Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko
So where do we stand on the Gex issue? Well we're thoroughly against him of course, particularly after his dismal Enter the Gecko on the N64. However, Gex's adventures in good old 2D tend to be miles better than the 3D versions, so we're prepared to give the lizard a chance.
Deep Cover Gecko is based on the diabolical N64 game, with Gex doing his usual channel-surfing thing and cavorting around various themed levels. He gets a different costume in each one (that's where the 'deep cover' bit comes in), and he can stick to certain walls, whack things with his tail and eat flies. The flies kind of buzz around him when you find them and can be eaten at any time to provide a handy health boost. There's an unusual multiple jump feature which takes some getting used to and allows Gex to bounce happily on his smooth green bum, but the lizard never acquires the range of abilities you'd find in a Mario or Kirby game. It's competently done though, if rather uninspired, with big levels and plenty of separate missions to accomplish in each one, and the way Gex splatters on the ground after a heavy fall is definitely worth seeing, particularly if you still harbour ill feelings after shelling out for Enter the Gecko.
Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko DownloadsGex 3: Deep Cover Gecko download
Last month we had the fair-to-middling platformers Earthworm Jim, 40 Winks and Rayman 2. We didn't realise how lucky we were until the hideous Gex: Deep Cover Gecko shambled into the office like some kind of rogue abomination freshly escaped from the Game Boy Gallery.
It's a real mess, from the horrendously jerky intro through to the horrendously jerky gameplay (such as it is). We can tolerate the occassional drop in frame rate, but a mere five minutes of staring in utter disbelief as the utterly loathable Gex twitched and spasmed around his vile world was enough to bring on a real humdinger of a headache (thanks largely to the strobe effect created by the incessantly flickering camera). Quite why it jerks around so much is unclear, because the pointy, stylised graphics must push the N64 about as much as Carmageddon does, but Gex is one of the most painful- looking games we've ever seen.
Naturally, the gameplay is spectacularly crap too. Generic, mindless platforming dross, involving the traditional quest for green blobs to open up a series of uninspired levels filled with wild and crazy goings on. How we laughed at Gex's madcap antics. How we thrilled to the sight of dancing animals and freaktastic creatures. Actually, no. When you've seen one leprechaun monster dressed as a Christmas elf, you've pretty much seen them all. Gex is positively filled with such tedious, unimaginative creations. It really does set a new benchmark for dull character design. And as a final death blow to the ailing lizard, the voice samples are simply awful, inspiring genuine hatred. You'll just want to wring Gex's scrawny green neck as soon as he opens his mouth. Fatality!