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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Semi-Pointless Retro Game Review 1- Croc: Legend of the Gobbos

Croc was released in 1997 for the Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, and Windows (with a version for Game Boy Color), developed by Argonaut software and published by Fox Interactive. Several already established franchises would try to transition to three dimensions in the late 1990s. Some series, like Mario, Frogger, and a few others could successfully transition. The majority, however, couldn't quite make the jump.

Some more than others, of course

Croc fell into a good place for video game characters. The late 1990s saw a number of game characters falling from grace due to certain problems including (But not limited to):
1. Bad transitions to 3D (Bubsy 3D, Castlevania, Sonic R)
2. Dying Consoles(Nights, Sonic, pretty much anything else from SEGA that wasn't sonic)
3. No transitions at all to new consoles(Sparkster, Ristar, Ecco, Zool, Punky Skunk, Sonic X-Treme)

Games like that blew the door open for new characters in new franchises, like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Drago, Rayman, and Croc!

Croc's first outing is a fun, and challenging game which I sincerely have enjoyed. Control is solid, music is good, graphics are pleasant, and the story is... alright, the story is kind of useless.

The gameplay of Croc is fun and simple. The controls are similar to Super Mario 64's controls, which you could say this game draws some inspiration from.
One large difference of the controls of Croc from the controls of Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot is seen when you press back on the D-Pad. In Mario or Crash, your character turns around. Croc just walks backwards. In order to turn around, you will need to press the circle button, which spins croc in an exactly 180 degree turn. So basically, Croc is not exactly the acrobat that Mario is, but the controls get the job done. The actual play of the game essentially consists of getting from point a to point b, after getting over some obstacles. Also, there are several different things to collect, each of which matter to gameplay in equal amount. And that amount is basically none at all, so you shouldn't worry about the collectables. While most of the gameplay in Croc seems to be directly inspired by Super Mario 64, it's still really enjoyable, and it's some of the best fun you can get on the PlayStation.

The graphics of Croc are not terribly amazing, but they look nice, and certainly give off a fun, pleasant atmosphere.
GRAPHICS SCORE- 8 or so (Graphics don't matter much to the game's actual final score)

The music of Croc is tremendous. It works in just about every level, and it creates an excellent atmosphere and mindset for every level. The only issue that I have with the music is that whenever you're in one room of a level for a long enough time so that the music track ends, it just stops, and you have to play in silence until you exit whatever room you're in. The only sound effects in the game are ones made by enemies, collecting things, and the grunt noises that Croc makes when he attacks. They all sound perfectly fine, but the noises that Croc makes can get annoying after hearing them over and over.

AUDIO SCORE- 9 (Audio matters even less to the final verdict than Graphics do, unless it's particularly awful)

Croc's story is a fairly simple one. Croc is a crocodile, and he has to go through levels to find the king. That's pretty much that. Croc doesn't need a terribly detailed story to work though, and it's a game that you won't necessarily need the story to play anyway.

STORY SCORE- 6 (The story in this game is fairly pointless, anyway.)

Croc is an excellent game for the PlayStation and Saturn. Even though it's an old game, it's still certainly worth picking up at a used games store if you see it. Copies of this game rarely run over five or six dollars, and they're definitely not hard to find, on account of the PlayStation Greatest Hits re-release that Croc received right before the launch of Croc 2. So certainly, if you find it, check it out, you won't be sorry.


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