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Old 16-10-13, 17:17   #141
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I would give The Cistern only 6/10. It is my least favourite TR 1 level and I think the main reason for this is this greenish design, that looks awful in my opinion. And then, there is, like you stated it sheepman, not much innovative gameplay.

I only like this claustrophobic beginning, which expanded to this big central room and the ending with this optional lion room.
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Old 16-10-13, 17:29   #142
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I remember the Cistern as being one of the most profound gaming experiences I ever had. The sheer beauty of stepping onto those walkways in that enclosed, silent hall above those sparkling waters..............amazing.

If you come at it with no previous TR knowledge (or very limited) as I did playing TR1 as the first TR game when it came out.................then the exploration and unfathoming of the level was extremely rewarding too.

The level is one of my all time favourites ever.
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Old 16-10-13, 19:09   #143
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I remember thinking that I was going to hate The Cistern after I saw screenshots of the level, but actually, it wasn't that bad. Not the best level, but not the worst. Perhaps if the setting was more appealing, I would've liked it even more... (which begs the question: how influential is the setting on one's general opinion of a TR level? D: )

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: In Sheepy's defence, he did say beforehand that he will be taking a more nostalgic perspective with his TR1 review, which is fair enough given that he's written so many reviews already.
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Old 16-10-13, 20:33   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatToastyBass View Post
That over-simplification could describe any underwater level in any Tomb Raider game.
How is that an over-simplification? It certainly doesn't apply to every other underwater level of the series. For instance, the Wreck of the Maria Doria could be considered an underwater set, yet it also mixes in traps and a healthy dose of combat. And the atmosphere is way different too.

By the way, the reason I insert personal experiences into the review is because it makes it more interesting as opposed to a mundane state-my-opinion thing.

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1) Your review could do with more in terms of commentation of the level in relation to Tomb Raider as a game. I want to see thoughts on how Cistern fits in with the other preceding Greece levels, and more of a comparison to other underwater sections encountered to that point;
That's a good point, although I've already sort of described how I feel about the Greece section as a whole (see the beginning of the St. Francis Folly review).

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Originally Posted by Blackmoor View Post
I remember the Cistern as being one of the most profound gaming experiences I ever had. The sheer beauty of stepping onto those walkways in that enclosed, silent hall above those sparkling waters..............amazing.
That moment is also heightened when "Lara's Theme" plays at the same time. It's really a beautiful moment.

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Originally Posted by tomekkobialka View Post
I remember thinking that I was going to hate The Cistern after I saw screenshots of the level, but actually, it wasn't that bad. Not the best level, but not the worst. Perhaps if the setting was more appealing, I would've liked it even more... (which begs the question: how influential is the setting on one's general opinion of a TR level? D: )
I've heard of people who absolutely hate the Maria Doria levels because of the sense of claustrophobia that it evokes. It doesn't even matter what type of gameplay those levels have; they simply can't stand the levels because of the environment. So in a strange way, it does play a large role. For instance, I'm not a fan of factory settings, which is why the rig levels of TR2 don't really work for me.

Last edited by sheepman23; 16-10-13 at 20:46.
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Old 16-10-13, 21:14   #145
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I admire the Cistern due to its atmosphere and intricacy of design, but I found it frustrating the first time I played it, since I raised the water level in the switch room before that was a good idea. It took me a while to figure out that I had to lower the water level again to perform the necessary functions of retrieving the level keys etc. but it was a great moment when the lightbulb lit above my head.

I also wonder if there is any "transitional" space between the end of Palace Midas and the beginning of this level. Is the open black space above Lara at the start of the level the same area she fell through at the end of the slope in Palace Midas? I greatly admired the sense of continuity between levels in the original TR, but this one was slightly jarring.
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Old 16-10-13, 21:22   #146
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I always thought that the hole above Lara was where she fell down from at the end of Palace Midas. Atleast it's not as bad as the Cold War/Fool's Gold transition in TR2 Gold.
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Old 17-10-13, 11:25   #147
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Originally Posted by sheepman23 View Post
I always thought that the hole above Lara was where she fell down from at the end of Palace Midas. Atleast it's not as bad as the Cold War/Fool's Gold transition in TR2 Gold.
I kinda don't get the transition of cold war and fool's gold.
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Old 17-10-13, 11:45   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrannosaurus View Post
It took me a while to figure out that I had to lower the water level again to perform the necessary functions of retrieving the level keys etc. but it was a great moment when the lightbulb lit above my head.
I think most of us (unless we watched others play this bit first) had that kind of experience. The lever and the area where the water level needed to change again were separated by a sufficient enough distance, complex wanderings and time, that it wasn't an immediately obvious - oh, yeah, do the lever again. I know I'd completely forgotten there even was a lever!
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Old 17-10-13, 12:07   #149
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The first time i played this level 15 years ago i didn't know about the corner bug so i had to play it the proper way.
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Old 17-10-13, 12:22   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepman23 View Post
How is that an over-simplification? It certainly doesn't apply to every other underwater level of the series. For instance, the Wreck of the Maria Doria could be considered an underwater set, yet it also mixes in traps and a healthy dose of combat. And the atmosphere is way different too.

By the way, the reason I insert personal experiences into the review is because it makes it more interesting as opposed to a mundane state-my-opinion thing.
Summarising the Cistern level as, to paraphrase, 'find key, find switch, swim, use key', whilst not exactly incorrect, is an over-simplification - what on Earth else is that statement if it is not an over-simplification???

The rest of your review goes on to give more substance admittedly, but there are a vast number of underwater levels/sections in TR1-3 - and yes including Wreck of the Maria Doria in large parts - that could be described with the above sentence.

It is moot because you do, as I say, go into more depth regarding Cistern gameplay after that statement. My previous constructive criticisms remain however, within my earlier post.
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