Unlike most crocodiles who either end up as a handbag or being humiliated out in the Everglades as tourists attractions whilst a fat hillbilly sticks his head inside their jaws, Croc has seen his share of action. Having been raised from an egg by an excruciatingly cute tribe of walking mothballs called Gobbos, Croc grew into a feisty young lad, eventually leading them to victory against the tyranny of the evil Baron Dante and his faithful Gobbo bullying minions the Dantinis.
Yes, Croc had it all. The savvy to avoid leather goods shops, the ability to walk on his hind legs making him remarkably high in the ‘ah’ factor and a group of excellent marketing bods ensuring bus stops and bill boards nation-wide bore his toothy grin in the push for promotion. Now he’s back in search of his natural parents and something distinctively Dante shaped is nicking the Gobbo’s dinner money again.
Beginning the search in Sailor Village (surely his parents will be worried) Croc’s quest sets out in a completely free-roaming environment laced with deadly traps, mind melting puzzles and the most bileinducingly sweet Gobbos straight from the cute farm.
‘Cute’ is certainly the only word to describe the brilliance and detail of Croc’s surroundings. From superbly animated lava flows and giant lovelorn squids to a steam railway and ponds full of snapping Venus Fly Traps, everything is so sugary you could dress it in pink and call it Bonnie Langford. Despite the eyestinging brutality of colours, Croc and his fellow characters are crackingly animated. Single-skinned for realism, and with a higher polygon count than before, every corner turned in Croc 2 showers you with gob-smacking scenery, rocketing it up into the ranks of Crash 3 and Spyro.
It does suffer for it’s beauty though, with some heavy pop up and polygon building in some sections but these are easily ignored when you have your eyes on Croc all the time, and boy do you have to watch him, because if you flinch for one moment you could kiss your slippery arse goodbye.
MAKE IT SNAPPY
Croc 2 may be aimed at a younger audience but in no way does it’s challenge relent for their age. From the outset it is an uphill fight, often infuriating but ultimately rewarding because once you’ve sweated and toiled, snapped a few joypads in anger and beaten a hole into the nearest wall, you will be cheering like a loony after a level is complete.
A little persistence, tracking around asking for Gobbo help and unearthing secret areas (of which there are hundreds) will eventually see slow progress through the difficult times but you’ve got to work for your rewards and it is not easy. To make Croc’s life that much more bearable a new character has been introduced to add depth and scope to the gameplay. Swap Meet Pete, a large money hungry cat, has a chain of pawn shops throughout the game offering special powers and helpful trinkets in exchange for crystals collected. Buying clockwork Gobbos to access hard to reach places, jelly trampolines, crystal ball teleporters and extra power-ups all allow further depth of discovery in Croc’s tasks, often expanding the game’s longevity far further than it’s predecessor. The further you struggle on, the wiser you become, learning how to traverse rope swings, learning how to reach that elusive crystal you need to buy a teleporter and of course, learning to outsmart the once difficult areas with the flick of scope to the gameplay. Swap Meet Pete, a large money hungry cat, has a chain of pawn shops throughout the game offering special powers and helpful trinkets in exchange for crystals collected. Buying clockwork Gobbos to access hard to reach places, jelly trampolines, crystal ball teleporters and extra power-ups all allow further depth of PLAY magazine Issue 49 1999 [Above] Caption [Inset] capion The giant ice bubble fish monster! He’s a right pain especially as you’ve got to fly your balloon and try and kill him at the same time! [Inset] Argh! More crumbling platforms, lava and swinging Dantinis! PAGE NUMBER 024 review croc 2 [Above] Tail-swing anything bigger and uglier than you. They are often bad guys. This purple freak needs a good whack in the belly if you are to stand any chance of crossing that bridge! ONE PLAYER MULTIPLAYER N/A HOURS DAYS WEEKS MONTHS L O N G T E R M P L AY… CONSTANTLY FREQUENTLY OCCASIONALLY NEVER k LOOKS SOUNDS GAMEPLAY VALUE GOBBOS Up there with the big boys! Spyro The Dragon 88% Crash 3: Warped 91% % 84 84 Alternatively: % PLAY continued> your wrists. It will annoy the hell out of anyone that comes near it at first but as soon as Croc 2 starts giving up its secrets it becomes a right little gem.
The few creases in gameplay such as evidence of texture ripping and slight warping can be forgiven thanks to the overwhelming amount of activities to tinker about with. Racing speed boats and sports cars, to riding giant snowballs and soaring the skies in a hot- air balloon all keep thrusting themselves in front of any flaws trying to poke through and the sheer expanse of missions set to Croc by hapless Gobbos will keep you far more captivated than trying to spot small glitches in programming.
Croc 2, a worthy sequel, doesn’t quite reach Crash, Spyro and Gex in terms of playablity but it would make a welcome and deserving addition to any platform fan’s collection. With it’s array of dazzling worlds, fiendish tricks and with a glut of puzzles and secrets the nipper has done well, it’s just a pity that some parts are as tough as his scaly hide!