Retro Review: Frogger (PSX)

Retro Review: Frogger (PSX)

The year is 1997. It’s a dark time to be a frog. The traffic is relentless and there are crocodiles and sentient lawn mowers everywhere. One wrong move and I could become a chew toy. I make my way quickly across the road, weaving in and out of traffic. I finally make it across and try to make it across the water…only to jump at the wrong moment and dive into the calm stream, causing me to encounter a violent death.

This is actually how you feel when play the PlayStation version of Frogger. It feels like the entire world is at war with you; just a small polygonal frog against the world. You will die so many times in this game, it will make you feel like you’re playing a kiddy version of Dark Souls. But this game isn’t all that bad; I found quite a lot of enjoyment in this little game.

Let’s start with the story, which is basically non-existant. The goal of the game is to get through each of the multiple levels in the nine worlds and find all 175 baby frogs. Why? Who cares; this game can stand without a deep story, since it’s basically an arcade style game anyway. This game was made when players were still expected to read the manuals, so make sure to do so.

When you start a level, you begin with three lives, which means, given the difficulty of this game, that you will see the Game Over screen more than anything else. You also have a limited time to find each frog, making the game even more difficult. The game requires perfect timing when moving. If you try and get on a moving log a millisecond too late or too soon, you’ll soon find yourself in a watery grave. While I’m thinking about this, why does water kill Frogger? Last time I checked, most frogs could actually swim. Anyway, after about 48,392,049,349 Game Over screens (read: slight hyperbole), you should have a sense of where everything is in a level and you should then be able to actually beat it. One thing that helps is to croak; croaking near a baby frog causes the frog to croak as well, helping you locate the little buggers.

But this game isn’t all gripes. I actually had fun, despite dying so much. The levels themselves were designed quite cleverly and the bright jazz/pop/whatever soundtrack brought out the best of the levels and graphics. The graphics themselves aren’t bad for a PlayStation game from 1997 and the animations are better than those I’ve seen from other PlayStation games. I especially like when I get hit by a dog and the dog shakes me around like a chew toy. Sometimes, though, I tend to get frame-rate drops in certain parts of the levels, but it’s never bad enough to make me hate the game; that’s the difficulty’s job. You can aslo find flying bugs everywhere that, when eaten, give you a temporary power-up or increases your score, time, or number of lives.

All in all, Frogger isn’t too bad. It was pretty fun and I had a blast playing it, but the difficulty can sometimes be too much. I’d rather just have infinite lives since there is no way that I can find all of the frogs in each level without at least ten game overs. I’ve thrown my controller a few times, I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I even die for no reason: I was playing earlier and I was on a log and all of sudden I died. I have no clue why this happened. My time meter had yet to empty and there were no hazards nearby. Also, make sure to save before turning off your console. This game does not automatically save your progress, so before you leave, make sure to go into the options menu and find the “Save Game Data” option.

Release Date: November 3rd, 1997


Fun gameplay

Great graphics/animations (for a PSX game)
Soundtrack complements game well
Plenty of levels

Extremely difficult
Random frame-rate drops
Caused anger management problems
You get sick of Game Over screens
Random glitch-caused deaths
64 out of 100

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