At E3, I had a chance to play Frogger 3D with its producer, Tak Fujii, who told me that although Frogger is a well known title, Konami wanted to surprise the player at every turn.
Fujii first showed me a level that had Frogger atop a BURNING PLANE, with missiles flying by him. Not knowing exactly where to go, I hopped around lost for a few seconds. I couldn’t hop over the fuselage, and I had found a spot to make myself safe from the missiles that threatened to destroy our poor hero. I then saw a plane flying by below me, and I leapt (in slow motion!) from the wing of the burning plane onto the one below it, finding myself right near the level’s goal.
However, I figured I could use the exact same tactic for the next level, waiting at the top end of the plane’s wing before I simultaneously noticed that the plane I had to jump on was behind me! In desperation, I hopped towards the edge of the plane, but was struck by a missile before I could reach it.
Tak Fujii then informed me that the level designers’ goal was to make players constantly go, "What the Hell?" After noticing that I could read Japanese, he showed me a level where Frogger had to navigate between giant pieces of sushi on conveyor belts and rolling teacups. I was doing well in this stage until a plated lobster cut me in half as it was carried in front of me by its conveyor belt.
However, things weren’t truly insane until the last stage.
Appearing before me as a rolling cylinder, the final stage was a street done Inception-style, folded in a circle and constantly rotating. When I first saw it, I didn’t have the 3DS’s 3D effect on, so it was a psychedelic jumble. It was only after turning on 3D that I could navigate through the level. It seems to me like Konami’s level designers certainly achieved their goal.
Frogger 3D will be messing with players’ heads on 3DS in September.
(As an added bonus, Frogger 3D includes a mode called "Frogger Forever," where, quite simply, you play an extended version original 1981 Frogger for as long as you can survive. Fujii told me that the map used for this extended stage takes something like five hours to cross. This mode also records ghost data of your best attempt at survival, which can be traded via StreetPass)