I figured it was time to talk about a better known mascot and one that I actually enjoy. My first two entries for Mascot Mania were lesser known guys and really, for good reasons. I was first introduced to Croc by one of those awesome Playstation demo discs. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine Demo Disc #2 to be exact. Back then these demo discs were a big part of my gaming experience and the import section was a good way to play games we never got. Remember this was 1997 and the internet was in no way what it is today. I’m also going way off track here. I played the Croc demo a lot but oddly I never rented or owned it back then. It wasn’t until the PS2 era that I finally got to play these games and I really enjoyed them. As I was digging around the internet, I found some interesting stuff about the little green gator.
Take a really good look at Croc. I mean a good look. Does he remind you of somebody? He looks like Yoshi!! Even more so in the Gameboy Color version of Croc 2. Now it’s time for a bit of history. Argonaut, the people behind Croc and a little game you may have heard of called Star Fox decided to pitch another idea for Nintendo to pick up. It would have been a Yoshi game had Nintendo said yes but sadly they were rejected. So Argonaut changed the character and Croc was born. I for one am glad they did as some pretty fun games came from it.
The first Croc game was a blast, at least for me. I know it’s popular to hate on these Mascot games, but I do find some of them fun. Heck, even with Radical Rex I had a little bit of fun! The story isn’t the best but we don’t play these types of games for the story! Basically Croc is adopted by a group of weird fuzzy ball people called Gobos. Years pass and Croc and the King of the Gobbos became real good friends. Unsurprisingly the king gets himself and the Gobbos kidnapped by the evil (aren’t they always?) Baron Dante. So basically you go stage to stage trying to find and rescue six Gobbos per stage. Mix in some boss fights and we got ourselves a platformer!
The controls, my lord the controls. This was one of the Playstation games made before the Analog controller was released. There is no easy way to turn Croc. You had to slowly move left or right while sometimes dodging enemies. This also made platforming hard to do. Combine that with an iffy camera and it was hell sometimes. This would be my only complaints with the first game. When the second game came out they fixed the issue. Mostly due to the Dual Shock being out. Turning was much easier to do with a thumbstick. Croc’s attacks are basic: a butt stomp and a tail whip. Basically some of the moves we know Yoshi to use today!
There were a couple of Gameboy Color games that are okay. They aren’t anything really special but they are fun for a quick go. Well at least the first one is. It’s a sidescroller and like its Playstation brother you collect diamonds that also serve as Croc’s life. Think Sonic’s rings here. It also suffers from poor hit detection and bad controls. It’s nothing game-breaking, again I had fun for a while, but there are some issues. The second Gameboy Color game wasn’t that fun for me. It reminded me of a poorly designed A Link to the Past. At least the game looks that way. It would be considered blasphemy to compare Croc 2’s horrible gameplay and floaty physics to A Link to the Past.
After playing the Playstation Croc games again for this entry, I think I could get behind a new Croc game. Nothing to go big budget on, just a simple PSN,XBL, or 3DS download. I think there would be an audience for it and if you’re curious I do believe the first two games are available to download on PSN. I say they are worth the money and time. There were plans for a new Croc game for the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube but sadly Argonaut went bust. Some game company should rescue the cute little Yoshi look-a-like and give us an awesome new Croc game!
Chris Carboni or, as he’s better known on Twitter, Retrocore_RCVGM is a retro gamer who loves almost anything to do with old games. He can find fun in games that most would consider to be bad but that’s just because he is a Bad Dude. Bad enough to both rescue the President and not be a tuna head at the same time.