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LB Advent Calendar 2004 - Xmas Race by Tifa Nazah

afzalmiah 10 7 6 6
Aims 6 8 9 10
Akcy 4 6 7 6
alan 6 5 6 6
Anurag 5 9 8 8
CC 6 5 7 7
DJ Full 8 9 8 6
EssGee 5 6 7 5
Gerty 5 6 5 5
Jay 5 8 7 7
Jez 7 8 8 8
Jose 2 5 5 7
Kristina 4 5 5 5
Kubsy 7 8 8 7
Magnus 3 4 4 5
manarch2 4 7 6 6
MichaelP 3 8 5 5
Mulf 3 4 2 2
Obig 6 9 10 9
Orbit Dream 3 5 7 8
Ryan 3 6 6 7
Sash 5 7 6 6
Treeble 1 3 5 5
release date: 04-Dec-2004
# of downloads: 82

average rating: 6.00
review count: 23
review this level

file size: 87.60 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Another good game by Tifa. Despite the bugs, I enjoyed this racing level and I liked the usage of custom objects in this level. However, there were stretched textures that could have been fixed though but overall, it's a good game and I hope we will see more racing games with TRNG in the future :)" - Kubsy (17-Mar-2021)
"Or, Gone in 16 Seconds. Coming in second after the rather staid opener (Agnes’s Siberian Xmas) of the second crop of ‘Advent Calendar’ levels, this debut presents quite a change of pace. It’s a race with a Jeep (made to look somewhat similar to a vintage Corvette), which is divided into segments, each of which lasts mere seconds (between 10 and 28 seconds, to be precise), yet for elusive reasons each has a .TR4 file of its own.
The author of the walkthrough, Harry Laudie, considers the first segment the toughest; which I find odd, as I breezed through it repeatedly without even trying. I’d say the second segment is the most difficult, and it seems the other reviews bear me out. However, the difficulty is apparently due to a technical flaw (one time I managed to get through I knew it wasn’t even my own personal best, and the gates appeared fully closed; so I’m with EssGee when he suspects that this segment is buggy, which is also suggested by the odd camera behaviour at its end). Either way, there’s no progression in difficulty, and the track itself remains entirely level throughout.
The builder chose to go for (selective) realism, which here means a setting that looks like an off-season commercial race track complete with advertising boards, used by the builder to promote multinational corporations and irrelevant predilections of hers (see also the terribly indulgent Lara skin, which befits neither the Lara Croft character, the setting, or the season), whereas they could have been used to enhance the plot instead, as was done to great effect in Max Payne. Then again, there’s nothing to enhance here, since there is no plot—not even in the broadest of senses: the race has no proper ending, you simply bump into another closed gate as you’ve done several times before, whereupon a three-second cutscene (also with a .TR4 file of its own) kicks in, and you are given the choice to either quit the game or repeat the race on the same track with a different vehicle (motorbike) and without timed gates. The absence of the timed gates in this second part (more .TR4 files) is presumably due to the circumstance that the builder didn’t expect to get away with just plopping a different vehicle in there; she would also have had to recalculate the timing. It’s a fine example of how cost-cutting measures eventually undercut the very venture you’re attempting to sustain. (I would argue: you’re the builder, you choose what you think works best, and that’s that. I don’t need a choice of vehicles for the same race track, or a choice of Lara skins for the same mansion. This is all just irrelevant bloat.)
The environment is roughly, frequently really roughly sketched. That’s okay, nobody takes part in a race in order to stop and smell the roses—although, those incredibly stretched textures. The eternally disappearing horizon. The landscape abruptly ceasing to exist. The awkward object collision. Those texture cracks. Those black holes in the room geometry. That squeak Lara gives when kicking a door in. That deer that looks like it was made from chestnuts and matchsticks (but was quite popular in German levels for a while, as I seem to recall). And for the secrets you have to get up close and personal anyway after all. These secrets, added by the builder to counterbalance the brevity of the main game, are, however, uninteresting: you need to find the one spot where you can jump over an obstacle, although you can’t do that elsewhere even if the obstacles look exactly the same—that kind of thing. (My personal favourite is the second secret, for which you have to drive through a gate that’s closed and remains closed.)
In sum, a debut level by a novice builder who wanted to come onto the scene with a splash. The splash was made, but the game sank. The builder would go on and devote her entire TRLE career exclusively to ‘Advent Calendar’ levels." - Mulf (01-Feb-2021)
"This was an okay-ish level about riding a car/bike around a racetrack divided into levels, each one being a different course. You can get off and explore around the city for secrets, which will make the gameplay longer, or you can simply focus on riding the vehicles till the end. A few traps appear at some places to spice things up a bit. But after that there's nothing more to do." - alan (26-Jan-2020)
"I evidently forgot to review this one, although I have a clear memory of actually playing it some time ago. Still, I remember enough to send in this very late review. You can't ever fault Tifa for trying something different in her levels and this is no exception. It's abundantly clear that a lot of love, care and effort has been put into this little tidbit (is there any other kind?) but unfortunately the gameplay can only be eked out for so long before it's over in a flash (although you can extend your time somewhat by going for the secrets). Tomb Raider probably wasn't designed to be a racing game, but it's a charming little effort nonetheless." - Ryan (30-Aug-2019)
"A primitively modelled yet diveresly textured cityscape combined with action soundtrack and circuit props gives an impression straight out of retro racing games - if we rate the effort/immersion factor, this game is a winner even if you lose. Unfortunately there's just one track, and this level would do much better with various ones (just like we got many arenas in Battle Arena). Most of secrets are unfair but it's not about them here." - DJ Full (01-Aug-2019)
"Good attemp. This could be a funny circuit with several race tracks, but for some reason, in the second level the exit gates never opened for me, even when I drove always without hit in any place and always at maximun speed; so I had to prematurely abandone the game." - Jose (02-Jul-2017)
"This was a completely different level compared to her usual raids. This is a race by only herself. You first have to find the car keys (which were in a weird place to be in) and then you can start the race. You just race in a track with pepsi signs around the course. Lara's outfit was pretty rubbish. You sometimes have to get out of the car to do something. Pretty good overall." - afzalmiah (07-Mar-2011)
"Innovative and completely different than most levels. Lara has to do timed bike rides to get through the exit doors. The city textures looked beautiful, but there were many objects (the ads on the street) that were quite buggy. Nice idea!" - manarch2 (11-Dec-2010)
"Another ingenious attempt to turn TR into something it isn't;in this case,another racing level. While not being as ingenious and substantial as Jungle Rush,this is nevertheless a brave and imaginative try. If it's secrets you're after,you can extend the Gameplay some considerable distance;if it's a simple race from Checkpoint to Checkpoint,you'll be through in no time. Either way,you'll admire the builder (full marks for effort!)even though admitting that,perhaps,Lara wasn't really designed for this sort of thing." - Orbit Dream (06-May-2008)
"10 minutes of racing GranTurismo style in a Cabrio. Architecture, texturing and lighting is basic. There is a genuine snowy feel to the levels though. But there are many end of world views, paper thin walls and gaps in the geometry. The only real interest is if you go in search of the secrets which are not hard to find. The Timer checkpoints didn't seem to work properly. I was able to force my car through the barricades regardless of time to enter the next stage of the race. So there failed to be any challenge. The car and bike are nicely none, as are the barricade objects. Fun for ten minutes of relaxation." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)
"Rather difficult to rate this level, because it's very uniqe. I liked the general idea, to go laps on the track, and find the 9 secrets on the way, some were deviously hidden though. I liked Lara's outfit, even if it was strange when crawling. But levels are too short, and it was somehow disturbing that they were divided to so many little parts. Anyways, if you like driving, and want to try something unusual for a change, give this one a go." - Akcy (31-Dec-2006)
"I've become oddly fascinated by the jeep and motorbike lately; there's something calming about not having to worry about fighting enemies and solving puzzles all the time. When you're in/on a vehicle, you can turn off your brain for a while. Kind of like watching reality shows, except not as slow and boring. When I found this racing level, obviously I had to play it right away - I can only think of one other racing level, and it was rather fun to play. This was very disappointing, though. There was so much potential - avoiding spikes and turrets; driving on ledges in water; daring jumps over cliffs... Instead, what we get is a level that looks like your average racing game (I'd give you some current examples, but I really haven't played any since the original Need for Speed). The track is completely flat, and there's really only one place where you run the risk of dying. Supposedly finding the secrets makes the level more fun, but the two I found didn't really increase my enjoyment of the level much at all. If you don't bother with the secrets (and really, there's no reason why you should), you're lucky if the level lasts longer than three minutes. On a more positive note, the author has managed to make the level look like an authentic racing game, albeit a bit square due to the limitations of the Tomb Raider engine. The objects fit in well, too, with ads, checkpoint signs, and everything else you'd expect. Sadly, though, although this looks like a racing game and quacks like a racing game, it's really just a mediocre Tomb Raider level shoehorned into a genre it has nothing in common with." - Magnus (21-Oct-2006)
"First level of its kind for TRLE, it is a time trial race type game with secrets, great work by Tifa; but the gameplay is very very little; so I won't recommend downloading it if you are not a diehard fan of TR and racing games. The file size is huge as compared to gameplay; I would have recommend that the level should have been uploaded in TOM format rather than TR4." - Anurag (24-Jul-2005)
"The only downside to this quite cool race level is that you only get 15 minutes for such an enormous download, and I think this fact will keep many away from playing it. In this level there are sectioned off pieces of real looking race track, complete with advertising banners along the sides that you have to get through in certain times, firstly in a convertible car and then on a motorbike, or the gates at the end close, this in itself gave the level a nice little challenge but then you can also go on the hunt for 9 ice rose secrets in the snowy environment around the track, some of these secrets are quite easy to find but a few will keep you guessing. So if you like the use of vehicles and don't mind the size of the download then this is one to check out." - Sash (26-May-2005)
"This one surely took me AGES to download on my then 56k connection, took me about one hour to install (I hate these MP3 installers, they always screw up the entire thing) and took me less than 10 minutes to play through. And I would have dropped it if it was longer than that. Right on the second segment I got VERY frustrated, those doors are never open and the timing seems to be real tight between the segments. What kind of fun is that? I appreciate that builders keep bringing novelties to our ol' good TRLE, but I would not recommend this level, unless you are a curious palyer and don't mind the huge download. The second time around, on the bike, is rather easy, though it serves well to relax the player after the frustrating races with the car. I didn't like the songs the author has used. Sorry, Tifa. 7 minutes, 2 secrets. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)
"Well this really is something a bit different. Basically it's a racetrack with a series of checkpoints you have to reach in time but along the way there are secrets to find and don't miss the crowbar right at the start. You have a car and a motorbike and the race track is revised half way through just to make a change. It's a short level and if you like driving you'll have a good time." - Jay (18-Dec-2004)
"An original race level indeed. As part of the Advent Calendar levels. It's Christmas time so there is snow and ice snow-covered trees and winter sunshine. Lara is dressed in what appears to be a rigid evening gown that looks fine while she's walking and running but most peculiar when she's crawling. Still it looks nice. What we see is a road race track with a black Porsche and the start sign. You must get the car through gates before they close and I was stuck on the second track for ages trying to get it through that particular gate. I managed eventually by trying to cut corners and got through even as the gate was almost closed. There are little hazards along the way but not too difficult like falling snowballs icicles and spikes. There's no fear of driving off the road as there are colourful advertisement barriers all the way. I really liked the little town part. Forget about everything else along the way until you finish the course when the car is replaced by a jazzy bike. Then you can go get the rose secrets. A very fast run through this level but well worth the download to have a look at it." - CC (17-Dec-2004)
"It could have been such a fabulous adventure but it just falls short because of the actual execution of the idea. The convertible car is great (although of course rather not very sportive in terms of the speed it can manage) the custom objects are cool and you really get the feel of a classical race setting. I also liked the idea to then switch from the car to the bike. But on the downside you get a huge download for about 10 minutes of gameplay (if you bother to go for those nine secrets that is) the outfit is rather strange and the cut scene too short to really feel relevant. But this level is a great reservoir of objects to use again in future levels so let's see what we'll be getting soon." - Michael (14-Dec-2004)
"Well this is different and even I (and I really dislike vehicles) could finish it. The only gripe I had that at a certain part of the game I couldn't reload as I was thrown to my desktop. I really hate that. The challenge in this game is to get all the secrets and if you only want to drive that is fine as well. 06-12-2004" - Gerty (13-Dec-2004)
"A peculiar level with Lara dressed in a nice blue outfit except that part that was attached from behind which I disliked. It's a race level as the title indicates with two vehicles a nice motorcycle and a great black car. I didn't bother getting all the secrets as I found it not very interesting so I settled to the four I found. If you like a strictly racing level with the time against you and no puzzles to solve I guess you'll have fun with this one. Although the setting was well done with snow around and advertisement plates with known products it's not my cup of tea especially since the download is huge for just a racing level." - Kristina (09-Dec-2004)
"An interesting level this is. If you want to simply go through it there won't be any challenges. But if you want to collect all 9 Ice Roses in the 9 secrets now that will be a nice work. There's one I couldn't find either myself; I couldn't get through the fence in the district to the right-side door behind which I suspect it is. Interesting beautiful the textures are and the added sounds are also great. Try it out! :) I congratulate to the young creator I'm sure we'll see many more good adventures from her in the future. Merry Christmas Tifa Nazah! :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version) savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (08-Dec-2004)
"Well this level is a bit different to anything else so far. It is fairly straightforward gameplay in that you have to race between checkpoints before the gates close but if you want to find secrets there are nine on offer. I only found six I reckon I know where the others are but I can't get to them (isn't that always the way with secrets ;-)). There are no enemies except for falling boulders and stalagmites but the textures are original and nice and the whole thing makes a pleasant change from dark caverns." - Jez (06-Dec-2004)
"What a clever and original idea! Not your usual level it is in fact a Christmas racing game where you drive a nicely re-textured jeep around a snowy racecourse. I enjoyed this mini race but it is much much too small and short for such a huge download. Each part of the track is divided into different levels but they are only about 20-30 seconds long if you reach the next checkpoint in time and with only 5 points it is very short indeed. Collecting the secrets only makes it a little bit longer but it is worth finding them to make the most of the race. The tracks looked brilliant with barriers around the track and signs overhead which had arrows on and promotional pictures on. Round the snow covered track were trees and reindeer! And in the town area there were little houses a few of which you could visit to claim some secrets. You also get to ride a re-textured bike back round the track to collect some more secrets but even then the mini-game could be completed in less than 15-20 minutes. I like the music Nelly's Ride with me song which played when driving the car and a tune from the games drakan and final fantasy x-2. All in all a really great looking game and I would definitely recommend playing it just to see the originality of it." - Aims (06-Dec-2004)