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The last Saga: Level 1 - Temko Mines by Tomo

DJ Full 9 9 10 9
Jason L 7 6 7 6
JesseG 7 9 9 9
manarch2 6 8 9 8
Phil 8 8 9 8
Ryan 8 8 9 8
Samu 9 10 10 10
tuxraider 7 7 8 8
release date: 03-Oct-2021
# of downloads: 168

average rating: 8.22
review count: 8
review this level

file size: 303.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

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Reviewer's comments
"An unusual combo of TR4 mechanics with TR3 minecart and TR1 saving. Quite strong with visual FX, very good with soundtrack and remarkable for cutscenes. As for secrets, I found 0/4 and I don't remember such thing happen for quite long. When I eventually planted both fuses and felt like I'm about to unfold something big, the level unexpectedly ended. Still, it was very good for as long as it lasted." - DJ Full (12-May-2023)
"This is a short but good level in most aspects - except I think the savegame system was a serious mistake. The game starts with some sort of training level (where you have to use a couple of custom moves), and I have to say it was frustrating at this point. When the main level begins, it stays a big bother until you find the first save crystal. In my opinion, the savegame system remains an annoyance for the rest of the level. It only makes things more frustrating, and I simply couldn't warm up to it. Replaying parts again and again just because the last checkpoint or savegame is so far away. But again, other than that it's a level with great gameplay and atmosphere. Whether you can deal with the savegame system you have to know yourself, I'm not lowering the score because of it. (My scoring scale is just different from most reviewers.)" - tuxraider (08-Oct-2022)
"... and here it is, 18 years after the previous, and despite some minor or larger annoyances the builder certainly delivered in many regards. First of all, the atmopshere is really great, very eerie as you get deeper in the mines and find out what's happening there. Camera and sound work are excellent. The lighting helps the atmopshere a lot, even if it's actually too dark for the gameplay at times. The mine ride is the major gameplay element in this game, and it is indeed a rather fun affair to see it working rather flawlessly. On the other hand, the limited number of save crystals make the (even more gloomy) start rather annoying, especially when you're confronted with a booby trap and a not very easy new move (that otherwise is great). If the normal saving doesn't work here, just add more crystals because this took more time than it should take. I was also not a fan of those 'secrets' because they actually do not help but rather punish players, and you cannot exactly call them 'hidden'. It was all over after just 35 minutes of net gametime, much more in real due to the saving issues, but still worth to play for some really memorable parts. I really hope that the builder's next game will not take so long to finish..." - manarch2 (05-Nov-2021)
"A set of two levels, one is a short training level and the other is the meat of the game, taking place in a Siberian mining area. Let's talk about the save system first. It's a bit bizzare because there are two different ways the game saves, one of which is automatic checkpoints (which you reload by pressing F7) and the other is stationary save crystals like the PS version of TR1. I'm not going to complain that you can't save whenever, but I would have much preferred if everything was just the save crystals, because you can use those as many times as you want. The automatic checkpoints only happen once, which means if you missed an item before reaching a checkpoint then you'll have to backtrack after each reload, which is bad because it takes a while to get to the first save crystal. Moving on, Lara will spend most of her time climbing about as she collects + reuses fuses, overcomes a timed run and shoots down some beasts in her way. There's also an interesting little chase sequence where Lara has to run away from the camera. One thing I didn't like was the "gotcha switch" which kills you if you power it up with electricity first(??). The visuals are impressive, especially the lighting, although it was a little too dark in some places. The adventure has a strong sense of atmosphere and I look forward to see what comes next. 1 hour 6 minutes." - JesseG (19-Oct-2021)
"A long-awaited return for this builder, and his latest offering in this popular series is unfortunately a bit of a step back from the magnum opus of the fourth installment. It's still an enjoyable experience, but with a couple of choices that might rub players up the wrong way. The save crystals aren't actually too much of an annoyance and having them double as secrets was a nice touch, but a few manoeuvres might prove a little challenging for some players who aren't prepared for this sort of tactic, and the FMVs were more of an interruption than a storyline aid this time around, especially when you're actually forced to react quickly in one particular sequence. The surroundings are also a tad gloomy, but nothing too bad. The atmosphere is excellent, however, and the use of the classic TR music choices were a big plus on the nostalgia side of things, as were the mine carts." - Ryan (08-Oct-2021)
"I was positively surprised to see that “the last Saga” series is being continued after many years of silence. Back in the days, Tomo amazed everybody with his technical skills and incorporated plenty of features to his levels that nobody could have dreamed of. Once again, Tomo is showcasing lots of exceptional stuff including the minecart vehicle, which functions exactly as in TR3. Storytelling is done also extremely well with some of the most skillfully created cutscenes that I have come across. I found it quite amazing that the characters have moving lips like in official TR4 and TR5, which I haven’t seen in other custom levels as far as I can recall. It was also very surprising to see in the short training level that when you look towards the sun, the brightness of the screen increases mimicking sun dazzle. Besides all the cool features, this level is also an artistic masterpiece in my eyes. The outdoor area with snow, blizzard effect, blinking lights and the wind sounds was deeply atmospheric. Moreover, the caves with glowing lava, crystals, and beautifully used colors didn’t look any worse. After all this praise, you might wonder, why have I not given four tens for this game? While the level is amazingly fun, the uniqueness of gameplay relies quite heavily on the minecart vehicle. Rest of the game involves for the most part platforming tasks that utilize three different ledge jump animations, one timed run, few basic pushblock puzzles, and quests for some items. All of this kept me entertained but, nevertheless, I was expecting just a little bit more stuff gameplaywise for the max scores. Lastly, I want to mention that this level uses checkpoints and saving crystals as a method for saving your game. I know that a lot of people would much rather see the regular saving method, and I was also sceptical about the saving crystals at first. However, checkpoints and saving crystals are distributed frequently and, therefore, they weren’t a problem for me. I actually found them refreshing, since they add a nice challenge and force you to plan your moves more carefully beforehand without making things too difficult. To conclude, this is an exceptional game in many ways, and the worst part of it was that it ended too soon. Once “the last Saga” series is finished, it would be cool if this level and the forthcoming levels could be played as a single multi-level game." - Samu (08-Oct-2021)
"It took the builder more than 18 years to add an installment to his highly acclaimed series, and to say that I was underwhelmed by his latest effort would be an understatement, at least in the early going. The player is subjected to a lengthy, and in my opinion a totally unnecessary background story FMV, followed by an obligatory practice session that makes use of the new moves, moves that are quite adequately explained by the accompanying on-screen instructions. Then, when the "real" level actually starts, you can't save for an awfully long time, and I had to repeat the opening sequences more times than I could count. After that things started becoming more interesting. Along the way you'll trigger checkpoints to complement those floating blue things that serve both as save crystals and secrets. You can use the crystals more than once to save your game, which I found to be a convenient feature. The stints on the mine cart were quite refreshing, as you don't get to enjoy those in TR4 levels very often. An invigorating timed run makes use of the new "lateral side jump" move, but it's fair to the player. Many of the areas you'll traverse are quite dark, but the builder has provided ample flares. You end the level near the spot where you begin it, and when all was said and done the bad taste in my mouth from the early sore spots I've mentioned had mostly gone away. This is a raid that's much different from those you've experienced in the past, and many players will be turned off by the features that turned me off, but on the whole I found it to be enjoyable and challenging to play." - Phil (07-Oct-2021)
"I'll start saying that I was really expecting more from such a TRLE veteran... First I see is the default TRIV font text... Not really an issue, but seeing thise kinda things in 2021 makes me feel TRLE hasn't evolved a thing (which is not) The intro is almost memorable with some impressive animations, but ruined by messy lighting/poor design of Croft Manor... When the game starts we need to play a tutorial for learning some new animations that took me a long time to get into it... Then we'll go to Tekmo Mines, a better looking place that I really enjoyed; the gameplay got my eyes on and that cutscene where the aliens find Lara was so cool! Not the best comeback, but the potential is still there." - Jason L (07-Oct-2021)