Review of ‘Frog: A Warts and All Blast From the Past
All of us have been guilty of longing to relive the days of our youth. It is normal to want to relive the days of our youth. But is this a good idea or not? It is not wise to long for the days of less fun, stiffer, and more boring video games. The frog seems to disagree.
This platformer, inspired by the ’90s, is a fascinating trip down memory lane. It has a visual style reminiscent of the lower-polygon eras that gave us the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64. It’s easy to forget Frogun was a 2022 title which may be exactly what developer Molegato was trying to achieve.
Your role as Renata is to navigate the 3D levels in an ancient temple looking for Renata’s parents. Frog, the frog-shaped grappling hook that can pull handles, grab enemies, and cross over gaps too large to jump, will be your companion on this journey.
This eponymous device highlights the greatest drawback to Frogun, accuracy. It wasn’t easy to line up Renata when I played on Nintendo Switch handheld mode using Joy-Con controllers. Crossing many gaps with the grappling hook requires precision. It’s easy to aim diagonally.
Your grapple may come in contact with the wrong surface, and your death can result from this. Although you can respawn quickly, checkpoints are rare at most levels. This means that any mistake could add considerable replay time.
Although the aiming system might work better on other platforms, it is fair to say that this difficult nature, as I experienced it, felt true to the nostalgic vibe Frogun is after. Crash Bandicoot and other PlayStation cult hits such as Croc were not forgiving. The frog clearly channels that same energy. My criticisms are merely that, and only from a particular point of view.
You can still do many things once you have mastered this ruthless control system. Many collectibles are available for each level, including coins, skulls, and gems. You must complete the game 100% by grabbing all collectibles and beating each level within a time limit. If you are a successful completionist, be prepared to repeat each course several times.
Frog primarily targets players who are nostalgic about the 1990s. Everything about the game, from its visual design to its gameplay mechanics, is retro-inspired, which I find both good and bad. It does channel the past, but there are some annoying controls and punishing levels.
This all feels very true to the nature Frogun was inspired by. So, I think my problems here are with the ’90s rather than this adorable little title. The score below is the same for Frogun for the decade I was born in. You can judge me as you wish.