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tripled79

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure

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Just got this game in the mail. Liking it so far. Reviews for this game seem very mixed. Some love it, some hate it. There are some flaws for sure, but it seems like a solid action platform to me. I'm noticing slight delay in the controls or it's as if the game ignores my commands sometimes. Might be my controller. Hmm... I just hope to find the original Pitfall here.

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I never got to try the Jag version but I love the Sega CD version. Its a great platformer , very well animated . Plus it has the original Pitfall in it, which was a plus back when it released with the sorry state of emulation at the time. 

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30 minutes ago, Cafeman said:

I never got to try the Jag version but I love the Sega CD version. Its a great platformer , very well animated . Plus it has the original Pitfall in it, which was a plus back when it released with the sorry state of emulation at the time. 

Just found the original game on level 4. It was fun. Wish I could just play that for a while. Anyway, with the game in general, it seems there are some cheap hits that you can't avoid. That being said, I do appreciate the visuals and the music and sound effects. It's very symbolic of mid nineties platformers. 

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Yay, here's a bit of (positive) rant again.  This game is one of the reasons the Jag failed, yet 3 decades later it's getting people to rethink their opinion, most of the time finding respect.

 

Here's me in the 90s: hmmm, Pitfall for the Jag, 64 bit my @ss. Just another 16 bit game, probably identical to the SNES version. Jag is garbage!

 

Here's me in 2020, much older, and when it comes to understanding software and hardware, a bit wiser:  interesting, this games has all graphics assets redone on a much larger palette, 16 millions of colors I assume. 

 

For sure it's a 2d game (in 2020 I see no problem at all, in fact I welcome it with both arms), and honestly don't mind it is just using the good ol motorola 68k.  So what, this chip powered a lot of powerful machines back then (Neo Geo, Sharp X68000, Amiga, and everyone's beloved Sega Genesis), so I don't see the problem when some Jag games use it, it's a nice chip for 2d applications.

 

And definitely, DEFINITELY, it's not a SNES game. 

 

All art redone at a much higher color palette make it clear Jag is offering something the other versions didn't.  

 

All this bla bla bla is to show quite often the Jag wouldn't win the battle, because stupid 90s kids (like me) didn't have knowledge to understand what were Jag's advantages.  

 

You simply can't win a battle when people don't understand why you're better.

 

This game is one fine example.  

 

As a platformer, yeah, there're better ones, but it's not bad either.   Quite decent when you give it a proper chance.

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The problem with the Jag port (and the 32x port, for that matter) is that the game runs at half the frame rate of the 16-bit console versions.  It's too bad, because it looks great (and even sounds good) but the 30 fps cap is really unforgivable, especially since the SNES and Megadrive versions have no problem running at a solid 60 fps.

Edited by newtmonkey
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Super understand your point, I really don't mind 30 fps at all, but understand it's a deal breaker for a lot of people.

 

But would people have noticed it back in the day?

 

The same way 90s kids couldn't really notice the vastly improved graphics, would they notice the half framerate?  

 

The problem I see is that no one gave it a shot in the 90s, not only because no one had the Jag, but also people passed by like "it's just the SNES version again, skip".

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1 hour ago, newtmonkey said:

The problem with the Jag port (and the 32x port, for that matter) is that the game runs at half the frame rate of the 16-bit console versions.  It's too bad, because it looks great (and even sounds good) but the 30 fps cap is really unforgivable, especially since the SNES and Megadrive versions have no problem running at a solid 60 fps.

I can't remember even one magazine review that mentioned that. I think they were more sensitive to slowdowns and flickerings. So one magazine mentioned slowdowns for Rayman, but not that it's running 2x the framerate of Pitfall.;-)

30 FPS does not hurt the playbility of the game obviously, most people did not even notice. I did not know, until recently Digital Foundry analyzed all versions.

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I really like this game. The first time I ever played it however was in Windows 95. There was a Win95 version of this way back when and I had a blast playing it. Then I played it on multiple systems including the Jag. I still own the Jaguar version and while it appears to be a direct port with no real "64-bit" upgrades, it is still a great game that I am glad to own.

 

As for framerate, I had no clue either or. It played well on everything I played it on... I never noticed anything back in those days nor do I now.

Edited by eightbit
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35 minutes ago, marcio_napoli said:

Super understand your point, I really don't mind 30 fps at all, but understand it's a deal breaker for a lot of people.

 

But would people have noticed it back in the day?

 

The same way 90s kids couldn't really notice the vastly improved graphics, would they notice the half framerate?  

 

The problem I see is that no one gave it a shot in the 90s, not only because no one had the Jag, but also people passed by like "it's just the SNES version again, skip".

Was not a deal breaker for Metal Slug ;-) Seriously I think the 30 vs 60 FPS debate is slightly hysterical. For old games, slow downs, flickerings and low frame rates were part of the fun. 

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I think magazine reviewers at the time probably didn't even understand the difference between 60 fps and 30 fps, or even what fps means.

 

In my recollection, people really only started talking about frame rate with 3D games... so prior to that people would just explain a game that runs at 30 fps as feeling "off" or "unresponsive."

 

I am fine with 30 fps in a polygonal game (or even sub-30 fps if the frame rate is at least consistent), but 30 fps is really noticeable to me for 2D games, since the vast majority of 2D console games run at 60 fps (even if they do flicker or slowdown).  Rayman shows that the Jaguar is capable of running beautiful 2D games with parallax scrolling at a solid 60 fps, so the only excuse for Pitfall imo is a rush job in porting it.

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6 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

I think magazine reviewers at the time probably didn't even understand the difference between 60 fps and 30 fps, or even what fps means.

 

In my recollection, people really only started talking about frame rate with 3D games... so prior to that people would just explain a game that runs at 30 fps as feeling "off" or "unresponsive."

 

I am fine with 30 fps in a polygonal game (or even sub-30 fps if the frame rate is at least consistent), but 30 fps is really noticeable to me for 2D games, since the vast majority of 2D console games run at 60 fps (even if they do flicker or slowdown).  Rayman shows that the Jaguar is capable of running beautiful 2D games with parallax scrolling at a solid 60 fps, so the only excuse for Pitfall imo is a rush job in porting it.

Gaming was a little different back then, and "60 FPS" not a buzzword gamers were really aware of. 

 

Wings of Death and Lethal Xcess on the ST were running at 15 FPS, Toki on Lynx too. Both ST shmups were considered excellent choices and classics for the genre. Speedball 2 on the ST, under 30 FPS, Xenon 2 and Gods as well.   So a lot of classic , high rated games were NOT 60 FPS, especially the ones for 16 bit home computers. 

 

I  can't remember any complains about unresponsive controls or input lag regarding those games. While you might detect some sort of input lag with modern software analysis, it was hardly noticable for the player. In fact nobody really cared. Toki's controls are tight, I can't find a flaw with it.

Regarding technical flaws, it was much more important to have no flickering sprites and no slowdowns. So NES was 60FPS, but it's technical shortcomings  were very important for reviewers. Input lag is very noticable with heavy frame rate drops and hiccups and stutters, but not so much with a consistent  frame rate. 

Games for Lynx and 16 bit homecomputers were considered superior to the NES, despite running at lower (target) FPS. 

 

In fact there was never a war about frame rates as such, and it was never an important criteria to make or break a game, at least for 2D games. Read old reviews, no mention of frame rates at all. Quite the opposite, we played games ranging from 15 - 60 FPS without taking too much notice or being aware of the FPS numbers.

I was quite surprised that Jaguar Raiden runs only at 30, because the scrolling is smoother and the game speed is higher than the ozther versions and it plays really flawlessly.

 

Frame rates became very important with 3D games, possibly because we started quite low with single digits being acceptable/playable. Reviews for "Steel Talons" for the Lynx mentioned "fast vector graphics" as a strong point. (It barely runs at 5-6 FPS I  guess)

Star Fox was sensationally smooth with 10-15 FPS.

 

All in all, its no wonder Pitfall for Jagar got the same ratings (or a little higher) as the 16 bit versions.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by agradeneu
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6 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

so the only excuse for Pitfall imo is a rush job in porting it.

People go on and on about 'rush jobs' but fail to note that given the commercial lifespan of the Jaguar, if these titles had not been 'rushed' the console would have been long dead before they appeared and nobody would have had them at all.

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8 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

The problem with the Jag port (and the 32x port, for that matter) is that the game runs at half the frame rate of the 16-bit console versions.  It's too bad, because it looks great (and even sounds good) but the 30 fps cap is really unforgivable, especially since the SNES and Megadrive versions have no problem running at a solid 60 fps.

And it's not even just 30fps--the game chops up when a lot of stuff happens on screen, making it an inconsistent framerate overall.

 

Really a bummer because the base game is solid otherwise. Like others, I generally recommend the Genesis or Sega CD versions (the later in particular).

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I remember playing a few different versions of this, including the Jag. The game itself seems flawed to me from what I remember, pixel perfect platform jumps required and it can often be confusing where you're supposed to go. It does look great, I will give it that. Regardless of the system it's on it is, to me anyhow, at best a mediocre game. I probably put more time in the Genesis version than any other, thinking I must be missing something. But I wasn't.

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13 hours ago, tripled79 said:

Just got this game in the mail. Liking it so far. Reviews for this game seem very mixed. Some love it, some hate it. There are some flaws for sure, but it seems like a solid action platform to me. I'm noticing slight delay in the controls or it's as if the game ignores my commands sometimes. Might be my controller. Hmm... I just hope to find the original Pitfall here.

I always liked it, it was pretty, it had a nice atmosphere.    When I played it,  I wasn't playing a lot of platformers, so I judged the game on its own merits.   Someone used to other platformers may have a list of things it doesn't do right.

 

Also the Jaguar version looks nicer than most other platforms.   When I sold my Jag, I bought this on Windows, and it didn't quite look as good.

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10 hours ago, marcio_napoli said:

Super understand your point, I really don't mind 30 fps at all, but understand it's a deal breaker for a lot of people.

 

But would people have noticed it back in the day?

 

The same way 90s kids couldn't really notice the vastly improved graphics, would they notice the half framerate?  

 

The problem I see is that no one gave it a shot in the 90s, not only because no one had the Jag, but also people passed by like "it's just the SNES version again, skip".

I mean NTSC frame rate was 30fps (29.97 to be precise) interlaced.  If you did a 60fps game on those TVs,  wouldn't you see ugly interlaced artifacts when things are in motion?

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4 hours ago, CyranoJ said:

People go on and on about 'rush jobs' but fail to note that given the commercial lifespan of the Jaguar, if these titles had not been 'rushed' the console would have been long dead before they appeared and nobody would have had them at all.

Does that count for Crescent Galaxy too? :-D

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Also I don't see how Pitfall would be a rush job on the Jag. It's just as bad as the other versions, but it happens to look nicer. If all the other versions were amazing A quality games then one could call what we got on the Jag a rush job, but otherwise it's on par w/the others IMO.

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13 hours ago, tripled79 said:

Just found the original game on level 4. It was fun. Wish I could just play that for a while.

Play it as much as you would like.

 

To play the original Atari 2600 version of this classic game, select Info on the title screen and press C 26 times followed by Down.

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I watched a bunch of YouTube videos with side by side comparisons of all versions and I came away with the conclusion it is just a port and some systems were better than others depending on the system and porter capabilities and the Jaguar version was up there in the top of them as far as quality.  Not a system seller but a solid title in the same area as cannon fodder, syndicate, theme park, kind of stuff.

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20 hours ago, zzip said:

I mean NTSC frame rate was 30fps (29.97 to be precise) interlaced.  If you did a 60fps game on those TVs,  wouldn't you see ugly interlaced artifacts when things are in motion?

No. Like most retro consoles, the Jaguar outputs a 60 frames/second non-interlaced signal. It's not standard but virtually TVs of the time would display it without problems.

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To me the extra colors don’t make up for the lower frame rate. I did notice it immediately since I was used to the Genesis version. The Sega 32X version suffered the same fate. They just feel choppy and laggy compared to the Genesis game.
 

I also noticed the same problem in Raiden BITD. Funny how 30fps bothered me in those games and also In the Sega Master Systems Wonder Boy 3, but didn’t bother me on Streets of Rage 1 for the Genny nor Metal Slug for the Neo Geo. Maybe because the former i had played on other platforms at 60fps and not with the later.

 

So to me, Jag Pitfall and Raiden do play worse than the Genesis versions (and sound but that’s debatable). But Raiden in the SNES has the worst performance of all, that one is unplayable.

 

Also, I feel like even color wise Jag Pitfall isn’t that impressive... compared with some of the Jaguar exclusives. Isn’t it based on the Windows version? Which is 256 colors. Thus there would be no thousand of color graphics on the Jag port.

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I really like Pitfall TMA. It really takes some getting used to the controls, especially on the first level. I can't really describe it other than Harry has very awkward movements and wild jumping ability, plus the screen scrolls very quickly and it's easy to miss platforms and interactive objects. 

 

The graphics are excellent, but many items and pathways get obscured by the many foreground and background drawings. This is probably deliberate, but is confusing at the same time. It's a fun game to play if you can get the hang of the controls, but it's nowhere near as refined a platformer as Rayman.

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1 hour ago, sd32 said:

To me the extra colors don’t make up for the lower frame rate. I did notice it immediately since I was used to the Genesis version. The Sega 32X version suffered the same fate. They just feel choppy and laggy compared to the Genesis game.
 

I also noticed the same problem in Raiden BITD. Funny how 30fps bothered me in those games and also In the Sega Master Systems Wonder Boy 3, but didn’t bother me on Streets of Rage 1 for the Genny nor Metal Slug for the Neo Geo. Maybe because the former i had played on other platforms at 60fps and not with the later.

 

So to me, Jag Pitfall and Raiden do play worse than the Genesis versions (and sound but that’s debatable). But Raiden in the SNES has the worst performance of all, that one is unplayable.

 

Also, I feel like even color wise Jag Pitfall isn’t that impressive... compared with some of the Jaguar exclusives. Isn’t it based on the Windows version? Which is 256 colors. Thus there would be no thousand of color graphics on the Jag port.

Both Raiden and Pitfall were done by Imagitec Design, a development team Atari used because they could deliver a title within a reasonable time frame and within a reasonable budget. 

 

 

Your not going to have software houses optimising code and making substantial improvements on the existing versions, unless there is a large enough installed user base to warrant it. 

 

That was never the case with the Jaguar, it was more a case of simply getting software out whilst there still was a commercial market for it to speak of. 

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