Genre: Maze Developer: Morning Star Multimedia Publisher: Majesco Games Players: 1 Released: 1998
Who doesn’t remember Frogger these days? It was a game that was ported to almost every console before the time of the NES, it was a huge hit in the arcades and rightfully so. It had some great music rarely matched in console ports, it sported a lot of detail and nice backgrounds again only duplicated well on certain consoles. It seemed like each console now matter how the programmer tried, had some short comings despite still being a good game.
In 1998 Majesco somehow got the rights to the Frogger franchise and set out to create ports for the SNES and Genesis. The SNES version was created by Morningstar and published by Majesco, and it features a major graphical overhaul but falls short in every other category, sorry SNES fans. Majesco produced the Genesis version, and it is probably as arcade perfect as you can get on a console, and for that fact is probably my favorite version along with the Intellivision and Atari 2600 Supercharger versions.
Most probably know how Frogger plays by now. You know the drill, hop around a single screen playfield avoiding cars then hop across logs and turtles to land in the swamp. The programmer did an excellent job with the graphics. Granted, they would probably have a hard time screwing this up on something as powerful as the Genesis, but everything is smooth and resembles the old school look of the arcade game it’s trying to recreate. Every car, turtle, log, alligator, fly and female frog looks very nice and everything is easy to differentiate. There is no flicker present, which is something that was a hamper on at least most of the older console ports.
The sound is perhaps my favorite part of this game, every last tune from the arcade is present here and in perfect presentation, nothing sounds like it’s been hurt by the Genesis’ limited sound chip, even the sound effects sound great. The gameplay is recreated perfectly here as well and it’s a nice break from other ports that have problems and a big break from the dreaded SNES version. I really like this version and it makes me remember why I liked the arcade so much in the first place.
Well I’ve acknowledged the good points, and now I have to point out the bad. The Genesis wasn’t completely unscathed by Majesco’s laziness, fans of the arcade game Frogger got just that and only that, a game of Frogger. No extras, no options, and not even a high score board to look at if you have several players that are playing. Many other console’s ports had options, some had too many but this version has nothing. Even a difficulty setting would be appreciated at least by novice players, but we didn’t even get that. Go figure… the Genesis gets the best version beating out the SNES, PSX, and even the PC, but they obviously didn’t want to get fan’s hopes of a perfect game too high.
Despite the limits of the port it’s still a excellent port and an excellent game to own for the Genesis. It’s worth picking up, but it may take a bit of searching before you find a copy because it was the last game released for the Genesis in the USA.
SCORE: 8 out of 10