Frogger 2: Swampys Revenge
The hoppinest piece of road-kill ever gets a second (or is it a third?) shot at virtual life, courtesy of Hasbro Interactive and Millennium Interactive (Glover). Now you can play as the little frog who could through a 3D platformer adventure mode, or take to the streets in a traditional overhead homage to the original game. Multiplayer has also been added. Frogger 2 is due this summer.
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Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge is similar to the previous 3D Frogger game, except for a few notable differences: Now you control Frogger's girlfriend, the gameplay has been tweaked, and more multiplayer modes have been added. Oh, and the game's not complete crap anymore. Yes, the last Frogger sold a billion copies, but ask nearly anyone who knows about games what they thought of it, and you'll likely get a strange series of sounds that could only have a negative meaning. Thankfully Hasbro apparently realized this, and instead of just farming out another game that would have sold a few million copies no matter how bad it was, they gave the license to a different developer who actually spent time and improved the single-player experience. An entirely new 3D engine was developed that pulls the camera back at key areas (making it easier to navigate the arcade sequences) and new power-ups have been added. Unfortunately the controls are still twitchy as hell, so expect many accidental (and incredibly frustrating) deaths. Another downpoint are the multiplayer modes; while it's true that there are tons of games for you and your friends to play, most of them are boring and poorly designed, hurting the overall package--a few good multiplayer games would have been better than the bunch of lames ones here. Overall though, Frogger 2 is certainly worth its low ($29.99) price tag.
Being an old school arcade junkie, I really wanted to like Frogger 2, but what I found instead was a mediocre 3D platformer. The first title in the console series sold well and maybe I'm not the target audience, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it. After all, Mario-based games aren't targeted at adult males and I have a heck of a good time playing them. The basic movements of the frog are choppy, and you can't see enough of the screen. In two-payer mode, it's hard to tell my green frog apart from my opponents'. The game also sparked the same question that I had with the original: Why does Frogger, an amphibian, die when he lands in the water?
Insanely, the first PlayStation Frogger sold buttloads. It's possible that Frogger 2 will too, but to whom I don't know. The old-school Frogger program is in full swing here; watch for cars, cross the road, try not to get squished. Sounds pretty familiar, except that F2 adds a platforming, Klonoa-wannabe semi-3D quest that will entertain toddlers only. While the controls are serviceable enough, trying to get Frogger past the wide assortment of steam-pipes and electrodes is tiring, and makes F2 one of the most tedious games I have ever played. Perhaps older gamers who haven't touched a video game since '83 may dig this, but this I can live without.