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The Maria Doria Adventure by Masked Goon

BlackWolfTR 9 10 10 9
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
JesseG 8 9 9 8
Jorge22 9 9 9 7
Leoc1995 8 9 10 9
manarch2 5 7 9 8
Mman 9 9 9 8
nerdfury 7 8 10 8
Phil 9 8 8 7
Ryan 8 9 9 7
Saki Croft 9 9 9 9
Torry 10 10 10 9
 
release date: 04-May-2022
# of downloads: 278

average rating: 8.69
review count: 12
 
review this level

file size: 130.00 MB
file type: TR2
class: Ship
 


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Reviewer's comments
"While it could be treated as just a similar level concept, the description poses this a straight up remake of the author's previous release. Either way, it's bigger and better than the previous release in every way, with further refinement of the Maria Dora theme and more varied and interesting environments. The general complaint that it's on the dark side isn't wrong here though, although there are a decent amount of flares at least. Outside the slight overuse of darkness there's little else wrong though.
As with the visuals, the gameplay builds on the original release in every way, with more elaborate, challenging and varied gameplay, along with a little less linearity (although it's still mostly quite straightforward in general progression). The backtracking at the platforming near the start can get heavy if you fall off, and one or two more shortcuts there would have been nice, but, outside of that, there's a nice progression that also improves on the original. The areas that are overtly remakes of areas from the original show the evolution between the two levels, especially the pool area, which comes back with more elaborate design that makes use of the space. A good take on the theme and a nice evolution from the author's debut." - Mman (01-Jul-2023)
"This one is the best TR2 ship themed level up to date. The flow of gameplay is done in a very good way and it adds immersion. At first we explore some dark caves and slowly through some machinery rooms we're getting inside the habitable parts of ship. I really liked it, it creates feeling of mysteriousness. As befits these underwater levels there is a lot of water and swimming. We will have some platforming in rocky caves and in ship as well. The level ended with a large satysfying fight with thugs. The only thing I missed are puzzles. The level lacks them. The rooms are diverse and creative. Some of them really look impressive. I love the use of windows to show us the flooded parts of caves. Usage of textures is very good. The only minor issue that I found were magenta strips on some of them. As about the lighting; the level is very dark but I don't think it's a problem. The darkness really improved the atmosphere and set good immersion. However few of the bigger areas are quite too dark so it breaks that effect of their spectacularness in my opinion. All in all as I said it's the best TR2 ship themed level up to date with clever gameplay design and great atmosphere and immersion. I can definitely recommend it! :)" - BlackWolfTR (12-Aug-2022)
"The darkness in this otherwise well-made and enjoyable level is really a bit of a downer, but the previous reviewers have already voiced their thoughts more eloquently than I ever could so I can't really add much on that score. Suffice to say it does get rather overbearing at times though. Plenty of flares may be provided, but in this case it became very repetitive to light flare after flare every couple of minutes. Apart from that negative, this TR2 shipwreck jaunt was a worthwhile experience. The environments are well put together aside from the visibility issues, the atmosphere is impressively nostalgic and the way that you can peek into soon to be or previously visited areas via windows is a really neat touch. Combat via the TR2 engine is enjoyable and action-packed as always, with just the right balance between enemies and supplies. Not bad at all." - Ryan (08-Aug-2022)
"This is a well-constructed level, but it's not much fun to play because of the oppressive darkness which has already been noted by more than a few of the previous reviewers. I'm as much a fan of atmosphere as the next guy, and I can't complain about the lack of available flares, but c'mon, man (as our current president might say). What's the point? If a builder believes that copious flares atone for a dismally dark playing environment, he's deluded about many other things as well. Just give us enough ambient light that we can see what's going on around us, that's all I ask. The most maddening example in this particular game was having to choose between lighting a flare in order to see an approaching frogman, and then trying to target him with the harpoon gun in pitch blackness. You get my point, so I'll move on. The gameplay here basically revolves around finding a key that opens a door to some new area, where you find another key to open a door to another area, and so on. That's an observation, not a complaint, because things unfold quite nicely as the game progresses. I found the underwater exercises to be the most challenging, because it's easy to lose your bearings and drown before you can find and reach an air source. Plenty of pickups are made available along the way, which became crucial at the end when picking up the final artifact triggered a horde of enemies. If you're into TR2 levels, this isn't a bad one to pick." - Phil (02-Aug-2022)
"Omg that jade secret, aaarrghghgsubrblblblbghhhfff.... Good level though, one of my top (or bottom, heheheh) ship levels. Ship happens, as they say. Very satisfying design, and yes - DESIGN not "build" as it usually is. Good gameplay, a bit dark scenery but compensated with double flare pickups. It's like if every polygon and pickup matters here. Not much to complain. Recommended." - DJ Full (15-Jul-2022)
"Lara explores a shipwreck for the Tibetan Skull in this level. The beginning was a little bit of a turn-off due to platforming maneuvers needed to be repeated several times, but once I got inside the ship the progression was smooth. There are some traps to dodge, as well as a timed run, but the main thrust of the action lies with the combat. That's not a bad choice for a TR2 level, even if it does prevent the gameplay from feeling well-balanced. The waves of enemies get progressively more intense during the adventure, ending with an all-out brawl for an exciting finale. I only wish there was a bit more harpoon ammo for all of those underwater beasts. The area looks nice as well, with good use of textures and some interesting architecture in each area of the ship. The lighting gets pretty dark, thankfully a good number of flares are ready to be found. Overall a pretty challenging yet enjoyable level." - JesseG (23-May-2022)
"I remember that when I played this author's debut I liked it a lot, and it was a very well done MariaDoria-style level. In this second level, which apparently is a remake, the quality remains high and with improvements compared to the previous one. A game focused on exploration and combat, where the atmosphere and structure of the wreck is very well done, being in my opinion the best MariaDoria adaptation in the TR2 engine. Although there are criticisms for the lack of lighting in previous reviews, I believe that shipwrecks don't have a "sun" of their own, and the fact that the level have a lot of flares doesn't make things difficult (unless the player doesn't have much sense of exploration, but that way shouldn't play TombRaider in my opinion 😛 😛 ). Maybe in some little main parts of the ship the rooms could be a little brighter, but as I said it was not a problem for me, so its okay for a shipwreck. Some textures were stretched, and in my perfectionism would be mentioned as a minor flaw, but even classic TR2 features a plethora of textures like that. In terms of gameplay, I missed a moment in the middle of the level that had a more sophisticated puzzle, as shipwreck environments allow the authors to have ideas for puzzles, but I understand the author's choice to focus on exploration, which is a quality of the level. In general, an excellent level focused in exploration and what I consider the best MariaDoria adaptation in the TR2 engine. Waiting for more levels from this promising author. Keep up the good work. I finished it in 1 hour and 4 minutes, finding 1 secret. My rating is 8/9/10/9." - Leoc1995 (19-May-2022)
"I don't think I've ever seen any level this dark, at least not one that I played to the end. And voilà, that's my main gripe. What an exaggeration, perhaps for the sake of realism in an unreal world, but there you go... Apart from that, although I have a confession to make that I was basically a bit put down until say, the middle of the game, but the final part, once you get into the spirit of it, clearly made up for it. I found the level quite well designed if I always kept my flares lit. Aren't there any puzzles? Not really, but come on, it's TR2. Are there many dangerously placed baddies, from the fish and divers to all those square-ish guys, notwithstanding traps that act like baddies (sand bags falling from the ceiling)? Sure indeed, and it's TR2. Is there a rather threatening lack of medipacks at some point in the game? Gosh, yes. Is there some interesting platforming, namely in the chandeliers room, as well as in the theatre? Yes. Is there a little too much swimming? Well, it's a sunken ship, and that's debatable. Perhaps, especially because of the darkness all around. Can you easily play it without ever looking at/watching the walkthrough? Hmm, no, not easily. Does it make sense and was it thrilling, all things considered? Yes. It's just the darkness, really. Other than that, recommended." - Jorge22 (17-May-2022)
"(7) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is a medium difficulty adventure that took me a little over an hour. The platforming is easy, however, there aren't many medipacks and there's a fair bit of combat, which is why I am choosing "medium". Firstly, the good stuff: the exploration is very intriguing and I never grew bored. I always wanted to press on further into the next room. The gameplay flow makes sense and I never felt disoriented regarding my objectives. Plus, I had plenty of warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. Stuff that I think can be improved: There are no puzzles. I would like to see more gameplay tasks that don't utilize dim lighting as a hurdle. For example, above the theatre, there is some platforming to do. If the theatre wasn't so damn dark, the platforming here would be very, very straight-forward. (8) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The sea creature and goon enemy encounters are great fun. I think that the combat is one of the strongest aspects of the game. The final fight encounter in the library is good, although I think it would have been more thrilling with a flamethrower guy or two. I only encountered one of these guys, in the ballroom, and I think that the tight quarters of the library is a great place for the player to strategically position themselves to avoid the flamethrower(s). The object decor is very attractive and another very strong aspect of the game. I do think the trap setups aren't that memorable (just a few shattered glass tiles and falling sandbags). (10) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The architecture/environmental immersion is excellent, as is the room connectivity and organic cavern formations. I really like that oftentimes, when you peek out of a window, you're looking at a place you haven't been to yet. The soundwork and camera hints are very well done. (8) Lighting & Textures: Generally, the level looks polished, professional, and lovely. I did spot a number of misshapen textures on triangular skinny tiles, but it's not jarring. Something to consider is more player-friendliness in terms of lighting. I know that logically a sunken ship would be dark, however in this case perhaps the underwater caverns could have been more brightly-lit. This serves as a breather for the player from lighting flares over and over, giving them a break from all of the darkness. In other words, striking more of a balance between realistic lighting and player-friendly lighting. In the early stages of the game, there is a goon who drops 2 packs of flares, near some crates and a submarine. This area is totally optional and has nothing to do with the main path. If the player doesn't go to this area and collect these 2 packs of flares, they may not have a generous amount to work with. Overall, this is a good, exploration-heavy adventure. I think that if the builder includes interesting puzzles/problem-solving in their next adventure, it will be a superb one indeed. 7/8/10/8." - nerdfury (14-May-2022)
"While I wasn't too aware of the fact this is a remake of the builder's debut, I must say that most things are reworked here and this effort is more mature than the previous. The atmosphere is really spot on here and the overall design is great, supported by moody (if rather dark) lighting and very solid textures. The darkness of the whole thing is a bit of a downer for the gameplay as you have to light flare after flare and a few brighter areas where you can admire the design would've been great. Gameplay is not totally unenjoyable but IMO there were too many underwater sequences that were not that inspired and a few more interesting traps or puzzles with a twist had spiced the whole thing up some more and made it less dull. Anyway a very nice experience due to the looks and with some more work in gameplay this builder might be able to get one of the better TR 2 designers. Found three decent secrets in 40 minutes." - manarch2 (08-May-2022)
"I really loved this level, it was beautiful how the Maria Doria was 'restructured' and I really like this new version, with new areas and places to explore for reaching the artifact, the Tibetan Skull! I really like the Secrets, old but gold and typical of TR2, and they are fun to discover! Really well hidden! Since I'm a walkthrough maker I'd like to explor and collect everything in every level, from pickups, key items and secrets! The gameplay too it's the same as TR2, and it's really beautiful because if you are a nostalgic player of the classic one I strongly suggest you to play this game! Plus, the atmosphere it's really good, so immersive, with all this darkness into a sunken ship, I was scared that I could jump into strange monsters underwater! Even though the game it's so dark, fortunately the builder provided a lot of flares, which is really nice. As always I've done the 100% complete video walkthrough with the time stamps/shortcut into the infobox! Feel free to check it as a guide 🤗 Still thanks to the builder for creating such an amazing custom level 😍" - Saki Croft (07-May-2022)
"I wish I could give this a perfect score but it was just too damn dark. Yes, plenty of flares are provided but it is such a pain to constantly stop to light one so I took one point off. Other than that I loved this level. There just are not too many Maria Doria type levels out there so I cherish each and every one that comes out. There are texture fade outs here as well but that is more the TR2 engine than the design or textures used. This took me just short of two hours and I only got stuck once looking for the winch mechanism receptacle and that was due to the darkness as I must have walked passed it two or three times before I finally saw it. Only found two secrets." - Torry (06-May-2022)