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Level: Harbour of Castiglione della Pescaia back home search
Author(s): D.Jackson
total rating:6.26 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Boris 8 7 7 8
CC 4 2 6 6
Doug E 8 8 5 8
eTux 4 4 3 4
Fairy Godfather 8 8 7 7
Gerty 8 6 6 7
Jay 5 6 6 6
Jose 3 7 5 6
Kristina 7 7 7 8
Leandro 5 5 2 6
MichaelP 6 5 6 8
Momster 7 7 6 7
Nomad 6 5 6 7
Orbit Dream 7 5 9 9
Phil 7 7 7 7
RaiderGirl 7 6 6 8
Ryan 5 5 6 7
Sash 8 6 7 7
Scottie 4 5 6 4
Shandroid 6 6 7 7
Sheevah 7 8 5 7
Treeble 6 7 7 7
category averages
(22 reviews)
6.18 6.00 6.00 6.86

Reviewer's comments

"This is an amazingly complex level to have been released during the first year of the level editor. For this reason I can't say that it's at all player friendly, and if you don't follow precisely the sequence of events documented in Harry Laudie's walkthrough, you're likely to find yourself irretrievably stuck as I did. But with Harry's assistance (and who knows how long it took for him to figure everything out and set it down clearly and concisely for the benefit of the rest of us) I was able while playing to gain a respectful appreciation for the builder's imaginative skills. Sure, the surroundings are somewhat crude, and it's too dark in places with no flare pickups in sight, but this is a challenging kind of level that gives you a sense of accomplishment when you've finished it (even if you've made use of the walkthrough), and I'm surprised that the overall scores are so low. 55 minutes." - Phil (30-Aug-2017)

"If your orientation isn't up to scratch, I would keeping the walkthrough nearby as this can be one confusing level, mainly due to the lack of camera hints. The first order of business is to destroy the machine guns to access the area beneath the trapdoors they guard. Ninjas of both types also make an appearance and ammo is scarce, so watch out. The gameplay isn't really that engaging, as it's mostly just throwing levers and doing a lot of backtracking, only slightly lifted by the end motorbike jump to the waiting ship. It's quite dark in the underground areas, but the Venetian textures sort of made up for it." - Ryan (28-Aug-2017)

"There was I hoping for a nice little trip to the seaside and what did I get? Sentry guns and ninjas, that's what. Apart from outwitting that lot, the gameplay is mainly about dashing round throwing switches and then wondering just what they did. Yes, it can be rather confusing and thus ends up taking more time than you might have expected. The textures are mainly Venice so I have to say the enemies seemed out of place, although I do admit that blowing up sentry guns always has a certain appeal." - Jay (01-Sep-2016)

"This innocent looking small level is actually a lot more difficult than it seems. You have to explore a pleasant looking small dock, well pleasant besides the end of the world issues. Although the level has actually a small area, you have to look and return to every small part and cranny of it. The real problem is the absence of camera hints. Worse is many of the switches that are hidden in weird spots themselves, open doors that do not have door textures. So you can't memorize doors and check them if they were the ones the switches opened, you will have to look everywhere you've been. I liked looking for ways to destroy the three turrets in the rooftops, but at points Lara hit her head to the 'ceiling' so it subtracted from the fun. The ship looked promising but sadly the level ends there. It could have been a lot better but it was still entertaining." - Nomad (21-Feb-2016)

"The only fun I got with this level was thinking the way to destroy the machine guns; beware with this 'cause it can happen that you get out of revolver ammo fighting with the numerous ninjas and finally get totally stucked, 'cause ALL the machine guns must be destroyed! The remaining tasks were only about kill ninjas and look for many switches to pull, except the basement area with many moveable blocks. There is a lot of backtracking and, the worst was that many times when you pull a switch, the triggered block was in a very distant room and there were no camera shots or hints to know what was happened, so I was forced to re-explore all the whole area to know what had changed. Evenmore there are no flares to pick up so I had to light my way in the dark areas by shooting the pistols. So if you're going to play this level, better take a look at the walkthrough." - Jose (05-Feb-2016)

"The age of the level shows in a lot of ways, but mostly in form of the rather high ratings, as I doubt anyone would've been as lenient on some of its more obvious faults, had it been released today. But let's take care of the good things first. For starters - it's great that some novelty was shown in the choice of setting, because, as characteristic as the channels might be for Venice, at some point they start looking the same - and a harbour area gives room for interesting ideas that can be done in a wider area (of course it's a completely different matter, whether this potential is used). The beginning of the level is also promising in the tasks - as you get to hop on the roofs a bit and conquer 3 sentry-guns. But it's all downhill from there on unfortunately. The most significant way in which this manifests is that at some point the author stops giving camera hints as to what the switches or any of your actions do. That in itself would not be that bad if the course was simple enough, but that's not the case and any logical approach I had did not really help me deciphering the author's way of thought, so I just resolved to following the walkthrough. Which is a shame, as, while the level didn't shine with too many original ideas, it would've least of all been actually fun, had the author persisted. Despite the praise given beforehand for an interesting idea for a setting, I can't say the idea is developed a whole lot beyond that and the looks are not anything to write home about with you easily bumping into the 'end of the world', the lighting deviating little from the default settings, and darkness being indicated with pitch black shadows. To sum it all up - while this could've been an Ok level with a little more effort put into it - I can't say it lives up to its potential in the shape it has taken right now. If you do decide to give it a go, keep the walkthrough at hand to reduce frustration to a minimum." - eTux (01-Jan-2010)

"I must confess that I can't not do anything with this harbour level in the Venice style. The first, what has quite irritated me, nevertheless are the missing Flares. There are several dark corners, but there are no flares to find. Then the camera tips were still very often absent for many levers and Jumpswitches. Thus one had to look at every places, if there something changed. And then in the end, a block did not go down and I couldn't grab the Nitro for the motorcycle. Thus I was not able to jump to the ship. But this has not disturbed me, because this action was the end of the level then. Textures and sound were ok. The lighting has not persuaded me, because it was often too dark. Opponents were Baddies. Result: Who has no problems with missing camera tips, could risk a look." - Scottie (18-Apr-2009)

"I played this level once before when I wasn't reviewing and decided to play it again for fun. The level is filled with lots of switch-pulling which would be ok if it weren't so confusing just what exactly the switch opened. Oftentimes, there is no visual cue and believe me, one is needed on many of the switch that you pull. I think with a bit more creativity, this level could have been better, but it wasn't so bad, especially in the beginning when I had to really think how I was going to destroy the sentry guns. There are many ninjas and sparse ammo. Although older, this is a pretty fun raid." - Shandroid (17-Aug-2008)

"The ominous end of the world is all around in this level, though it doesn't detract from much the enjoyment of exploring this little harbour. In the beginning it feels a bit like a shooter, but soon enough all enemies are killed and only one or two will appear later on -- the sentry guns play a major role, as they are rather well positioned so it takes a while until you can tricky them to destroy them. The level lacks lighting work, with the exception of dark areas for which you only have the initial stock of flares, fortunately the dark areas are rather few. After a number of switches, you pimp up the bike and jump over to the docked ship. 45 minutes. 12/07" - Treeble (24-Dec-2007)

“This level has become something of an epic endeavour for me. For the past three days on returning home from work I have loaded this up and slowly worked my way through; progressing from Trap Door to Ninja to Machine Gun and often wondering if I was ever going to complete it. The biggest problem is the lack of camera clues combined with the large number of potentially openable doors. Even when success at last appeared to hove into view I discovered I was without the Nitrous Feeder for the Bike; and set off once again to comb the streets and alleyways of this quaint harbourside Town. Finally after a grand total of two hours net playing time (but in reality more like four) I was eventually able to make that (by this time virtually mythological) jump over the water to the big Ship. By now of course I should have been enraged by the whole proceedings; but strangely enough I was instead regretful that the adventure was over as I had developed great fondness for the little seaside community that I had spent the previous three days wandering around. Yes it's a little buggy around the edges but (once the enemies and Machine Guns have been destroyed) it's a lovely well-built and peaceful little place to become aquainted with; with many surprising and charming little hidden areas to uncover. It was a freezing British winter outside but here I was in a warm and sunny Mediterranean town; in no hurry; enjoying the experience. I'm sure no-one else will look upon this level in the same way but I will recall with fondness my time spent here; and (who knows) may even return once more to live the little adventure over again some day.” – Orbit Dream (02-Feb-2004)

“Just looking at the reviews I see no mac players there that I know of. Using a Mac I was fooling around with this level for a long time including renaming the files to city which was the nearest. I could deal with the machine guns use trapdoors and I used a butt switch which I had no idea what it did. I'm not even sure if the objects I did see were the right ones i.e. a peculiar looking 'ladder/wall' the balustrade at the harbour and the awkward interior of the building where you open the doors. I could see the bike behind the double doors but I couldn't get it. I could see the route to the ship with the bike. So until a .tr4 will be available in future for the Mac raiders I can only comment on the little I did. It looks like a nice town/harbour and the boat looks good but it has an awful end of the world around the water. Good fun though jumping and running around the roofs. Mind you as other reviewers have talked about bugs and sound problems maybe it's not worth changing all this to a .tr4 after all!! I don't know. Now what am I gonna do about these scores?” – CC (19-Oct-2003)

“Although in this level there is a lot of back and fro that can lead to frustration I had no frustration and a lot of fun this time. Don't get me wrong as I must have visited every nook and cranny at least 5 times but I got there in the end. So be aware that there is no camera work to speak off. There are three sentry guns and yes you can disable them but apparently in the right order so don't give up hope if it seems that you can't destroy a certain sentry gun you'll get it later. Your aim is the bike and the nitro feeder as the finding the last one will open the gate for the bike to cross the water. There is a nice block pushing puzzle and for the rest it is lever galore. Do not forget to get back into the water as there is also an entry I overlooked for quite a while. Preserver and even you can finish this little gem. 04-10-2003” – Gerty (05-Oct-2003)

“I liked the setting of this level Venice. There is some blackness around the so called ‘end of the world’ bug but walking on the roof tops and exploring the underground was fun. The sentry will give you some trouble until you find the means to destroy them. The streets are very well textured and I don’t know about anyone else but I tried to get into the boat. Of course that didn’t work but I just had to try. There are some levers to find raising and moving blocks. I think this is a nice level with not so many puzzles but the view to the sea with the houses on shore is more than enough to make you load this up.” – Kristina (09-Sep-2003)

“This looked like a promising 'Venice style' level when I first started it up but soon turned into another 'find a switch find the door it opened find another switch etc'. If I hadn't liked the environment so much I may have given this one up before I got halfway through but I do love Venice levels and there were a few good pushable block puzzles plus three machine guns to get rid of. The ninjas seemed to come out of nowhere and in my opinion looked out of place in this environment. I got aggravated after a while because there's no clue what the switch you just pulled did - a little more camera work would not me a bad thing here.” – RaiderGirl (27-Nov-2002)

“This starts so promising right next to a speedboat and with the sight of the rusty ship but it is immediately spoiled by some rather bad 'end of the world' issues and the fact that you often hit the invisible ceiling when jumping around on the roofs of the little harbour city. Still 50 minutes of fun while you need to find the revolver and lasersight eliminate three sentry guns and a dozen or so ninjas and explore the city to and fro for levers in order to clear the path for the final jump with the bike. Rather smart and not always obvious use of movable and raising blocks so keep your eyes wide open. Too bad that after the first few levers the author stopped building in the helpful cameras - that leads to quite a bit of frustration as you keep searching the level for the change that has happened. Thankfully the map is not too large.” – Michael (27-Sep-2002)

“This is a nice little harbor town with some guards ninjas and a few not so nice automatic machine guns waiting for you. A lot of switch pulling in this level but it still kept me interested. A really tricky moving block puzzle and I derived great pleasure in taking out those machine guns once I had the necessary gear. Quite a bit of back and forth action to see what the switch did but not unduly bothersome. Like Sash I would have loved to continue exploring that big old boat but after a supercharged bike ride that was it.” – Momster (02-Aug-2002)

"I can almost bet that every player that plays this level will try and get into the speedboat next to where you start, but don’t bother it ain’t going nowhere. In fact the most tantalising aspect of this game, a larger rusty looking ship, is unfortunately not included in the game play which was very unfortunate as it looked brilliant and was begging to be explored...just between you and me you can get to it with the fly cheat but there isn’t anything to really find. The aim in this 50 minutes level is to run around the small harbour side town, exploring the rooftops, the interior, and beneath the buildings looking for many levers of all kinds to pull that will allow you to jump a pier on the nitro burning motorbike to reach the ship. I had a lot of fun with the back and forth game play as well as the nice use of well hidden raising blocks and movable blocks, one of which was used in a very unobvious way to aid progression, but some players may find the use of the levers a little overused, I didn’t, I just wish there had been more camera shots of what they triggered.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“A nice level but a little boring. Lara has to arrive on a ship with a strengthened motorcycle but first she has to eliminate turrets and ninja discover and activate a lot of levers (about 14) in underground passages and on the roofs. I have ended the level in 1 hour and 15 minutes with middle difficulty (thanks to Sash and Doug E). A suggestion some levers are able to operate more times!” – Boris (21-Jun-2002)

“It could be a much better level if it were not for the bugs. The architecture is good and I liked to walk over the roofs but there are a lot of invisible walls making the gameplay worse. But the really bad bug is the sound bug... when the sentry gun shoots you hear some very disturbing sound... bad really bad! And I can't forget the weird thing that comes out from Lara's legs...Too many bugs for only one level.” – Leandro (21-Jun-2002)

“Not a bad game this one. Lots of switches to find and pull. A good sliding block puzzle had me thinking for a while. A couple of horrible machine guns keep you on your toes! Only real whinge is the lack of good camera clues. A pleasant level to play!” – Doug E (21-Jun-2002)

“A level for switch lovers. Lots of them everywhere. An intriguing moveable block puzzle which had me returning again and again to make sure everything was done. One very difficult machine gun to creep up on when it wasn't looking but essential to destroy it before Lara is toast. Once the road is clear a final motor cycle leap to end the level.” – Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

“I like the TR2 Venice levels so as this level looks similar I thought I would like it too when I started playing. And it could have been very nice. But it turned out to be a level with a million of switches with no cameras showing what happens. That means you have to run around to every place where a door could have opened. And although I tried the room behind this big double door several times (with the pushing block and a shooting ninja in there) I got trapped all the time and couldn't get out of that room again. Later on I put the bike there between the doors so Lara could mount it and get out again through the closed doors. But I'm sure the author didn't intend to do it this way. When Lara had reached the (closed) gate in front of the ramp to jump to the ship with her bike I had tried so many switches and none of them opened the gate so I finally gave up. Up to this point the level could have been really good but those missing cameras were annoying. Besides I had no sounds while playing (except one background noise) no sfx and no music.” – Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)
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