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Level: Journey to the East - Chapter 1 back home search
Author(s): VoodooChild97
total rating:7.70 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
DJ Full 7 8 8 7
Drakan 7 7 7 7
Dutchy 8 7 7 7
EssGee 8 7 8 8
Jose 2 8 7 9
manarch2 8 7 9 8
MichaelP 8 9 8 7
Mman 8 8 8 8
Phil 8 9 9 7
Rambo 9 8 9 8
Ryan 7 8 9 8
category averages
(11 reviews)
7.27 7.82 8.09 7.64

Reviewer's comments

"Yes, this is undoubtedly a very difficult levelset and probably only for the really experienced raiders. That's not to say that all the tasks here are impossible to conquer, however. They're certainly all doable with (rather a lot) of practice and possibly quite a bit of trial and error, but too much of this felt like an ordeal to be truly enjoyable. The architecture and texturing is impressive and masterful (it's admittedly excessively dark in places but I never felt myself running short of flares), but most of the puzzles are set up in a far too obscure and difficult manner (like the raising block labyrinth and a few of the timed runs) and as such I gleaned much less enjoyment from this than I would have. The secret system is a neat one in that you have to find items to access the bonus level (easily taking your total time up to two hours), but it seemed to go a bit haywire at the end, when one was totally empty (!). As a whole, it's an undoubtedly great effort, but it'll likely never find itself on my replay list." - Ryan (18-May-2019)

"The game combines some of the best and the worst things the engine allows, and note TRNG means more of both. If I feel all exhausted, relieved, smart and dumb after playing, what challenge the builder must have been through, and did he really enjoy it? I see him out of balance yet just one step from awesome. May he take it in the right direction." - DJ Full (23-Aug-2015)

"Here we have another talented builder. The first level seems to be a modified copy of the tut1 level but the other two seem builded from scratch. The environments are too dark in many rooms, and I missed a lot of flares. Good architecture, good and very clever puzzles, nice texturization, well placed musics, very few enemies, sometimes the cameras were not useful (too far views), but usually you can notice that this builder could be a crack of the custom levels. Very good work. On the other hand I could saw that VoodooChild97 is not a builder for everybody, everyone, but only for a few experienced players around the world. Please, take a look at the reviewers: only seven players have finished your levels after several months? Well, eight players with me, thanks to Dutchy's walkthrough and videos. Many times I always ask this questions to myself: why don't move a platform one tile closer? Why don't give a couple of seconds more for a timed run? Why don't avoid a millimeter jump? I'm looking forward for your next release, but I hope you specify in the readme file that there aren't hard tasks, 'cause otherwise I'll never play your levels again. Sorry." - Jose (03-Jan-2015)

"Well, I can proudly say I did get through this adventure without using any cheats - not counting repeated glimpses at the walkthrough as cheating, of course. And as others have said, this adventure is quite the masterpiece in Terms of the complexity of the challenges offered and I can only admire the builder for putting it together - but did I have fun playing it? Sorry, no, not really... The overall premise and setting is quite solidly crafted, if a bit brownish and dark throughout, although contrary to other reviewers I never did run out of flares when I needed them. In the first part some of the fixed cams are clever, others are a bit annoying, but these are generally a matter of taste. What you will remember are several very tight but also rather creative timed runs (amazingly I did manage the one with the diagonal spike jumps upwards at my third attempt - and then later needed about 100 attempts to make that jump in the huge cave to the platform far down below on the right...). The whole challenge around getting the secrets to make it into the bonus level is worth it, as you really get an extra 30-45 minutes of play in part 3 after spending about an hour in part 1 and 2 - and the huge cave you get to explore left, right, up and down and around is very impressively crafted. So again, if you want to test your skills and marvel at what a creative builder can come up with to push us players to the Limit - this is reminicient of Raymond's Ordeal and just the level for you. If you would rather have a relaxing raid, give this a wide berth..." - MichaelP (13-Nov-2014)

"This is an extraordinarily difficult level to review. Indeed, there are some who would say I shouldn't be reviewing it at all, since I took liberal advantage of the available cheating tools (including a savegame provided by Dutchy for a timed run I couldn't cheat my way through) to make my way all the way to the finish. For a time this was the only remaining custom level without a walkthrough, so using my inimitable powers of persuasion I cajoled Dutchy into taking on the task (after first leading him in good faith to believe that it would be a joint effort, although he knew and I knew that I would wind up not being able to contribute anything to the project other than my heartfelt encouragement). I cannot imagine his frustration and the many false starts he endured trying to figure out the gameplay as it progressed, let alone how to accomplish the necessary moves once known, so my admiration for his patience and his skills has reached new highs despite the insulting banter we exchange in the forums. Some raiders thrive on levels such as these, where the adrenalin is constantly pumping, but I prefer more beauty and balance in the levels I play. I gritted my teeth and played to the end just to be able to say that I'd done it, but I can't say it was a pleasant experience. Even with my extracurricular aids I required nearly two sweat-filled hours to finish. My scores reflect my appreciation for the builder's skills as well as my disapproval of the pervasive darkness from start to finish." - Phil (08-Nov-2014)

"This was such a nice level, pity it wasn't tested properly. Now it is a level for only a few that will persevere. One timed run for a crucial item in level 1B made the difference of playing level 1C or not, so I call 1C a"Bonus level". One timed run down a stairs with spikes was made too complicated I think, obvious for the builder but not for the players with the given hints. There was one gate, to get the Revolver that had to be opened by finding a"trigger tile" (on the ceiling?) in a place far from that gate. What was that about? In 1C there were problems with the secret numbers, therefore the secret count didn't work and one secret was totally missing in my game. A jump to obtain that missing Secret was impossible (at least in my experience), you could jump out of there, but not in. Overall there were too little flares for my taste certainly with all these dark areas. I loved the atmosphere though, but I played without Vol. FX as I couldn't see anything with that thick fog. I also liked the way some puzzles were set up, great ideas here and there, maybe not all player friendly executed. My advice to the builder, if you want it to be played by everyone; have it Beta tested, follow the advice of the testers, and make it a level everyone will enjoy. In my opinion you have the potential to build great levels." - Dutchy (23-Oct-2014)

"2 small levels for this chapter +1 if you find the secrets. But I did not find and not too sought because the level is bleak. I think the author should review the time for the timeruns, especially the first (the one with the teeths spikes in steps) which is for confirmed players. By cons I liked the one that manages of block in block in avoiding spikes. Otherwise a pretty easy suite of rooms with a few climb who are not always easy to see. The fixed camera views are not always meaningful and hinder more than they help." - Drakan (22-Oct-2014)

"So here's a shout out to all Timed Run fans. These are the levels for you! It's a run-fest, and they are tough. Cleverly conceived and set amongst Angkor architecture, this is a level that pushes the high end of difficulty. The path is not too hard to follow, it's the tasks that are hard. But they are interesting and mostly there is a set way to perform them; you just have to figure them out through some trial and error. A few camera clues would have helped to guide the player where it is not clear what a lever or trigger tile did. I only managed to acquire two of the five gems in level 2 which meant I finished the shorter version of the game missing the bonus level. I can probably live that. Two and a bit level of masochistic tasks will do me for this raid. And there is some kind of evil satisfaction in beating some of these tasks. Play this for the pleasure and pain, if that takes your fancy." - EssGee (19-Oct-2014)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: Very entertaining levels with many great challenges, I love timeruns and here they are in abundance. All the tasks and puzzles are something new and thus not boring. There could be more hints about what a certain thing does, which is the only downside in this level. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Another level with not so many enemies, but plenty of secrets which are an extra challenge and quite hard to find. The objects are pretty standard, but are well placed. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Loved the fixed cameras shown from time to time, and the architecture is pretty and quite intriguing. There are some camera problems, but nothing disturbed me, and the sound is very good as well. Lighting & Textures: This time the lighting is not so flat but rather dark at times. It does work pretty well for the atmosphere and the gameplay still is not impossible because of it, but it's true some areas are too dark. The textures are nearly faultless but a bit the same in all levels. Total: 8,5/10, a level that tests the skills well." - Rambo (30-Jul-2014)

"This starts out in a pseudo recreation of the TRLE tutorial level, but it does vary it up quite a bit and moves away from it soon enough. The Angkor aesthetic is well executed and convincing, but, outside of one section in the extra level, there's nothing especially impressive, and it's a bit dark at times, it remains solid though. Objects and enemies also fit well. This isn't a set for the faint of heart, as there's some very precise timed runs (even if a couple have tricks to ease them up), and, if you go into the extra level there's a very long Wraith chase, along with some puzzles that require some thought (and seem a little obscure occasionally). There's a clever moment with switching rooms in map two as well. There's a moment in the second map where I went down a pit with some items but found now way up, but I'm going to assume I missed something. The extra map also has an awkward stuck moment as you can get down a pit before you are supposed to. There's some forced damage too, although most of it is confined to the third level (which at least comes with the warning that it's extra hard content). It felt like the option to backtrack for secrets after reaching the last should have been there, as I don't think it would break anything in the first maps, but I found the necessary ones easily enough after going through map two again. A good set if you're skilled, but I feel it could have done with a little more testing." - Mman (08-Jul-2014)

"A levelset that nicely evolves as you progress and keeps you nicely entertained with plenty of unorthodox gameplay ideas. I for one loved the plenty diverse timed runs offered in this release, of which some were very tight but there's always a clever way to beat them. The gameplay relies mostly on task-oriented but linear maps, and there are only few points to get "stuck" in terms of not knowing where to go next, but only because of the puzzles where you often have to think around the corner to get on. Here and there one more camera hint would've been great, but most of the more "obscure" tasks lead to secrets anyway, so that's not a large problem. There's a very classic atmosphere in this game, with mostly Angkor Wat textures and objects used, but the builder spiced it up with some nice implementation of offset cameras, great architecture, fog and other lighting effects, but sometimes a line between atmospheric and player-unfriendly is at least touched - mostly in the third level, where I long ran out of flares and had to do some fairly blind jumps in the darkness. But nevertheless, the whole setting has a very clean look, with good and clean texturing, and a certain mysteriousness that I enjoyed pretty much. There are only few enemies which are still rather effectively placed, yet one of the largest gripes I had was that wraith in the large cave area towards the end which vanished only very late (and there's apparently no statue nearby), so I had to shoot it with pistols to save health. Overall, this is a fairly decent classic effort from the builder, very well done for the most part and - most important - highly original. Spent 1:10 hours in this level and found 12 secrets." - manarch2 (28-Jun-2014)
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