A Buggy Frog –
Frogger has hopped onto next gen systems, including PSN and WiiWare, but winds up jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
The main Frogger gameplay elements that gamers have been playing for decades remain the same – move from one side of the screen to the other without coming in contact with numerous hazards along the way. But like any sequel, new modes and features have been added. It is just too bad that most of them are a wasted opportunity.
Besides the classic level-progressing Frogger game mode, a few new modes provide a new twist on the tile hoping gameplay both with single and multiplayer. Tile Capture is a multiplayer match with the goal of hopping on more tiles than your opponent. Battle Royal is the other multiplayer option where the objective is to squish or to be squished. Both of these new multiplayer modes could be fun for a few minutes but having same-sofa multiplayer only is a big missed opportunity. The only online portions in Hyper Arcade Edition are the Leaderboards. AI controlled opponents fill in when human players cannot.
In addition to these two multiplayer modes, there are a few other single player options. Lady Frog Capture tasks the player with collecting as many female amphibians as possible and Paint mode forces the player to hop on specific tiles to form an image. Twin Frogger, in which each move controls two Froggers at the same time, is only a frustrating experience thanks to the shoddy collision detection. Frogger Freak Out is just a rehashing of all the other game modes rolled into one since each stage provides a random object – it might be a classic stage, a twin Frogger stage, or even a Paint level.
Frogger Hyper Arcade is also in desperate need of a patch as many faucets of the entire game experience are buggy, from the menus to the gameplay. On several occasions, I both hopped into the goal at the top of the screen and died at the same time. Collision detection is also way off as it is possible to die from a vehicle that is basically one tile away. There was even a time when I finished a stage but instead of letting me select the Continue or Quit options, I was instead in control of the Frogger behind the pop up menu, unable to select the menu. Also, I had several downloads downloading the background which I was playing, only to have the game automatically restart to the main menu screen when a download finished… Yeah, and I was several stages into the Paint mode and there is no option to continue where you left off. Frustrating.
The game just lacks in overall presentation values. First, the Frogger mascot has changed so many times over the last couple decades that this new version looks out of place when comparing it to other games in the series, including the most recent retail 3DS version. Secondly, there are a bunch of little things that wind up being way more complicated than it needs to be. For example, after each stage, the player has to select to continue or quit. But because the menu system is so poorly designed, it is nearly impossible to tell which option is selected. Even when playing Battle Royal mode, the pink female frog that everyone needs to grab in order to gain the squishing super power is the same color as one of the opponent frogs. And one of the highlighting features is the ability to play with Castlevania and Contra sprites but this content remains locked until the player suffers through hours of trial and error. Load times are also frequent and long, the power up weapons in the multiplayer modes are lame and confusing, there is no clear indicator on lives remaining, and the soundtrack is just plain lacking.
Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition is rough around the edges. At the end of the day, I would rather play the original version of the Frogger on the XBLA or even the original Atari 2600 version. No online options and buggy gameplay really is not worth the 800 space bucks.
Not As Good As: you want it to be
Also Try: the 3DS version
Wait For It: Frogger to be released in Game Room
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