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Level: Frankys Castle (Il Castello di Franky) back home search
Author(s): Franky
total rating:5.48 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 5 7 6 6
BHM Productions 4 7 6 5
DJ Full 5 5 5 5
Gerty 4 7 6 5
Jay 5 6 7 7
JesseG 6 5 4 4
Jose 3 5 6 6
manarch2 3 6 5 5
Phil 7 7 8 7
Ryan 5 4 5 5
category averages
(10 reviews)
4.70 5.90 5.80 5.50

Reviewer's comments

"I wasn't able to finish this level. First, because I experienced crashes while I was fighting the hydras. Second, because they were a lot and very powerful, they threw you things that burned Lara. The level starts with a movable statues puzzle, and you have to push/pull them very long ways. A camera showing what the levers did would be fine. The castle has a cat in the center of it, that's a bit strange but cute. Some climbable walls are not textured with a ladder texture. The swinging pole jump here is different: I pressed the jump button but Lara didn't do so, and while she's doing that a bar labeled 'Loading' appears. Long tightropes, short music that never ends, invisible walls, and mazes. I don't like mazes so I had to check the walkthrough for the one with the knights and red lighting. I liked the new aspect of the save/load menus, they show statistics of the items you have, the time and a screenshot. There's something wrong with the object of the dropped flare since it's not a flare what Lara drops, but her butt! Maybe the only challenging part I found was the one with the lasers and a floor that moves you forward, then some elevators. I like elevators because I find them relaxing. But then I arrived to the room with those monsters and I couldn't continue. Found 0 secrets of 70." - alan (01-Feb-2017)

"Well, sorry to say, but I didn't really enjoy this level. Some of the gameplay was fun, like the jumps in the lava room and fighting the enemies, but a few things irritated me. First, the long corridors, which seemed to be there to pad out the level. Then, the mazes. I liked the idea of the snowmen showing you the way, but I kept getting stuck on invisible barriers left, right and centre. Finally, the fight against eight hydras. I made it through alright but it seemed to be a rather unorthodox design choice. I got a few sound loops although I don't know whether that was intentional. However, I would encourage the author to continue honing his skills with the editor." - Ryan (10-Jul-2016)

"A lot of pet peeves of mine you will encounter in this level. Mazes... yes plural. The idea of the snowmen pointing the direction you have to go is a nice one, but how should I know that in the first icy maze I had to crawl under invisible barriers. That also raises the question why all the invisible barriers there as well as in the lava room? Nasty long rope walking and at my end Lara was wiggling way too much to make it even slightly enjoyable. And endless long corridors, I found it a bit boring. Funniest thing I encounter that when throwing down a flare Lara threw down a butt. Overall there are nice ideas but not so well executed. Texture wise it also could use attention; lot of stretched and squeezed ones. The disco atmosphere when entering the Star gate room was not so much to my taste though. But there is potential here, so keep at it, I would say." - Gerty (16-Jun-2016)

"Do you like mazes? Ones with really long corridors? How about mazes with invisible walls? If so, then this might be the adventure for you, as that is the bulk of the gameplay here. Although I wasn't as fond of them, I would still say gameplay was the strongest part of this level, relatively speaking. The medusa boss fight, as crazy as it was, I actually found pretty entertaining. You also get to face off against not one but two of those zappy roman statues from TR Chronicles, and a modest attempt at a pushblock puzzle at the beginning. Lighting & Textures is the weakest part, as it is clear there is not much effort put there. Textures are very wallpapered and there was no attempt to size them according to the geometry, while the lighting is flat, bright, and only relies on colored ambient light, save for a few fog bulbs. There are plenty of unmarked ladders and death squares as well. The audio gets irritating, as short tracks are looped that simply weren't meant to be looped. There is a lot of glitches with the objects, many of them flickering in and out of view. The parallel bars have a ridiculously large jump and are very hard to use, as you have to let go of the Action button at a precise time otherwise you just drop down. Let's not forget the 3-minute long tightrope walks, one of which you may have to repeat if you choose the wrong path afterwards. The chamber with those zappy statues can trap you in, because the entrance door's triggers are not set up properly. The diamond receptacles can get the player stuck, as they may incorrectly guess which one to insert a diamond in first. But the worst part of the objects is all of the invisible walls, some of which are part of a maze and some that are just scattered in random spots. If the immersion into the environment was bad already, this aspect just broke it entirely. It seemed like there were quite a few beta testers listed, I can only guess that the communication gap lapsed there, which the author should improve on. I can appreciate the creativity that drove the production of this level, but the author has a few more strides to take in each category before they can channel that creativity into a solid, enjoyable level. 57 minutes." - JesseG (12-Jun-2016)

"As most of you here know, my standards for enjoying a custom level are quite forgiving. I prefer well-lighted surroundings with modest gameplay to stupendous productions that are shrouded in darkness. I played Franky's Castle for the purpose of writing a walkthrough, and I found it to be a rewarding experience. To be sure, there are ample reasons to criticize many of the builder's decisions, but the level itself is well thought out and there are many things to like about it. I had trouble at the very beginning trying to figure out how to get out of that rainy courtyard, and it took a peek at the stuck thread for me to realize that the statues had to be moved before the levers could be pulled. There are too many long passages, long tightrope marathons and excruciating mazes, and that hydra room near the end is a bit over the top. Playing in god mode with unlimited revolver ammo, it's not difficult, merely tedious, but I marvel that anyone could get through this section without resorting to unauthorized aids. Anyway, putting the flaws aside, I had a good time here and can give the level an unqualified thumbs up." - Phil (04-Jun-2016)

"This isn't the most player-friendly game around. It starts well enough, with a push puzzle and a large photo of the builder's handsome cat, but after a while it begins to feel like a compilation of most players' least favourite things - tightrope walks, mazes, irritating recurring bursts of music etc. Initially, I found myself unable to complete the hydra room because I had failed to realise that the Uzis I'd picked up came with unlimited ammo so I'd been trying to get through with pistols and finding it a complete nightmare. With the Uzis it still took a bit of leaping around, but was possible with a lot of saving and, having taken care of the first rank of hydras, picking the back row off was easy. There are good bits - a short laser trap corridor, a lava room and one of the mazes was an interesting concept - invisible barriers with snowmen indicating the way, but I really would urge Franky to rely a bit less heavily on mazes for his next level. I feel in time he should be able to fulfil his potential and bring us some good raiding." - Jay (03-Jun-2016)

"First of all please please PLEASE include all the info in one readme not in five, and maybe translate to English, especially if the game has a beautiful story you don't want us to skip. The game itself isn't that beautiful. I looked at masha's castle, then at this. Then at masha's castle, then at this. And I wonder why I care. Despite of declared two years of making we get boxy geometry, flat lighting and almost no atmosphere. As soon as we enter the garden multiple receptacles scattered around tell us what kind of game it is. They're followed with unmarked ladders and path repetition, no less than five times of using the same climb. Then we can get stuck on the pillar if we don't swing the pole enough. Then we reach a climax of wrong design, when solving a pushable makes us permanently stuck instead of allowing progress - you don't see that often. Then we hit some weird collision panels in the guardian room, and another opportunity to get stuck by using a gem in a wrong slot - once again I knew but a newbie won't. Then we enter a maze when for the second time and not the last a local audio tune goes in wrong loop, and you never know if something is under these armors so you might try them all. Then right into another maze, based entirely on these collision panels we met before. Then the base area allows some interesting revolver combat and a nice laser trap with elevators but the entire section lasts for a minute. Then suddenly we're thrown into a Tibetan slash Cambodian Slash British catacomb for multiple hydra fight but it's no trouble as a neat trick allows to kill them quickly. I couldn't pick up the pink security card so I progressed through the pushable into the lava section, to find another stuck point if you push the rock into the pool. At that point the obligatory flare bug kicks in and doesn't let go until the end of level, also the unwanted access is weirdly prevented but the room is interesting in return. After collecting the grey card something rang a bell so I evaded the ultimate stuck point by returning to the pink card, shattering the invisible case protecting it and getting the item as I should. Only after that I followed the guard to the electricity passage. In there we can perform excellent combat and do a brilliant transition through a simple fogbulb back to the ice world. "This one has the worst maze" I thought, but after fifteen minutes of running around I noticed it's enough to follow the snowmen <:#facepalm:>. At one point it appeared I can pull up and do the rest from above so I grabbed the final card and could go back to fight some guys in front of the receptacles. Imagine all this return in case of missing one of these cards but why to imagine such dreadful things. In the next room I noticed the window panels and thought "wow these look like from Stargate". And I entered the Stargate hall indeed, what the. In here, another set of invisible panels prevented any chance to kill the ambushing demigods but fortunately the medikits were plenty. Also before teleporting I could loop around the gate and take revenge on these guys anyway. Warp! Pyramid! Alien world! Something is happening! Ah no, the whole scenery is just for looks and ending... SUMMARY: My Ra, what did I just play? The game is a mixture of colors and themes like the Italians got us used to make, but particular locations have no connection to each other. It's all constant Stargate, consisting of numerous warp zones which don't even require the device and don't relate to the storyline unless I misunderstood it from Googlish Italian. Still the game is enjoyable in certain moments, I mean I would throw the mazes out, fix the stuck points and looped audios, improve lighting, expand the alien zone to explore for a reward artifact, and all would be just fine." - DJ Full (26-May-2016)

"I think the builder's debut level, although not exactly great, was better than this one. It starts with a quite similar pushable puzzle than in Enigma - that means, a puzzle almost as boring as it can get, involving very long pushing sequences. Sadly, things do not really improve later on, as the tedious gameplay style is maintained with large mazes, very long passages, tightropes and many more things that simply aren't fun. There are only a few highlights like a few jump sequences, a small conveyor belt sequence, the room with the two giant heads (although the invisible barriers weren't a that nice idea) and the snowmen maze (here the barriers work quite well) - all in all not quite enough for a 55 minute level. And the hydra fight at the end was indeed a bit of too much - although it's not really impossible to absolve if you run around in circles and keep on shooting constantly (pistols worked better than the other weapons for me) so that the hydras on the edges are dispatched, then stand in front of the respective hydra in the middle and take left and right sideflips while shooting on. The object design is quite nice, though perhaps only the end is as impressive as in the previous level, the looks are a bit more confined but still the texturing is very messy and sounds are looping in a very annoying way. I really wished the builder took some more time to create an original and enjoyable experience because the ideas in the debut level showed a lot of raw talent, but this was a step in the wrong direction at least gameplaywise. Found no secrets." - manarch2 (23-May-2016)

"I have conflicting feelings about this level. It starts out very promising with a well-designed courtyard and several custom creations. I enjoyed the concept of the first big puzzle but found it to be quite tedious to actually play through. You enter another big courtyard and are greeted by some more intriguing and quite pretty designs and objects. It's from here, unfortunately, that the level starts to fall apart. Confusing traversal, odd music looping, messy texturing, and two very poorly-designed "labyrinths" that were just nightmarish to go through. Not only that, but I was constantly followed by these health-draining spirits of some sort, which became quite bothersome at points. Also, what are you supposed to do at the end? I agree with Jose's review, the amount of Hydras in what appears to be the final room is just baffling. It's seriously an impossible room to complete. This seriously is a level with promise, featuring seriously intriguing designs and a unique, haunting atmosphere. However, I can't really say it held up as the level dragged on, and the "challenges" wore thin quickly." - BHM Productions (20-May-2016)

"Even when I didn't finish the level, I think I've completed almost all the tasks and I was near the end when abandone. Really not bad the gameplay, with some interesting ideas like the snowy area with the snowmen or the big maze with the statues as hints (but this thime the corridors were too long and not funny); but when I reach the room with all those dangerous hydras and waste all the revolver ammo only to kill a single one and after save and reload numerous times, I was forced to abandone the level. I'm not willing to waste several hours of my precious time by shooting -saving-reloading thousands of times in the same room trying to kill an unnecessary and excessive number of enemies. I found also an effort with the musics to create atmosphere, but sometimes they're not appropriate (looping) and, even when they're not necessary, I missed some cameras and flybys here and there. The lights are worked, but many textures are elongated, deformed or stretched in many places. If you have enough time and you like to shoot hard enemies, perhaps you can enjoy this level. I didn't." - Jose (19-May-2016)
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