Just Hoppin’ Along – Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition Review
This game was reviewed on Xbox 360
Frogger is a classic game nearly everyone remembers. The quick-footed amphibian belongs in the Hall of Fame alongside Lara Croft, Mario, and Sonic for early video game characters who remain in the public consciousness. The objective of a game of Frogger is simple: The player must guide a frog through perilous traffic, across a river filled with logs and nasty spiders, and to the safe spot at the end of the screen. I remember being a child and playing game after game of Frogger on my Commodore 64. Anyone who’s sceptical this old classic can’t compare to modern offerings will be pleasantly surprised by Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition, which recently became available on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the franchise.
Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition would not be complete without the original Frogger gameplay, and it does indeed deliver. The original game mode is ubiquitous in modern culture to the point shows such as Seinfeld have produced famous parodies of it. The basic game is considered a classic for a reason: It’s fun and re-playable without being complex or slow. The player doesn’t have to worry about bumpers, triggers, or even the face buttons of the controller. The only way to input the controls is the joystick. Just press forward to have Frogger jump forward, and moving the joystick side to side will move Frogger accordingly. The old gameplay withstands the test of time, and I spent some time communing with my inner child as I dodged trucks and leapt across lily pads.
With little challenges peppered throughout, this game has a surprising amount of ways to lose a life. Some of these deaths are more predictable than others – the player can always expect death if he or she mistimes a jump and leaps into the jaws of a hungry crocodile, but he or she might be surprised when the frog’s goal is invaded by an enemy beast.
If you become bored with the standard mode there are seven others available to shake up your experience. There’s a fun variation of challenges between modes: In Lady Frog Rescue, Frogger is now responsible for rescuing his female counterparts on his trek home. Battle Royale puts the player in an arena with his or her friends or AIs in a fight to the death, and Twin Frogger gives the player control of both Frogger and his buddy. The mode most fun by far is Frogger Freakout, where all of the modes make an appearance randomly as the player progresses.
Hyper Arcade Edition allows you to customize your experience: you can play with classic, 8-bit style graphics or you can switch your experience up with some shiny new graphics more appropriate to the current generation of consoles. Some of these themes are tributes to other Konami classics: You can jump across a Dance Dance Revolution game pad, put on a Contra theme, or even unlock a Castlevania map. These themes have a high ‘cool’ factor, but they are much harder to understand than the basic, simple layouts. I often died on the Dance Dance Revolution map because I couldn’t tell the difference between platforms and death zones.
Frogger has always been considered a classic, and Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition is a perfect way to revisit this childhood game. While hardcore gamers will probably overlook Frogger in pursuit of something with more meat on the bone, casual players will rejoice at the multiple game modes and refreshingly retro style. If you want to introduce someone of any age to gaming, Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition is a fantastic way to start – and you’ll have fun playing it by yourself, too!
Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition earns a 4.75/5.00
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