Game Over Online ~ Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge

GameOver Game Reviews - Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge (c) Hasbro Interactive, Reviewed by - Rorschach

Game & Publisher Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge (c) Hasbro Interactive
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 75%
Date Published Monday, September 25th, 2000 at 08:59 PM

Divider Left By: Rorschach Divider Right

I have to admit to myself that I'm past my prime. Research has shown that, near my age, my hand-eye coordination will start to go; though thankfully I haven't noticed that yet. I've started to become a little nearsighted, and I have more difficulty controlling my weight than I did when I was young. I misplace my car keys sometimes. My hair is thinning, my knees ache when it's cold, and I have a prostate the size of a grapefruit! Laugh it up, kids. You're on the same death train that I am, only a few cars back. But there was a brief, shining moment back in the summer of '79 when I was at the top of my game. When, if you walked into Frederick's Luncheonette on Bond Street in Great Neck, NY, you would see a videogame in the back of the store, and at the top of the high score list on that videogame was LEO. That was me. LEO is not my name, but it was the coolest thing I could think of to put in the three letters allotted in the high score list. Now you could probably leave the whole damn Gettysburg Address if you were willing to take the time to type it in, but back then static memory was expensive - three letters was all you got, and so LEO it was, top of the chart.

And that game, as I'm sure you all can guess, was not Frogger. Frogger? Puh-leese! What a lame game. Like I would plunk down my quarters, hard earned by shelving half a million books every day at the Great Neck Public Library, to help a frog cross a highway. Now I probably would have loved to play a game in which you tried to run down frogs crossing the highway, but that would have been Carmageddon V0.1. The game I was playing was Dig Dug in which you would jam an air hose up a monster's you-know-what and pump him up until he pops. A pretty cool concept game, even today, and a game that I think is begging to be remade in 3D graphics splendor.

Anyway, across the store from the Dig Dug was a Frogger - I bet you were starting to wonder if I would ever get around to discussing Frogger. The girls would all crowd around Frogger and, like an awkward junior high school dance, all the guys were across the store at the Dig Dug. So a few years ago Hasbro looked at the videogame market full of death and destruction and decided to try and make something for the ladies - a Frogger remake. They were probably also looking to cash in on the nostalgia of my aging generation. Personally, I'm nostalgic about my first car. I'm nostalgic about my first dog. I'm not nostalgic about Frogger. I played the remake demo once; it was OK. My wife doesn't really go near the computer except to chat with friends or read the All My Children newsgroup. In short, I have no idea who bought Frogger - maybe kids and families - but someone must have because here comes the sequel: Frogger 2 - Electric Boogaloo. OK, that joke was too easy, and probably too eclectic for most of you in a Dennis Miller-y kind of way. The name of the game is actually Frogger 2 - Swampy's Revenge. Swampy, I think, is the name of the crocodile. Having never really played the first Frogger, I don't know what Swampy feels he needs to get revenge for. Maybe frogger blew up his home planet.

In many ways, this game is much the same as all the other Froggers, albeit with snazzy 3D graphics. You play as either Frogger, or his girlfriend, Lillie, and the object of the game is to rescue your kids (They're not married, and they have kids? Sin! Sin! Maybe they're Frogger's kids from a previous marriage). You play about half the levels as Frogger, and half as his girlfriend, but the gameplay doesn't change between them. This is primarily a game of timing. You, as the frog, come to some obstacle - a river, a lava flow, lines of stampeding insects or machines, electrified train tracks - that you need to cross to rescue your kids. Fortunately, there are objects in the obstacle to help you - leaves floating on the river, rocks on the lava, gaps in the lines, mine cars on the rails. Your job is to hop - leaf to leaf, rock to rock, gap to gap, etc. - to get across. Fall in the river and you die. Fall in the lava and you die. Get run over by an insect and you die. Fall on the tracks and you die. Your deaths are very cutesy. Fall in the lava and burn down to ash and eyeballs. Get hit by a boulder and blow into fragments like you were made of glass. If you are hit by a spear, you are sliced cleanly in half - no blood, no organs, no mess. As many bloodless death animations as there are ways to die. But even with this plethora of ways to die it's a pretty easy game. Easier now because, while the other Froggers were timed - you had to get across the river before a clock ran out - this Frogger has no timer. You can rest on the riverside as long as you like waiting for the perfect line up of leaves to come along. There are a couple of other things for you to do occasionally like hop on a button to raise a bridge or set off dynamite, and there are slides to slide down. There are coins to collect (Coins? What does a frog need with coins?) for a bonus, and butterflies you can zip out your tongue and eat for other bonuses, usually an extra life, though sometimes you get some type of power up.

The graphics are very advanced for such a game; colored lighting, some particle effects, and supported resolutions much higher than are honestly necessary to draw a frog and a crocodile. I like the way it looks. The camera does not move from it's top down and a little behind you view. Most of the time the camera is in a good place to show you what you need to see. Sounds are a fun cross between nature and a cartoon.

The designers of the game have been very clever with their level themes and layout. One level you're in an anthill, another in a mine, another in outer space, inside a factory, etc. There is a really cute Indiana Jones type level complete with spears and rolling boulder traps. But all the creativity aside, this game is 99% hop and wait, hop and wait, hop and wait. The first level is a 20-second tutorial, which teaches you EVERYTHING you need to know to play the game. This is a very simple game; really too simple a game to keep an adult interested for long. If you've been playing Deus Ex, I think the depth of gameplay offered by Frogger 2 will disappoint you. I suspect this game would be a lot of fun for ten-year-olds, but what do I know? I plan to give out condoms on Halloween.


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