IGN Review of Disney The Princess and the Frog
If The Princess and the Frog movie was a return to form for Disney animation, then Griptonite's The Princess and the Frog game uses the same idea by returning to the roots of movie games with a ho-hum platformer straight out of the '90s.
It's been a while since I played a movie game that was about jumping on moving platforms and collecting things for no reason. The majority of the game takes place in the middle of the movie, and is told through talking heads and the occasional story book plot summary. Anyone who saw the film remembers that this particular section of the story was made interesting by three lively jazz songs in quick succession. Only this time you don't dance with an alligator, you try to find scraps of recipes for possums. It definitely works better if you've seen the film first since the game goes over the entire plot.
The platforming isn't bad, but it isn't exciting. The levels are multi-tiered and players have to use Ray the lightning bug to transform enemies into platforms, springs, and other things to maneuver through the world. Each level is pretty small though, and the only reason it takes so long to play is that the game doesn't allow players to collect certain objects until some random crane tells them to. There's a lot of back and forth backtracking because of it. The game does have a hint system where Ray can scout out the level and point players in the direction to go, and in the later levels figuring out how to get some of the secret items can get pretty tricky. For the most part, though, it's just kind of boring.
Maybe the game would have been more interesting if any of the mini-games were fun. The jazz music game isn't really a game at all since players are allowed to freestyle. It's cute but the music quality is bad and it's the same couple songs over and over. The same goes for the cooking game. It's always the same thing: stir the pot, add an ingredient, stir more, done. Sure that makes sense for gumbo, but why am I preparing cornbread like it's a giant stew? These games last for 20 seconds and feel pretty half-assed.
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