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Croc 2
"If you choose to go with this title be prepared to spend a LOT of time with it." Image Loading...
Developer: Argonaut
Distributor: Fox/EA
Game Type: 3D Platform
Review Date: Aug 99
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Setting the Scene:
      I have always been amused by the selection of mascots and mascot wanna-be characters that developers are able to come up with. I mean we have Bandicoots, Hedgehogs and a fat little plumber. We have a woman that has watched too many Indiana Jones movies, a lizard that is too cool for his own good, a wise-ass whippersnapper dragon and a wise-cracking rabbit that makes life miserable for a certain Mr. Fudd.

Well I suppose it was just a matter of time considering the fact that we do have a lizard out there, that a Crocodile would be created to grace our Playstation console. So what we get is this cute, adorable little green guy whose name is Croc.

Croc's second adventure begins while walking on the beach in the Island of the Gabbos. A bottle that washed up by his feet contained a message that said, "Lost Croc" and a picture of a baby crocodile footprint. He took it to the king who suggested that he should travel to the mainland and begin his search for his parents immediately. Unfortunately the search soon becomes a showdown with Croc's evil enemy, Baron Dante, who has been magically resurrected by his evil followers.

Does Croc 2 end up being a pot of gold or a croc (sic) of garbage? Read on to find out!
Sound and Vision:
      The graphics in C2 are a step up from those found in the original game. The textures in both the characters and the backgrounds are more solid and defined than before. Of course all of these textures are used to create what can be considered to be one of the most sickeningly cute creatures and environments the world has ever known. The graphics are obviously geared towards a younger crowd and will certainly appeal to that segment as well as many woman gamers out there. Cute, cute, cute.

Image Loading... As with the original, the colors of Croc's world are vibrant and provide an almost kaleidoscopic vision of the world contained therein. This is probably one of the best looking platformers out there for the Playstation and ranks right up there with the Spyro and Crash games.

The music is an original score consisting primarily of jungle theme backbeats and unique scores for each world and sub-levels. The tunes as well as the sound effects go hand-in-hand with the graphics in portraying a very "happy cartoon world" feel.

The sound effects are all appropriate for their corresponding actions. The most amusing though can be found when holding conversations with the residents of Gabbos. The best way to describe the exchanges would be a form of ancient caveman gibberish. Even the displayed text reads like something out of a prehistoric tablet. I suppose crocodiles just aren't up on the latest lingo yet.
      Croc 2 is another in a long and growing line of 3D platform titles for the Playstation. Interestingly enough, the first Croc title could arguably be called the first true 3rd platform title to appear on the PSX console. Analog control is a recommended option when guiding the little green bugger around the screen.

Image Loading...Almost everything from the first Croc title has been improved (or increased) this time around. The camera angles and tracking are a tad better (but far from perfect), the graphics and sounds are better and the size and scope of the game is better. The only real downside is that possibly due to Crocs extended list of moves (run, jump, swim, climb, butt bounce, tail whip, etc.), control is a little un-natural at first and may take some time for younger gamers to get accustomed to. Even then though, I found the response to be rather lacking. In a platform game where control is almost everything, this type of performance is close to being the kiss of death.

Image Loading...But I am getting ahead of myself here…The game starts you out in the world of the Sailor Gabbos tribe. You begin the game with one life and three hearts. Make a mistake and you lose a heart. Lose all your hearts and it's lights out, game over. Early in the game your main focus will be on trying to obtain more hearts in an effort to extend your solo life offering. To help you, there are 100 crystals scattered about each of the levels that you will visit. Collect 250 crystals and you can cash them in with a character named Swap Meet Pete to obtain an additional heart. Obviously the more hearts you can get, the better.

The game provides very little in the way of a learning curve…you must learn Croc's moves quickly and collect or purchase more hearts early on or you will never make it through this game. Which brings up my other gripe…this game is HARD. I am a little confused as to what the developers were trying to get at here. I mean you have this extremely cute little character and a colorful world that is obviously intended to appeal to a younger audience, but then you make the game so difficult that only hardcore platformers or masochists will enjoy it or be able to finish it. What's up with that? To be sure, the game offers a fine experience and is actually a stand-up platform title for those willing to give it the time it deserves, but the game will most likely end up losing a lot of people before it takes root.

Image Loading...To help ease things along you will be challenged to participate in many little sub-games such as hang gliding, hot air ballooning and boat racing. These are amusing enough diversions and almost make the visit to each world worth the little extra effort.

The five levels of each world can be visited in any order, which gives the game a bit of a non-linear feel to it. As I stated earlier, each world of Gabbos is rather large so a map is provided to assist in your navigation. Besides the crystals there are also other objects to be found such as special statues. If you are successful in collecting all of the statues Croc will earn a Golden Gobbo Statue. Collect all of the Golden Gobbo Statues and you will open up a special Golden Gobbo Door, which contains a secret level and a puzzle piece. If you complete all of these secret levels and collect all of the puzzle pieces you will finally open up the Lost Levels. Good luck getting this far people and even better luck completing these levels.

Image Loading...Instead of being able to do a typical view of your environment you will find a pair of binoculars. When used, this handy little gadget will give Croc an almost 180 degree field of vision and a very limited up and down view that can be considered myopic at best. This will of course cause Croc to die many more times than I thought necessary because you will be unable to see platforms beneath you until it is too late. Many times you will have to sacrifice a heart to see where it is you have to jump to. Not very fair if you ask me…but then I suppose life isn't very fair either. A lesson to be learned in there somewhere kiddies!

So where does all of this leave us? I would say that this rather cute and colorful game manages to expertly conceal a lion in sheep's clothing. The game looks real pretty, sounds syrupy sweet but is a real bear to play. For those of you with infinite tolerance levels I would say go for it…there is actually a really good game buried in there somewhere .
Game Options:
      This is a single disk game for 1 Player. It is compatable with the standard (digital) joypad and the dual shock (analog) joypad. Games can be saved via memory card.

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Staff Opinions  
Tom: "The graphics and sound effects add a tremendous amount of atmosphere and eye candy to the worlds of Gabbos. The game easily ranks up there with the best looking platformers available on the PSX to date.

If you choose to go with this title be prepared to spend a LOT of time with it. For those who can persevere the game absolutely has its rewards, but unfortunately the initial difficulty factor may turn many gamers off and that would be a shame.

I found Croc 2 to be an extremely challenging game and overall, worth the effort…it's just not something that I would necessarily go out of my way to do again. "
Graphics: 19/20
Playability: 37/50
Sound: 8/10
Lastability: 15/20
Overall: 79%
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Reader Opinions  

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