Gaming Week 46: Superfrog HD (PC/PSN)

Gaming Week 46: Superfrog HD (PC/PSN)
As can be seen from the main menu above, the HD version of Superfrog comes with a level editor; a fairly simple to use level creator that allows you to make levels from brushes you unlock in the game.

I have extremely fond memories of Superfrog as a child, my dad would get his amiga out and let us play it for hours back in 1993. At the age of 6, I found it far too difficult for my young age, but everything about it fascinated me, from the Lucozade (Americans read: Energy drink), to the slot machine, all the colours and charm rubbed off on me as if it was a genuine product for a kid. Nostalgia has a weird way of changing ones perspective of pervious events, so I decided to take the plunge with Superfrog HD and see if it lives up to my high expectations from my youth.

Superfrog starts out like most 90’s and 80’s platformers: with a small intro to show how your hero begins his adventure and his motivation for doing so. Apart from the HD drawings, nothings changed in this respect from the original, with the only glaringly obvious difference being the lack of advertising from Lucozade, which has now been replaced with a generic bottle of potion which makes Superfrog, super. These potions can still be found within levels to get your health back up, but it takes some charm away from the game that I don’t get to see that lucozade logo whilst trawling through levels.

Each world ends with a boss battle with the witch, a simple affair which just entails Superfrog firing “spud” (his companion) at her whilst occasionally jumping. You’ll be hard pressed to lose a life.

Maps are slightly different this time round, with Team 17 making 4 new maps per world for this remake. Original levels are still here for you hardcore players, but they need to be unlocked through playing the slot machine which appears at the end of each level. It’s certainly not great to hold original levels behind a wall, but it encourages the player to play through all the new levels first, which are certainly easier than the originals. Levels are laid out fairly simply, and any player with average gaming ability should be able to complete the game with no problems. Original levels on the other hand are extremely difficult, which reminded me how far we’ve come in both dumbing down games, and making them user friendly.

Levels are designed to make you collect as much as possible, meaning you are constantly collecting fruit or items for high score, or coins for ranking at the end of the stage. Brushing up against certain walls will unlock secret spots, something that has been lost to this current generation of games. One new item that has been added to each level is the golden lily-pad, something which was absent from the original game, and a item that is hard to find on some levels. It’s always hidden in secret passageways, so you have to make sure you go out of your way to find it. Finding all the lily-pads gives you a trophy for all your hard work, something some players may not give a damn about so can be overlooked.

Levels are jam packed with fruit and items to collect, meaning you don’t go more than 5 seconds without a sound effect going off and your score going up.

Not content with just remaking the original in brand new lovely graphics, Team 17 added a plethora of new features, from cross play saves (play on your PS Vita whilst you’re out and play it again when you’re back home on your PS3) to level editors, and even frog trials. Cross play saves is a nifty little feature that allowed me to play Superfrog when I was out and about with my Vita, but synced up with my PS3 when I got home, meaning I could continue the same game I was playing on my TV and on my portable console. I really hope game developers continue to do this in future, it was a fantastic feature that would do many games justice. The level editor is pretty basic, but does what it says on the tin, whether you want to make difficult as hell levels or a simple, clever level is completely up to you. Frog trials are distinct challenges that aim to push your Superfrog skills as far as they’ll go, which sounds simple but they’re never-ending, so best of luck with it. All these next features were nifty, but not essential to the core game of what made Superfrog so great and memorable in the first place.

In conclusion, Superfrog does a good job of replicating the original as best it can. It’s a bit jarring at first, especially with the new levels being similar to the original, and does’t live up to the nostalgia the original brought on. Superfrog HD isn’t a bad game in it’s own right, but in my opinion, it doesn’t live up to the original.


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