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TR Advent Calendar 2022 - A Very Classic Christmas by AgentXP

Benjamooky 9 9 10 10
billie2001 10 10 10 9
BlackWolfTR 10 10 10 10
CalrOsario 8 9 9 8
ddaring_dash 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Feats 10 10 10 10
Jay 10 10 9 9
JesseG 10 10 10 8
John 10 10 8 8
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Lady_Wise 10 10 10 10
Leoc1995 8 9 9 8
manarch2 7 8 9 8
Phil 10 10 9 9
Ryan 10 9 10 10
TheJuuuuJuuuu 10 10 10 8
 
release date: 03-Dec-2022
# of downloads: 558

average rating: 9.44
review count: 17
 
review this level

file size: 89.00 MB
file type: TR2
class: Xmas
 


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Reviewer's comments
"I’m not so much a fan of anything before TR4 these days because the undoubted nostalgia factor doesn’t always compensate for the ‘clunky’ aspect of the earlier games. I was therefore undecided about playing this. Then I asked myself if I was really about to miss a level from one of my favourite builders? Absolutely not, what is this madness! So basically even if you’re not a big TR2 fan anymore either, I really would urge you to play this one. As Agent XP is at pains to point out, this is far from a peaceful level, in fact the boss ending to the first section is a bit of a bloodbath, but you should have a pretty generous arsenal in your backpack by then. Other than the occasional massacre, the Christmas settings are lovely and finding Santa and his lost presents certainly ramps up the Christmas spirit. The normal TR2 secret dragons have morphed into sweets, which is also rather appropriate, and all in all Bartoli’s horrible henchmen don’t manage to dampen the fun. Being split into several sections, you do get to experience a nice variety of environments, not to mention a change of enemy – yetis. At least they aren’t nearly as tough as the henchmen. Good mix of action, puzzles and (generously) timed elements. Highly recommended." - Jay (25-Jan-2023)
"I played this TR2 and I have to admit that it has an incredible charm. The Gameplay is engaging and the story is good as well ! Loved the graphics ! 2 hours and found all (9) secrets! If you like TR2 you should play this one!" - CalrOsario (12-Jan-2023)
"What a wonderful festive adventure and to my knowledge, the first TR2 type Advent offering. I will admit that the nostalgia factor has worn off a bit since I last played the original game, but this is nonetheless a cracking good raid that ranks right up there with the best festive releases. The surroundings are crafted and textured to perfection, the atmosphere both pleasant and suitably tense when it needs to be and the gameplay enthralling throughout, nicely mixing up the usual raiding ingredients: namely exploration, timed runs, block puzzles, trigger tile sequences and this time plenty of engaging combat (maybe the yetis were a tad on the annoying side to take down), interspersed with enough supplies and weaponry for a level playing field. Liked the secrets too. Excellent raiding all round." - Ryan (24-Dec-2022)
"I had so much fun playing and writing a walkthrough that at times I forgot I was playing a TR2 game. I'll never be able to award top marks in the last two rating categories for releases using this engine, on general principles, but in all other respects this is a top- notch effort worthy of Hall of Fame honors. The builder provides ample tools for equipping the player, which is a good thing because some of the enemies can kill you rather quickly. At least there were no flameblower guys in sight. The snowmobile gets an extensive workout, and you even have a spare one available just in case. The six levels fit together rather seamlessly, as they're intended to be, and the gameplay is sufficiently taxing to keep even expert players on their toes. A much-appreciated Christmas present for the raiding community." - Phil (23-Dec-2022)
"If you're after a healthy slice of Christmas TRLE goodness, then you can't go wrong with this level set by Agent! The Gameplay is engaging throughout with a solid story sprinkled with humour and as always with Agent's levels it looks and sounds amazing! Get this played already!" - Feats (19-Dec-2022)
"A complete Xmas game in TR 2 is certainly something special, with very cutely designed objects and well used textures and most of all a great storyline that glues everything together. On the other hand the gameplay was not always my cup of tea, it is not heavily based on puzzles and platforming is also rather easy, most of the time is solid but slightly repetitive exploration. In the first level I found a larger shortcut - you could just jump over the fire in the bouncing pad hall and avoid all the other tasks there. The snowmobile was also underused until you had to 'enter' the mansion with it ... that was fairly great! I also liked the quintuple timed run, but it was very easy. Visually there's little to fault and I liked how cutscenes and fixed cameras are used. Overall, a fun 75 minute raid that could've been some more intense at points. Found all 9 mostly easy secrets." - manarch2 (19-Dec-2022)
"What a fun, cozy level set! I spent 2 hrs and 45 mins on this one and managed to find 5/9 secrets (which, by the way, I loved the design of!) There's not too much more for me to add that hasn't already been said - the three levels here have been very well designed and are about as beautiful as TR2 gets. It is not particularly challenging (the hardest part for me was not getting lost in the first level), but that doesn't mean there isn't a good bit of fun to be had here. All in all, a nice romp to help get you in the Christmas spirit. :) Oh! And since this is a Christmas level, I'd like to put something on my list: A long (10+ levels) adventure from the handful of builders who absolutely killed it with the TR2 engine this past year. Maybe Santa will see my request and deliver sometime in 2023? One can only hope... :D" - Benjamooky (18-Dec-2022)
"What a treat! This year's Christmas headliner by AgentXP is an adventure consisting of three medium-sized levels and some shorter cutscene levels. A fun story, clever puzzles, interesting but not too difficult jumping sequences and many well-hidden secrets all result in a very accessible custom map. It's beautiful with a tight atmosphere and very fun to play. The only minor issue(s) I found were some weirdly lit objects and minor camera problems. Definitely recommended!" - TheJuuuuJuuuu (15-Dec-2022)
"AgentXP found a way to craft a level that's simultaneously a good TR2 adventure and a Christmas level, and did it to perfection. The first part was a bit more puzzling, but from then on it all went more smoothly, notwithstanding the large number of enemies found along the way, including yetis, but there's enough ammo and medipacks to deal with all those meanies. I also enjoyed riding the snowbike. As it is, I found it pretty enticing, and I do recommend it. Not your usual Christmas level? Perhaps not exactly. But it's got all the necessary ingredients." - Jorge22 (14-Dec-2022)
"If you've played any of these annual Christmas levels before, you have an idea of what to expect here: an elaborate village decked out in holiday decorations, charming cutscenes, and a threat to the holiday season that Lara must resolve. There is one major difference, however - this time around there is a much stronger focus on gun fighting, which is not a bad choice for the TR2 engine, as I find it to have the most engaging combat. This also makes the exploration more rewarding, as the various weapons and ammo are tucked away in all sorts of places in this town. Lara gets ganged up on quite a few times, but thankfully these levels are generous with medpacks and I did not run dry. After running the goons out of town and unlocking the entry gate, Lara takes a snowmobile into the mountains (watch out for all those boulders!) and has a nice hunt for 8 presents in the valley. She also briefly reclaims her Tomb Raider title by exploring some roman ruins, which mainly serve as a fun timed sequence to test your dexterity, as well as a combat arena against yetis. It's probably the most challenging Christmas level I've played in a while, and I had a jolly good time. 2 hours 44 minutes." - JesseG (13-Dec-2022)
"Adorable Christmas level! First of all I liked the humor, the breaking of the 4th wall and the unique situations and settings (Especially Roman ruins). Sometimes the level becomes difficult in terms of the number of enemies, but there are a lot of medipacks - the main thing is to have time to use them. Excellent level! Thank you!" - ddaring_dash (11-Dec-2022)
"Wow! what a fun festive Christmas adventure! Actually this has to be one of the best levels I've ever played when it comes to gameplay and enjoyment. Starting off in great atmosphere: a snowy night time Italian village! making your way through buildings, gardens, rooftops and sewers before ending up in the icy wilderness and underground caves on your quest to find santa's presents and return them to him. The variety of different locations and settings to explore in combined with the variety in gameplay made this level near perfect for me as the author has put a lot of work into making this level a fun and engaging adventure, featuring enjoyable platforming and exploring, scary enemy attacks, timed runs and nasty jump scare traps. My personal highlights were exploring the village, trying to find all the presents, the snow mobile tasks and traps, the roman numeral timed tile task and of course the spring board! great fun and a must play for everyone!" - John (11-Dec-2022)
"Another fantastic level from Agent- had the privilege of beta testing this level. Great all rounder with the christmassy feel. Will comical humour,great puzzles,textured beautifully with great lighting. Great fun to play." - Lady_Wise (09-Dec-2022)
"I really enjoyed immensely this Very Classic Christmas level. Very classic and classy. :) Nice retro decoration in the village and superb atmosphere through all three levels, each one offering a different environment. Texturing is perfect, lighting also, although there were some oddly too bright spots here and there, not too many. A low-stress adventure that I recommend heartily to raiders of all skills." - billie2001 (09-Dec-2022)
"A great surprise from AgentXP on this year's advent calendar. It's the author's first try on a different engine than TR4, and it's clearly one of the best TR2 levels out here. The game consists of three long levels and two shorter levels with cutscenes. We'll come to explore a small city, caves, and some foothills. The areas are big; there is a lot to explore. Despite being a Christmas level, combat is involved. There are several puzzles as well as some well-executed ideas. We even have a chance to ride a snowmobile. Design-wise, it's phenomenal. The areas are filled with lots of decorations, which make every location feel very alive. The texture placement is high quality, with huge diversity. Some textures seem to be more saturated, which makes the level more colourful. The lighting is very good as well, without major hiccups. The above mentioned things create a really lovely and cozy atmosphere. A thing I want to complain about is that numerous objects are too bright (too bright tint) and it bothers the eyes sometimes. Some doors don't have sound as well. All in all, it's another very high-quality level from this author, this time with a different approach - on the TR2 engine. It's surely one of the best levels of the engine, demonstrating how much can be done in pre- TR4 engines. Did I mention it's also the first xmas level of this engine? I can definitely recommend it :)" - BlackWolfTR (07-Dec-2022)
"I think this is a level for everyone, as bits of everything lie on Lara's way to help Santa, while nothing drags for too long maaaybe except from the initial pushblock (but you will always complain about them if you're me). Good choice to invest spare two hours here." - DJ Full (07-Dec-2022)
"The limitations of the original TR2 have always been an obstacle for more builders to venture into creating levels with this engine. Fortunately, the improvements coming from Tomb2Main have encouraged more and more authors, and in this case a prominent author in the TR4 engine makes her "debut" in TR2. In general, even for those who already have experience with a certain engine, it can be considered a challenge to try "something new", and the credits show that other builders helped with AgentXP's doubts and his "learning" of a new engine. I cannot treat it the same way as a "debut" due to the quality and reference that this builder has in the community. Here I don't intend to "teach the priest how to say the mass", far from it. Just point out some elements that I understand could have been worked on differently and that for some reason the author was unable to "fine tune the details" when polishing the level. But anyway, after this introduction, let's get to the point. First, I start with a statement: the level is great, with very good exploration and platforming, and highlight for the decoration and texturing of the maps, all in the same quality as the previous levels of this builder. Jumping between the roofs, entering through the windows and exploring every corner was a lot of fun, being almost a TR2 version of this author's CAC. In comparison, I found this level's map more diverse, making me less lost during exploration (getting lost is normal, as it's part of my "skills" as a player XD). The author's ability to build exuberant and well-detailed maps is undeniable. Although I got lost in some few moments of the first level, in the end I managed to get used to the map and find the objectives (which generally consisted of the simple search for levers and keys to open doors and move forward, while facing enemies and explores from a well-crafted platforming). Continuing with the "gameplay and puzzles" aspect, I emphasize that previously mentioned point, because although there is a variation in the gameplay, the puzzles were a point that the level missed a bit and that could have one or two more puzzles in my opinion. I understand that creating puzzles is an arduous task in the TR2 engine, but even some puzzle with "jumping tiles" or “positioning moveables" would already be an addition to diversify the gameplay. The closest thing to that was a timed-run where Lara had to press 5 switches in the correct sequence, but perhaps one or two different puzzles could have been inserted to further increase the quality of this set. Maybe because it belongs to Advent Calendar the author had a deadline and didn't have enough time to investigate this "new engine" further. Well, I don't really know how Advent Calendar works, I'm a layman about it, so these are just questions and assumptions I make. But yes, puzzles I consider the "less strong" point of the set. Speaking of "set", this TRLE consists of five levels, the first being the longest (it took me 1 hour and 20 minutes to finish), some of them transitional (between 3-5 minutes) and the other two short levels (20 minutes). The addition of cutscenes and dialogues in a TR2 was very well done, being something that was already foreseen that would happen in levels of this engine. Enemies don't vary much between levels, but they were in good quantity, although their positioning on the map could be different, since I saw that two or three "spawned" near me (Yetis for example) or because I did the "reverse path" than the author planned. The atmosphere, decoration and texturing of the map are very good, maybe one of the best I've seen this year. Even with TR2Main's expansions, it's amazing that the engine has supported so much detail and object diversity. I congratulate the author for achieving this without crashes or bugs, as I understand that it’s a difficult task. General lighting is good, but there are some spots that would need a bit more polish. In some parts, Lara was too bright under the white bulbs, something cool, but unnatural in some aspects. Furthermore, some (few) "transitions between rooms" ended up with distinct lighting and therefore an abrupt transition, something that was common in levels created with Dxtre3d, and which is even strange for a level created in TE (perhaps due to the use of sun bulbs?). As for the songs used, I can say they follow the classic logic and are suitable for the level, being used at the right times. In summary: an excellent level of "debut" in the TR2 engine by this author, with a lot of quality in the exploration/platforming and in the detailing of textures and decorations, but which has some "small" (I emphasize the term "small") flaws regarding to puzzles, enemy positions and lighting. Nothing that harms the quality of the level, but I think it's important to point out my opinion to the author and to other builders who are reading this review and are looking to build on the TR2 engine. A fun level and highly recommended to play during the month of December and to enjoy the Christmas season. Always enjoyable to play this builder's levels and happy to see renowned authors on the TR4 engine venture into the classic trilogy. I finished in 2 hours and 10 minutes, with only one secret. My rating is 8/9/9/8." - Leoc1995 (07-Dec-2022)