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Croc 2

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Fox Interactive
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer

Graphics & Sound:

I remember having a lot of fun with the original Croc on PlayStation. It was a bright 3D Platformer that managed to keep me playing and enjoying myself right up to the end. In some ways, Croc 2 for PlayStation was a let down. It just didn't make good on the promise of the first game. Croc 2 for Game Boy Color seems in many ways to be the true successor to Croc on PlayStation, mostly for the graphics and sound, but also in gameplay. Bright graphics and big character models make Croc 2 stand out on GBC. Sure, each screen may not contain tons of stuff, but what's there looks good. Level geography changes depending on what village Croc travels to, mixing sand and ice with lush jungle and dark caves. Character animations are nice, and the visual package is unbeatable. Music is really good, and brought almost directly (unless my ear tells me wrong) from the PlayStation version.


For those with absolutely no experience playing Croc, I've always seen the little guy as a spoof on Tomb Raider. I mean, he's got a little backpack on! Okay, he doesn't quite resemble Lara, but I hear he does a mean Angelina Jolie impression... :) Croc-style gameplay is straight platforming with a healthy dose of action and exploration mixed in. Orphaned as a little baby, Croc is raised by a tribe of little furry creatures called Gobbos. Once grown, Croc proves to be the savior of the Gobbos, and becomes a hero. Not to rest on his laurels, Croc gets a lead on his parents and goes after them. Croc 2 introduces different 'tribes' of Gobbos, each living in a different part of the world. It would be easy, except Croc's enemies are back and set on beating him and enslaving the Gobbos again.

Running, walking or jumping is usually all Croc gets for moving around, and that's probably all he needs. Moving through stages or villages is done by accepting quests from Gobbos. Most quests involve defeating enemies, and all have some funny story behind them requiring Croc to collect items, solve puzzles and free captured Gobbos. The mix of objectives is really nice, even if the means to achieve them isn't all that different. Croc can defeat enemies along the way with a mean tail-spin or flying tumble attack. The puzzles tend to center around pushing blocks or stomping on buttons, and some are really challenging. The quest levels are big, with secret areas accessed only by 'Jump Jellies,' which Croc can buy from Swap Meet Pete. Most of the puzzle solving is spread out, so expect plenty of exploration mixed with your platforming.


With all the 3D issues taken away, Croc 2 has none of the cheap death I remember being such a drag on PlayStation. Sometimes not knowing where to go and running headlong into a hole feels frustrating, but it's still just human error. If anything, the puzzles don't end up being as hard as navigating the big levels. Some things like the Crystal Quest are optional, giving less ambitious or experienced players a clear path to beat the game while still retaining replay value and extra challenge.

Game Mechanics:

Croc 2 keeps it simple as options go, and lets us get right into the game. Some things are a little confusing, though, like the Crystal Quest and Jump Jelly activity. Reading the manual would give you the impression that collecting crystals or buying Jump Jellies is a big part of Croc 2, but there's not much in the way of explanation once you're into the game. Jellies and other items can be bought at Swap Meet Pete's shop with small crystals found in each level and picked up from enemies. Also, there are 5 crystals hidden in each of the 4 stages, and grabbing them all earns you a Golden Gobbo. Getting the Jellies is only required to grab crystals, and doesn't seem to affect completion of the main game. But, it's a fun side-quest if you're willing to put in the time. Mostly, helping out your Gobbo friends is a full-time job, and Croc has inventory to manage along with health in the form of little heart pots. Heart pots can be drained, but never lost. When all the pots are drained, you get a chance to continue and start over in Pete's shop. Pete will actually sell you additional heart pots, but they're not cheap. So, Croc builds up a little more health over time, and even can earn more lives by defeating enemies.

Although the gameplay doesn't waver much from the puzzle-solving and platforming, Croc 2 delivers plenty of fun action and looks great. The light, funny setting almost disguises how much good playin' there is here, and I can honestly say I'd rather play Croc 2 on Game Boy Color than PlayStation any day of the week. And that's saying something.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

GameBoy Color/Pocket Burgertime in Bedrock GameBoy Color/Pocket Dragon Tales Dragon Adventures

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated