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Review: Frogger

If you don’t know what Frogger is, let me be the first to welcome you to the wonderful world of video gaming. (Try the power pellets, they’re scrumptious.) If you’re new to the game and just got broadband Internet in your cave dwelling or just wanting to relieve childhood memories, it’ll cost you 400 Microsoft Points for an Xbox Live Arcade download.

Frogger, as the name would imply, centers around the exploits of a frog trying to get home. Between him and his humble abode, however, are an increasingly busy highway and a river infested with snakes and alligators. This is an extremely brutal game: Frogger can be splattered, be killed by exhaust fumes, be killed by bushes, drown, be eaten by alligators, and be killed by snake venom. It’s tons of fun, for everyone but the frog.

The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game holds true to the format of the original arcade game - a little too true, if you ask me. Whereas Frogger 2: Swampy’s Revenge for the Playstation and Dreamcast had a nice, fluid motion and a full soundtrack, this game has neither: it’s about as stiff as the old game and other than some fun jingles now and then and Yankee Doodle (why?). Its Enhanced Graphics mode is pretty (and you’ll probably play that more) but it’s just really stiff. On a widescreen TV, the screen doesn’t take up much room (about one-third of the screen), but you can stretch it to about two-thirds (what it looks like on a 4:3 TV) with little-to-no squashing.

In fact, you’ll wonder why a $400 next-generation system couldn’t do Frogger better justice. The online modes are extremely choppy, and sometimes it ignores my button presses, sending me hurling into the corner of some shrubbery (pop goes the amphibian). For some reason, the online game insists on packing you and your opponent/ally into the same screen, which squashes both displays. The 360 also has trouble rendering two Froggers at once, which makes the game laggy as stated above.

Though, these complaints are mainly to do with the graphics. Other than some control issues, it’s still Frogger, and it’s still fun. In-game, you’ll only use the left stick or the directional pad to move your frog. The achievements are reasonably easy to get, and the ones that give you crap don’t feel impossible, and you feel like with enough practice you can get them all. It can be played same-Xbox with a friend, by yourself, or over Xbox Live. Also included is your standard Live leaderboards so you can see how l33t you are in contrast to the rest of the gaming planet.

The three multiplayer game modes are co-op, which has you and a friend working together with a combined score, Versus, which pits you against an opponent in a race to get the highest score (or to see whoever lasts the longest), and Versus Speed Mode, which tests who can finish a single level the fastest. Fantastic in theory, but honestly, why do I need to see what my opponent on Live is doing? Can’t I just mind my own business?

Conclusion

I like this game. I think my 400 Microsoft Points were well spent. However, it does have some flaws that are a result of simple design choices, and some flaws that are a result of a few programming glitches. If you’re a fan of retro games, or brutality towards frogs, go ahead and get it - the single-player is great. As always, you can try it out before you buy.

Final Score: 7 out of 10 - Above Average (how do we rank games?)

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39 comments on 'Review: Frogger'

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Comment by Rossko UK on 2006-07-12 20:12:33 | Reply

Yeah, I agree in most part, yet I haven’t played Live yet. Its OK, though I thought (for some reason) I’d get more. But hey-ho, role on next Wednesday!

Comment by FOURTW3NTY on 2006-07-12 20:13:18 | Reply

Wow, Frogger with glitches. You would think that in 25 years they should have it down. Oh well.

Comment by shadow000 on 2006-07-12 20:18:17 | Reply

5.5/10

No half-points here, unfortunately :(

Comment by Number13 on 2006-07-12 20:22:33 | Reply

The fact that everyone I know who’s played it says that it stutters and struggles at times puts me right off.

This is a, what, twenty year old game? How can it possibly struggle on a system that’s probably more powerful than the system that sent Armstrong to the moon?

*cries*

Comment by FOURTW3NTY on 2006-07-12 20:27:18 | Reply

Lets just pray they don’t get creative with the graphics for Galaga, that game doesnt need to change one bit.

‘We’ went to the moon???????? OMG!!

Konami code: Up,Up,Down,Down,Left,Right,Left,Right,B,A, Select+Start.

I don’t believe I forgot to try that :(

Isn’t this the code for Scorpions spinal rip in Mortal Kombat?

Comment by mtbjunkie on 2006-07-13 01:53:20 | Reply

up, down, left, right, A, B, B, A. Woot!

I played for only 15 minutes… but there are glitches?

I think my 400 Microsoft Points were well spent.

Too bad you had already spent that 400 on the PGR3 Style Pack yesterday and had to pay for more to get frogger.

Yeah, kind of screwed up there. Still got 2400 left though :)

I still remember playing the original game back in the eighties. Those were the good old days..simple but elegant games. Defender was the hardest, still remember playing a single game of the *original* Pac-man for an entire afternoon

Comment by Rich on 2006-07-12 22:11:13 | Reply

Only an entire afternoon?? I think I wasted a few more then that and even longer marathons. Yikes.

Comment by Rum an Coke on 2006-07-12 21:19:54 | Reply

It’s the code for 30 men in Contra

Comment by Hoffer on 2006-07-12 21:28:45 | Reply

I don’t know what people were expecting. It’s Frogger. It’s a 25 year old game design. I bought and played it this morning. It’s exactly what I expected it to be, Frogger. What were you expecting Frogger in 3-D with explosions and light sabers?

And Ninja’s on fire wrapped in smoked bacon.

Comment by Rossko UK on 2006-07-12 22:05:44 | Reply

Actually I was expecting 3-D, like in the original Sims kinda way.

Comment by mtbjunkie on 2006-07-13 01:55:01 | Reply

exactly waht I expected, and was surprised by the online side by side/head to head competition. Its FUN!

Comment by Michal on 2006-07-12 22:15:11 | Reply

yeah, pretty bad alright. I only did the demo. The thing takes up less than 1/3 of the screen. I totally agree that the dreamcast/ps2 version was way better. I’m not expecting 3d graphics, but I would expect it to be at least big enough that I don’t have to squint. I guess it just ruined it for me. My favorite arcade games right now are hexic, and the marble one.

Comment by mtbjunkie on 2006-07-13 01:57:06 | Reply

Did you press Pause in game, and resize your screen? You cannot do it from the main menu, but in game pause menu has the resize selection. Weird but true, and leaves you with more list 2/3 filled.

Comment by soul2soul on 2006-07-12 22:17:32 | Reply

Don’t like this conversion…

Comment by JS on 2006-07-12 22:41:18 | Reply

A) It’s frogger. Not frogger 3d or frogger 2.0…Frogger…
B) Squinty, yes, but still doable. Still better than a computer monitor.
C) 400 pts = $5 (1.25 US cent = 1 MSFT point) and $5 is peanuts for any game, period!
D) It’s…..FROGGER!!!

The best multiplayer XBLArcade game so far is Wik: Fable of Souls (hands down, the end). Outpost Kaloki X for single player, and Frogger just upped Gauntlet for best retro…

Eight point five and three-quarters out of ten. :-P

Comment by mtbjunkie on 2006-07-13 01:58:55 | Reply

if you squinting your pretty much a moron at this point because you never bothered to pause and resize. ugh!

Comment by ElmoFox on 2006-07-12 22:44:57 | Reply

so… 8 of these ‘remakes’… or..
buy Oblivion?

It doesn’t even look like the real frogger:
http://www.atariguide.com/ss/frogger.gif

I’d know how to spend my 40 dollars alright

here is a free remake of frogger http://www.btinternet.com...~mikenmaz/gfx/frogger.png
also the 2600 roms are legal now, so you could download stella for your windows pc, plus a 900 kilobyte file, containing all 2600 games ever released, this would cost you 1.000.000 microsoft points if you’d buy them all through xboxlive arcade.

my personal opinion, you pay for games that you can play for free on the internet.
A flash compatible browser for xbox360 would render the arcade useless!!

8 of these ‘remakes’… or..
buy Oblivion?

Buy Oblivion.

Comment by Clickfoot on 2006-07-13 21:19:45 | Reply

That picture is NOT the original frogger, you moron.

And NO, 2600 ROMS are NOT legal.

Comment by ElmoFox on 2006-07-12 22:49:06 | Reply

sorry, forgot to add that it is a nice review :) :
nice review!

Comment by Monkew on 2006-07-12 23:09:44 | Reply

Is it worth mentioning

. . . that the original Xbox can run Mame?

. . . the original Xbox is powerful enough to be a mythtv client (tutorial)

. . . play media from a remote PC (running Windows Media Center, or just about any other OS)

. . . and all of the above can be done legally, without opening your Xbox?

There’s little reason to buy games that you can play for free, as stated by previous posters. For me, there’s little reason to even have an Xbox360, as all it’s ‘new features’ can already be done with the previous version. The only upgrade is the new games, and, well, honestly they aren’t that much better. When Rockstar brings out a table tennis game, you know the end is neigh.

Comment by pmpboarder on 2006-07-13 06:20:11 | Reply

The end is neigh? So where are the horses?

Comment by Clickfoot on 2006-07-13 21:20:59 | Reply

Legally? You can play a Frogger ROM legally, then, can you?

Get a clue man…

Actually I see ROMs as a gray issue. If you own the game, I say by all means go for it (say, if you wanted screencaps or sprites, or just to play on a PC) but don’t distribute.

But that’s my opinion. Also, I tend to be wrong a lot :)

Comment by newmodel on 2006-07-12 23:30:57 | Reply

FYI, this review made it onto the personalized google technology rss feed somehow. In the top 3…

Nino showed me that. My question is, whytf’d they pick a review?

http://xbox360.ign.com/index/reviews.html

Answer: Because IGN hadn’t done it yet \o/

Comment by qwertyui on 2006-07-13 00:45:23 | Reply

i didnt like the demo

Comment by mtbjunkie on 2006-07-13 02:03:16 | Reply

wow, I think we have a lot of young gamers out there that dont remember what it was like to play a new 2600 game back in the 80’s. I do, and still appreciate it today. Even the glitchs are retro! I will give Frogger a 9! and that is mostly because of the online play is a sweet addition to an already great game. go back to playing Kameo if you want next generation, and quit your B!tchings.

I can already see the whinning when SF2-HF comes out, save your tissues you’ll need it then too.

Comment by Jones on 2006-07-14 08:00:42 | Reply

awful game!

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