Frogger: Helmet Chaos Review

home > PSP > Reviews
Graphics: 8.0
Sound : 7.5
Gameplay : 7.5
Multiplayer : 7.5
Overall : 7.8
Review by Andy Levine
The world’s favorite little green frog is back in his latest 3D adventure entitled Frogger: Helmet Chaos for the PSP. When the evil Dr. Wani uses mind control helmets to turn everyone into his slaves, it’s up to Frogger to put a stop to the madness. This lovable amphibian can perform a variety of moves across several distinct environments to help save the day.

The bulk of the single player game lies in the story mode, where the problem regarding the Helmet Chaos is introduced. A beginning tutorial level does a great job at demonstrating all of Frogger’s available moves and showing how they apply to certain situations. Instead of walking around like most characters, Frogger always hops from one tile on the field to another. His long jumps allow him to leap over one tile and land on the next one, allowing for him to cross small gaps. By pressing the triangle button once, Frogger will leap vertically in the air to grab coins, and if you press triangle again while in mid-air he will perform a ground-pounding stomp that can reveal hidden areas. Perhaps is most important resource of all is his tongue, which can be used to complete a bunch of different tasks. Not only can he use it to collect far away objects and push or pull blocks, but he can even use it to swing from certain poles. The control scheme does take a little getting used to, and it might be difficult for some to digest everything from the tutorial level at once. However, once you finally get a good feel for controlling this versatile critter you can enjoy the creative puzzle solving action.

The levels in Helmet Chaos have a lot of life and character, and even though some of the puzzles and platform moments won’t pose as much of a challenge, the game can still be entertaining. The first few levels have a typical pond setting filled with water lilies, logs, and plenty of tree swinging opportunities. Later on Frogger can explore dangerous situations around burning lava and can even encounter a haunted mansion environment. Each level requires a different strategy to pass; sometimes you need to simply avoid worldly hazards while at other times you have to outsmart some baddies. Some areas have hidden passageways and alternate routes that can affect what levels you play as well. The worlds are scattered with various pickups, including gold coins that can be used to unlock minigames and costumes, fresh fruit to restore health, and delicious flies that increase Frogger’s maximum health meter. Checkpoints are also placed before and after difficult areas to help make the challenging parts less frustrating. While the diversified environments certainly develop the game’s individuality, at times Helmet Chaos feels a little too plain and simple. Some of the missions drag on far too long, and you can expect many of the same challenges to be recycled within the same level. For the most part, though, the atmosphere and the incentive to explore outweighs the sparse dull moments.

The single player campaign only takes a few hours to make it all the way through, but there are plenty of mini-games to add to the replay value. Up to three computer or human opponents can be played against via ad hoc. Helmet Chaos supports game sharing, which means that only one copy of the UMD is needed for four people to play. One particular minigame called Froggers is just like classic Frogger except players will compete to see who can get the most frogs to safety. Rib-It is a fast paced game of frog tag, while Crumble Rumble has a world that is literally falling apart beneath your feet. There isn’t a whole lot of depth to these games as they were designed purely for quick multiplayer fun, and they’re quite successful at offering just this.

Helmet Chaos carries an uplifting cartoon-like feel that creates an overall fun ambience. The camera is set at an angle above the action so you can get a clear view of the world around you and still be able to perceive depth correctly and judge platform heights. The vibrant colors used accentuate the lushness of a forest, the frigidness atop high mountains, and the bleakness of a smoky factory. Little touches, such as small butterflies and glowing fireflies, also give the levels some added life. The assortment of enemies including crocodiles and piranhas are also colorful and possess distinct animations. The soundtrack blends in with the background and isn’t really noticeable, and a few basic insect noises help break apart the silence. The voice acting in-between missions is a nice feature that gives the characters some personality. As a whole the game doesn’t anything over the top in terms of presentation, but there isn’t much to complain about either.

In conclusion, Frogger: Helmet Chaos is a decent platform adventure game for the PSP. The diversified environments and vast array of puzzles require you to think at times, but there’s a little too much recycled material. The minigames are fun to try out and the story mode will have you wanting to play until you defeat the evil Dr. Wani, so Frogger fans will surely have a good time with Helmet Chaos.