Level: Zipangu back home search
Author(s): Alphonse
total rating:8.65 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 8 10 10 8
Drakan 8 10 9 8
Gorty 8 5 6 4
Jorge22 10 10 10 9
category averages
(5 reviews)
8.80 9.00 9.00 7.80

Reviewer's comments

"I have played this level a long time before it was on by a link to the author website. In the beggining it was a bit hard to install it after the many many games without installations we download on trle. But after compile seperately each files I can finally play ZIPANGU. Mentionned the first time by Marco Polo ZIPANGU is the actually Japan. The game start by a beautiful title flyby who remember me the end of the first Underworld saga by Richard Lawther (Recruting Demon Small) with the TR theme. Just GREAT :-D . The first level, Dracula's house is personnaly not my favorite and I will not taking count in the review. After this young lara level, our adventurer was teleported in Zipangu by some aliens engines and the REAL game start. The six other levels of this saga are absolutely impressive with a lot of news beautifuls objects and textures. The levels are also not very hard. Just maybe a bit short sometimes like "The Golden Pavillon" and "The Great Mountain" (15/ 20 mins). I have also very liked the secrets system with the golden roses. Not dark, the sevens levels are very clear and it's a good point because we can easily find the hidden passages and objetcs sometimes very well hidden. For me it's an incredible adventure with everything to doing a great classic adventure for players who want rediscovered nostalgie of the old tomb raider customs levels. It's the second adventure I played from Alphonse, I have also played his Three Kingdom adventure who taking place in China and I hope the author will send it to Michael too because it's another great adventure by this exellent author. Thanks a lot for this ZIPANGU game :-D ..." - Bigfoot (15-Feb-2017)

"A long game including 7 levels with similar design. My review will have a different opinion that the 3 reviews posted prior. The game starts with a cool title screen. Something new, innovative, havenít seen it before. A good point. / Level 1 /. The first look at the level is nice, but walking only few steps I see right at the beginning that this is not going be what I expected, a TRLE masterpiece with a rating of 9,20. Itís an outside area, but the nature is totally empty. This empty feeling of the environment starts here and keeps through the whole level set. The cliff/stone geometry was doubtful. One thing I notice that the author didnít care about changing the texture sounds so that everything has a stone sound assigned. First texture errors are noticeable ( squeezed textures on the walls like the author is saying I donít care about using half of the textures so that it looks not squeezed or stretched ). The very low resolution textures didnít look nice. The ˝end of the world˝ is obviously not hidden and some more work is needed around this part to make the illusion of being in an outside area. The light in this first area is also very bad. Itís a sunset, the light should be vivid, not monotone like Iím in a laboratory. After reaching the inside area Iím noticing the ˝blank house˝, empty, no objects placement Ö but after reaching the first water it kind of started to look good, some atmosphere was finally building up Ö but it lasted only very short. After exploring this sunken Dracula house the same problem persists like in the beginning. Big empty boxy rooms, no objects use, very monotone and flat light, some corridors with catastrophic light Ö. Some objects needed light adjustment. Definitely this whole area needs a little bit more work Ö feels unfinished. I reached also an invisible wall that prevented me from entering a room. Reaching the end of the level things started to feel atmospheric. I really liked the ending and reaching the teleporting spiral. The atmosphere through the first level was decent, mostly because of the background music. Gameplay was ok in the first level. / Level 2 /. It starts looking a bit better than the previous one, but the area still fells empty. Few texturing errors are noticeable, some of them including very stretched textures, wrong rotated ones. The light was still very ultra monotone. After the caves I reached the outside area with some houses. Objects had wrong ( if even any ) light adjustment so that they were like glowing. Had some problems figuring out that I was able to climb up those trees. The horizon looked very weird in this area Ö its pitch black Ö I donít know if that was the intention like Iím now playing by night ( probably, because there is a moon in the sky ), but the lighting in this whole level ( and after levels ) doesnít fit to that idea. Another disappointment was the reachable ˝end of the world˝ texture thatís supposed to show a forest/trees while looking from far away, but youíre not supposed to let Lara walk to it that close. The flyby sequence was good, but the music ended to fast leaving the second part without it. This whole area and the similar looking ones in the other levels look just so basic in design, very very very empty, like a dead environment without any diversity. Some more objects placed would live up this whole thing a lot. The light was again non existing, blank, flat, monotone, even catastrophic in some parts. I liked the idea with the key in a bell. Gameplay was actually fine, not too hard. After one third ( or more ) of the level I reached some inside cave parts that looked just awful in light, texturing and design Ö it was just painful to play through this parts. After a while I reached the inside parts of the house. The same problem I had with the previous parts till persists in the house Ö. Empty, flat, careless light and so on. Some painful long crawl corridors were included. The gameplay was ok for me. / Level 3 /. Starts in a box like cave with even worse design and light than the previous levels. Seems like built with no imagination. I started really questioning why this has a rating above 9,0. This third level felt really amateurish, basic, careless, beginnerish Ö I couldnít enjoy playing it. After this horrific inside box cave I reached the outside area which looked exactly like the outside area of the second level Ö no difference, no improvement Ö everything looking same with the same imperfections. At least the house design was good while walking on the roofs. / Level 4, Level 5 / - this level were the same as level 2 and 3 with some minor differences. Iím not sure if I can tell them apart. Maybe itís just me or I played this levels set too long. / Level 6 / Again this awful looking box caves Ö some snow parts included. Nothing special to say about. / Level 7 / - Finally something different, but still, not impressive, average or under average in all categories. I liked ˝fighting˝ budha Ö Havenít seen that in any level. The best level in the game. And thatís a ˝quick˝ review of all levels included in this package. First of all, I donít see the point of having 7 levels and using the same objects and textures in close to all of them. Whatís the point ? It makes the already monotone levels look even more monotone and repetitive in design. One thing I noticed is that this level were already released few months ago ( or I might be wrong ) and that this release is like an improved version ? The gameplay was overall ok but I couldnít enjoy playing this levels set because of the design. The light was just catastrophic, even non existing Ö The author didnít spent much time or didnít care in playing some light dynamics, adding a few light bulbs, making the rooms a bit more darker, adding a sun Ö. Just a flat, monotone light through all levels. Very disappointing. Texturing was not bad, but had some easy fixable errors and also, I didnít liked the low resolution textures ( not a particular negative point ) but often the textures were wrong placed, sharp transition between textures ( this was a very frequent mistake ), wrong rotated Ö. Level design and architecture was completely basic ( in most parts ), mostly boxy. The whole game needed a lot more work with the objects as the use and integration of objects in the level was very bad. All levels feel very empty and dead. Atmosphere was very good in some parts of the game, but mostly it failed to drag me in and make me play the game. Maybe I didnít have the same opinion as the others because of the TR2 or TR3 Idea behind the game, but thatís not an excuse to ignore the features of the TRLE ( light especially ) and not try to make the rooms look more complex, natural and not boxy. Iím not a reviewer who will just ®go with the flow˝ and give similar ratings like everyone or rate it high because it has 7 levels. Just for comparison, this level has worse light than ˝ The Palatium of Ankh˝, some better texturing and is in some categories worse. As a final word, not recommended, unless someone enjoy playing through the same basic design in 7 levels." - Gorty (11-Feb-2017)

"Yet another new game that makes me sad as it comes to its completion... We're being spoiled! This is eons away from the old, pixel perfect jumps - no clues of where to go or what to do, Japanese games. And so much better in every sense, the great simple yet effective and still eye candy design, the player-friendly gameplay (except for the tight ropes, I suppose), the variety and the secrets, oh the secrets, that become a pleasure to find instead of just hidden things. The only thing I liked less was a cave, somewhere among the rocks but with a flat light that made it almost impossible to discover - hence my 9 in lighting and textures. The rest is innovative in the classic tomb raiding style and loads of fun. Somewhat a breath of fresh air among the same-ol', same-ol' stuff. Couldn't be any more recommended." - Jorge22 (06-Feb-2017)

"Pleasant series of levels, it is well lit and the logic would have been to put much less flares (I do not remember if I used it). The long shimmy of geckokid would have been very useful because there are many. The med kits were also useless as there is really no difficulty in this adventure. Many high ladders, slides and labyrinthine parts follow each other during all these levels. I liked it anyway because easy enough and it's almost relaxing." - Drakan (06-Feb-2017)

"A game just outstanding with its custom interaction, meaningful animations, unique object set and a crude graphic scheme producing a specific Japanese mood like in no TRLE so far. I enjoyed every bit except from unforgivably long and frequent maze parts - they try hard to be remembered instead of the heavenly creativity, but I remember both, hence (6+10)/2=8. Secrets are a separate line - I recommend to persist and figure out what they're about in Buddha's Hall, because since that moment you will appreciate all of them. SUMMARY: If you like games where everything matters here's one, however I still pray for a mazeless revision." - DJ Full (31-Jan-2017)
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