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E3 2011: Frogger 3D Preview

Feature; Jun. 15, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec
Subtypes: Interview, Opinion, Preview
Kyle gets to see Frogger 3D played by Tak "one million troops" Fujii
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Tak Fujii became an E3 legend in just one press conference after his enthusiastic presentation for Ninety Nine Nights II. Soon the phrases “One million troops” and “You'll be sucked” were tossed all over the Internet and cemented his reputation as an eccentric and upbeat game designer overnight.

Frogger 3D

For all intents and purposes, a game like Frogger 3D should not be made by Tak Fujii.

“There are so many people who like the simple games with simple goals, much like the original Frogger,” said Fujii, Frogger 3D's lead developer. “But there are also some people who are obsessed with modern graphics and modern game play, so that is where Frogger 3D lies -- it has both.”

The first level shown was a 3-D take on the traditional stage that anyone who has played Frogger would know. The graphics have been updated with and feature some colorful backgrounds as cars travel back and forth across a busy street. There is some impressive use of 3-D, giving each stage a sense of depth. Soon after guiding the frog across the street, the stage shifted upward, and this time showed a destroyed city block complete with a broken street and buildings consumed with fire.

“I want people to play this game thinking this is Frogger, but when they get deeper into the game, they see things like this and think, 'Oh shit, oh shit, what the fuck is this?'” Fujii said. “I want people to have a Frogger experience that competes with modern games.”

Fujii showed some of the later stages which featured what he referred to as “jokes.” One of the stages was on top of a group of jet fighters dog fighting in the sky as missiles sailed passed them. Frogger had to hop across the jets while avoiding the missiles. Another had Frogger navigating a 360-degree rotating 3-D stage similar to that in Tempest, avoiding enemies and trying to reach the goal.

“I took the many assets that Frogger has and is known for -- cars, trees, and roads -- and made whole levels around them. They have become jokes and icons of the series, and I thought it would be cool to make whole stages around them, adding new things along with way. New enemies, bad ass jerks type of enemies to make it harder. The plane stage is a joke for all of the war games released in America. You see the jets and the missiles, and you think that without a doubt, this is Amierica,” Fujii said.

Alongside the stages, players also have the option to play a version of the original Frogger called “Endless Mode," the goal of which is to continually make it across the road to the river -- only to respawn back across the road, repeating the process until you die. The amount of times you make it across ends up becoming a score to compare to others playing as well.

“I've made it 29 times. No one can beat me,” Fujii said.

Frogger 3D has a September 2011 release date and will come with 60 levels for the Nintendo 3DS.

When asked what game Fujii was most impressed with during E3, he answered enthusiastically, “My game, Frogger!”

A ringing endorsement or words of an overexcited developer? Come September, everyone can decide for themselves.



RGoodman4483 - Jun. 15, 2011 at 1:24:40pm

The couple of levels I got to play were quite fun, but those joke levels sound like a blast! Should be fun!

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