2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Let me know what you think about my reviews.
Jake

2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby Jake » August 6th, 2011, 5:05 pm

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic]I refined the reviews for these three oldies, because I think they are pretty important titles for the system and deserve extra attention.  The grades were revised slightly as well.

So how do you like these reviews?  I would like to hear from you.

[/QUOTE]

Pretty good reviews, not much has changed since last time though, maybe a bit harsh on Pitfall. It's now the same grade as Frontline and Up 'n Down...(B+)
I think those two games are B- material, because well, Up N Down, the F**** flags dissapear on levels 3 and 6 and sometimes the cars do too, impossible to get to next level if the flag is GONE. Very buggy game, athough unique and pretty good for 2600, but sega did a lot better with Tapper in terms of well, BEERS DON'T DISAPEAR!!! 

Same trouble with Frontline the controls get awkward and sometimes bullets seem to dissapear or a tank will get a shot at you and you didn't even see it. Plus moving is a bit slooow on foot especially in the 2nd section of grass and dirt. Though it's fun,
and probably the best version of Frontline.

Pressure Cooker sits at B+, but I think its worthy of an A, and maybe Frostbite too. No bugs, no control flaws, fun... Seems like an A- like what Keystone Kapers got VCG!






Jake

2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby Jake » August 6th, 2011, 5:48 pm

[QUOTE=Leo]It certainly is A territory where those areas are concerned. But where the fun factor is concerned, I think the gameplay is fairly repetitive and can be bland after a while. So from this gamer's perspective, I think his review matches my opinion (For what it's worth).

The impression I have as a reader of this site is that the Critic's reviews concentrate on the fun factor; not how revolutionary a game is, not the historical importance of a game, not the quality of the programming, nor the quality of the graphics. I'm sure those all factor into his opinion of a game, but so does how fun the game ultimately is to play.

And where fun is concerned, there are a good number of 2600 games that surpass Pitfall with ease even if they aren't quite as expertly programmed as this game or didn't have the same lasting impact that Pitfall did.
[/QUOTE]

Fun factor is very subjective though, and the main reason for debates. I find part II to be more bland and repetitive then I. Also, aren't most Activision or 2600 games repetitive by nature?? I don't think Pitfall I is much more then the usual.

Btw,
I played River Raid again, and I found out the controls are pretty good (better then I rememberd), and overall it's A quality, but the action felt a bit endless and the predicitable patterns got old (a bit repetitive),... typical Activision style (like Pitfalls). I turned it off, as I got bored at the 30ks range. Yes it was on Diff A. River Raid doesn't become faster, tougher or different... 1ks mark, is the same feeling as 100ks... just gotta' "NOT CRASH" That's why its' repetitive like the two Pitfalls.

There's other games I like more, in terms of "fun factor", even if River Raid is revolutionary. To me they are about the same, Pitfall/River Raid, well Raid might have an edge but...not a full letter grade apart.

A / River Raid
A / Pitfall

I'm not sure if Activision delivered a full blown A+. IMO... anyway.
Hmmm...


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2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby VideoGameCritic » August 6th, 2011, 6:47 pm

[QUOTE=Jake]

Fun factor is very subjective though, and the main reason for debates. I find part II to be more bland and repetitive then I. Also, aren't most Activision or 2600 games repetitive by nature?? I don't think Pitfall I is much more then the usual.

[/QUOTE]

The difference is, most Activision titles get more difficult as you progress.  That's not the case in Pitfall.  Once you get the timing of running over tar pits and jumping on crocodile heads, you just sort of go into autopilot mode.

At least in Pitfall 2 there are many possible paths to explore and the game does get tougher.

Keep the feedback coming!  It's interesting to read.

Leo1
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2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby Leo1 » August 6th, 2011, 7:16 pm

Jake, no two pieces of the river are ever alike and there is a great deal of variation. And you've never spent much time with River Raid if you don't think it gets any tougher. The river layout ramps up in difficulty as you venture further, enemies get more numerous and are laid out in more dangerous groupings, and most of all, as you progress, the refueling stations become far less numerous and require you to fly more recklessly as the river layouts get more restricted and filled with enemies just in order to reach the next refueling station before running out of fuel.

Heck, 30k (I'd say that was about ~9 minutes of gameplay for the average player) should've been enough to realize that the game was getting quite a bit more difficult. So I'm puzzled that you feel like River Raid's difficulty level is stagnant and have to 100% disagree with your opinion.

At least I agree with you about Pressure Cooker, I always viewed that as worthy of an A.


DJC1
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2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby DJC1 » August 6th, 2011, 9:46 pm

Both Pitfall and Pitfall II are great games.  I can definitely agree that PF gets monotonous after repeat plays for the simple fact that the stages do not change.  If you are the kind of gamer who can only get through 8 or 10 screens, you are going to continue getting through only those 8 or 10 screens.

Pitfall II on the other hand has a true start and finish.  Regardless of how stupid the premise of the ending is (aww Pitfall Harry finds his beloved dog...) there is a lot of variety.  In terms of sequels it is significantly better than the original.  In terms of technology - it is nothing short of amazing that Activision was able to cram the whole game on a 2600 cart. 

And yes - there is an entirely separate circuit board inside the cart to handle the additional game memory requirements.

-DJ


Dennis

2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby Dennis » August 6th, 2011, 11:26 pm

[QUOTE=DJC]

Pitfall II on the other hand has a true start and finish.  Regardless of how stupid the premise of the ending is (aww Pitfall Harry finds his beloved dog...)

[/QUOTE]

It's not a dog, it's a tiger!  Plus, you have to get the tiger, the diamond ring, and Rhonda (Harry's niece) to finish, if I remember correctly (the rat that runs away from you is optional).

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2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby VideoGameCritic » August 7th, 2011, 11:17 am

I find it hilarious how nobody can figure out what the animal on the first screen is.  For the longest time I thought it was a monkey.  Then I read that is was a cat.  And now I see somebody thought it was a dog.

I was really torn between giving Pitfall 2 an A or A-.  I think what pushed me to an A- was the fact that even if you flew under the condor at his highest point, his wing move down and hit you in the head.  It was almost a random thing.

Then again, maybe it would have made more sense to knock the game down from an A+ to a solid A, considering it goes beyond the call of duty with that theme song. 

What do you think?  Should I give Pitfall 2 an A?


Jake

2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby Jake » August 7th, 2011, 11:17 am

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic][QUOTE=Jake]

Fun factor is very subjective though, and the main reason for debates. I find part II to be more bland and repetitive then I. Also, aren't most Activision or 2600 games repetitive by nature?? I don't think Pitfall I is much more then the usual.

[/QUOTE]

The difference is, most Activision titles get more difficult as you progress.  That's not the case in Pitfall.  Once you get the timing of running over tar pits and jumping on crocodile heads, you just sort of go into autopilot mode.

At least in Pitfall 2 there are many possible paths to explore and the game does get tougher.

Keep the feedback coming!  It's interesting to read.
[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I see that point now...
but finding different ways/paths underground in Pitfall has IMPRPOVED my opinion on that game. I had a blast playing Pitfall recently and finally got my score over 100ks! My old best was 85ks. Normally I would just run left and never go below, climbing down gives more satisfaction or reward, I didn't use a map... just write down on paper what screens have good shortcuts, remember 'em, and apply it to the gameplay. Or you can use map, but I found I can't look at map and play well at the same time.

Pitfall II, I solved pretty easy, once you get the "timing" figured out, the challenge drops, especially if you can't lose a life, the replay value is kinda low for me. I got about 196,000 on Pitfall II. In less then a week... I completed it. I never completed the first Pitfall!

The balloon is a very cool touch in Pitfall II, but near the end of the game, the constant ladder climbing and running under birds gets very monotnous as does that music, yuck! Suspense killer...but I do like the music when you get hit by something.
Its very well done all around, but after a long game that music doesn't stop even after game is over. LOL.

Seems like gamers are a bit too rough on Pitfall, and a bit generous with II.
Just my left side two cents...


Adamant1
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2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby Adamant1 » August 7th, 2011, 11:31 am

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic]I find it hilarious how nobody can figure out what the animal on the first screen is.  For the longest time I thought it was a monkey.  Then I read that is was a cat.  And now I see somebody thought it was a dog.

[/QUOTE]

And someone else thought it was a tiger

But yeah, it's "Quickclaw the cowardly cat", as stated in the manual.



Jake

2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby Jake » August 7th, 2011, 11:47 am

[QUOTE=Leo]

Heck, 30k (I'd say that was about ~9 minutes of gameplay for the average player) should've been enough to realize that the game was getting quite a bit more difficult. So I'm puzzled that you feel like River Raid's difficulty level is stagnant and have to 100% disagree with your opinion.

At least I agree with you about Pressure Cooker, I always viewed that as worthy of an A.

[/QUOTE]

I'm at 50ks on diff A RR, hoping to someday get 100ks if I can... you made me think clearer Leo, I disagree with myself too now. You're right the fuel becomes less and the changes are subtle but ARE changes. It's very well done all around, I just happen to not play River Raid much, although I've had it for a long time. It's probably Activsions best overall.

My favs are Stampede, Pressure Cooker, (maybe Starmaster), Keystone, Pitfall, River Raid, Frostbite, Enduro.

Sports would be Ice Hockey... is that one worth an A+?






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