Zapper: One Wicked Cricket! – Nitro Rad
Articles Blog

Zapper: One Wicked Cricket! – Nitro Rad

September 7, 2019


Ever play a game you loved as a kid and you completely forget about it? A lot of times, it’s really exciting to rediscover those games Cuz you’re like DANG! I remember this game! Zapper is… NOT like that at all for me. I played this game as a kid and… that’s that’s all I remember. There was no “DANG,” moment for me. It was just oh yeah, I remember beating it… It’s really it. That’s all I can remember. I cannot remember anything else from this game, but, recently I found myself with a copy of it for GameCube. So why don’t we re-experience this and find out what I forgot? What it was that? I forgot Was it good? Was it bad? Or was it just not a very memorable game? Let’s find out! The title screen is pretty elaborate for a game like this. If you wait long enough, he’ll knock on the screen as if he’s saying “Hellooo?” Ugh, look at how smug he looks in the front cover. He didn’t look like that in the European version. He actually looks pissed on that one. Usually it’s the American version to get the angerfied covers But, this time… We got the DreamWorks face. Cool! Like many games from this era, There’s a CG cutscene. Zapper’s watching TV with his little brother and after fighting over the remote, they screw up the TV antenna. After a moment of inspiration, Zapper decides to use his little brother AS A NEW ANTENNA! After failing to get a good signal, he holds the poor guy out the window. This is why I’m glad I never had an older brother growing up. Too stoked over the TV working to realize, Zapper lets his brother get snatched up by a Magpie. And this starts the adventure to save his brother. Not because he loves his brother, But because he wants to watch TV. Wow! What a selfish dick! Can you imagine if in Luigi’s Mansion, Luigi only wanted to save Mario, so he could turn the TV into AV mode for him? So here we finally get to play the game, and, uhh… You ever play any of the Frogger games? Like the Game Boy Advance ones or the Playstation 2 ones? It’s just like that. You’re confined to four directional, grid-based movement. Whoa! Hang on a second… Frogger… Zapper. This game’s a goddamn Frogger clone! Who the hell makes a Frogger clone? What’s next we’re gonna make a Q*Bert clone? Holding the stick forward doesn’t actually continuously move you forward you’ll have to tap it each time you want to up a space. *Joystick Clicking* So naturally it’s better to use a directional pad for this sort of thing. Kinda makes me wish I had the PS2 version so I could use THIS and NOT this microscopic excuse of a D-Pad Beyond that, there’s a jump button that’ll skip a space or jump to a high ledge. You’ll need it for clearing gaps and scaling to higher areas. Holding down the Jump button will make Zapper fly… It doesn’t actually do anything different, you’ll just still land on the same space doing that but the longer animation can delay your landing, helping you time the jump in the case you need to wait for an obstacle or an enemy to move. I understand the intention behind it, but I never NEVER needed to use it. Why even bother programming something like this if you’re not going to design levels that actually make use of it? It just seems like a waste. You can use a Zap attack with the B button. It’ll only defeat weak enemies… But it’s also used for interacting with switches and objects. You can rotate in place using the shoulder buttons. This works great for anytime you need to face a certain direction to make a jump, while taking a step in that direction would make you fall to your death. Speaking of which, I find that happens a lot in this game. The level design isn’t always straight-forward. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where you can jump and where you can’t. Like here: come on! I can’t jump down from here? And this spot here too. How am I supposed to get down there? With the weird perspective, it becomes difficult to figure out which tile you have to jump off of. And even when I did land dead center on it, I fell right through it… There’s a handful of Power-Ups you’ll find in the game. Well, not so much a handful, as there’s two… the first are flocks of fireflies that will SUPERCHARGE your Zap. With one of these, you can destroy the metal crates, activate switches from afar, or wipe out some enemies you normally can’t kill. The other is a helmet that’ll let you take a hit. If you get hit while wearing it you lose it, but you won’t take damage. It’s very similar to the shield in the Sonic games. This is one of those games where one hit kills you and makes you respawn at the last checkpoint. There’s a lot of death animations much like Crash Bandicoot, but a lot of them are just kind of gross. Like, I get it, he’s a bug, so you can get away with showing his guts in an E-rated game. But, seeing that array of green organs littering the inside of his split in half body is, eh it’s kinda gross. They’re also kind of hard to appreciate when you only get to see them from such A zoomed out and awkward overhead camera angle. Come to think of it, after killing some enemies they straight up leave a blood stain. Like, not a green one; a RED one.That’s blood! And these enemies aren’t even bugs, So how they wrote this one off as just “Comic mischief,” is beyond me. The objective in each stage is to find and collect six Magpie eggs. Because, for some reason, doing this will find the Magpie that took your brother. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, you just do it because the game tells you. If you’re having trouble finding one you can press the Y button to use a radar that’ll point you in the direction. I never really needed to use it, But it’s handy if you do get lost. As you pick them up, the game puts them in a little egg crate in the bottom left for ya. I think that’s cool. I like that. Land on the sixth and final one, Level’s over. As you get further into the game, it introduces more types of eggs. One has sprouted legs and will walk in circles, You’ll have to zap it before you can collect it If you don’t zap it, running into it will kill you so, don’t do that. The other one has a head hatched out, too And it deliberately walks away from you forcing you to jump tiles in quick succession to land adjacent to it before it can step to another one. These kinds of enemies only take a step every time you take a step some of them are really annoying, too. Especially these Cowboy ones here. Leave me alone dude. Stop! Outside of the eggs, there’s also fireflies to collect. 100 in each Stage. I guess this games a collectathon. Some of the firefly flocks I mentioned earlier that SUPERCHARGE ya will require having collected a certain amount in the stage before they activate. If you want to collect everything in the level, you’ll have to find the hidden areas. These are often found by simply entering a secret door by activating one of these mechanical tiles, creating a bridge. You can activate them by using the Golden fireflies. Every now and then, you’ll come across these ones. You’ll have to collect them in a certain order; getting whichever one is glowing next. Doing this will give you a golden charge you can use to power the next switch you find. Now, I appreciate the concept of getting the items in the right order in a platformer, and it’s worked in many other games, but here, I don’t feel as if they’re placed in whatever order is most challenging rather than whatever order is just most inconvenient. You’ll find yourself hopping around and backtracking excessively in each small segment that has these things, just to get them in the right order. Half the time, it’s just obnoxious, really. But if you manage to collect every firefly in the stage, you’ll gain access to a BONUS LEVEL! Here, you’ve got one straight shot to get everything and get to the end of this winding and linear path. Do it successfully, and you’re rewarded with a brand new hat to replace the helmet. You can change whichever hat you want to take place of the helmet from the Bonus screen. That’s a decent reward.I really appreciate wearing a Cowboy hat instead of that stupid helmet. Level variety is alright, I guess… It goes beyond having just the forest and cave stages. It eventually evolves into these mechanical levels with these spinning cogs. And then there’s SpookVille. And let me tell ya, jus- Just when I was thinking there’s nothing spooky about this town… Oh… UGH! The only level that really changes things up a bit is this one sewer level. You’re constantly moving forward, strafing around the entire circumference of the pipe. Unfortunately, it’s the ONLY level like this in the whole game. I think they could have had at least ONE more like this. The music in this game is… Not bad. It’s a healthy dose of 80s hip hop sprinkled with funky beats and record scratches. It’s nothing I’m gonna remember the game for. But you know, It’s great background noise. The game’s graphics on the other hand They’re not very good textures are really muddy, but in a game like this who really cares I mean, it’s a Frogger clone that came out in 2002, made by… … Wait who made this game? I usually talk about that at the beginning of the video, But I forgot this ti- Blitz Games! Blitz Games; formerly known as Interactive Studios. Well I’ll be damned; the guys that made Glover made this game! Cool Apparently they made Frogger 2 on the PS1… Jeez. It all Comes full circle! Well, one thing I do like about this game is whenever Zapper falls off a cliff, he’s like WHOA! Yeah, that’s really it; you hop across the level, making jumps, not running into the enemies, there really isn’t anything more to it than that, it’s simplified platforming that’s really just about timing the jumps. Nothing more, nothing less… There’s four worlds each containing one to four levels so total there’s not that many levels in the game It’s not a super long game. You can beat it in just a couple of hours… There’s also no boss fights in the game save for the final boss fight which actually isn’t bad, I think the game could’ve used more of them. But yeah, you beat the Magpie, get Zipper back and y’all live happily ever after! Well zapper does; its a never-ending hellish nightmare for Zipper… Jesus Zapper, you heartless human being… CRICKET! I feel bad for the kid. He just can’t catch a break. He’s probably better off being eaten by the Magpie and all brutal honesty… Yeah, that’s all there really is the main game so, uh, why don’t we take a look at some of the other modes? Starting with the Multiplayer… Yeah, this games got a Multiplayer… There’s five game modes total. The first is “Zipper Ball,” a game where you try to toss Zipper into the goal more than your opponent. There’s also Last-Man-Standing and Death Match which are… Exactly what they sound like. Then there’s “Stranglehold,” a King of the Hill type game. Where you need to hold onto Zipper as long as possible, and finally, “Death by Zipper.” Which is the same as Last Man Standing, but with enemies on the board. It’s not a very fun, or well-thought-out Multiplayer game. My friend Dylan and I quickly found an exploit in which you can just get another player in an infinite stunlock by zapping them and then jumping on them afterwards. Plain and simple… Multiplayer really sucks. But there’s also an Arcade Mode where you can replay levels trying to do it in the shortest amount of time possible. I’ve never been into Time Attack, so I guess there’s nothing left for ME here… But yeah, that’s Zapper. That’s all there really is to it. Not a particularly good game, not a particularly bad game either. It’s just the kind of game your parents rut you on the weekend to kill the time Didn’t really leave a bad taste in my mouth But didn’t really leave me wanting more either. “Key Features: Non-stop frantic action” That’s subject to debate. Well, I guess my final verdict on Zapper is that it’s about as good as a PS2 Frogger game can get… But, uhh… Keep in mind the PS2 frogger games are like only okay That’s one Wicked Cri-

Only registered users can comment.

  1. There's also something very 90's about the character. He got that distinct attitude that seems like he was meant to be a rival of Sonic.

  2. Watching This makes me want to play Frogger 2 Swampy's Revenge for the PC/Ps1 Great game imo but probably Average to most other people. but oddly I remember all the levels and the Music so they did Something Right

  3. This is literally a freaking HD version of the frogger 2 game they made.
    Like, the same kinda animations, death animations, and gameplay

  4. This was one of two games that my parents got me along with my first ps2 when I was little, because it was cheap.

    Bad as it was, I remember three things: I liked the soundtrack, getting all fireflies in a world unlocks a hidden 4th level, aaaaand I used the hover to move diagonally to another square (didn't work part of the time but its possible)

  5. I love this game! The soundtrack is great, I really love the level design, and I used to have a lot of fun jumping on top of other crickets and holding Z.

  6. That title screen is giving me major déjà vu for some reason. Probably saw it at a friend's place or something

  7. I'm in the middle of moving and were gathering my games and found a demo disc of this game, I remembered trying to beat the train stage which I never did. I just wanted to look it up since I've only played the demo

  8. since glover is mentioned in here, I gotta say, I like that game. It's not good most of the time, but I still like it. I blame the fact it was one of the few N64 games I owned very briefly.

  9. I had this game on pc as a kid, got it for free or for a dollar from something don't remember what, but I remember enjoying the game well enough.

  10. ZAPPER IS TOTALLY LIKE THAT FOR ME. I got it for Gamecbe back when I had a Gamecube (with only Mario Kart lol) and I couldnt get pass the second level.

  11. Had this on the Xbox Original. I thought It was okay. 🙂 I used to play the multiplayer with my siblings and cousins. The Xbox Original let a total of 4 players face off and when my cousin grabbed It for his PlayStation 2, The two player limit wasn't as fun. But yeah, It's an okay game. I was surprised to see the comical gore and bloodstains too. It's something I would give a 6 to 7 out of 10, I guess.

  12. i have fond memories of this. as a kid my neighbors father worked in the video game industry or freelanced or something. I think he did music or sound or something. idk i moved away before i was old enough to care lol. but he got his son and the other neighborhood kids to play test this game when everything was just blocks. it was super cool and i didnt even know what was happening until years later when i discovered this was a real game. I just thought i dreamt it lol. but yeah, that was a cool experience when i was old enough to figure out what the experience actually was lol so zapper gets my super biased opinion lol.

  13. I grew up playing Frogger 1 and 2 countless times as a kid, so years later, I saw this at a Goodwill, and thought it reminded me of Frogger 2. Then I saw it was from the same developers, and I knew I had to try it out! I actually really like this one, and DANG, the music is awesome! And of course, the ending had me in hysterics!

    Oddly enough, you never even pointed out the extra stages. There's an extra stage that plays things differently for each world you get 100% completion of. And as for your questioning as to why Maggie is leaving eggs everywhere, it's because she's trying to bring about offspring en mass in order to raise an army to take over the world, so she's planting her forces everywhere. I know, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but that's the plot. I think it was brought up in the manual.

  14. Thank you for reviewing another game of my childhood! It seems only me in the entire world appreciate well this game D: I even 100%'d it! In fact you miss two things which make this game better: 1) the fly animation makes sense,because you can change direction while flying,so you don't have to do two tiles at jump: 2) If you find every sphere in the world (100 in every level of the world),you can do a bonus level. Not the bonus level at the end of the level,but a ENTIRE NEW LEVEL with a different gameplay! After beating it,you can get a cheat. If you beat the last bonus level (again,not by finding every sphere in a level,but every sphere in every level in the world),you can get the infinite super zap! So there is more than that 😀

  15. I remember renting this game and for some reason my brother and sister and I got only get through the first 3 levels. It wasn't that we couldn't beat them, but after we finished level 3 it just took us back to the title screen. We tried like everything to make the game progress but it simply wouldn't. Makes me wonder if it was a demo of the game but I vividly remember renting it at blockbuster so that can't be right either.

  16. After going on a death-defying journey to save his little brother, what does Zapper then do?

    Literally the same thing he did before, except he ties his brother outside on a stick.

    GODDAMIT ZAPPER

  17. I've been lookin for this game for years! I used to play it way back when it first came out on PC at my grandmas house. The only level i can remember was…I think it was a food level? It had barbecue food on it or something? But anyway, thank you for helping me find this 🙂 I need to play this again to tick it off my bucket list!

  18. Hey, so I happen to know a bit about the story behind the game, long story short, the studio that created Zapper was, in the first place, working on a Frogger sequel, yet for some licensing issues during the development of the game , the project was aborted. The studio had by that time completed a significant part of the game, so rather that deleting everything and losing a lot of cash they ended up re-working some features and mechanics of the game but just enough so they don't get sued or anything and this is where Zapper originated from, and that's why Zapper appears so similar to Frogger, simply cause it was intended to be a Frogger game in the first place.

    If you're a fan of the game and you're reading this, feel free to hit me up, I'd be glad to share some infos about the game !
    Love Nitro Rad for reviewing this game <3

  19. I play this on PC, never remember the graphics that bad, maybe they upgraded it for PC? Or my memories are wrapped. XD

  20. I just found the GameCube version at a game store today. My years long search for the name of this game is over! I used to play it on my Win98 machine 24/7!!! So mystical and entrancing.

  21. I think you might need a better third party controller to play this game.

    Like the Hori one built specifically for the Game Boy Player in mind.

  22. Zapper's face kind of gives me a Spyro vibe and I don’t know why (probably it’s his facial structure)

  23. The hilarious thing is since the cowboy hat covers your entire body except your antenna your character end up looks like a baby Digimon with it on.

  24. Is there a way to get this game online for PC and actually working? I tried some version in Russian but the saves didn't work and another one crashes when I try to play the bonus levels.
    And yes, I have bought the game at least 10 years ago but the CD doesn't work anymore. Never borrow your CD games to anyone.

  25. You forgot to mention that Squires, Ants, and the slime things can also be killed, but only with a supercharge.

  26. So… The main goal of each level is to smash a set number of eggs. Meaning the main collectible of this game is… Abortions?

  27. Another game that I thought was a fever dream, its 1 of those games I sold to probably buy Mario Strikers or sonething

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *