SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$34.99

DEVELOPER
Argonaut

PUBLISHER
Fox Interactive

RELEASE
08/99

Croc 2 Review

By: John Doe


Don't let the cutesy look of Croc 2 fool you into thinking it is just for kids. Truth is, kids will have a hard time getting through the frustrating parts. This sequel improves upon the original by adding tons of moves and other mini-game escapades. However, the camera problems that plagued the first game have returned, making Croc 2 an exercise in frustration at times.


Highs:
Lows:

Croc is definitely one cute little alligator, or is that crocodile? Why oh why, do these companies make it so darn hard to figure out what their mascots are? Anyway, from the overall look, sound and feel of this game, you can tell Argonaut was somewhat influenced by the N64's Banjo-Kazooie. The characters speak in mumbled gibberish, puzzle pieces and can be collected, Gobbo's must be rescued and Croc even has a backpack. Some of the moves are even similar.

Croc controls well for the most part, and this time out he has a fair amount of moves to perform. Croc can run, jump, triple jump, tail stomp, swim, climb walls, push blocks, swing on monkey bars, pick up and throw items and even use vehicles like a mine cart, hot air balloon and boat. The first few levels of Croc's adventure are easy enough to get through and the load times that hampered the first game are almost non-existent when Croc goes from one area to another. Once the platform gameplay shows up though, Croc takes a turn for the worse and all of those camera issues resurface. The most annoying thing that the camera does is move while Croc jumps into the air. Oddly enough this isn't too bad when Croc is moving, but if Croc jumps up while standing still, the camera lurches along with him like an excited puppy. I'm not one that is subjected to motion sickness easily, but Croc 2's camera nearly did me in. Lining up precision jumps is sometimes impossible and so you can expect to see the continue screen an awful lot. Couple that with certain environmental hazards like molten lava and you've got a frustrating game on your hands.

The graphics in Croc are clear and bright and will appeal to the younger generation. The environments suffer from draw in at times, which tends to make enemies appear suddenly. You'll have to be on the lookout at all times. Croc of course, is the most animated of all of the characters in the game. Most of the enemies either stand in a spot waiting to attack, which makes the environments feel a little empty.

Musically Croc is what you'd expect; light whimsical fair that will probably annoy you after a few hours. The "voices" are equally grating on the nerves. I hated that gibberish in Banjo and I hate it in Croc. If you are going to have animals talk, just please let them talk. Listening to gooble-dee-gook while suffering from the Blair Witch Project camera work is enough to make you question your own sanity after awhile.

Complaint Dept. Sure Croc improves heavily on the design set forth in the first game, but it's not polished enough to compete with the likes of Gex or Spyro. The level design is uninspired which does absolutely nothing to expand the genre. And although the list of moves are impressive, you'll end up using the tail stomp for most everything. Gameplay that forces you to die so that you may know better next time, is not what I call fun. I find that gameplay cheap and grossly unfair. You don't find that sort of nonsense in a Nintendo game and that is what ultimately sets apart Croc from the rest of the cutesy 3D platform/action pack; he just doesn't have it together yet.

In the end Croc 2 fails to distance itself from the first game. If the camera had been given a good going-over, this game could have worked much better. As it is, jumps and other precision movements are difficult. Kids will love the look but probably find it extremely frustrating. Croc 2 is better than the first without a doubt, but it's just not great yet. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

OVERALL
5.0

GRAPHICS
7.0

CONTROL
4.0

MUSIC/FX
3.5

FRUSTRATION
7.0

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