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Superfrog HD Review

Cart: Superfrog HD
Cab: PS3, Vita
Coin: Team 17

Team 17 games were, along with the output from the Bitmap Bros, known as the top-level in reliable, regular quality on the Amiga. Superfrog was their crack at creating an Amiga rival to Sonic and Mario, and it was one of the very best of a surprisingly high number of decent platform games for the system.

Filled with the uniquely British charm that only the Amiga and Artari ST seemed to be host to, Superfrog was a great, if fiendishly tough, platformer, and was good-looking, zippy and perfectly playable. It played like a moderately paced Sonic game, set in typical maze-like Amiga platform game levels.

This HD update is, unfortunately, not as good as the original. Now, when I say that, I not only mean it doesn’t play as well, but it also looks far, far worse than the original.

How do I know this? Well, as I am writing, I am literally playing both versions and, despite the fuzzy aerial input of the Amiga, the new edition just looks…cheap. If it didn’t have the Superfrog character, you would think it was any number of forgettable throwaway PC games.

Don’t believe me about the looks? Check out these two videos. Honestly, which one would you play right now, if you could? The new music isn’t a patch on the original, either.

Amiga version:

HD version. Sharper, but…yuk.

The game plays in much the same way as before, with the main changes being the larger main sprite and the move to a zooming viewpoint that work OK when fully zoomed out, but when you are zoomed in, the screen moves horribly when you change direction. It is headache-inducing.

The number of levels has been doubled, a nice touch by Team 17, and the one-armed bandit mini game returns, albeit with new purpose, but the new intro is just a series of images, instead of the cool animation we had before. The level editor and endless runner style frog trials add a fair bit of length to the game, and the fact that this is a cross buy title, meaning that you pay once and get both the PS3 and PS Vita versions, is fantastic.

Now, I am not one to hate on retro HD updates; I loved Team 17’s Alien Breed update, for example, but the changes here areĀ for changes sake, and detrimental to the game. The fact that the original version isn’t included here, like it was for Alien Breed, is a mighty bizarre decision.

Superfrog HD isn’t a bad game, and if you are looking for a Sonic style platform game, and have run out of actual Sonic games, then this is a fair choice. If, however, you are looking for a Superfrog game, then grab yourself an old Amiga, because that is the only way you are going to play Superfrog, which, I have to be honest, is a crying shame.

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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.

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