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Montezuma's Revenge (original)
For those of you not familiar with Montezuma's Revenge, it was a groundbreaking title that rivaled Pitfall with respect to innovation in the adventure gaming genre. The game combined the best elements of adventure games with jumping-climbing-fighting dexterity challenges along with a dose of puzzle solving elements, all wrapped up and spiced with marvelous graphics. Originally created for the Atari 8-bit line of computers by Utopia Technologies, it was later ported to the a wide range of systems including the 2600, 5200 (which was identical to its 400/800 counterpart), Colecovision, and even the Sega Master System.

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The same team of individuals responsible for the original are set to bring an updated sequel entitled Montezuma's Return, a first-person realtime 3d action adventure game for the PC. As was the case with Pitfall 3D, Montezuma's Return moves far away from its 2D roots and into a full three-dimensional world.

Unlike the classic Montezuma's Revenge (which will be included as a bonus in Montezuma's Return), this updated game will not feature Panama Joe as its main character. Rather, Montezuma's Return has you controlling Max Montezuma, the descendant of the legendary Aztec emperor, running around in an open environment solving puzzles, maneuvering obstacles and avoiding foes by running, jumping from trampolines and punching. There will be nine levels and nine bonus levels in the finished version of the game.

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If you're into eye candy on the 3Dfx, Utopia's Uvision engine is highly tweaked with some great lighting features and bright textures. However, it is said to run acceptably on PCs without 3D acceleration. Compared to the original, Montezuma's Return seems to lean more heavily toward exploration and puzzle solving instead of the strong emphasis on action and jumping found in Montezuma's Revenge. In other words, if you saw it as a cross between Tomb Raider, Super Mario 64 and Prince of Persia, you wouldn't be far off. Furthermore, the puzzles seemed quite elementary and enemies were little more than mere obstacles in the version that we tried, suggesting that Montezuma's Return is focused more on the casual player and not the hardcore gamer that grew up adoring the groundbreaking Atari 8-bit classic.

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Montezuma's Return will be published by Take Two Interactive and is due for a fall release for the PC, followed shortly by a version for the Gameboy (!). Playstation and Nintendo 64 editions are also under consideration, although no timetables have been set for either of those systems.

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