Most of the game's basic platforming and combat mechanics are pretty solid, but they aren't devoid of problems, either.
Another problem with The Lost Expedition is that it just isn't paced particularly well. Especially toward the second half of the game, frequent backtracking trips are required to get to your next objective, and some of these trips can be almost obscenely long. There are some instances when shortcuts give you a quick trip across half the world, limiting you to a minimal amount of actual footwork, but there are still far too many times when you'll actually have to navigate your way back across a hefty portion of the game's world just to start your next mission. The whole game clocks in at around nine to 10 hours, though it would probably be closer to eight if it weren't for the needless retracing of previous steps, which ultimately makes these parts of the game seem even more like mere filler.
Fortunately, when you aren't forced to backtrack, the portions of the game that involve exploration and puzzle solving are actually pretty good. The Lost Expedition features a nice array of different areas to poke around, and figuring out the best way to get around and solve the puzzles necessary to progress, though not terribly difficult, is still fun. Also, the game does have a nice habit of occasionally throwing you unexpected curveballs, such as the first time you find yourself exploring one of the game's animal temples. Without spoiling the whole thing for you, let's just say that you'll gain a new appreciation for monkeys and their antics after the experience.
The Lost Expedition isn't an especially impressive-looking game, but what it lacks in technical prowess it mostly makes up for in charm. The basic look of the game is quite goofy, with exaggerated, gangly character designs, bright and colorful color schemes, and plenty of zany animation. There isn't a huge variety of animation in the game, but what's there looks extremely fluid and seamless. Every environment in the game features a nice variety of terrain and set pieces, and on the whole, they're nice to look at--though mostly from a distance, because when you get too up-close and personal with the environments, you tend to take more notice of the less-than-impressive textures and lousy effects, such as the absolutely atrocious in-game water effect. Of the three console versions of the game, the Xbox version both looks the best and performs the best overall. Everything in the Xbox version looks crisp and bright, whereas the GameCube and PS2 versions look more notably drab--especially the PS2 version. The PS2 and GameCube iterations also suffer from frequent frame rate drops and hitches, though for no particular reason. The Xbox version has its moments of frame rate drop as well, but not as often as in the other two versions. The game controls just fine on all three systems, so there's no real platform advantage to be found there.
The Lost Expedition has its ups and downs, but overall, it's worth playing if you're a fan of the platform genre.
The Lost Expedition's sound quality is likely its best asset. The voice acting for Harry and the rest of the game's wacky roster of characters is great, featuring well delivered dialogue and some solid comic timing. The game also includes a well-composed, mostly orchestral-sounding soundtrack. Each piece of music fits its respective environment quite well and invokes the proper feelings of dread, tension, excitement, and the like. Most of the in-game sound effects are appropriately nutty, as is the dialogue of some of the random enemy characters. The only annoyances to be found are the semi-obnoxious repetition of some of the enemy dialogue, such as the dialogue of the "native" characters, and the high-pitched squealing of the game's howler monkeys. When you're dealing with only one or two monkeys at a time, this isn't really a problem, but if you get stuck facing four, five, or even more of them, the noise level turns into an unbearable cacophony. Fortunately, though, this doesn't happen too often.
Pitfall: The Lost Expedition is as much give and take as you'll find in a modern platformer. For every good quality it features, there's an issue to be found. However, this is not to say that all enjoyment from the game is negated in any way--in fact, if you can find it within yourself to simply grin and bear some of the problems the game has, you'll likely find The Lost Expedition to be pretty enjoyable. Sure, it probably won't please any hardcore Pitfall! purists, but if you're just on the lookout for a solid platformer for a weekend rental, then Pitfall: The Lost Expedition is right up your alley.