|There is no doubt about it, Croc is the spawn of
Marioa child Mario had outside of the happy nuclear Nintendo family. He jumps like
Mario, he stomps like Mario, and Marios plucky personality shines through
Crocs reptilian veneer. The story is familiar enough; Croc, orphaned at birth
(Mario, how could you?) has been raised by the Koopasoops, I mean Oogles, and their
land has been taken over by by the evil Baron Dante who has convinced all of the animals
to rise up and enslave the poor, furry, helpless Oogles. Your job as Croc is to free as
many Oogles as possible and stomp the land into peaceful submission.
I was determined not to like this game. After the first couple of levels which were insultingly easy, I thought I would put the game away and write a scathing review. But something happened when I entered a mine shaft and completed the level a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Croc stopped being a weak clone of the Mario school and became its own game. I actually felt compelled to complete the game and found myself muttering under my breath, "Neat!" The game never elicited a "Wow!" but I found myself sufficiently entertained. There was no wonder in this game, but there were many pleasant surprises.
The game starts off like any side scrolling adventure, but it breaks out of Mario land with gondolas, skiing and magic carpets. The mini games at the end of each level also provide a break from the monotony. The graphics were nice enough to keep me from getting too bored There was more color than Im used to in a GameBoy game and the environments were nicely rendered.
The real drawback of the game is its controls. The jump and attack buttons work as rapid fire buttons. I lost quite a few lives holding onto the jump button too long and the attack button which also served as the run button did not always work. There is nothing more frustrating that losing a life after you know youve done everything right.
If you have already beat all of the levels (and I mean all of the levels) of Super Mario Bros. and are looking for a way to pass the time on a long trip, then Croc may be the game for you. This game doesnt try to be anything more than a distraction for young children, and on that level it succeeds. If Mario had stayed in this young reptiles life and raised him like the son he so obviously is, then Croc may have grown into something other than the pale shadow of his father.