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

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

Postby VideoGameCritic » August 5th, 2011, 4:01 pm

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.


Lucky Man

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

Postby Lucky Man » August 5th, 2011, 4:47 pm

Solid re-reviews. Although I think you may have been a little generous with your grade for River Raid II. Sure, once you get the hang of the controls, it's definitely a solid title, but I think it lacks the "fun" factor that would push it to a B+.

Also, you use the word "only" twice in this sentence from your Pitfall review: "For instance, you can only jump on a crododile without fear of harm - but only if its mouth is closed." I think it probably would be better without the first "only."

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

Postby Leo1 » August 5th, 2011, 5:09 pm

I also think you're still being pretty generous towards River Raid II.

I think I'm going to spend a bit more time with it. It doesn't make the best first impression, especially if you loved the original game. So perhaps I've just never given a proper amount of time to it in order to understand it's strengths because it wasn't what I wanted from a sequel.

"They're supposed to provide strategic shortcuts through the game, but there's no treasure down there and some lead to dead ends. "

I could swear there there is some treasure down there, but maybe my memory is off. Either way, I do know that if you want to get all the treasure, the only possible way with the time limit is to use the tunnel system at strategic points (I forget exactly, but I think one screen in the tunnel puts you three screens ahead when you're above ground). Isn't enough time to navigate above ground all the way and get all the treasure.

Mapping all that out and using the tunnel in strategic spots is the key to high scores in this game (Something that I've always planned to do for decades but never have done).

Here's a map that might be useful.

http://pitfallharry.tripod.com/MapRoom/PitfallMap.html


JWK1
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2011/8/5: Atari 2600: Pitfall, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, River Raid II

Postby JWK1 » August 5th, 2011, 6:02 pm

Dear VGC,

I am speaking on behalf of your little community here.  We love your reviews and we think you're the man.  You know that already.  But to give Pitfall, one of the watershed titles of the 2600 and one of the most important games in video game history, anything less than an A is near-heresy.  A platformer this well-crafted, this early in the history of the genre, and this influential basically defies criticism.  Please reconsider.

Yours in gaming,
            The VGC Forum

Leo1
Posts: 2325
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

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

Postby Leo1 » August 5th, 2011, 6:08 pm

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.

BornToRun

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

Postby BornToRun » August 6th, 2011, 1:07 am

Thanks for these reviews. Pitfall II is one of my favorites and one of the more impressive titles for the system. I would have given it a flat "A" without the minus, but really, I can't argue with the review.


Adamant1
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

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

Postby Adamant1 » August 6th, 2011, 8:16 am

[QUOTE=JWK]Dear VGC,

I am speaking on behalf of your little community here.  We love your reviews and we think you're the man.  You know that already.  But to give Pitfall, one of the watershed titles of the 2600 and one of the most important games in video game history, anything less than an A is near-heresy.  A platformer this well-crafted, this early in the history of the genre, and this influential basically defies criticism.  Please reconsider.

Yours in gaming,
            The VGC Forum

[/QUOTE]

I dunno... we had a thread on the most overrated and underrated 2600 games a while ago, and Pitfall was very frequently mentioned in the "most overrated" position.


Samael

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

Postby Samael » August 6th, 2011, 9:07 am

Save for River Raid 2, agreed on all counts. The speed + altitude link makes it impossible to swoop down and bomb the lower levels unless you've memorized the game patterns. I never really felt like I was in control.

Dennis

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

Postby Dennis » August 6th, 2011, 1:47 pm

It's funny you say Pitfall became monotonous, considering it's the only game I can think of that actually limits each game to 20 minutes or less.  It's rare for me to actually get through the 20 minutes without losing my lives (and this is coming from a person who routinely got the perfect score on Pitfall 2 as a middle schooler).

Jake

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

Postby Jake » August 6th, 2011, 4:51 pm

[QUOTE=JWK]Dear VGC,

I am speaking on behalf of your little community here.  We love your reviews and we think you're the man.  You know that already.  But to give Pitfall, one of the watershed titles of the 2600 and one of the most important games in video game history, anything less than an A is near-heresy.  A platformer this well-crafted, this early in the history of the genre, and this influential basically defies criticism.  Please reconsider.

Yours in gaming,
            The VGC Forum
[/QUOTE]

I kinda get what you're saying here, it's a bit weird VGC said that Pitfall can get monotnous and mind numbing after awhile, but the sequal is more so IMO,
because you get knocked back if you touch any bird/bat.. after 1,000 passes under them! You have to do it all over again, and you never lose a life it just gooooes.

I stand by Pitfall as being the better of the two. Pitfall 2 the music kills any tension, and give a horrible headworm... I feel it coming on now!! Noooo I hate it.



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