Nostalgia Revisited - Croc: Legend of the Gobbos






This will hopefully be the first of many different posts where I'll replay games that I have them nostalgic feels for and see if they still hold up. As you can see from the title the first game I'll be writing about is Croc: Legend of the Gobbos! I remember being a youngster going to Showbiz Video and renting this game quite a few times. I have quite fond memories of the game and whenever I see the cover art I get heavily nostalgic. I decided to play through it during a few Lock-Ins (Which you all should participate in).

Some backstory to the game, Croc was released on September, 29, 1997 for the Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, and PC. It was originally planned to be a Yoshi racing title for the Nintendo 64 but was sadly canned when Nintendo backed away from letting Argonaut Games or any third party make a game with their property *cough* Phillips CD-I *cough*. Its interesting though considering because of Argonaut, Star Fox was able to be made. Croc was made afterwards with the prototype they used to demo the Yoshi game to Nintendo. There was speculation Nintendo took Argonauts ideas and made Super Mario 64 with them. After having some difficulty finding a new publisher they got Fox Interactive to publish Croc and apparently even got a Simpsons writer to create the story which is readable in the instruction manual. It's purely comical and the Lead Designer of the game wasn't very happy with it due to wanting the game to be whimsical rather than a joke. It's a nice read though, 8/10.

So now you know the backstory let's get to it. Once you start the game you begin viewing Croc's origins. He is found by King Rufus, King of the Gobbos drifting down the river in a basket and is brought into the Gobbos' care. You see Croc grow up from taking his first steps to becoming bigger than his family. Suddenly, Baron Dante arrives and imprisons the Gobbos, along with King Rufus. When King Rufus teleports you to safety you begin your quest to save your family. The game officially starts with a nice tutorial level. It has everything you need to learn in the game. Combat, movement, jumping, etc. You are also shown how to find hidden areas as well. Your health consists of crystals you collect throughout the stage. Whenever you get hit, you lose them all and if you get hit without any crystals you lose a life; just like in Sonic the Hedgehog. At the end of each stage crystals are stored and once you hit 100 you get an extra life. There are 6 Gobbos to be rescued in each stage. 5 are hidden and 1 is in a bonus level accessible by collecting 5 colored gems.

The game itself is decent more-so just a mediocre platforming title. Flawed is a better way to describe it. The main issue with it that I don't remember is how bad the controls are. It takes awhile to adjust to them. Mostly because moving him around is almost like he's always drifting. Which could possibly be leftover from when they were trying their hand out on that Yoshi game? It's easy to deal with at first, later on in the game the areas become a little more compact with little room for error. You try to avoid a fireball and you end up drifting towards another one. It's just an annoyance. The graphics are pretty good, the colors are vibrant and makes the environment really pop. From the darkness of the cave/underground levels to the outside levels they contrast very well. The level design however, is decent. Some parts are just downright irritating especially if you're going for the 100% these Gobbos can be a real pain to save. The cameras have some gripes as well. You're able to control it with the right analog stick and adjust with L2 and R2. Though when you want to view a jump below you so you land on the platform and not fall to your death ends up immediately screwing you over. Once you jump it centers your camera the second you press X so you don't end up viewing your jump and it becomes a guess on if you can land it or not. Each enemy takes one hit to beat but they respawn. It sounds like it shouldn't be an issue right? Yeah, later on it kind of is an issue. The bosses as well are quite easy, only needing three hits to end them. Remember earlier when I mentioned the 6 Gobbos in each level? You don't even need to collect them if you don't want to. That's right, you don't have to get a single thing in this game to advanced to the final boss. Which is a little aggravating due to the time I spent on trying to collecting them all. It makes it feel like it's not really worth your time to save them. The only difference is you get to the "True" boss and ending when everything is collected. Once you defeat the "Crystal Boss" you're given an amazing congratulations screen. It's not actually amazing though it's just a NES like congratulations screen. We'll stop being negative and talk about the most positive thing about this game. The soundtrack. It's so damn good.






For every positive thing I can say about Croc: The Legend of the Gobbos, there's something to take it a step back again. However, no matter the flaws, it always has me coming back. This game just has this draw to it. It's far from a great platforming game, but it is a good one. If they did more things right with Croc it could've been so much better. It could even be up there with Super Mario 64, Spyro, Crash, Banjo-Kazooie as some of the top platformers for the time. Setting these issues aside it's still a game I can enjoy when I go back to it. Would I recommend it as a game you need to play? Nahhhh. You could live without it. Though if you ever want a mediocre game to play, Croc: The Legend of the Gobbos can fill that void.

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