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The Scroll of Cagliostro by Sheepy Cyanide

eRIC 7 8 8 7
Jose 5 6 7 6
nerdfury 7 8 6 5
Ryan 7 7 7 7
tuxraider 7 7 7 6
 
release date: 14-Jan-2024
# of downloads: 707

average rating: 6.75
review count: 5
 
review this level

file size: 491.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: City
 


author profile(s):
email(s):
sheepycyanide@protonmail.com

Reviewer's comments
"(7) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is a challenging adventure that took me about 3.5 hours. Level 1 is very simple and straightforward, and not very memorable. Levels 2, 3 and 4 however, are memorable, exploration-heavy levels. At times, I very much enjoyed discovering new areas in these later levels, and seeing how everything ties together. At other times, I was frustrated at the amount of bloated, repetitive tasks -- running back and forth, flipping a ridiculous amount of switches to open doors. A couple of specific gameplay points: a) In level 2, there are 4 masonic keys each associated with a masonic door. In most cases, the key is found near the associated switch for the door. However in one case, the key is not near the door switch, which will result in plenty of running around in circles by the player if they miss an opening underwater. b) There's a maze at the end of the game, which I find questionable given the player's fatigue at this point. No real puzzles, unfortunately, although there are some pushblock tasks and a trial-and- error 3 switch task. The difficulty is currently rated Medium which I disagree with -- while there is no tricky platforming, medipacks are limited, and exploration in level 2 is especially tough if you don't follow a walkthrough.
(8) Enemies, Objects & Secrets:This category is done well. There aren't a lot of medipacks, so combat with the many thugs kept me on my toes. I question the inclusion of super easy rats in the later levels, but it's not a big deal. You can tell that the builder put in great effort and care with object decor, and this is one of the strongest aspects of the game. A final boss fight would have been a good climax (as opposed to that maze). It's silly that the final secret in the game has ammo, yet there are no enemies at this point.
Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The somewhat spooky atmosphere in levels 2 to 4 is one of the strongest aspects of the game, alongside object decor. There's a checkerboard area in level 2 that is excellent in terms of atmosphere. The background ambience is fitting, although it's weird when there's another music cue playing on top of the background ambience. Some areas are lacking in atmosphere due to the builder's overuse of crates to "fill out" a room. A couple of crate areas seems feasible (I'm sure the Freemasons need storage rooms for all of their furniture), however the builder really does go overboard with crates. Cameras are a mixed bag. The builder includes many camera angle changes which add to the spooky atmosphere. That's great. However, something for the builder to keep in mind is player fatigue, especially later in level 2, as there are so many doors to open. The player will see a camera shot of a door opening, but it's not clear which door it is. There are also 2 specific camera issues I wanted to mention: a) after you use the 4th masonic key near the end of level 2, there is no camera showing the opened door, so the player will be running around in circles unless they use the walkthrough. b) In level 3, when you use a masonic key, a camera shows a door opening nearby, but this is not helpful, as 2 other doors are also opened that are not nearby -- the USA and France doors. Finally for this section, PLEASE use sound cues or on-screen text timers for timed runs. The builder includes many timed runs among their many many door switches, and it's not clear what is timed and what is not.
(5) Lighting & Textures: This category is wildly inconsistent. There are some very visually stunning areas, such as the huge hall in level 2 and above the maze in level 4. But there's also so much that needs more care: many misshapen textures; pitch black lighting blobs, either in the environment or on Lara; areas with very bright lighting but no feasible light sources; underwater cracks, etc.. The lighting quality is distinctly different depending on if you're in a "main" room or just a side area. In side areas, there often is no shading applied at all.
Overall, I have strong mixed feelings. The builder clearly has great talent for building an eerie, immersive world that is intriguing for the player to explore. On the flip side, I think more care is needed in terms of cutting gameplay bloat, beta-testing, and managing player fatigue. I truly look forward to seeing the world that they create next. 7/8/6/5." - nerdfury (16-Feb-2024)
"A pretty long game that gives you more of the same masonic lodge themed hallway and rooms. I liked playing this, even if it was a bit repetitive both visually and in gameplay.
  • It starts outside, but that's an exception. While I didn't found the start so interesting, I liked it more when entering the masonic lodge. From here on you stay in the lodge (with some warehouse-like exceptions). If you don't like that setting, this game is probably not for you.
  • The gameplay is mostly about finding keys and levers, some climbing, some timed runs, some small crate puzzles.
  • I didn't have much of an issue with how the game stayed about the same, because I found it fun. Some people may find it repetitive, but I didn't get tired of it.
  • It managed to surprise me positively a few times, like when the checker board texture appeared, or the maze.
  • There are some problems. You can get soft-locked by using multiple keys on the same key hole (when the second key is supposed to go in another key hole of the same type). Then you lose the key and can't continue. This problem seems to exist multiple times.
  • I had a very bad start with using the first key I found in a key hole near the start position (which seemed to do nothing) instead of keeping it for later point. I tried playing it multiple times but got stuck every time (no key, no way to get back). This made me almost give up on the game.
  • I don't quite remember, but it may be possible that you can "lose" one of the keys by picking keys of the same type again. Then instead of having two keys, it only appears once in the inventory. This could be a false memory. Apologies to the author if that's the case.
  • Be very careful with picking up and using keys. These are bugs that shouldn't happen.
  • Ends rather abruptly when you pick up the scroll.
Conclusion: it's not one of those high-end custom levels, but decent enough. I gave it a chance and had a good time. Can recommend as long as you're careful with the keys and you're fine with spending so much time in levels with the same theme." - tuxraider (16-Feb-2024)
"I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this set of four levels, and it is a shame about the negative points because they do their best to drag the experience down as a whole. On the plus side, it is fairly decent for a debut effort, the environments look quite pleasant (although rather bland in a few other places), the music and atmosphere is good and the secret placement is nicely done. But on the other hand, the gameplay has a tendency to get repetitive rather a lot, with a definite over-reliance on switches and corresponding doors, long crawlspaces and dark hallways, as well as tedious guard and rat attacks (no other enemy types in here at all sadly). Backtracking is also an issue, so you do need a good memory so as not to get disoriented. The textures are also a bit patching applied in a few spots and the garden maze near the end of the game was a bit of a downer. Nonetheless, there is potential here if the tedium is cut down for this builder's next offering." - Ryan (01-Feb-2024)
"Not bad this debut, but it seems that the levels are not properly betatested. There are defects in the texturization, sometimes you can avoid the tasks the author thought, objects without colision... The gameplay is not good, you are usually forced to revisit the same places again and again running long distances, there are too many crawlspaces, the ambience in many rooms is too dark and there are not enough flares to light your way; all the game is based about a lot of exploration and pull hundreds of switches; there are excessive timed runs too, but at least the times are generous; where are the puzzles? Even there's not a hint for the rooms with the three switches (or, at least I couldn't find it). Not enough ammo for the extra guns, many times I had to shoot the enemies only with the pistols; only 3 different enemies: killers and rats. The best was the atmosphere, with many camera shots and nice musics, but when I placed the last masonic key in the second level, in my game there was not a camera, the triggered door was too far and I was forced to explore almost all the entire level wasting a lot of time. We'll see the improvement of this promised builder in future releases..." - Jose (30-Jan-2024)
"A set of 4 levels in the city of Bordeaux (la cité du vin ^^) and masonic lodges underground, the builder has mixed Venice and TR3 textures with a few other customs and that works well here. The first level Rue Segalier is short , taking place in courtyards , warehouses and ventilation ducts towards the Masonic lodge where masonic symbols are all over the place, we even have the black and white floor and Egyptian references. This second level is a huge map to retrieve 4 masonic keys ; if the first level took place in rather small areas , here we have some very spacious halls, as also has the last level Cagliostro's secret apartments. The gameplay is based mostly on exploration , with some shooting (rats and two types of gunmen) , a few traps , acrobatics , and few real puzzles, by the way i did not see any clue for the 3 series of 3 switches at the end of the Masonic lodge. The difficulty level is average as there is no difficult task to do , the several types of timed doors and tasks were timed generously and were fun. The atmosphere is good here , good musics with some well known tracks that have been altered. Some of the areas look atmospheric , however there is room for improvement like a few thin walls , or pillars not segmented resulting in stretched or difformed texturing. If this is one of the worlds for the full game , here are some remarks : in Rue Segalier the first cultist key is useless as it can be opened manually, in this level there is another key just placed on the ground of a courtyard and that was hard to see. In the Masonic lodge, the trigger that opens on approach the red door to one of the 4 keys should be removed ; and there is no camera showing what happens after you place the 4th masonic key, unless you revisit the whole map to see what has changed , this in particular should be fixed. Good objects and placement of enemies. Looking forward for the complete adventure. Net gaming time 3h44. 2 secrets found." - eRIC (23-Jan-2024)