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Xbox Live Arcade Review: Frogger

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An undeniable classic, Frogger is a game of insane and possibly blind drivers that fail to see what must be a six-foot, brightly colored frog crossing the road. By slipping in between their patterns of movement, you'll either get smashed or make it to a raging river. There you'll traverse a tricky combo of snakes, otters, alligators, and ever deadly water.

Yes, deadly water…to a frog.

We'll probably never know what the designers were thinking when they pitched that concept. Nonetheless, the game has endured awful sequels, meaningless updates, and now a conversion by Digital Eclipse to the Xbox Live Arcade, the first time the series has been taken online.

As a single player game, this conversion offers nothing new aside from a graphical facelift. It's still 2-D, overhead, and a little bland. The original graphics are of course available too, now in full HD if you want to show off a $2000 TV with Frogger. Updated music is aggravating, and oddly, the original theme song is missing.

This conversion seems to be a little off in spots, especially in collision. While the original arcade cabinet was unforgiving, the new combination of the Xbox 360 d-pad and inconsistent hit detection is beyond irritating. It's flat out unfair at times and even an extra level of caution may not be enough. If the game says you scraped the back end of a truck, then there's not much you can do.

Three different online modes feature the same mechanics. Regardless of which mode you play, you'll suffer though some game-killing lag. Frames skip, things slow down, and timing is completely off when the game goes on to what will undoubtedly become its trademark.

Things start off with a basic versus mode. Players go side-by-side for points, a simple setup for stiff competition. Speed mode is a race to clear the level first with unlimited frogs to do so. Disappointingly, you can only play the first level. There's no way to select a later level for an additional challenge.

Co-op is the final method of play, and there's still a little competition here, too. Again, it's split screenplay as the scores of both players are combined. At every 20,000 points, an extra life is awarded, but only to the player who gets the actual 20,000th point.

Achievements are fun while creating a new set of challenges. Waiting to the last possible second in the street before heading for an exit nets a few points, eating bonus bugs gains some more, and clearing each level is, of course, worth some more. They're well spread out, though the only one given for multi-player is for netting 30,000 points in co-op.

For the right price of 400 MS Points, it's hard not to purchase Frogger. After all, it's Frogger. If the online features ran properly, it would be a must have. As it is, don't expect much from the multi-player (especially since local multi-player isn't split screen) and just enjoy the classic as it's meant to be played.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://www.genericmugwump.com/ Aaron Fleming

    I’ll never forget that episode of Seinfeld where George tries to save the Frogger machine with his high score, and which ends in Frogger-mode with him trying to cross the road with it, complete with top-down camera perspective. Classic!

    Never much cared for the game myself though.

  • Andrew Ogier

    Matt, you forgot something… for those who don’t mind cheating to get achievement points (*cough* *cough* Looking at you Matt *cough* *cough*), enter a single player game and before you press start enter in the Konami Code.

    For those that don’t remember the Konami Code (shame on you), it’s:

    Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A.

    Voila! Congratulations! You’re now a filthy dirty cheat!

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