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Level: Fake Dagger back home search
Author(s): Tr1997
total rating:2.59 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 1 2 2 2
DJ Full 4 5 6 3
Jay 2 2 2 2
Jose 1 2 5 2
manarch2 2 2 2 2
MichaelP 3 3 3 3
Nina Croft 2 2 3 2
Phil 6 4 4 5
Ryan 2 2 2 2
totizedger 1 2 2 1
Treeble 2 2 2 3
category averages
(11 reviews)
2.36 2.55 3.00 2.45

Reviewer's comments

"This is very similar to this builder's other TR2 games, but although it isn't as lengthy, I still found it a total drudge to go through. I stuck with it to the bitter end, I suppose because I was really stubborn, but I can't say it was exactly worthwhile. It essentially boils down to running through huge blandly textured rooms, with little in the way of decoration or artistic interest to alleviate the constant tedium of the gameplay. And then, you have enemy attacks which are so boring and repetitive, despite there being enough ammo to go around for Lara. Maybe just focusing on one or two levels and investing much more time and energy into those around gameplay and aesthetics might be better, but I can't find anything to recommend this in its current state." - Ryan (28-Jul-2018)

"Won't say I didn't feel accomplished in the end but come on, this is hands down the worst set of this builder. I used to think his later ones are no improvement but I was wrong - in this one, the number of potential permastuck points must be the greatest of all so you need to constantly watch out when not to save. In the end I fought a multitude of jade warriors with pistols, since despite of tons of stronger ammo given I ran out of all anyway. With this acknowledged it's still the combat, and music again, which are the strongest points of the game, so once more it's worth to play it for those highlights - just one question: are you strong enough to reach them?" - DJ Full (01-Oct-2017)

"I'm almost at the end of my journey into TR2 custom levels, and I'm looking at so many multiple levelsets I've actually toyed with the idea of giving it up altogether. When I started playing this particular, those feelings intensified. Rooms are massive boxes rooms with very little points of interest, and you have an awful lot of running as every switch or key operates a door in an opposite end of the level. The formula gets old as quickly as you'd think. Textures are pure wallpaper most of the time, but it was especially aggravating towards the end of the 6th level, the first time I found myself stuck, and guess why: an unmarked climbable wall. Oh, joy! I stumbled into the "key bug" in level 7, so I had to use a savegame editor to give myself flares and use the levelskip cheat to proceed. In the eight level you have the oversized version of those trap rooms in which you have a limited time to pull a number of levers before the spiked ceilings/walls get to you, but it's surreal the way it's done. By pulling them in a specific order (at least for the ceiling trap one) you can get away by then walking through narrow spaces between the objects, which I'm sure wasn't as intended. I have a feeling sometimes you can get permanently stuck for not doing things in the proper order and thus missing a pickup you can't go back to, but I'm not entirely sure of this - and quite honestly, wasn't up to experiment with that. To summarize, somewhere along the third level I realized that the areas were "trying" to hard to be knock-offs of the original TR2 levels (hence the title?), but the best analogy I can make here is that a child was building with megablocks and then Lara was shrunk to the size of a flea to run around said megablocks. I don't know, I'm not feeling too well. I better lie down and hope the remaining TR2 levelsets aren't as draining as this one was. I spread my playthrough over the span of three days, with each individual level lasting somewhere between 15-45 minutes. A for effort (we are talking nine whole levels after all), but F for execution. 4 hours, 20 minutes. 06/17" - Treeble (04-Jun-2017)

"While I do admit in retrospect to being a bit harsh during my initial review of Elnur's 'The Last Emperor' release back in 2013, you have to understand that Tr1997's levels barely ever seem to get better from what I've noticed and at the end of the day, practically serve as nothing more than massive time wasters for anyone who actually bothers to play through them. And this debut serves as proof of that. Unnecessarily huge and boxy rooms, repetitive lazy texturing, non-existent lighting, flat atmosphere, incredibly boring gameplay, enemies and objects that feel thrown in to give the player something to shoot/look at(instead of feeling like a natural part of the environment we just so happen to be traversing)... Literally no aspect of game design has been given the kind of love and attention that it so desperately needs here, immediately suffering for it as a result. While it is nice to hear some familiar tunes from TR2 play while we explore these incredibly barren and lifeless levels, that isn't enough to justify the supposed five hours of potential boredom it will take to beat this series of levels(according to Phil anyway.) Simply cannot be recommended to anyone, unless you enjoy being bored to tears." - Ceamonks890 (11-Sep-2014)

"While not as lengthy as this builder's later release, The Last Emperor, this nine-part TR2 adventure took me just under five hours to complete as I was preparing a walkthrough along the way. The final stats indicated that I missed all of 12 total secrets, but I'll believe that when someone tells me where any one of these secrets might be located. There was an apparent glitch in the initial release that prevented the player from completing the 7th level and going on to the best and most elaborate of the bunch, level 8. However, the builder must have released a fixed version since the earliest reviews, as I was able to play to completion. Sure, the textures are crude, but this builder has demonstrated a firm grasp of basic gameplay design, and I must say that I enjoyed this adventure (although I'm looking forward to getting back to more traditional and eye-pleasing TR4 levels). There are numerous places where you have to stop and think about what you're doing, and it seemed that each springboard required a different method to progress. Nothing to recommend, but definitely a worthwhile download." - Phil (26-Feb-2014)

"This is a 7 level adventure and it seems like i got through all of them which im surprised of. I read the other reviews and they said there was a messed up trigger that stops you from going to the next level. The problem with these levels are as his other levels. Tedious gameplay, wallpapered textures, too long corridors, and too long climbing. There were many times where i just wanted to give up because of the tediousness. The adventure ended with the credits of the original TR2 game which didn't fit very well as Tr1997 made this. Also the first level was almost an exact copy of the first level of Folklorist Diary which i didn't like very much, the second level main room looks like Darkness Castle but not the textures though. To sum things up i really don't recommend it to anyone as the gameplay is too repetitive and frustrating." - totizedger (12-Sep-2013)

"I have now completed the four TR2 adventures that this (presumably young) new builder has released within a week and indeed the review for each for each of these can almost use the exact same words; so - much like the builder copied one oversized, unlit, wallpaper textured and empty room after the next in his levels, I will copy this review text for each of his levels as well. What you get is a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of running around. Distances are large and backtracking happens often, only interrupted by occasional switches or key pickups and rather many bad guys that need to be killed. This particular adventure here even consists of an entire series of Levels that pretend to give you diversity in Environments when they really all are more of the same and just extend the tedium for hours on end. The author clearly has some talent for basic gameplay elements - now he should work on refining those, adding a few more clever ideas along the way, get those room sizes MUCH smaller and work on architecture of the Levels, texturing and lighting MUCH, MUCH more and he may well come up with a really decent Level in a few months from now... we'll see..." - MichaelP (03-Sep-2013)

"Nostalgia aside, just why does somebody build TR2 levels these days? I mean, Lara's limited abilities can be a bit frustrating at the best of times, but when faced with huge empty rooms and endless passageways the lack of a sprint button verges on the unbearable. This is a multi level game and I'm afraid, for me, it outstayed its welcome by a factor of ten. The gameplay is mind-numbingly tedious, consisting of running (soooo slowly) through the aforementioned cavernous rooms, shooting enemies and picking up occasional items. Ostensibly, this is set in various locations, but, whether monastery, submarine or Venice etc., ( and I never ever thought I would find a motorboat ride boring), everything looks pretty much the same. The gameplay occasionally encompasses a rudimentary puzzle in the form of block pushing, but anything with potential has the life sucked out of it by endless repetition, e.g. 'more' is not necessarily 'better' when it comes to running through tooth doors (I lost count). It seems to be impossible to finish this level, due to a technical glitch, and I suppose the last couple of sections may have perked up, but somehow I doubt it. Perhaps if the builder were to scale back the size of rooms and bung in a bit more variety of actions, it might be better, but as it stands I can't really recommend this game." - Jay (03-Sep-2013)

"Although this level pack includes almost a dozen of levels, each supposedly different than the previous, there is still little to be said about it. I am a huge fan of TR2, but I can lower my criteria of reviewing when it comes to TR2 levels, knowing the fact that these levels are made by unofficial Editor which is indeed very limited. However, this level set has no excuse for its poor geometry and design, boring texturing, non-existing lighting and almost no decoration. At least the unofficial Editor can offer these kinds of elements in abundance. Gameplay and puzzles: although there are so many levels and so many keys to find and doors to open, the gameplay is nothing like TR2. The gameplay is reduced to simple shooting around like mad, with the number of enemies and their difficulty increasing as you progress. Okay, I must admit that there are also some puzzles to solve ("find this key" and "push this block there" sort of puzzles), but not even remotely resembling a decent TR2 puzzle. Enemies are numerous, most difficult (imo) being stone statues combined with ninjas, in a moment when you are low on any quality ammo. Objects are almost non-existent except of a couple of statues and pillars thrown here and there. Rooms are too huge, too blocky, hallways are too long, for no obvious reason except to keep you from reaching the level end as long as possible. Atmosphere is not well build, I saw no difference between the base and the monastery levels. Okay, the builder used some interesting music tracks, some nice camera hints (therefore a slightly higher review in this category), but overall problem with triggers ruins the atmosphere even more. Textures are well chosen for a TR2 level, but badly applied, stretched, twisted, distorted, applied globally, sometimes without any sense whatsoever. And finally, those who are able to finish this level despite the tedious gameplay, are not only extremely patient, but also extremely lucky. On level 7 I could not open the door although I found two key items, and that was the end of my playing. According to the DATA folder, there are two more levels after this one, but I don't think that they can be played, since the triggers for this door are messed up and the door remains sealed no matter what you do. The builder is obviously a beginner, and here a tip for him/her: maybe you should build ONE level, and pay attention to it, invest as much time as you have invested in this entire level set, texture it pretty, build better geometry and gameplay, and consequently, the reviews would be much, much higher." - Nina Croft (24-Aug-2013)

"I've only played a couple of levels, 'cause in Venice I reached a place where I needed a key and I couldn't go back to look for it; so I decided to abandone. Rooms are too huge and textured with the "texture floor" "texture ceiling" and "texture wall" buttons with no objects or furniture. The gameplay consists only about run long distances to pull switches or find items and go back again a very long ways to find the open door or the keyhole/receptacle to use that items. In between you can shoot some enemies and pick up the goodies they drop. Nothing more. The author forgot to use the "one shot" button when triggering the musics, so every time you run over the trigger tiles you'll hear the same melodies again and again. Lights don't exist, but I saw a good use of the cameras though. Perhaps this set of levels could be good for those who have a lot of free time, but not for me." - Jose (22-Aug-2013)

"There are so many nice TR 2 levels out there, but, I'm really sorry to say that, this level is utterly pointless, shooting dozens and dozens of enemies. Does a bell ring? Even Theft of the Dagger of Xian feels harmless compared to some parts of this level (especially the Live Statues level was way over the top, with fights against eight statues at once, or six ninjas and six statues, or whatever combination you might imagine). The ammo is also scarce (I had to fight with pistols at the end), medipacks were plenty though. There were two or three block puzzles that didn't seem very inspired (maybe one a bit) but that endless running is just awful level design, especially in those high rooms where you have to run around perimeters to get to the top. Design is bad too, with wallpaper textures being standard here, only a couple of rooms (like the large hall in the venice level) received a bit more care. The first level seems to be a rough replica of the first part of Folklorist Diary, and the second is inspired of Darkness Castle, the rest reminds on the original TR 2 levels but it's not competently built at all. At least there were enough camera hints on what to do and the whole thing doesn't feel so maze-like, "oversized" would be an understatement to some rooms though and often no real atmosphere came up. The game-stopping problem in the 7th level is apparently fixed, and I actually enjoyed parts of the eighth level with clever use of springboards, which caused me to give a point more than before. Took me slightly more than three hours to finish this game." - manarch2 (21-Aug-2013)
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