Level: An Odyssey 2012 back home search
Author(s): Yoshi
total rating:8.79 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
dmdibl 10 9 9 9
Gerty 9 9 9 8
Jay 8 9 9 9
Jorge22 9 9 9 9
Jose 4 9 8 9
manarch2 8 9 9 8
Minaru 8 9 10 8
mugs 10 10 10 9
Phil 9 10 10 9
Rambo 9 9 8 8
Ryan 9 9 9 9
sonnyd83 7 8 9 9
category averages
(12 reviews)
8.33 9.08 9.08 8.67

Reviewer's comments

"This has its fair share of difficult sequences, and I was wondering if I'd ever complete it. I'm speaking of the unfairly timed tight traps through Episode 3 (the ones with the spikes and flames requiring precision, buy air persevered and in the end, I felt I played through an extremely rewarding raid. It begins with Lara dismounting from her spaceship and making her way through a lost planet to enter its interior. The trip to Japan provided a change of pace after the crude textures of the previous and after locating her necessary artefacts, Lara battles a dragon and finds out the secret of this planet. Brilliant, but do take heed - it's not for everyone." - Ryan (30-Sep-2017)

"Excellent work from a good builder; the environments are impressive and there are a lot of fresh ideas and interesting situations. The first level was the worst, 'cause the very hard tasks, sometimes approaching to the absolute limits of Lara, like that nasty long swing with the rope in the outside lava area. The second level was better in that sense, but in the hub room where the red key was, I had to repeat too many times the same movements all around the room up and down, and the curved running jump from the window to the slope was quite hard too. The third level was the best, very huge and even with that tight rimed run I was only able to do it using the flare trick. As usual, I can't give a 5 or more in the gameplay section if I'm not able to finish a level; this time it was not 'cause I were stucked or 'cause a hard task; I was really enjoying the level in the big area with two pagodas when, after push a moveable block, I was not able to grab a low ladder (4 clicks high) in any way, and after several dozens of tries I decided to abandone. David wrote that it has something to do with a room boundary in the level editor, but I got very tired to try it again and again from all possible positions with no success. A pain." - Jose (14-Sep-2017)

"This one has been on my HD way too long and of course I had no clue anymore what I did and what I had to do. So back to the start and I have to admit that I did use the walkthrough as sometimes I was soooo lost. But I take my hat off for Yoshi and his interpretation of this Space Odyssey 2012, as it is very well done indeed. Nice use of new objects and enemies and sometimes quite difficult jumping but well worth it. Nice ending as well and I was glad I persevered though" - Gerty (15-Nov-2015)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: This is a game where I didn't mind much some running because it's pretty much a to be solved mystery to find out how every level works. The gameplay is extremely clever and very well combines everything that a good level needs, it's also very challenging and has many different tasks. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Rather few but nicely used enemies, objects are apt but still the rooms feel empty. There are some highlights to be seen in each level which make up for this. The secrets are most excellent. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: A very different setting, very authentic at times, but there are too empty rooms, boxy geometry. The end of the world can be seen sometimes, especially in the Japan level the mix between great and poor aspects is disturbing. Sounds are very good and cameras could be better and more sometimes. Lighting & Textures: The textures are mostly solid, yet a bit repetitive, the lighting too bland but still I liked the very special look those two create. Total: 8,5/10, not something for everyone and rather old looking but impressive when you allow yourself to get in it." - Rambo (07-Mar-2015)

"This game has truly exasperated me. I have wanted to kill the author several times an even end my own life (just joking). Lets get serious now: these levels are really hard, just for masters and pros. The beginning was relatively light, the enemies were easy to kill and the jumps were not excessively difficult. The only problem was to find your own way around the place. As the game developes it becames more demanding: the timed-runs are extremely tight, the jumps needed perfection and the switches were hidden like ninjas. Especially at the end, those slopes with fire and spikes drove me crazy. I even thought I would need someone else savegame. But in the end I got to do it without any help (except for the walkthrough, of course). The decoration and the rooms was cool, although the textures seemed a bit too old. However, I did enjoy the game and did not really pay much attention to the details. The only remarkable thing is that I was missing a better lighting at some points. Apart from that, the atmosphere was great, and the music enchanting. I loved how the whole game was structured, so when you are just tired of so many white and gray technology you are thrown into a full color japanese past. It was recovering. The end was awesome (although it could have been better animated) but it was amazing. Before that, the little car/minispaceship race seemed too short to me, yet it was fun. As I usually followed the walktrhough I should add that some things could be made differently than explained. So to sum up, this game is a hard yet an awesome one. I would highly recommend it if you like challenges, because this is one for sure. I had not played the old-style games for a while, and it was good for a change. Thanks for it all, keep your great creativity!" - Minaru (03-Sep-2012)

"This alien levelset isn't exactly easy and it goes that way right from the start, that is finding out how to start. There are some complicated jumps (to one of which I addmitedly used a gracefully given save by one of our fellow raiders), almost impossible timed runs and a lot of complicated orientation issues together with loads and loads of tasks with small, sometimes easily forgotten details before Seth (or whoever that is) finally groans angrily because he couldn't face up to Lara Croft (now, what's new?). The settings are great even though I've seen better textures on occasion and the atmosphere together with well chosen soundtracks fit the game to perfection. The Oriental "rest" in the middle of the game is a nice touch that allows one to feel there is a wider variety here. I'm just not sure I liked the arabic enemies in the far east, maybe they were supposed to be ninjas or something... To sum it all up, it's not a game for absolutely everyone but it's still highly recommended." - Jorge22 (13-Jun-2012)

"This is a fairly mammoth three-parter (with a fourth closing segment lasting ten minutes or less) that took me about five hours to complete, even with David's meticulously clear and insightful walkthrough close at hand. The builder is not a new one, but his previous level was released about a decade ago, and with a compilation of such high quality we're mighty glad to have him back in production. The first two levels have an alien setting, and a bit of boredom began to set in for me during the second segment because of their sheer length. That made the third level, with its bright Japanese appointments, a most welcome change of pace. Some of the moves along the way were more than daunting. I gave each of them a fair shake, but after a reasonable number of tries I would resort to the dreaded D-mode in order to keep moving along. I found myself doing this routinely during the second visit to Part 2 late in the game. By this time I was ready to get it all over with, and I rather resented being subjected to a series of difficult jumps after having come so far. The lighting was superb throughout, and I rarely found it necessary to use a flare. This should be a Hall of Fame entry before long. High recommendations." - Phil (13-Jun-2012)

"There is a raw genius here so players may find themselves wishing that some detail or other had been better, but throughout gameplay is fascinating. To illustrate, the author created two soaring pagodas for Lara to climb, and then created a challenge for her of finding a way to get from one pagoda to the other while near the top. Here the author blithely ignores blatant end-of-the-world views, and after a while you will, too; the play is too absorbing to worry about minor matters, and there is a tight timed run. The author has used TREP to create three enormous levels, and a smaller fourth level, and then intertwined Lara's route to get double play from sections. The first level has Lara landing on alien terrain, maybe a moon of Jupiter, and yet there is an earth-type moon in the sky (as I said, don't worry about some details), as well as a mother ship floating overhead. This level offers good exploration, but more memorable are the second and third levels, which are set in a space station and in historic Japan. The levels can be confusing and mind-boggling (and exhausting if you're writing a walkthrough), but I'm pretty sure that if this were a commercial game that everyone would be complaining that it was way too short, and saying there should have been more levels with similar clever design. Having spent a lot of time with this, and having replayed hard jumps three or four times, I have to say there is nothing here that is beyond the reach of anyone except a novice player. There is sometimes a high intimidation factor when one sees what Lara has to do, but the challenges are in fact quite logical and doable. The author has done a really good job with the setups. And there is a good walkthrough [cough, cough] that provides detailed explanations. I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the space station and in Japan. A few areas may be a bit big and boxy, but this works better for me than other authors who have Lara in cramped rooms or tunnels. Obviously a huge amount of planning was done to bring everything together in the end, and there is a last impressive cutscene. A lot of talent and creativity went into these levels, and I hope players appreciate what they are getting. An amazing adventure." - dmdibl (17-May-2012)

"I did like the whole 'Sentinel' vibe at the start of the game and the use of sound files from 2001 A Space Odyssey was entirely appropriate. I confess to feeling somewhat ambivalent as to the gameplay. There is much to enjoy in the exploration, route finding and achievement of the fairly tricky manoeuvres and pixel perfect jumps, but there's also a fair amount of back tracking and with so many large areas which all look pretty similar, it really is all too easy to get confused. The majority of the game is set in a space station environment that is very impressive and somewhat disguises the fact that occasionally the large areas contain nothing much more than a switch to throw. There are some quite fierce enemies, which take a lot of killing and since it's quite a way into the game before Lara gets more than her trusty pistols to defend herself, she will just need to be quick on her feet. The unexpected time travel back to eighth century Japan actually made a nice change and provided a bit of much needed fresh air and colourful scenery, although it did look rather odd to see Lara still wearing her space suit. Back at the space station in the final section, there is a cool vehicle to drive for a regrettably short duration and a dragon! Yes, really. Be warned, this is most definitely a game for experienced players only and there were some sequences I thought I would never achieve (and I cracked a nail at one point, aaaaargh). If you like a challenge, have loads of patience and don't mind putting up with the flaws of the game in exchange for the undoubted moments of brilliance, then I heartily recommend that you have a go - just don't blame me if you ruin your manicure." - Jay (16-May-2012)

"So this is only the third review for this level after one week and the reasons are pretty clear - there are many very confusing situations in this four-parter that might cause players to stop playing further, and even I had one or two situations where I nearly gave up. So basically - what you get here are three extremely huge and fully interconnected levels plus one small final level. While in the first level Lara is exploring huge cave areas and lava seas with only few interior rooms at the end, the second level is completely set in a space station and the third level is set in the past in a Japanese town; the final level takes you through a street using a cool car and has a great boss fight and afterwards a fantastic ending cutscene. A large part of the map of each level is accessible nearly from right at the start and thus it was often very hard to find a start, especially in the second level with a near-invisible pickup one of the enemies dropped in a large hall. In my opinion each level picks up late because the start is mostly dull with exploring and exploring and only finding the occasional lever (which might need you to waste hours) and progression being more than slow, but later on the levels turned out to be real gems with nice gameplay ideas, fun and inventive jumping parts and some nice puzzles, like the magnetic room in level 1, climbing up the high tower in level 2 and the complex usage of the torch you always need to get with you in level 3 (this level was really great both gameplaywise and also visually). Despite all the high moments though, this level is also quite buggy and some jumps were thus close to impossible to perform even if done perfectly and I had to get help from the forums in form of a savegame, which doesn't happen often (for a certain jump, it's actually the first time). And more than once this level showed it was made by a Japanese builder with some very tricky jumps, but nothing too heavy (i.e. impossible) as there was only one curve jump for a secret and the other jumps were managable after a few tries, even for not overly experienced raiders. The enemies and objects are often very unique in this level and they more than well fitted perfectly to the scenery, e.g. as the flying UFO, the droids, the butterflies and all the garden and house statics. I found six of the seven secrets which were really well hidden in my opinion and I think I was lucky to find so many of them. My only complaint in this category is that it's often too hard to kill enemies and no additional weapons else than pistols until late in the second level.
The atmosphere in all levels is very good in my opinion, creating a believable spacy scenery, but often I thought a little more in terms of architectural design could have been done (most of the interior rooms looked boxy a bit). I also found there were too few camera hints making life even more hard for players. The textures were generally good (especially in the town setting) but parts of the exterior rooms in the first level looked a bit sameish and the textures were sometimes oddly placed, lighting in the second level was pretty flat and there was a untextured block near the end of the third level which seemed pretty unnecessary. Some space rooms looked a bit strange because of the usage of star textures in the far but on the other hand I found this somehow fitting to the sterile settings - I raised my AS&C score because I liked that very much in a way.
All in all this was a very nice four-hour long level that clearly had its downsides but with the aid of a walkthrough I think everything will be manageable in the future. And I hope there will be more comebacks of builders like this in the future - this was quite a surprise. Recommended (but this is not really a level for beginners)." - manarch2 (15-May-2012)

"You begin after landing your spacecraft on what looks like a moon, surrounded by water. The spacecraft is pretty good as the cover closes once you've stepped out of it. There's also a large mother ship floating above. The sound is from TR2 and suits the mood perfectly, although, at one point there's some ominous music playing, but nothing happens. Texturing is ok but could be less blocky but there's a huge area which has had to be textured with a dark stone-like texture - looks like a cave, and the horizon could blend in with the sky a little better. Nevertheless, this does have the desired effect, the other parts of this level are base-like in appearance, and is quite flourescent. The fencing objects and doors look good. The main aspects of gameplay are a lot of finely tuned jumping, a little swimming, pulling levers, facing baddies with lasers. Once you get further in, there's a laser machine gun to run past, then a long maze of corridors with a crowbar hidden away there, then finding a blue key to make a room rotate. Bugs - a flame doesn't turn off when jumping to a particular ledge - saving/reloading required, also, climbing into a particular crawlspace doesn't work until you save and reload whilst hanging off the edge. Rope doesn't swing far enough. LEVEL 1: 8/10 The next one has a TRAOD Stahov level feel about it, looks a little more industrial, lighting, sound are the same as level 1. There's some nice looking fighter planes, and a ufo (which has no collision). The rooms tend to be a little emptier too. There doesn't appear to be as much to do as there was earlier, opening a few doors, shoot a few enemies, and a monkey swing, that's about all. There's a great deal of running around and searching for items. A copper hand is collected in this level. LEVEL 2: 7/10 The next one has a more relaxing pace, it is set in Japanese style house and garden. The windows, doors, beds and lamps are particularly nice objects. Rooms are a little empty again though. There's plenty to explore, and a few doors to open and even spikes to avoid, some flames to light - one of which lies on the second floor so you need to jump perfectly, trapdoors to open, pushing blocks - although the one in the garden has incorrect collision so Lara has magnetic hands, about 3 timed runs, an underwater maze, raising 3 blocks with 3 keys, a ninja, keypad. The atmosphere and sound reminds me of TR3 India levels, and there's a nice flyby of part of the building with very nice music, there's some beautiful music playing after you open a certain set of pushable doors. A silver hand and gold hand is collected in this level, and an 'Osho' item. Bug - Rope doesn't swing far enough. Note - it's best to carry the torch into new areas you disover, as you don't want to backtrack for it. LEVEL 3: 9/10 Overall, from what I've seen, this has the potential to cause a great deal of annoyance, but a great deal of joy at the same time. It is simply far too difficult for the average player to play, even though the tasks themselves don't always look that difficult. I had to resort to the fourm on a dozen occasions. On the other hand, the architecture is nicely 3D and some puzzles are intuitive." - sonnyd83 (12-May-2012)

"Oh my - what a game this is ! I'll answer the obvious question first - does it have a lot of those notorious Japanese pixel-perfect jumps ? Yes. it has a fair share, but there are lots of savegames established in the stuck forum to get you past those impossible bits of gameplay if you need them. Don't let that stop you from playing this game! It's so cool! Lara arrives on a less-than hospitable planet, but with a little diligence she makes her way into the "belly of the beast". I thought the ambiance here was to die for. Yoshi really creates a fascinating world to explore. There are a few minor technical flaws - some textures askew or missing and a gameplay problem (do not leave a high crawlspace without first firing at a shatter vent across from you - suitable weaponry is hard come by for firing at this vent from ground level). Your enemies in episodes 1 & 2 are hard-to-kill droids (remember you are limited to pistols for most of the action)and thugs. I think the puzzles are well thought-out and challenging. In the process of your exploration you will be searching for keys and pickups. Episode 3 is a time-warp back to Japan - I was very disappointed to leave the planet environment, but Yoshi has once again created an extraordinary village to explore. This is where you will meet some of the more complex gameplay. You die-hard challenge buffs will love this level - it's a tough one, but - again - we've given you savegames for the really tough stuff so no excuse not to play. Once your prizes are in hand it's back to the planet and a fabulous car to knock some droids off with. Episode 4 also has a battle with a dragon, but he was easy to dispose of (by then you have plenty of ammo and the right weaponry). From here, it's a fitting and predictable ending to a super-fun game! Thank you Yoshi!" - Mugs (12-May-2012)
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