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Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure

Forethoughts: I seem to remember the big hubub going on about this title for every system except the Jaguar. It seemed that the GAMESHAM magazines out there even forgot how high the scores were that they had slapped on the SEGA and NINTENDO door stoppers for producing such a wonderful game because once you saw some of their Jaguar reviews on it you'd swear we had all made a quantum leap in eye candy in the space of less than a couple of months. However, this is one particular game that I am very happy to say brought back the Indiana Jones in me, as I am sure it will in all of you who are looking for a hybrid 2D platform game.

The Game: Since it has been almost fifteen years since you have probably even seen the original Pitfall for the ATARI 2600, it seems apropriate that Pitfall Harry himself become lost in Latin America and his son Harry (What a name.) Jr. has the job of being the one to find him. And guess what. It's your job to get him there.

The Gameplay: 2D platform extravaganza! I've been on a DOOM clone sabatical for so long that I've failed to remember how wonderful platform games really are. This one being a perfect addition to any platform game collector that wishes to allow their previous favorite to step down.

The Graphics: GRRRRREAT! They used 16 bit color (65000 colors) for this one instead of the lowly 256 color SNES and 64 color Genesis versions. Even the 32X and the Windows 95 versions were only 256 color. Oh, by the way my 486 DX4 100Mhz computer stank on the Windows 95 version.

Character movement is extremely natural. It is like FLASHBACK on steroids, when it comes to natural movement. There is a part that you get to where you are crossing a lagoon, clambering along a vine and all of a sudden an extremely large crocodile comes surging up out of the water directly under you. The water looks like liquid and not just choppy drawings. That is how you can kinda get an idea about the frame rate of a game. There are also some cool fire and lighting effects on some indoor levels that make you do a double take to make sure you're not playing the Sony Playstation.

The Sound: Many may disagree but I enjoyed the sound effects because there was a very minimal amount of actual samples being used, most of it was just FM synthesized wizadry, like RAYMAN, but way better. I was amazed at how much the monkeys sounded like monkeys.

The music is, what I believe, what one gets the most charge from on this title. Massive drum beating, fist waving jungle grooves. If you can, I suggest hooking your Jaguar to the stereo for this one.

The Control: Unlike what many reviewers think is a lost catagory unto the Jaguar, I believe that the control is all in the programming. The controller was very well integrated into this game. I think they accomplished it by actually playing it after they coded it. Imagine that!

Overall: My scores for games are evident through the way I write about them. If you have ever played my Jaguar, I probably would have let you play this one all night because just watching is a joy.

-Stephen Finton

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