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It always surprises me just how little effort Activision put into the Atari 5200 versions of their games. For the most part, they are nearly identical to their Atari 2600 counterparts. In the case of Pitfall, only the trees and bushes in the background are enhanced - and only slightly at that! All other objects including Pitfall Harry, the scorpions, and the crocodiles look exactly the same as those in the 2600 version! And if you thought this would be as fun to play as the Atari 2600 version, think again! The control absolutely sucks, thanks to the lousy non-centering joystick. You can imagine how frustrating it is to jump across the crocodile heads. Then there's the problem with letting go the vines. That's right, you'll actually need to wrestle with the joystick just to release yourself. Control problems really hamper this game, so stick with the Atari 2600 version. NOTE: This cartridge will not run on the two-port Atari 5200 models.
The bottomline is Pitfall! was years ahead of its time in terms of game play but adventure games have come a long way since, especially in terms of options. The 5200 version could have easily added meat to the bones to spice things up but like most of their 5200 games they hardly did anything here. The graphics and sounds are not really upgraded, the game play is still challenging but it isn't any better, and the controls just stink worse then year old milk. Perhaps the worse part about this game is that it won't work on the 2 port Atari 5200 system, but may be this can be seen as a positive since it means you don't have to play it. I don't know how Activision could screw one of their best known games but they taking a fun and Action/Adventure titles and turned it into this turd.