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Lara at the Games - Kula World by Alex Chap

Bashar 10 10 10 10
bERT 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 10 10 10 10
HaniHeger 5 8 9 7
Kubsy 10 10 10 10
Kyle Radames 9 8 10 9
Lizard Queen 10 10 10 10
manarch2 9 10 10 7
Mr XY 9 9 10 8
Ryan 9 10 10 9
Samu 10 9 9 8
SrDanielPonces 10 10 10 10
Teone 10 10 10 10
TimJ 8 10 10 9
Wolf7 10 10 10 10
Zuxuna 10 10 10 10
 
release date: 05-Oct-2020
# of downloads: 153

average rating: 9.50
review count: 16
 
review this level

file size: 125.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
alex96-tr-ost@hotmail.fr

Reviewer's comments
"This game is every bit annoying as was the original so I can't give it less than 4 times 10, lol. I can't remember me buying this game for the Playstation 1 but I'm pretty sure I still have a playable demo of it somewhere. I could only find one with a preview gameplay demo. I remember being a total mess at playing this game because moving around was as sensitive as it is now with this TR version. What can I say other than 'great port, great cross-over to TR World'. Very smooth, very accurate, great overall capture of the mood/sound of the original." - bERT (31-Dec-2022)
"Reviewing this level series, I don't know if I should lower the grade I give to gameplay regarding my experience, knowing that what I found unpleasant is certainly core to the gameplay of the original game that is replicated here. Some levels I don't even even understand how they could have been finished in the original game without the diagonal jumps that Lara is able to do that a beach ball certainly could not. I would have preferred a game without a timer to be able to find my way into the dimensional maze more easily. The worst part was being sometimes unable to turn around when I thought I could only to discover that there was a gray texture I couldn't see on the side of the cube Lara was on. I'm sure this could have been improved by having textures at the top with a gray wall where a change of direction is not possible. I fell too many times because I couldn't see that the direction I wanted to go was in fact not suited for a gravity turn. Lara's move were at times unpractical as she would go too far after switching from one side to the other and go into a trap. It was also sometimes complicated to jump into the void in the same direction as a turn was possible. That was particularly annoying in the "Watermelon" level of "Planet Mars". I guess those are the limitations of the TR Engine that can't really mimic the seamless experience of Kula where the camera followed the movement of going over an edge. I also don't understand why Lara's jump distance had to be changed from 2 to 1.75 making a series of jump from block to block dangerous the more block there was and necessitating to had some steps in between. I once had a bug appear where even though the exit was green, Lara wouldn't go to the next level.
The bonus level were never completable on the first try and as Lara is expelled from them after the first mistake. I was unable to finish them as I did not want to redo everything that went before.
Regarding the objects, atmosphere, sounds, textures and lighting, everything is done perfectly with care. It's obviously not the amazing scenery you can expect from the top levels of the Hall of Fame, but everything that needs to be here to recreate a faithful experience of Kula into the Tomb Raider Engine is here. As I said, the only thing I would have changed regarding the texture is a way to indicate where the player can turn more clearly, as the camera can't really do this well.
It's an interesting experience, but a frustrating one at times. You should definitely check this level out if you're searching for a different experience, but I wouldn't recommend this for players looking for more traditional Tomb Raider." - TimJ (01-Aug-2022)
"This is certainly one of the most unique custom level sets that I have come across. In every level you have to collect keys and find exit within a time limit. What makes everything exciting is that you can change the gravity when you run over certain edges. Levels get also gradually more puzzling and while you progress from level to another, you will encounter new gameplay elements, such as bounce tiles, teleporters, new trap objects, etc. All in all, gameplay is simultaneously highly innovative and super fun, and I believe that all the fans of puzzle games will have great time with this level set. I liked also sound effects and background audio tracks, which are presumably taken from the original “Kula World” game. Visual style of the game is simple including minimalistic use of textures and light effects, which from the artistic point of view does not necessarily take as much skills to achieve as creating environments that you would usually see in highly rated levels. On the other hand, author has faithfully replicated the graphics of the original “Kula World” game and therefore, you would not expect visual style to be any different. Taken together, I highly recommend everybody to try this game because it’s a lot of fun and totally different from any other custom level that has been released so far. Great work." - Samu (04-Oct-2021)
"You cannot fault this builder for coming up with a creative idea such as this, and then translating it so well into the Tomb Raider engine. It really feels like you're playing a completely new game. Admittedly, there are a few things that don't work as perfectly as they should: the flipmap triggers that allow you to alter the "direction" of the level are a bit on the sensitive side, the timer present in each level makes trying to traverse each of the worlds more of a stressful task than it needs to be at times and it would have been nice to have a "replay level" option to go back for the missing collectibles (although I was perfectly satisfied with the 48 I found). That aside, this is an amazing achievement. Despite the flipmap issue, it was fun to search out the various ways to go, the traps kept me in my toes without being too frustrating, the bonus stages were a nice surprise addition and the technical construction is pretty much second to none, considering what Alex was aiming for. Definitely recommended if you're in the mood for it." - Ryan (22-May-2021)
"I finally finished this extraordinary adventure surely worth to be called a masterpiece. What else to add what hasn't been said already? There's so much to like about this game; surely all these novelties have a few minor issues and even bugs on the occasion and I really wished I could replay levels once I completed them, but these things are only in the background in this immersive and extremely enjoyable adventure. Of course very hard to score - I took off some points mostly in the texturing and lighting category as I think it is fair to distinguish it from a visually high achieved level, even if there are little actual flaws with it (maybe a bit too flat lighting). A must-play I finished "technically" in one hour." - manarch2 (05-Apr-2021)
"In the various recent levels uploaded, I saw this entry, and got extremely intrigued of what this game could offers. So I played it, and... wow. Kula World is a very different type of experience, an experimental and unique game that achieves so much quality in all aspects. Gameplay & Puzzles: The highest point with no doubt. Kula World offers a excellent gameplay with a amazing technical apure. The game had extreme alterations in your basic way to play, what gives a freshness of novelty, what is always welcome. We have a very huge amount of new mechanics here, everything very well done technically, it's impressive how Alex Cheap imported all the gameplay and systems so well to TR engine. The universal ones that appear in the great part of the levels, are very unique and never seen in any other TRLE. According to how the game progresses, new mechanics are presented, uniques of each world, which enrich the sensation of progress, together with new power ups, that shakes even more the gameplay. Kula World it's a puzzle game constructed in the NGLE, and the levels and puzzles live up to this categorization. The stages in itself are very well structured, being creative, requiring a lot of thinking and a little of strategy to pass, and the difficulty goes increasing gradually. The only criticism that I have is that in the last worlds, you have some discrepancies of difficulty between stages, you pass one extremely hard stage, and the next one or two are extremely easy, which breaks the game flow a little. The reason of why I didn gave a 10 in the gameplay, will be explicit in the next review section. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The game has a mixture of new and already existent objects in Tomb Raider standard levels. Beside the new ones are simple, they match really well with the game's more cartoon and coletaton-ish aspect. But in this sector we have something that can really be a headache for some players, the lara’s alterations. Lara has extremely limited gameplay, with various moves removed, and the jumps having a shorter range. It’s not necessarily a real problem, because these changes needed to be made to fit in the new gameplay structure. But this can be really problematic for people that enter the game without this previous knowing, and even with it, you can really suffer here, dying endlessly in extremily dumb ways by fatal mistakes. It’s very hard to get used to the shorter jumps, and can be a little confusing to understand how the map flip system works. An astute player would catch how this works just in the middle of the 2° world or the start of the 3° one, and remember, an astute player. I think that a more casual player can even catch how these things work, and have a very frustrating experience. It’s not necessarily a mistake, but can be really problematic depending on the type and skillfulness of the player. One real criticism that I have is when you catch some collectibles, they change your direction course a little, which is a symptom of a not so well calculated collision. I saw this happen sometimes, and upset me a little, I believe that in specific situations, it’s possible to cause unfair deaths, don’t happen to me, but I believe that can be possible. The secrets count as collectables, when you catch all the collectibles of a stage, coin as a secret. Their positions are a little strange, some are very well hidden, other are a little more exposed, but need of a extra effort to be catch, and other are in some strange position, like in the entrance of the level, you start the level, jump to the side, and it’s that, you catched the collectable. But still a good challenge catch all of them, together with the secret entrances. Atmosphere, Sounds and Cameras: The game passes a really psychedelic and surrealistic feeling, personally the atmosphere of the entire game remembers so much of Wario World’s bonus stages, not just because of the atmosphere, but the puzzle nature. And the psychely of the game absolutely blasts in the bonus stages, with that colorful animated background, that personally, I don’t have any idea of how Alex made that, it’s absolutely impressive and surreal Every stage, although very simple, has your own personality and ambiance. All this set of elements, remembered me so much of various classic platforming and coletaton games, what gave a little taste of childhood for me… The sounds are very simple, but highlight more the psychedelic and coletaton nature of the game, especially the transition sound effect and the soundtrack. I know that this isn’t a merit of the game specifically, but the soundtrack is neat, with various catchy Electronic pieces, that enhances the surreal feeling. The camera moves are great too, I find the level transition very cool, and the camera spinning at the end of the bonuses is awesome. Lightning and Textures: The textures are in good quality and well dimensioned, highlighted to the great work with the psychedelic backgrounds at the bonuses. The lightning has nothing so special, it’s just to increment to the different worlds. I would say that the lightning game with the invisible and translucent platforms it’s very smart and funny. This level genuinely surprised me and caught my attention so fast. I always was adept of experimentalism in all types of works and products. The technical aspects of this game, mixtured with the psychedelic atmosphere and unique gameplay, created an TRLE game like no other, literally exists nothing like this in the community. I hope that this inspire people to make more levels of the series “Lara at the games”, because was an idea with a giant potential, but poorly explored..." - Kyle Radames (14-Dec-2020)
"Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised at what an engine so old can give, alongside the creativity of builders who put in the time and effort to create something truly unique and remarkable! The energy in this Kula World re-adaptation is so high and fun, that it was such a pleasure to play! The details in the atmosphere, outfits, gameplay, absolutely everything is so meticulously crafted that it has left me blown away. I feel like I have been transported back into the 90's, even though I'm only 25 and have not been old enough to be in those arcade spaces! Well done for such a beautiful gift to us fans, surely a beautiful addition to the hall of fame." - Bashar (27-Oct-2020)
"I came upon this level after seeing early screenshots and discussion on the forum and found it intriguing so here I am. What I liked about the level: 1) TIP: The spinning hourglass item takes away life but also adds life if you wait until your timer is less than half gone and completely refills it if you wait to the last second before grabbing it. This totally saved me during the game, so knowing this early on is very helpful. 2) This level is pure gameplay and something I’ve always craved for in a custom level. 3) The music is fantastic! (Atlantis is my favourite) 4) The catapult pads are SO much fun. 5) The ingenuity of making this crazy upside down world all happen seamlessly as a TRLE level is absolutely brilliant. 6) Loved all the jumping required and all the different ways you can tackle the objectives. 7) No enemies which is always a good thing in my books. 8) I liked how you can avoid the “bad” items by keeping close to the edge of the platforms. 9) I liked how you have to constantly “think” your way through the areas making the navigation a massive puzzle you have to figure out and in 3D no less. What I didn’t like: 1) More of a wishlist but would have liked savepoints at the “in between” levels in the middle and end of each “world” instead of having to replay all 5 to get to the one you want to replay. Or simply being allowed to save wherever like we usually can may have served to reduce frustration I think. Conclusion: WOW!!… talk about jam packed gauntlet type crazy upside down defy all laws of physics type gameplay!! If this sounds like your kind of level, then you’ll love it as much as I did. With some patience and perseverance, suitable for average players." - Lizard Queen (16-Oct-2020)
"Kula World by Alex Chap took a different approach than every TRLE which is replicating the original Kula World from 1998 to the Tr engine. The first thing that Alex should be appreciated is that he successfully managed to implement a 22-year-old game to a 20- year-old engine, it took him 5 or so years (I suppose there were a lot of tears, pressure, and anger because of how TRNG is buggy) and for this reason, I can say that it is creative and innovative. The second thing is that people who didn't play the original game (like myself) can actually experience how the game works and in my opinion this is good. To conclude: Everyone will find this enjoyable, even the people who played the original can dive into the Kula World Lara version. Hopefully, this will make new opportunities to experiment with TRNG and make more levels like this." - Kubsy (12-Oct-2020)
"A very creative level set that in my opinion deserves a lot of praise, since it uses a lot of complex TRNG features and was able to implement a completely different game into the Tomb Raider engine. Just because it was made in TR4, doesn't mean it has to be a TR game - which it is not. If you're interested on trying this game, play it as if it was a random game in a random engine, with no TR connections whatsoever :)" - SrDanielPonces (11-Oct-2020)
"What can I say ... I've been waiting to play this one for a really long time and it did not disappoint . This is a step forward when it comes to creativity and it's truly inspiring to see what can be done with an old engine like that . This is clearly not your traditional Tomb Raider level so I won't even bother to rate it as one . This is on a league of it's own, and it's only fair for me to rate it accordingly for what it represents . I actually got to play a little bit of Kula World back in the day and I really loved the concept . This faithful port to the Tomb Raider engine has been done with a lot of love and dedication . The levels get very challenging as you progress, however, fear not cause the manual has everything you need to know about the game covered . Some of the levels are as in the original game but some are completely new which is also a fun surprise . Overall, if you really want to try something unique, fresh and out of the ordinary then go ahead and play this one . It's absolutely worth it ." - Zuxuna (10-Oct-2020)
"When it comes to extraordinary implementation, creative input and effort, this level definitely deserves 10 points. Alex has taken "Kula World", a PS1 classic from 1998, as a model for this special level and transferred it almost perfectly to the TRLE engine.
First of all: If you don't know the original game, it will be difficult to find your way around here, so you can really speak of a niche product here, but that shouldn't be a bad thing. I know Kula World, so I found my way around very quickly and had fun with this game.
The implementation is very detailed with sounds, music, camera, items and optics in general. There are a total of 50 levels to solve, which become more and more complex and demanding as the number increases. Especially towards the end there are some levels that made me a little bit desperate, caused by the timer that mercilessly ticks down. It can happen that you collect all the keys in a stage 10 times, only to have 20 seconds to find the exit. A few jumps were also irritating, as you have to be very careful where you jump from. If you are too close to the edge, Lara doesn't jump, but simply changes sides.
Despite these problems, this level grabbed me somewhere, probably because I also generally just love puzzle games, so I couldn't put it down and played it through in almost one go (I still recommend taking breaks, the brain will thank you XD). The lighting is a bit flat, which you can especially see on Lara, otherwise a very good technical implementation.
Recommendation for all fans of Kula World and players who are open to something new!" - Mr XY (09-Oct-2020)
"An absolutely unique idea the author had tried some years before with Busby 3D. The game is itself a remake of another ps1 game called Kula World and on a technical point of view this game is hugely impressive for its remarkable features that never before have been seen on a TRLE game. This kind of approach on Tomb Raider should be done more often, more people should create new things instead of rusting themselves in the old classic formula. Look at Super Mario 64 romhack, how impressive some of them are by totally changing the formula they used to have. What to say, impressive! Wolfy Regards." - Wolf7 (08-Oct-2020)
"This game is a masterpiece. I had a lot of fun. The difficulty is progressive and the gameplay is never monotonous because in every level you find something new and you always have to ponder new solutions to progress. I recommend players to read the manual before playing because some items (the hourglass, for example) must be taken using some wisdom. It's not a classic riding but the concept is really brilliant and it is clear that there is a lot of work behind it, and all this work must be rewarded." - Teone (08-Oct-2020)
"Not a classic 4x10, but with creativity being like 20/10. I can't imagine the effort behind it, but for a player it won't matter. What matters is another one of a kind nobody dared build before, and nobody will dare repeat (unless Pedro but he's one of a kind as well). One thing is sure, the first minutes will tell you if it's your cup of tea, and one of two things will follow: you will instantly bin it or stay in the ballpark, so either way you won't be bored. I myself played with varied emotions - from curiosity and revelation, through frustration and exhaustion, to accomplishment and relief. It's like a lightbulb - it has to appear and brighten the world, even if some people can only stand candles." - DJ Full (06-Oct-2020)
"Again this builder brings a level that was clearly made with a lot of care and effort, it's very unique in this sense, honestly unique in all senses, you won't find another level like this. But just like the other levels from this builder, this one as well isn't for everyone. It isn't exactly looking for the Tomb Raider experience of course, but more than that I had a lot of difficulty at playing this game, someone else could elaborate it better, but I don't believe that TR's engine is made for Kudo's World's gameplay, maybe Lara's big movements weren't made for the small space that you'll find yourself in. But well there is no room for error in here, you run a bit too much to the side, you fall, and you have to start the level again. There is too, a time-lapse for every level which may keep you tense while you need to understand your surroundings, which is a difficult task once you realize you can change the gravity of the level, it's a lot of trial and error to find the keys, and go to the exit. I wonder the number of deaths I would've gotten if I had counted them, I would die for the dumbest reasons really, where I simply didn't calculate the angle exactly perfect as it needed to be, or instead of changing gravity I "FEEL OFF" and etc... I don't want to get too emotional about my experience but it was... hell. I wouldn't be surprised with future reviews here that would be very angry about the game, so well be warned, it isn't easy or enjoyful to finish this... Which is honestly a very disappointing thing when you consider the obvious hard work that was put into this; You have extra levels, so many items to catch that all have animations, and the cute outfits that resembles the original game's ball (u know cuz Lara is the ball) I don't know if the puzzles are directly taken from the game, but they alone are nice. Lighting is flat but that's creator's choice to resemble the original game. And well... it wasn't really fun to play this since I died all the time but, the effort is appreciated." - HaniHeger (06-Oct-2020)