Frogun Review – Why you’ll love this PS1 platformer de-make

Control Renata, the daughter of two famous archaeologists, in the 3D platformer Frogun. For her own safety, her parents have instructed her to remain behind while they go on a perilous journey. She waits for her parents for a few days, then decides to take the frogun and go in their footsteps to see what happened to them.

That you may make Frogun’s gameplay as simple or as involved as you choose is one of its many endearing features. As a perfectionist and lover of 3D platformers, I attempted to obtain every item in every level, however players who aren’t as invested in the game’s ending as I am are free to ignore that goal if they so desire.

However, I feel that Frogun is geared more at players who want to achieve 100% completion, thus bypassing the trinkets would leave you with a diminished experience.

Players seeking 100% must go through each level twice, which may grow challenging as the game progresses. Complete Frogun by finding and collecting all of the coins, two emeralds, a purple skull, a collection of notes, completing the level without losing a life, and doing it in the allotted time limit.

I was determined to complete each level’s objectives in a single playthrough at first (as a personal challenge), but I soon realized it was impossible. There are just too many coins and treasures to complete the level in the allotted time and still obtain the speedrun. It’s not like I believe you’d have a problem with it.

If you like 3D platformers, completing these levels several times will not be difficult, but will be a welcome change of pace. The areas are fun to explore regardless of whether you want to complete every challenge or gather every item in a single playthrough.

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At first, I thought having to pass the level twice would be annoying, what with having to perform a speedrun and making sure not to make too many errors, but I found the time limit to be fairly lenient, which made me appreciate the work of the level design team all the more. While most levels can be completed in about a minute, some may take up to eight minutes of exploring, giving Frogun a sense of being packed with goodies and fun without being too taxing or frustrating to complete.

Frogun’s levels are more focused than those of Yooka-Laylee, where you explore a vast universe in quest of pagies, and the game’s simplicity made me think of Super Mario 64, one of my favorite platformers of all time.

Even on the first level, I was concerned about Frogun since Renata’s movements seemed awkward and clumsy. She isn’t very agile, her jumping range is limited, and she doesn’t possess any special skills that may help her compensate for these deficiencies.

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Even while Renata’s sluggish mobility stops seeming like an issue very early on, and the later worlds are masterfully crafted to allow for her downfalls, I was afraid that the latter levels would be too harsh for her restricted move set and poor traversal capabilities.

Frogun may seem like Mario, but if you’re anticipating complex platforming with a wide variety of moves and traversal options, you may be disappointed; although sharing a genre (and looks, but we’ll get to that later), the gameplay is more akin to that of Yooka-collection-based Laylee’s gameplay.

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If you’re playing Frogun with the intention of getting from point A to point B quickly, you’re missing out on the game’s true potential. Players who approach it more like a collect-a-thon will have a far better experience. An delightful exploration-based game, befitting the daughter of archaeologists, thanks to the clever level design that makes it possible to get lost in any of them while searching for the last artifact to complete it.

Frogun has a large number of levels, each with their own design and challenges, even if you choose to go through them without collecting anything. A fresh set of challenges awaits you at the end of each level cluster, with some requiring you to race Renata’s adversary and others including boss battles.

Despite the game’s lack of complexity, it was clear that no two levels were the same as you progressed through them.

Frogun did an excellent job with both the visuals and the music; I’m typically picky about these aspects, and I can usually find a problem in the audio design for games, but Frogun surprised and delighted me with its charming compositions.

Renata’s stomping footsteps, the game’s vintage filters (one of my favorite features), and even the soundtrack bring back fond memories of classic platformers.

As a 3D platformer, Frogun excels. Frogun may be lacking in fast-paced platforming and mobility skills, but the game’s treasures and distinct stages make it a worthwhile experience all the way through.

TLDR;

Overall, I give Frogun a 9 out of 10. For fans of classic platformers in 3D, Frogun is a must-have. Just keep in mind that it’s more of a collect-a-thon than a fast-paced platformer, and you’ll have a great time.

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