Good to see Frogger return with some new ideas.
Classic Frogger is still better than this new offering.
Frogger is one of the oldest gaming icons that we have but the passage of time hasn’t been too kind to him. As technology got more and more advanced, games started to change. Mario made the jump from amazing 2D games to amazing 3D games and so on, while Frogger was still Frogger. As game companies came up with more creative ways to use their characters, Frogger was left in the dust. Sure, that’s not to say that there haven’t been Frogger games in recent years, because there have been, but rather that Frogger hadn’t made the leap into something new, like the leap from Super Mario World to Super Mario 64. While not making a jump as drastic as the one previously mentioned, Frogger 3D finally brings new ideas and gameplay elements to the Frogger franchise. Unfortunately, not all of them are good.
Frogger now has a single player campaign, which will have him visiting various locations, each more complicated and unfair then the last. There are multiple levels per location, and the end of every location will have Frogger against some form of a boss. Unfortunately, the boss fights border on insane, and can be very aggravating. One fight in particular had Frogger jumping across the semi tricks, avoiding the low hanging signs and streetlights on the way. Near the end, the number of lights increases drastically, making it quite annoying. Plus, Frogger only has 3 lives per stage, and you have to start over once you die, so that means starting a boss fight from the beginning.
The regular levels now have a kind of checkpoint system, where Frogger has to reach three checkpoints in each level for him to advance on his journey. While doing so he can collect coins to unlock other stages. The first world is basically a typical Frogger game with better graphics, just trying to cross the road, but it quickly becomes much more than that. Giant trucks that take up multiple lanes will come flying down the road at you, and cars will speed up and fly around corners, attacking you while they’re in your blind spot. Each checkpoint is progressively more difficult to reach, and some of the final checkpoints can seem harder than they should be. However, it is nice to see Frogger doing something other than crossing roads, as he hops on the top of buildings, giant frogs, trucks, through trenches, and onto highway overpasses. There was a short level which involved Frogger jumping up the windows of a sky scraper, while avoiding falling girders and a vicious eagle. It’s the ideas like this one that made the game more enjoyable, and didn’t give the feel of just another Frogger game.
The sound of the game is alright, though it feels out of place. The upbeat happy Frogger music that you might expect is nowhere to be found, instead there are serious, dramatic sounding tunes that don’t seem to fit with the rest of the game. Not to mention the fact that the music repeats so often, and the fact that the same song is heard on multiple levels, makes the music get old very quickly.
The presentation of the game is decent, though not anything to write home about. The 3D effect works best on the menu screen, and really does nothing during gameplay, which led to this being the first 3DS game that I played in 2D the majority of the time. The graphics are bright and colorful for the most part, and the quality is probably along the lines of something that you would see on the PS One. This is probably a reason as to why the game is cheaper than most 3DS games, along with the fact that the Frogger name is not as powerful as it once was. Despite the lower price, I can’t recommend this game to anyone. The best part of the game is actually the infinite classic Frogger mode, which you can access right from the beginning. Sure, it looks pretty dated, but it is more fun and more fair than the actual campaign mode itself.
Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.