reviews\ Mar 7, 2004 at 7:00 pm

Pitfall: The Lost Expedition - XB - Review

‘They say when a giant demon jaguar is about to end your existence, your life flashes before your eyes …. Actually, nobody says that, but then few have ever seen a giant demon jaguar …’


Well, that circle is about to expand, thanks to Activision and Edge of Reality who bring the three-dimensional arcade-adventure title Pitfall: The Lost Expedition to the Xbox.


Pitfall: The Lost Expedition follows a journey that begins at one juncture in time, then quickly moves backwards to the events leading up to the place in time. Pitfall Harry is the star of the game and the one that players will control.


Harry is on a plane with a group of eclectic scientists (including a female scientist who spurns all of Harry’s attempts to be suave) when a storm forces the plane down. Most of the scientists are able to parachute out, but there is not enough chutes left for Harry and one other.


Much to Harry’s surprise, he finds himself alive and on the floor of the jungle. His first task is simple – get to the remains of the plane and look for another survivor. To do that, he will have to avoid toothed-gaping holes in the ground, monkeys, crocodiles, piranha, chasms and scorpions. All in a day’s work.


There will be vines to swing across the great fall-away areas, fountains to rejuvenate the life bar, and trophies to collect and shamans to spend the trophies at. The shaman offers the opportunity to upgrade health or get some power-ups, such as Smash Strike or Super Sling. You can even get Break Dance if you so desire. And yes, it has applications in the context of the game.


The early levels act as a tutorial to the overall game. Players are guided through the control elements as situations occur to test various capabilities of the players. If there is a drawback to all this, it lays in that the game does not vary much. There are places to replenish health and you can explore the levels for idols, which can be converted into power-ups along the way.


The control elements are simple to use. Where the game really excels, though, is graphically. This is a lush world, with fluid animation elements. The camera is lockable behind Harry, but can be rotated to survey the world and look for that lever or path through that may be hidden behind foliage or rock.


The pacing of this game is rather frenetic. Something is always there to move Harry along, where it is coconut-throwing natives, or traps.


Pitfall: The Lost Expedition has the nuances of a pulp fiction novel meets Indiana Jones with a little slapstick tossed in for good measure. The jokes are not ‘fall on the floor’ funny, but may elicit a smile or two. This is a game that is somewhat linear, but nonetheless enjoyable.


Veteran adventure gamers may find this a little too simple, while newcomers will find an easy access to the genre.

Review Scoring Details for Pitfall: The Lost Expedition on Xbox


Gameplay: 7

This game does have load times and is rather linear in design.


Graphics: 8.8

Lush and colorful with 360-degree panoramic views, the graphics are far and away the most wonderful element of this game.


Sound: 8

This game sports a solid audio track that does a fine job of supporting the graphical elements.


Difficulty: Easy

The puzzles in this game are just too easy.


Concept: 7.5

The developers have done a nice job of taking the side-scrolling adventure title and realizing it in a rich 3D environment. The controls are easy to get a handle on, but the game is rather predictable.


Overall: 7.1

Strong graphical elements power this title along. It is amusing and entertaining. That said, veterans of the side-scrolling arcade-like adventure titles might find it a touch predictable.


About The Author
In This Article
From Around The Web
blog comments powered by Disqus