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Level: Hypersquare Seasons 1 + 2 back home search
Author(s): Psiko
total rating:9.73 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 8 9 7 9
Dark Sheep 10 10 10 10
Drakan 10 10 10 10
Jay 10 10 10 10
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
Jose 9 9 10 10
manarch2 8 10 10 10
Miya 10 10 10 10
requiemsoul 8 10 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Tcake 10 10 10 10
Treeble 10 10 10 10
category averages
(12 reviews)
9.42 9.83 9.75 9.92

Reviewer's comments

"I didn't really have the willpower (or patience, you decide) to play Season 1 the whole way through again, so I used the builder's provided savegame and commenced with the next season. Once again, you can't fault the effort put into this second installment in the series. It's really quite staggering, very difficult in places (definitely not for experienced raiders) but the whole experience is just awe-inspiring. It's hard to write a too in-depth review when others have done so already, but I agree with everything said in most of the other reviews. The innovations here are nothing short of stunning and have to be seen to be believed, whether it's the boots that dramatically alter Lara's movements (mostly for the better, although they do take some getting used to), the cutscenes and FMVs (maybe slightly too drawn out), the unique spin on standard gameplay tasks, the vehicles, the custom objects... the list goes on. Unfortunately I did experience quite a few crashes throughout due to the constant need for reloads for most of the tasks and I felt that some of the multiple switch sequences and backtracking past traps could have been trimmed down a bit, but I managed to get through it. Nonetheless, I think the whole is greater than the sum of its parts here and this is really something you should experience for yourself. I wonder where the next season will take us..." - Ryan (21-Sep-2018)

"The visual and technical qualities of this again gigantic level set are undisputed. It's again a fabulous world we dive in including a lot of things never experienced before, so once again hats off to the builder for such an extremely diligent work of years. The only things in the last three categories that slightly disturbed perfection were that many enemies were stuck in other objects, sometimes very well hidden because of that (e.g. the cart driver in level 8); the voice quality is indeed somewhat uneven; and the scenes of the TR film implemented in the later levels felt somewhat out of place, only vaguely connected to the real storyline and way too long. Still, those things felt rather minor in comparison to the fantastic job the builder did in other aspects so they perish quite easily. Actually, this would have been quite a nearly all-around perfect adventure if the gameplay had been considered equally with the visuals and technical novelties. The complaints I had with the first season still hold true in this part, in that the nature of progression is often fairly slow and sometimes qutie tedious. "Puzzles" like the fire pot one in the first level where you have to fill the waterskin five times, drop and climb up a long ladder and do additional jumping each time are nothing short of superfluous, as well as those horizontal poles with scissor traps underneath you have to pass to and fro three or more times in several levels (not talking about the annoying sound of the scissors I had to mute to not get tinnitus), or the little pyramids in level 8 you have to push in the water with your boots on at least twice, and that of course four times in a row, or the five (...) switch codes in level 9 for which you have to wade through water a long time because the only place to put on the boots is at the other end of the pool... in those situations I really think there is no sense of being player-friendly at all. Once or even occasionally two times, doing a certain passage is fun or at least passable, but repeating the exact same tasks again and again is indeed just highly enerving. If the builder wants the player to do four trap sessions in a row, they at least should be altered slightly so that a different strategy is required each time so that the player at least has to think a bit and not repeat the same tasks mindlessly. I was also not a fan of those "search four/five/eight levers/puzzle items/... in a large area" tasks, always the same basic setup without much alteration and that in almost any level. Especially the long underwater passages in level 5 stood out negatively because of that. Another annoying thing was that the game crashed every 8th or so time I reloaded a savegame, so that some of the more challenging passages which actually would've been fun to navigate turned into the next exercise in tedium because reloading itself is quite long and restarting the game takes even longer because of the FMV each time at the start of the level (eventually I switched FMVs off temporarily). The pole room in level 2 where one has to traverse a room only using marked poles was fairly annoying because of that, as on the way back only one, not necessarily the marked, pole was climbable and the jumps were also not quite easy to master, so I probably spent over 20 minutes in a room that should take probably 3 or so if everything worked fine. Thankfully, there are still lots of things to like in this game - the clever and fun usage of the time flux specimen, lots of enjoyable platforming sequences using the rockets and later on the boots, object usage creating nice ways of progression and occasionally (but with lower density than possible) a good puzzle without annoying repetition, e.g. the mirror room in level 6 or the monkeyswing conveyor belt in level 9. Backtracking and missing camera hints sometimes disturb even the good parts, but I found those more bearable this time. Also, the amount of secrets has been considerable raised and some are actually quite well hidden so that an additional challenge comes up, with only a few that were almost impossible to miss. Thankfully, the storyline became a little clearer towards the end when it was a bit vague in the middle, and the cinematic finale after 8:55 hours in the second part (first part included, 18:50 hours) sets up hopes for another great third part of the series. But please, try to consider the fun factor a little more next time. Pretty much everything else is unsurpassed and deserves its high attention." - manarch2 (04-Sep-2018)

"Again, another extraordinary adventure from this author. As one of the betatesters I know the big effort to make this adventure more friendly for the players, even when the author couldn't do what he wanted 'cause the missing prj files. Even so there are still some tricky tasks not very funny for everybody, many secrets are very difficult to find and the backtracking is always present in many levels. Anyway it's always worth to try 'cause the extraordinary design, the incredible environments with all kind of details, the marvellous custom objects, the excellent atmosphere, the history and any other cool features. Perhaps not for beginners, but again another unusual adventure. A fantastic work." - Jose (24-Jul-2018)

"While its good to hear the gameplay of Season 1's maps are much more reasonable to go through now(thanks to the Link12 add-on), it would be incredibly redundant of me to cover all of Season 1's maps again(Go back & read my critique for the original HyperSquare release, if ya want to know my thoughts on that!). So for the purposes of this review, I will only be talking solely about the new levels, which are part of Season 2. But anyway, I have been playing this levelset on and off since it originally released in April(with Psiko surpassing his own filesize record here, at a whopping 11.5GB). And as such, I decided to try and finish up the last few levels over the weekend & clear it at long last from my backlog, constantly referring to a print-out of the walkthrough, in order to keep things moving & my patience from completely waning(on account of there being a risk of game crashes when reloading savegames). Much like the original HyperSquare though, Psiko's distinctive imagination is the real standout here. From level aesthetics & gameplay creativity to enemies and general ambiance, it definitely feels like something only the builder in question would make. If there are any serious downsides to this series of levels however(besides the previously mentioned savegame reload instability), its that first of all, the levels still have a number of cheap gameplay moments from time to time(which do a way too effective job at infuriating me), made worse by the increased complexity of the level design that makes it unnecessarily taxing to navigate as is. And secondly, the storyline(which I previously mentioned as a complex yet fun & cheesy tale in the original HyperSquare), has unfortunately only gotten more complicated for the worst(by not only throwing trimmed-down flashback retellings of events experienced in Psiko's earlier levels in your face, but also attempts to tie-in the events of the Angelina Jolie TR films into the same canon as the Core Design games, by blatantly showing footage from the actual Cradle of Life movie within the Africa maps). Top all that off with the expected yet more disruptive in-depth chats about real world elements that play a part within the storyline & Psiko self-inserting himself into the plot as this more major player than what was previously established. And what you're left with, is a story that feels ultimately incoherent, a bit pretentious and incredibly messy. It doesn't really help either that voiceover quality between Seasons 1 & 2 is very inconsistent, with Lara alone swapping between the voices of fan actress iamlaracroft, archived audio of Angelina Jolie & an emotionless text-to-voice program shared between many of the other characters, taking a lot of emotional punch out of the cutscenes, which already suffer greatly due to a stilted translation from Psiko's native language of Italian into English. Having a more ambitious story to tell is fine(Just look at how much praise the Angel of Darkness's plot still gets 15 years later), but make it too complicated for players and it'll start to feel like unwanted extra homework, being way too intimidating for even the most devoted fan to spend time on and will more than likely put off many already overwhelmed, by the sheer size of backstory baggage to go through for a proper, solid understanding of what's going on. But in conclusion though, a lot of what's on offer here is still very much as good as(if not better) than the original HyperSquare, delivering a presentation far more innovative & unique than your average TRLE custom levelset. But between the taxing level design, bloated storyline & technical instability, it definitively makes the entirety of the experience something you may find intriguing, but can never fully get into. Regardless, I wish Psiko all the best in his future endeavors and hope my words won't serve as a major blow to his development of Season 3." - Ceamonks890 (15-Jul-2018)

"An imperfect work of art. Beautiful, vast, original, avant- garde, laborious, intricate, unhealthy, sadistic .... This project is a roller coaster of positive and negative emotions. A little more friendly than season 1 but still a videogame for a niche, an elite of hardcore players with more desires of suffering than of enjoying. Life is not a valley of tears :)." - requiemsoul (20-Jun-2018)

"I began playing HS at the end of April and at last I've finished it! (14-Jun-2018) Because there was the day when I cannot play, I've played HS for one month and 1-2 weeks in actuality. I was hit by crash many times so I was almost going to give it up, but was able to enjoy the adventure that it was splendid and was wonderful, and was gorgeous. psiko and lara(is riding a horse) walking together in the beginning movie. And that was so natural♪ Almost every level has brilliant route, nice objects and awesome textures. I was so excited when I met a Meckwarrior in the second level, because I studied plugin a little. And the Cleaner Robot(Hammer Machine). Very scary and very smart battle! But about killer flowers that contain tomatoes...I feel like that it took about 30 minutes to defeat them. trle.net's rating score has maximum 10 points. But I want to give 20 points to every categories except Enemies. Oh, but I want to give 20 points to Objects. And they are in the same categories... Only for those tough flowers, I can't subtract scores. I know that tomatoes are important ingredients for pizza. ^^ The Hypercube: It has also a very beautiful scenery. Then Hypercube! I never imagined that I can see that beautiful scene from that place(Hypercube). Abysses of Steel: Splendid area and route! Glass labyrinth was so beautiful! I really want "Day and Night Medallion". ^^ Endless world: I love this level very much! Very interesting! Besides the smart route, an fancy object floating in the sky and animating itself! I was surprised at a big elephant. Jumping to the revolving pillar is amazing way of route. I could really go to the control tower which I saw far in the distance and sometimes I stood still for a while while a leaf fell slowly. It was very fun to pass through the triangle holes high above the poison pool. ^^ The Penthagons: I love this level, too. I was disappointed because the "Fables" which psiko was making was not released. That "Fables" revived in this level, didn't it? It seemed to really get into a fable to search in the water in the air. I like the enemies(Hippopotamus?) in this area. They are very scary and a little damage. ^^ The Tower of Eternity: I was excited at this level really except the first machine guns area. But once I got the way of clear the machine guns, I liked that TR-like-hard way. And "The Tower of Eternity"! I thought that it would be nice if I were able to go there when I was watching the title screen. And I actually could go there! How fantastic! Fighting against unique men (seven guargians) was a dreamlike experience. Walking on the steep slope stretched over the universe was very thrilling. Time Distortions - Philadelphia Experiment: Seeing the whole scene together with black texture flowing behind made me really feel "Time travel". Semempse's Pyramyd: What a smart route! Gorgeous texture♪ Jakutia - Russia: Lara made a Space-Time paradox at last... Park of Wonders - Hyperuranium: Really…"Park of Wonders"! It was fun to lure the eternal into the cage. But preferably I wanted to close the door of the cage. More Time Distortions - Maastrichtian Cretaceous: The adventure looking at the magnificent topography from the far-off sky was exhilarating. Village near the Great Wall: I found the secret training place of LARA♪ I admire beauty in the Great Wall of China. I took many screenshots, but I missed a wall switch. ^^; Roman Aqueduct in Veneto: Again another beautiful place! It was really thrilling to stop the time just before eaten by a lion. Park of Wonders - Hyperuranium: I was able to have an experience, it seemed that I was exploring in a picture of Dali☆ Othe Time Distortions: Again thrilling experience that I jumped on a flying airplane. I set three artefacts under the object of musical notes connected with each other caused by a space-time distortion. Venice 2532: Cityscape of Venice is always charming♪ Big laboratory of Space-Time interchange: Another big scale place! Paradoxes: Another very interesting stage♪ season2 Remake of Anniversary to back to return to Venice revised ...: Very complex and interesting stage♪ Fun to walk on spiral corridor of the round tower near the starting point. I expected this but didn't expect further more that went into the tower from the window and opened the door from the inside. Transparent light blue Rollingball is beautiful. In the shopping mall area, I took the secret in a high place and a part of the building becomes the elevator and went through the building in the boat and…It was fun. Arrival to Nairobi: Another surreal but wonderful city! Big slope of spikes with moving panel. It was fun to jump using jumpboard. A lively panel turns into a number and thinks that it is a great idea, besides, to include subtraction. Next part of Nairobi: Also magnificent! Very interesting♪ Now I am following you: In the gallery, there are many attractive pictures and objects. It was fun to explore the tall yellow building. The Demon in Chains: Lara changed her clothes to good old Techno Egyptians♪ Although it was rather compact and normal city, I enjoyed very much. Once you begin adventure, you'll find the hidden areas, be able to climb high places. You can experience "Jack and the Beanstalk," too. It was fun to move an object at the roof of the building. Laboratory of distillation: Amazing place! Naivasha Lake: Magnificent lake! I took a lot of screenshots♪ Masai Village and the Cradle of Life: Again magnificent level! There were many routes in the village, so I enjoyed very much. After Lara got a jeep and a hovercraft, she went into the deep jungle where the lake has gold lights! beautiful place... Bright green leaf-switch was in the Naivasha lake, too. Rift Valley and Hell's Gate: Again brilliant level. The boots of the Gods is very useful! The route in the lava was fun, too. And shadow guardians...very scary!... Because I could not watch FMV in a game, I was killed immediately try to run through the cave. Pandora's box and the black lake had an atmosphere of sense of awe. New TechnoEgypt: Splendid level! Lara changed her clothes to super cool one! I've wondered from the beginning why psiko could achieve "TR" level using rockets. And this time Lara can jump very high and can safely land from very high falls. There is such an exceptional talents, nonetheless this is obviously TR-game. It's incredible... The pose that a jackal stares at this in darkness is pretty…I did not want to kill him. I did though. Because a Walking-eye shows cute appearance, I was shocked when I was killed by him by one touch. I am content very much to be able to go to the high place here in this stage. The museum can display the ancient scroll as it is. The Technopyramid, I saw it in the last movie. I'm looking forward to season 3. ^^ The Empire of Demons: Again very scenic and very interesting stage! I understand that Sobek god is tough. His move was unique, seemed to dance a dance to give to God. To get the remote control and the riding on a metal horse was especially hard for me. But it is attractive one of difficult TR that is very glad when I was able to do it. I admired the topography and route while watching the FMV68. The End of Eternity: I finally could go to the closed space in front of the giant white mannequin. Black long conic objects represent the fabric of Space-Time? Or the paradoxes itself? Anyway, the scene let you feel that an unusual thing happened in this space. Falling buffalo skulls were beautiful though. psiko, I really thank you for this marvellous adventure☆ I enjoyed as much as I enjoyed playing TR2 that is my first TR game." - Tcake (16-Jun-2018)

"(Note: the following review applies only for the Season 2 levels, using the savegame provided from the author.) Four years. Can you believe it's been four years since psiko graced us with the initial release of HyperSquare? I still remember a handful of events from the original levels, so I can say I was psyched (... psiked?) when he finally set a release date for the sequel. The download is massive, but definitely worth it in my opinion. Despite having started playing this massive journey the day it was made available, it took me over a month to reach the finish trigger due to many distractions along the way, and while the general promise is that the levels are fairly easier, I thought they were far more confusing in layout. Forget the clean and sterile futuristic environments, most of the areas here are dense jungles or cities, and even ancient temples in the form of a revisited TechnoEgypt (disclaimer: I have not played The TehcnoEgyptians, shame on me). Just to illustrate my point, the very first level alone, a huge city environment comprised of two squares, took me 2h30min to complete. I was progressing rather well on my own or with the help of stuck threads, albeit at a much slower rate, until the walkthrough was made available, and from that point forward (level 7 I think), I decided to play a guided experience to make sure I'd reach the end. With such massive levels which rely heavily on exploration, a lot of attention is required so any distractions, even a day break, might get you going nowhere for a while " and in addition to the shoulder rockets, we now also get great power boots which open up platforming even further. Not only does it allow you to perform gigantic (and I mean it) leaps, but it also allows you to walk underwater and of course this is used to include underwater pushblock puzzles. Not exactly a winner in my book as you run out of air before you even start the pushing animation, but still a mind blowing feature. Psiko continues to push the envelope further, as you get plenty of new vehicles, and even get to alternate between two of them throughout the course of a single level. The environments are all gorgeous and I'm still as in love with the whole time-space rift style as I was then, the soundtrack selection is marvelous to listen to (and it was awesome to listen to themes from Lara Croft GO, too). On that note, there are a few levels set in Kosa Masaai's village, a character from the second Tomb Raider movie featuring Angelina Jolie. It was a lovely reference, although I'm not sure so many "memories" were necessary. I mean, I have watched that movie hundreds of times so I'd expect every other TR fan to have done it at least twice, but you essentially get to watch about half the movie recut through these FMVs. Other than Kosa, you also get Pandora's Box and what's more: the shadow guardians. They are not regular creatures but more of a trap puzzle instead, their original concept was translated brilliantly onto the game. You'll likely fail once, but anyway make sure you do to see their special kill animation: exactly like their movie counterparts would have done. On the down side (which in no way harmed the overall experience), there were a few objects that made use of the "flare" sound in a loop, which drove me mad because it's loud and fast, and also the voiceovers are too mechanical, I think most of them were done with automated tools " it would be really nice to get some great voice acting to go along with the lengthy FMVs which obviously took a lot of effort to be put together. Ah, I also have to state I also was one of the few who suffered with constant game crashes, whenever I failed to make a jump and kept dying and reloading in quick succession, by the 5th or 6th reload the game would crash, so that also took its toll on me over time. While I found Season 1 more enjoyable as whole, I'm still quite excited to see wherever psiko will take us next. 14h30min, 10 secrets. 06/18" - Treeble (16-Jun-2018)

"Wow, just wow. I've been playing this masterpiece for weeks and, having just this minute finished, I feel quite wrung out. It's impossible to describe a work like this adequately; it really is something you have to experience for yourself. If you didn't play the first game in this series, Psiko has released it here in a somewhat easier version, but it still will definitely not be for inexperienced players. The second game is every bit as enthralling and, again, impossible to comprehend that it's the work of just one man. Teams of professionals have failed to turn out games of this calibre. I especially enjoyed the Nairobi sections, which teem with vibrant colours, objects and textures. I will almost certainly never visit that city, but now I feel as though I actually have. Superb from start to finish. Thank you Psiko." - Jay (04-Jun-2018)

"Excellent and very nice job, I did not have all the secrets (12/24) half is already well lol. Indeed the challenges are less difficult than the season 1 but there is a lot of research in each level. Personally I may be preferred season 1 where there was more news. I did not find a level as pretty as 'the tower of eternity' that I really loved. We make a small detour at the end. In any case, congratulations Psiko!" - Drakan (24-May-2018)

"Im in awe of brilliant this game looks, and the improvements from season 1 to season 2 is amazing. Im glad to see a higher number of secrets. There is really no TRLE like Hypersquare so it stands out, Great Job Antonio. :D" - JoeTheCrazyGamer (21-May-2018)

"This project it's perfect, in every detail. Congrats Psiko!" - Dark Sheep (06-May-2018)

"Psiko's opus magnum sets a new standard for trle levels. Pretty much everything is at a pro level, if not beyond. The richness of the ambientations and atmosphere brings the dense sci-fi plot to life. The author simplified some of the most complex and frustrating jumps from the first season, and now the game is just flawless." - Miya (03-May-2018)
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