level is more than positive. Franco obviously has some really stunning ideas, and I really long to see one longer and epic TR3 adventure made by him... I definitely recommend this level to all the people, and I guarantee you that you will be more than once pleasantly surprised in this simply built level. Despite all the downsides, it is definitely very worth playing." - Nina Croft (28-Jun-2011)

"This level can be a hour-long adventure if you - like me- have problems with the extra features Franco installed. I admit these are major improvements over the old TR 3 engine, Franco made pushable lions, TR 4 objects like vases, railings and doors, and a completely new special button type. At some points however, I found gameplay was not so good, such as in the start where you had a whole area without anything to find there, or the vase that has to be grabbed (I got the logic hint for it too late, only jumped on the two tiles). Texturing was very interesting but it was partly monotonous, I however liked the ones in the inside parts better. Lighting only was partly to find, but the lights you can find were well applied. Maybe not as good as Francos "Way of Relic", but for sure a showcase what can be achieved with the old unofficial engines." - manarch2 (27-Jun-2011)

"Another enjoyable outing from this dependable builder, this time in the nostalgia-ridden TR3 environs of Angkor Wat. The gameplay is fairly straightforward physically, but you will have to engage your brain as there’s an ingenious twist whereby a couple of familiar objects are used in unfamiliar ways. The difficulty aspect should make it accessible to almost all players, agility-wise and enemies are sparse and easily handled. I must say however that I felt really rotten having to shoot a friendly soldier just to get a key, especially after he’d helped by shooting a dog. If you are a fan of TR3 levels, this could be a good way to pass approximately one hour." - Jay (27-Jun-2011)

"Another reliable level by Franco, this one in TR3 Angkor Wat. Perhaps more sophisticated in appearance than the author's last TR2 outing, this one does feel slighter and shorter. We get a new and unexpected use for an object. It turns out that push blocks are almost impossible to spot in TR3, even when Lara lights a flare, which caused some grumbling on my part. I missed things like the Xian warriors in the author's TR2 levels. Here we get helpful mercenaries who rush to Lara's defense when wild dogs attack her, so you wouldn't think that Lara would be contemplating shooting them in the back, but then this is Tomb Raider. This did lack a bit of excitement, but maybe this is just the author experimenting and adjusting to TR3. It will be interesting to see what the author does next." - dmdibl (26-Jun-2011)

"Even if the world would be doomed to destruction and we all had to live only 2 months, Franco would build reliable TR2/TR3-Level. And that's a good thing. Because it could be that all this is balderdash. And then we players would have nothing more to do. This would be terrible. And Franco is at the moment the only level builder who pleases us in short distances with well built nostalgia levels. For that reason we would have to bestow him the golden goose with garter and tissue.
Though Angkor Wat does not belong to my preferential destinations, but this should not keep me from playing a well built level. A level without stretched textures. With interesting Gameplay and a playing time of about 1 hour. And lo and behold, this level fulfils the stated requirements. However, there is one question which can answer only Franco: Can a level builder who can build good TR2/TR3-Levels also build good TR4-Levels? This question can answer only Franco. Though I like to play his levels, but I would like to play too a TR4-Level from him." - Scottie (24-Jun-2011)

"well, another work from Franco Bula with good ideas. Gameplay is straight forward, unfortunately the game is a bit short. Some items are well hidden, so the pushable lion, another hardly marked moveable block needed to reach the 2nd key and a fixed item that normaly is shot and not picked up. These things are spicing gameplay up. Solidly built it has nice TR3-atmosphere. Good work!" - Christian (23-Jun-2011)
Tag Cloud from Reviews:
back home search