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Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Hasbro Interactive
Developer: Hasbro Interactive
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:

Frogger always has a 2D place in my heart. It and all the other arcade classics endure because of addictive gameplay and strong design, and sometimes in the move to 3D, things can be lost in the translation. To be honest (and I always am...;^) I played Frogger 2 with more vigor on Game Boy Color than on PlayStation, mostly because I remember Frogger before he had more than a couple dimensions, and I like the way HASBRO brought this arcade gem to GBC.

Visually, the playing field in Frogger 2 seems very different, but the floating gators, logs and busy streets are still there. GBC is great for showing Frogger without too many changes. It's the same look, just smaller. The music also doesn't need much changing to work on GBC, but beyond the retro theme, there are a few new tunes.


Gameplay:

Why did Frogger cross the street? To rescue Baby Frogs, of course! Not only does he cross the street, but icy lakes, fiery lava and hungry gators are on the bill for Frogger 2. With missing Baby Frogs, you choose to play as Frogger or Lillie Frog, navigating through tricky levels that test every bit of patience you thought you had. You see, it's not just about dodging cars anymore, kiddies. Now, you have more choice of movement, and need to find your way through maze-like levels or figure out the right way to get through slippery ice-fields. Baby Frogs are spread out through five stages, and after completing all levels within a stage, you're challenged to a Treasure Room puzzle. Solve the puzzle and a Baby Frog will appear. Grab the Baby Frog, and it's on to the next stage. Some of the levels are really tough, and there's always a timer clicking away in case you plan in dilly-dallying. But, some of the nice touches that HASBRO included are a helper-frog, checkpoints and a little hourglass that gives you more time. Tadius, the helper-frog, is often a little obvious, but he's the one thing that will help the younger set finish some of the trickier levels. All supporting items aside, each level is just about the right size, and the settings always change enough to make getting to the end a fun task. I'm a little surprised that HASBRO chose to push the 'puzzle' label on Frogger 2 for GBC; anyone looking for gray-matter stimulation will probably not find much here. It felt more like pure arcade to me, but that's just because good reflexes are still all you need to finish most levels.

Difficulty:

Pacing is important in a game, and Frogger 2 is all about letting you off easy at first and then tightening the screws after each level. The Ice Cave stage is particularly tough, because hitting a patch of ice sends Frogger into an uncontrollable slide. The answer? You plan each slide to put you on a solid patch of ground, or a solid floating object. Believe me, it sounds easier than it is in execution. But, with good timing and a little luck, most gamers will blow through Frogger 2 in no time at all. If you're into setting records, there's extra replay value in trying to earn trophies for each level by completing it in the fastest time.

Game Mechanics:

A quick playing game like Frogger almost surprised me with its battery-save, but few people will knock this off in one sitting. So, Frogger 2 supports up to 3 different save slots. Options for the game are really nice, giving you the chance to change music and sound effects, play as either Frogger or Lillie Frog, and even change the name of a saved game or erase files. Also, you can choose to play a level through for practice, or even try story mode without choosing a saved file. This 'guest' file is a cool idea for those times when you have 3 saved games already and want to let someone try the game without playing one of your saved games. Especially because GBC is portable, I've had this happen, and it's scary to have some hack playing around with the save-file you sweated and bled for. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you know what I mean... The only button that gets used beside the D-pad is when you talk to Tadius for hints. Everything else is just hopped over, and your hopping thumb will get really sore, believe me.

Nobody who ever loved Frogger in the arcade could help but like this GBC adaptation. It's a smart move, really, bringing this one to a portable. There are plenty of tricks in each level to keep things interesting for people that get sick of crossing roads and ponds, but all the quick hopping action is basically preserved here. Frogger is the kind of game that is always worth a quarter in my book, and now that Frogger is portable, he's on the road in more ways than usual... (heh)


-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

GameBoy Color/Pocket Chicken Run GameBoy Color/Pocket Who Wants to be a Millionaire: 2nd Edition

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated