Superfrog HD (Vita) Review
- Wonderfully captures the look of the original Amiga version
- Still a solid platformer in so many ways
- Cross buy and a multitude of features give great value for moneyt
Not so much?
- Rolls in a few of the issues and faults of the original which can be frustrating
- Removed the original start and Eric Schwartz's animation should have been remade
- Level editor not the most friendly of its kind
- Touch screen stuff is superficial at best
Superfrog HD is a game I’ve been looking forward to for the past 20 years. Team 17 have updated the Amiga classic and seem to have applied to the same love and attention they did when updating the Alien Breed series a few months back. Immediate cards on the table here. I love Superfrog. I [...]
Superfrog HD is a game I’ve been looking forward to for the past 20 years. Team 17 have updated the Amiga classic and seem to have applied to the same love and attention they did when updating the Alien Breed series a few months back.
Immediate cards on the table here. I love Superfrog. I seriously love the little green guy! Many gush a million thoughts in a soliloquy to Sonic. Others excrete many missives about Mario. Me… I liked the damn frog! I spent many an email to Martyn Brown when he headed up Team 17 trying to badger the poor man in to green-lighting an update. Heck I even did it after he left Team 17!
Many wanted the blue hedgehog or the obese plumber on the Amiga – I say Superfrog might not have been the superhero they wanted, but he was the superhero they deserved…. hey that’s kinda catchy someone should write that down and use it in a movie or something!
Superfrog HD takes the original concept of the 1993 Amiga classic and gives is a lovely fresh coat of paint. Not a new colour scheme or reimagined looks. No this looks just like if the team from 1993 (Rico Holmes, Andreas Tadiac and Allister Brimble) sat down today to make an Amiga game – which I just adore. Sure it’s a little garish and bright and looks maybe a little kiddie but it just works so well with the whimsy of the game.
The newly created levels ape the original ones well and offer up more than a little challenge at times. The original Superfrog was hard – really bloody hard – at times and Superfrog HD hasn’t lost much bite in the more modern gamer friendly level designs.
Having the original levels included is a great bonus – although they have to be unlocked via the end of level minigame. Each level ends with you getting a number of spins on a fruit-machine. You spin and nudge your way to more spins and level unlocks. It’s nice that you can unlock the later original levels this way even if you’ve still not progressed there in the modern modes.
The game still plays very well. It does feel a little clunky in places and platformers have moved on from the simple obstacle courses and switch pullers they once were. That said even with retro nostalgia aside Superfrog HD is still more than a reasonable platformer for the budget price point.
It does have its faults though and I need to put the rose-tinted glasses down for a moment. Death comes swift and, at times, unjustly. Walking in to the side of spikes can mean certain death. Jumping and hitting an enemy, which loses you a life point, can be annoying but it turns to pure rage when your anaesthetised frog drops two screen and lands on spikes equally instant loss of a precious life. Jumping is a little sluggish and you have to learn the delay between the button press and the jump taking place – not a big deal once learned but can still catch you out at times. Boss battles with the evil witch who’s taken your beloved (who you’re trying to rescue of course!) are tedious most of the time and require little more than finding the optimum spot to stand and execute a ball throw – pretty sure this lively little critter was called Drut in the original but I forget!
The inclusion of a level editor is nice and does add to the longevity. That said it’s very labour intensive and not that user fr4iendly. Don’t expect ModNation or Little Big Planet level of user interface from the Superfrog HD level editor.
My only other moans come from a nostalgia point of view. I miss the Eric Schwartz animated intro that the Amiga had. I miss Allister Brimbles’ original score – it had more quirk and charm. And why the deuce did they replace the great start sequence where the eyes of the frog come on in the dark, the music builds, there’s a massive CROAK and the lights come up on our hero. The new start seems a little flat.
Superfrog HD is 90% the game I wanted it to be. It’s a lovingly created reworking of the classic 1993 Amiga title that Team 178 built their massive reputation on.
It looks just like a modern Amiga game should have done and the original game play still appeals greatly. There are issues here as there were in the original Amiga edition and those are far less forgivable on a modern title. That said to repair them maybe would have broken some of the quirkiness that was the original title.
The level editor, the cross-platform saves, cross-buy, the original levels, online leader boards and revamped levels are a very attractive package and will certainly keep you busy for many an hour. For the price of admission this is one nostalgia trip that I urge as many people as possible to embark on.
If I didn’t have to be objective I’d be giving it a 10… Hell if I’m being that care free I’d crank it up to an 11! Unfortunately sensibilities and responsibilities of a review mean I just reserve that level of mania for Twitter and close friends to hear.
IF you played the original and liked it you’ll fall in love with it all over again this time around. And don’t forget this is PSN cross-buy so buy it for PS3 and get it on Vita and vice-versa!
Who the heck is Superfrog? Educate yourselves right here courtesy of Lemon Amiga: