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Level: Franco Bula's Searching For The Savegame Crystal Remake back home search
Author(s): Feder
total rating:8.61 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Jay 7 8 8 7
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 9 10 9 10
Phil 8 8 8 7
Ryan 8 8 8 8
SeniorBlitz 8 9 10 10
The Snarky Lesbian 7 8 9 8
Torry 10 10 10 10
Treeble 7 7 8 8
category averages
(9 reviews)
8.22 8.67 8.89 8.67

Reviewer's comments

"Another fine level by Feder. This classic TR3 jungle level has all the ingredients to enjoy one of the old TR environments: moving spiked walls, spike traps, tigers, sheevas... Really a very good tribute worth to play not only for the TR3 nostalgics, but for everybody. Look for the secrets if you want to get extra weapons; in that sense, the rocket launcher appears too late. Really a solid and professional level to enjoy. Recommended!" - Jose (25-Feb-2020)

"It is like the original but actually fun, joking aside it is quite amazing how faithfully Feder recrated Franco's level yet how much he improved it, streamlining areas, adding secrets to spice things up, improving on the original's traps and combat challenges so they are a lot more fun, though visually speaking there is a notable difference, the areas are a lot more well decorated, the lighting really colorful and nice, textures are very well applied and level geometry actually makes sense, wish there was more new content though since I finished it relatively fast, however as a tribute from builder to builder this is a great level." - SeniorBlitz (22-Feb-2020)

"Well, here's my disclaimer: I've never played the original, I may never play the original and I don't even have the slightest notion of what the original feels and looks like. Still, I must say this was, for TR3 fans such as myself, a really well made level that managed to capture Core's original feeling. Hence my ratings. Was it perfect? I once got caught on one of those tree lamps (or whatever they are) as I let myself fall from a branch while some mean soldier kept shooting at me. But, you know, that's so occasional and so picky... The atmosphere, the sort of traps and the way they unfold, the Shiva fights, the treetop jumps and the way Feder decided to show us we were on the right way to a lever there by making a couple of vultures appear, plus the final zip line ride to get the elusive savegame crystal, I found it all so well crafted that, without any kind of bias (except for the TR3 bias, which it is not because it could work against the level if the level were bland), I really must rate this level as highly as it probably and subjectively deserves. My ratings go to Franco Bula and Feder and may they divide them how they find fit. Pretty cool indeed." - Jorge22 (26-Jan-2020)

"Let me see if I have everything straight here. This is a TR3 remake of a TR3 level. The original level was released in 2010. There are 18 reviews of the original level with an average score of 6.08, and there's no rating in any category above a 7. Yet Torry deems this remake, which judging from Harry Laudie's walkthrough follows the original rather faithfully, worthy of 10s across the board. I suspect the influence of builder bias at play here, but no matter. The main question in my mind is the justification for this remake in the first place. And secondarily, whether Franco Bula was involved in the decision-making process. I can understand someone taking a TR2 level, for example, and using it to craft a TR4 remake, as has been done recently, but what's the point of this lateral transfer? On the other hand, I did enjoy playing the remake while preparing a written walkthrough for it, and not having played the original I have nothing to compare it with, but four 10s? Come on. For the most part you're playing in a jungle setting with the usual trappings: tigers, vultures, snakes and Shiva statues. There's a generous total of seven secrets to find, providing some high-powered armament and ammunition that certainly comes in handy in dealing with the numerous enemies you'll encounter along the way. Gameplay is fairly straightforward and not terribly difficult, although there are a couple of devious walkthrough walls and unmarked pushblocks. A good, solid raid, but I still wonder why there was a felt need to drag the original out of cold storage." - Phil (23-Jan-2020)

"From what I can remember of the original release, this definitely looks like a more attractive looking version. The graphics seem cleaner, the atmosphere more palpable and the scenery was less square than previously. All of the jungle level traits are present and correct, from the The obligatory treetop exploration and waterfall filled caverns, right down to the tigers and Shiva statues. The secrets are quite nicely hidden, albeit not too difficult to locate if you look carefully. Nothing too difficult to accomplish, but definitely a worthwhile raid." - Ryan (23-Jan-2020)

"What is this my tired eyes see? ANOTHER FEDER LEVEL? Nom nom nom. So can I say? This level feels like a classic, as in a level that was structurally developped 10 years ago. By which I don't mean to say that it is bad, in fact I thorughly enjoyed this level. But it plays a lot like a classic Tomb Raider 3 level would. Made by a master build, but still very classical. The textures used (Temple Ruins), the enemies to be found and the riddles consisting mostly of finding keys is one of the most classical experiences one can have. And it just works. It plays nicely and is very uncomplicated, as opposed to the more modern style of many TR4 levels or even compared to Feder's other Tomb Raider 3 level set (Templar's Secret), which was more innovative in it's design. Compared to this the level here is almost conservative (because it is a remake of another builder's level), although I did heavily enjoy climbing through multiple levels of tree thickets.
All in all, this level is very uncomplicated and thoroughly honest, it's a charming friend from an older era of level design, and that makes it very fun. Just not AS fun and original as what we are used to from Feder (who to me is the Noam Chomsky of level design). There are no custom textures here, neither in the enemies (which are tigers, vultures, Shiva statues and low tier gunners), nor in the environment (Temple Ruins), most of the time you will be looking for multiple keys to open a bigger gate, which then leads to the next key-requiring door, almost like a Red Coin level in Mario Maker. There are also entirely too many weapons that are entirely unnecessary because the enemies are not difficult enough to warrant the usage of a Desert Eagle or Uzis, so if you keep saving med kits and ammunition like you might be used to from Tomb Raider, then you will reach the end of the level without ever using any of them. But that is a nitpick, since the secrets are all very nicely hidden, and it felt absolutely gosh darn amazing to find a Desert Eagle in one of them early on, and that feeling really outshined whether or not I used the gun in the end. Again, the level itself is conservatively / classic Tomb Raider 3, wears itself on it's sleeve, and I can respect that. I enjoy that. Often more than the most innovatively different textures or designs. So try it, play this level if you want an enjoyable 1.5-2 hours that have no bullshit design ideas, honest and classic." - The Snarky Lesbian (18-Jan-2020)

"Considering it’s the best part of ten years since I played the original game on which this is based, I am utterly unable to say how like the original this is. Certainly it’s a blameless TR3 jungle level, with the usual climbing around tree tops, killing tigers, Shivas etc., and even a bit of wading through mud – classic jungle level in other words. If you like the genre, you could do worse." - Jay (11-Jan-2020)

"What a wonderful adventure true in every aspect to the original Tomb Raider 3 game. I spent nearly 90 minutes here and enjoyed every one of them. As this is rendered in the original TR3 engine I was surprised at how crisp and clean the graphics were. Only found 5 of the 7 secrets but that's ok. Loved the exploration through the trees and only had to refer to a walk through twice (mainly because I missed something) so good level design." - Torry (05-Jan-2020)

"Here's a nice tribute from one author to another. At first, I'd have dismissed seeing a TR3 level remade in the TR3 engine, but alas it's more than a simple 1:1 remake. Lots of areas were reworked, gameplay has changed quite a bit (I think the number of keys was drastically reduced, some were replaced with levers for instance), but overall I think what stood out the most to me was lighting. It seems to use a lot more lighting effects than the original counterpart. As I played the original rather recently, quite a few of the areas felt familiar so the general flow remains the same -- perhaps slightly more streamlined, even. Ah, yes, the deadly laser trap is gone, and so is the unmarked climbable wall. 40 minutes, 3 secrets. 12/19" - Treeble (05-Jan-2020)
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