Activision Luis recently begun adding Bosses to this much-anticipated 3-D platform adventure, which, as we reported earlier, has been delayed until the first quarter of next year. Each Boss is expected to he huge and will require more than just straightforward weapon attacks to defeat (kinda like the Bosses in BMG's Spider). Pitfall 3D stars the grandson of Pitfall Harry, tie hero of the Atari 2600 classic. He'll face many of the dangers of the original-pits, scorpions, rope vines, etc.-except now he'll go up against morphing enemies and a mysterious new hazard that Activision's calling the "Blue Ooze." The game is expected to have at least 20 levels, which are divided into eight distinct zones, including a rain forest, a prison camp and a cloud region. Harry has complete freedom to run, leap and swing along the branching paths of each 3-D level.
- MANUFACTURER - Activision
- THEME - Adventure
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
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The newly added Bosses in Pitfall 3D are so cool, we felt we had to show one to you. This Boss, called the gladiator, is a huge baddie who sits in the middle of a frozen field of ice. You must guide Harry across the slick surface to activate several switches--all while dodging the Boss' attacks and moving laser beams. It's tough, sure, but so is much of this game, which has Harry facing a lot more challenges than he did in his 8- and 16 Bit adventures.
It's a frustrating fact of life in this industry: Games are often delayed, and you have to take most release dates with a grain of salt. So Pitfall 3D's year-late arrival to the PlayStation certainly isn't unprecedented--nor is it inexcusable. The game's development team went through some heavy personnel changes more than a year ago, forcing Pitfall 3D to miss its spring '97 release.
Now that it's nearly complete, however, Pitfall 3D looks ready to hit stores in March. And Activision claims the game has been heavily tweaked during its unexpectedly long development cycle. "We have a lot more art in the game than we originally planned," said Producer John Lafleur, "and we were able to fine-tune our Boss engines so they offer a bit of variety to the gameplay."
The basics of the game haven't changed. As Pitfall Harry Jr., you must battle through the otherworldly realm of Djinn and seal its entrance to Earth, thus saving humanity from godlike bad-boy Scourge. The 11 3D levels (and three Boss stages) sprawl through jungles, volcanic and acid-filled regions, Aztec temples and prison camps, and each area has several branching paths. You get specific missions, too, such as destroying scattered mine extractors or rescuing the beautiful female leader of the Djinn resistance. Like the original Atari cart, the game has you swinging on vines and leaping over bottomless pits--except this time instant-death chasms are everywhere, making Pitfall 3D one of the most difficult platform games.
While Activision intended all along to bring Harry Jr. to life with voice-overs, it was only recently that they lured Bruce Campbell, best known as the star of the Evil Dead series, to lend his voice to the role. But don't expect to hear any one-liners from the Evil Dead flicks in Pitfall 3D--despite the efforts of the developers, all of them fans of the schlock-horror series. "We'd thrown some things in the script that were obviously straight from the Evil Dead movies," Lafleur said, "and Campbell looked at us and said, 'Just for once I'm gonna get something that's not a reference to Evil Dead, you rat bastards!"'
Fans of the classic adventure series Pitfall can now stop holding their breath: Pitfall Harry, Jr. is set to debut on the PlayStation this spring. In this new polygon-rich 3D environment, Harry will do lots of dimensional jumping and fighting in 24 levels that will include mines, volcanoes, and floating islands. Although the videotape we saw was very preliminary, Pitfall 3D looks like more fun for Harry. Tough monsters and more of Harry's trademark jumping should equal long hours of rewarding gameplay. Let's hope Harry hurries onto the PlayStation.
Nostalgic gamers who still harken back to the days of the Atari 2600 are a dime a dozen (it's like Woodstock--more people say they remember it than were actually there).But the one game they all remember is Pitfall. Its endurance is a testament to its simple yet addictive gameplay.
Be warned: Pitfall 3D ain't your daddy's Pitfall. And while it's not too far a cry from the other games in the series, this version is good enough to stand alone as a very cool 3D adventure.
The slick BD graphics showcase Pitfall's trademark vine-swinging, pitjumping platform heroics from the other games, along with some cool jungle beats to spice up the sound. Activision went the star route by lending Bruce Campbell's voice to our hero (the actor from the Evil Dead movies, and now a regular on Xena: Warrior Princess), unfortunately, he's more annoying than funny.
The game relies heavily on blind leaps of faith and carefully timed actions. Precision and patience are paramount to beating Pitfall. If you don't have the time or the temperament, stay away from the jungle. But if you remain to adventure with Harry, your reward is one helluva long game with action around every corner. Pitfall BD won't be everyone's cup of tea, but for those looking for a rumble in the jungle, it can't be beat.
- Floating on Lucense is tricky. The best thing to do is to go slow and round corners way ahead of time. As soon as you grab an item you want (like this extra life), immediately turn toward a safe spot
- In the Temple Area, after aligning the first pyramid, hitch a ride on the Lucense bars floating from the reactor. It's tricky, though--you must be perfectly aligned.
Great definition in the backgrounds and a fluidly moving Pitfall Harry help Pitfall 3D shine, but the surprising lack of creativity in the monsters really lessens the overall effect.
Timed jumps are everything in this game, and the A.I. doesn't help. If your tolerance level for frustrating leaps and blind jumps is low, stay far away from the challenge of Pit-fall 3D.
The jungle rhythm that permeates Pitfall 3D will work its way into your nervous system after a while, but even more annoying are the lame quips. Leave the wisecracking to Gex.
It takes some patience, some practice, and some prayers to avoid the pit-falls of Pitfall 3D, but the game answers all those things with ; great mix of action and adventure. Harry is back and badder than ever.