Croc 2

Every now and then, 3D Mario-clones like Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot come along and rock the action genre with remarkable gameplay, interesting levels, and cool characters. Those games need to be ported over to PC, not Croc 2.

Every now and then, 3D Mario-clones like Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot come along and rock the action genre with remarkable gameplay, interesting levels, and cool characters. Those games need to be ported over to PC, not Croc 2. Fox Interactive's Croc 2 suffers from "more of the same" syndrome. Its dull, immature gameplay will have your CPU yawning in no time.

Croc 2 continues the story of a crocodile raised by Gobbos, a race of furball midgets. The Dantinis, the evil "bad guy" race is out to enslave the Gobbos. You must fight the Dantinis, defeat their leader-again, and restore peace and happiness to the land.

You'll start your quest by rescuing a few Gobbos here and there, basically earning the powerups, weapons, and skills you'll need to defeat Dante, leader of the Dantinis. The game is full of separate mini-games, like boat-racing and kart-racing. You'll even fly a fighter plane, shooting down Dantinis like you were the Red Baron. These mini-games are fun, but they're all borrowed ideas from other similar 3D action games.

In fact, Croc 2's biggest flaw is its lack of originality. The entire game will feel like d�j� vu to the hardcore gamer. I desperately searched for some hint of originality, but found none. Sure, it's one of the few "3D platform jumpers" available on the PC, but that doesn't make it a quality title.

Like every other Mario-clone, you'll run around in lava levels, snow levels, sandy beach levels, and a goofy looking Stonehedge level. You'll combat a wide range of monsters and you'll fight giant boss characters, each with a specific weakness that must be discovered and then exploited. You'll master moves like the tail-swipe, power-flip, and the jumping stomp to fight these enemies.

During each level, you'll collect gems that can be used as money when back in the Gobbos town. Save up enough gems and you can buy cool items, extra health, or even a clockwork gobbos that will fetch items for you.

While hosting an array of 3D accelerated effects, Croc 2's graphics are somewhat stereotypical, and a bit childish. The boss characters are interesting enough to look at, and are rendered quite nicely in Croc 2's defense. But overall, its graphics didn't impress me all that much.

While Croc 2 doesn't have multiplayer, it does have an odd 2-player mode called Omniplay. In Omniplay, you and a friend share control of Croc, guiding him through the game in a cooperative sort of way. This mode is more frustrating than it is fun, and I believe it was incorporated to allow parents to play along with their children.

After weeks of playing Croc 2, I was praying each new level would be Croc 2's last, but it just kept dragging on and on. I would only recommend this game on the off-chance you don't own a PlayStation or N64, and you're craving a little Mario-like run and jump action.