|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Edge of Reality||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 23, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
August 5, 2008 - Pitfall has been present in one way or another in every console generation for quite a long time. But it's not the PlayStation 2 or Game Boy Color version that most people remember. No, it is the old Atari version that has become such an icon in the world of video games. The original title featured high-flying, pit-jumping action, and it holds a special place in the hearts of gamers everywhere.
This generation is finally getting it's iteration of Pitfall with Pitfall: The Big Adventure exclusively for the Nintendo Wii. The story involves the adventures and exploits of Pitfall Harry as he explores the lush Peruvian Jungle. However, it is not all jumping pits for our hero! In between swinging from vines, Harry will have some serious exploring to do! The game includes over 60 levels, which are set in caves, mountains, and shaman lairs, each with their own unique animal life, hidden traps, and crazy obstacles that will challenge gamers in unique ways.
This new title looks like it is really heightening the puzzle-platform approach that was introduced in the past few iterations. The gameplay will be stronger, and the game looks a bit more modern with a three dimensional approach to its traditional 2D roots. Stages will focus on exploration, light creature combat, and, of course, pit jumping. There will be several challenging missions to complete in every level, and each one will have an overarching goal that will help guide the gameplay. However, the game will maintain a very accessible approach that is sure to please members of the Wii's ever-growing casual audience.
But no matter how modern Pitfall: The Big Adventure is, one classic aspect of the gameplay that has to be included is, of course, the vine grabbing, pit-jumping aspect of the game. And this title is going to incorporate this vine swinging in a whole new way! As you might expect for a title coming exclusively to the Wii, the pit jumping will be executed via swinging the Wii Remote. This could be a cool feature as long as it is implemented correctly, and it will really add a new level to this franchise. In addition to the Wii-mote swinging, the motion controls will also be incorporated in other aspects of the gameplay, although no specifics are available.
Though this title has just recently been announced, one area of concern many may have is how the game will look. Early screenshots show a wide color palette and do a good job showing off the different environments Pitfall Harry will have to face. However, there also seems to be some serious texturing and edging issues, and the game doesn't have the modern look many might hope for, even by Wii standards. However, there is still some time before the game's September release to give this one a few coats of polish, so here's hoping that these visuals can get it together before then!
While it is blatantly clear that no new title will ever live up to the mythic status reached by the original Pitfall, it seems that the newest iteration of the series is going to do a fabulous job of luring in new gamers to this classic franchise with a new and more casual-friendly approach. The Wii controls look to add a brand new element to the gameplay, and from what we're seeing, Pitfall: The Big Adventure will have a winning mix of platform gameplay and Wii-specific mechanisms. So get ready to explore the jungle once again with Pitfall Harry, when Pitfall: The Big Adventure comes to the Wii this September!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer