Level: The Last Emperor back home search
Author(s): Tr1997
total rating:3.20 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Ceamonks890 1 2 1 1
kabal 2 3 3 2
manarch2 3 3 3 2
MichaelP 4 6 3 1
Phil 8 6 5 5
category averages
(5 reviews)
3.60 4.00 3.00 2.20

Reviewer's comments

"Running, jumping and swimming in large and empty rooms with repetitive textures. That's what most of the levels in this game is about. Please, DON'T create such levelsets like this one, they're tedious and boring." - kabal (14-Dec-2016)

"This was one of the few remaining releases unrepresented by a walkthrough, so I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. Thirteen levels and 23 printed pages later, I share the feeling of accomplishment described by Michael in his review. The ending credits reveal that many people other than TR1997 were involved in this project. My report to the building team is that this is a worthwhile, playable effort. The concept of gameplay is firmly grasped throughout most of the levels (with the possible exception of that army of snowmobile baddies). I suggest, however, that for your next effort you ditch the TR2 engine and concentrate on putting out a real level. I feel certain that your efforts will be rewarded with more favorable than what you've thus far received. Hopefully the walkthrough I've prepared will induce more players to play, review and constructively criticize this painstakingly crafted release. Oh, and if it's indeed true that I managed to miss all 24 of the secrets indicated by the closing screen, please confirm in a PM that you found one or more of these." - Phil (16-Feb-2014)

"I finally finished this mega game, and I am really proud of that because it was partly a real overcoming to raid on. Some levels are excessively tedious, running from point A to B and back flipping a lever each, crossing long distances and no fun at all. But I must admit that at least some levels are created with a kind of imagination and there is one level that is fun from start to finish (The Temple), with good usage of bounce pads, breakable tiles and other traps that all turned this level into a nice gauntlet. I'd really like to see more levels of this kind by the builder. The rest is sometimes okay, with occasional adrenalin rushes (mostly coupled with fun vehicle intermezzos), sometimes bearable and sometimes (as mentioned) rather boring. I found a couple of dead ends if you do things in a different order than intended, or - other way round - unintended shortcuts (you don't have to kill the dragon for example), and the health kits were often sparse, but the hugest problem was to keep enough shotgun ammo in the last level for the very end. There is a bit of improvement in the atmosphere, since the rooms aren't all boxy and the builder has tried to build a decent atmosphere at times (this time there are rooftops, and more windows, and the sound is also okay) BUT I also blame the builder to be rather inoriginal because I recognized the style of many other TR 2 levels here. If you're interested here's the list: Return to the Opera, Folklorist Diary, Temple of Alpha Aaris (even the same name!), Tibetan Foothills, Theft of the Dagger of Xian, Seraph Monastery and Hidden Palace. While the lighting is as flat as in all other releases of the builder, the textures showed an ever so slight improvement, but this is relative as everything because then there are always areas built with minimal care. In total, I spent 3:50 hours here and left with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it continues the builder's hardly bearable style, but on the other hand there are some ideas that leave me hoping one day we will get to see a good level from this prolific builder..." - manarch2 (15-Nov-2013)

"I am only the second reviewer and it is fairly obvious why that is the case. This young builder managed to pretty much ruin his reputation with his debut releases and then follows suit with yet another massive multi-level adventure, BUT - as a matter of fact this one is not so bad! Granted, the general problem is still present: almost all the rooms are huge, empty and wallpaper textured and there is a ton of eventless running and massive amount of backtracking. And you really need to demonstrate ultimate patience and make it though the first four levels that are all set in Venice: Return to the Venice, Anicent Venice, Golden Gate and Hidden Opera last about 30 mins each and the only real pleasurable moments they have are repeated use of boats (always fun) and plenty of roof top 'exploration'). As of level 5 (The Temple, 25 mins) it starts to get more interesting. Finally you get to see some non-Venice colours (blue) and you need to dig up your bounce pad skills from TR2 (three times) and get to run breaktiles and moving spike walls. In level 6 (Temple of the Alpha Aris, 25 mins) you battle snow leopards and eagles while you search five gems and then in level 7 (Prison. 40 mins) the action is taken to a next level with the appearance of the Jade sword and spear fighters that are rather tough to kill. The snowy theme continues in level 8 (Tibet Mountains, 25 mins) which offers a surprising need for a trick move to progress and some fun snowmobile riding. And then we get to level 9 (Cold War, 23 mins), which is very aptly titled as it largely consists of driving around on a snowmobile that has a gun equipped and shooting goons of their own snowmobiles. This is actually not so easy to manage (with very limited medipack supplies) and finally provides some fun and past paced gameplay after all the endless running. After that, level 10 (Temple of Monastery, 45 mins) is probably the best and most elaborate level of the set. You get to explore the place through fairly complex paths to collect prayer rolls, battle bad guys, crows and monks along the way, run through a gauntlet of traps a few times and there is even a multilayer push puzzle to be solved (the only real 'puzzle' in the entire series). Level 11 (Talion's Guardian, 36 mins) offers more of the same then with another bounce pad added and plenty of yetis, but the use of the gong and the resulting big bird battle was fun before level 12 (Legend of the Dragon, 15 mins) is then the ultimate multi-boss-fight ending, with a huge amount of jade warriors, knife throwing goons and eventually even a dragon to deal with. At last, you return with your very well earned dagger, with plenty of shotgun action in level 13 (Meeting place, 18 mins) and hence a 5-6 hour journey comes to an end.
So, as I mentioned at the beginning - if you have patience and can get used to the huge emptiness of the environment, you will probably find this adventure quite challenging (many enemies, few medipacks) to get through with some great TR2 highlights that the TR4 engine does not really offer these days. I, for one, was actually rather proud of my accomplishment when I reached the finish line." - MichaelP (04-Nov-2013)

"If you've played any of the builder's previous releases up to this point, then you'll know what to expect with this one. Taking a familiar setting from TR2 and turning it into a tedious, dull experience that is not, in any real way, fun. I'm honestly starting to wonder why Tr1997 continues to release levels in this state, as all it will do is give him a bad reputation among the TRLE community, prompting many players to avoid playing his releases altogether. He either needs to get his act together and spend more time in the editor in order to create a more fun and cohesive levelset or just stop making levels altogether, if this is the kind of quality expected from every one of his future releases. Avoid playing this release at all costs, unless you're a fan of tedium." - Ceamonks890 (30-Sep-2013)
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