Gex: Enter The Gecko
The first of what will no doubt be a slew of Mario 64 clones coming to the PC over the next few months, Gex is a shining example of how to make the transition from 2D platformer to 3D... competently. There are no real bells to speak of, and certainly not much in the way of whistles, but had this come out in a world devoid of Mario's latest technicolour adventure it would undoubtedly be raised upon the games community's collective shoulders and possibly be seen stepping out with one of the Spice Girls.
Everything about this game is fine. The levels, while not up to the sheer vastness of Mario, are far larger than the PC's only other runner in this race, Croc, and provide an immersive feel that only the likes of Tomb Raider have managed as you wander around your computer-generated world. The controls, too, are good - perhaps a little jerky as you turn; but the lack of ability to rotate on the spot seems ludicrous, making precise directional jumping hair-pullingly fiddly. However, this is more than compensated for by the superb control given over the Ccamera' position. Three levels of control are offered, from manual to fully automatic, making it impossible to Close' yourself on-screen.
My only gripe is with Leslie Philips (he of the CDing-dong' catchphrase in Carry On Nurse). He is the persona of Gex himself, supplying a 'witty' remark every few seconds. Funny occasionally in old films, but bloody irritating every five seconds in a game. Why can't you turn him off?
Download Gex: Enter The Gecko
Nobody likes a smart-ass...unless that smart-ass is the lovable lizard known as Gex. This wise-cracker is going to make his 3-D debut on the PlayStation (well actually, it'll be his only 3-D appearance).
Gex: Enter the Gecko will be Crystal Dynamics' answer to Mario 64. Not only will the worlds of Gex be fully explorable with complete freedom of movement, but the mechanics of being a gecko will allow for twists on the 3-D platform genre. For example, Gex can climb vertically on certain walls. When you see this executed in a 3-D world, you'll come away thoroughly impressed.
Perhaps even more interesting is the creative energy put into designing the worlds of Enter the Gecko. All of the humor, sarcasm and wit that put Gex on the map of success will be fully exploited (yes, comedian Dana Gould will be doing the voices again). Each stage of the game puts plenty of emphasis on mocking one thing or another. To meet those goals, each world will feature a TV or movie theme from contemporary media.
We compiled a bunch of early screen shots, concept drawings and more for your viewing pleasure. Each world is briefly summarized, and where the information is available, we list some of the enemies and collectables that should inhabit them. To protect the innocent (and themselves), Crystal Dynamics has changed certain names for their parodies. We give plenty of hints, so try to guess what TV shows or movies some of these references (printed in BOLD) are alluding to.
Please note: This stuff is the most up-to-date info available anywhere but is subject to change! Some of the early concept information has yet to be finalized, but for the most part, what you see and read is what will end up being in the final product. Make sure to stay tuned to upcoming episodes,er, issues of fG/Wwhen we preview the game in depth.
Mario did it So did Bubsy. We expect Sonic will do it soon too. Now, Gex is joining the more-or-less elite group of side-scrolling mascot characters that entered the world of free-roaming 3-D. The smart-ass gecko, previously on the 3DO, PlayStation and Saturn, is going to make his newest appearance on the PlayStation only.
Gex is a TV-oholic. In his first adventure, he saved all of the world's TV programming from the evil Rez. Well, it seems Rez has knocked out the world's TV channels again. So Gex must go back into the Media Dimension to save television.
In the Media Dimension, you can find eight worlds, with two channels per world (for a total of 16 levels). Each world has a prominent theme attached to it. As Gex's claim to fame goes, the themes are all based on parodies of different areas of contemporary media, like cable TV and old movies. For example, one level makes fun of all the cheesy horror/slasher flicks we've seen in our lifetime. The other worlds make fun of kung-fu, science fiction. cartoons, spy films and more.
The backgrounds, enemies and icons all are representative of the theme of the day. In the circuit world (a very Tron-esc\ue look at the inside of a computer). Gex must pick up copper-top batteries. In the prehistoric world, you may run into dangerous purple dinosaurs. In the spy level, you can expect to see Crystal Dynamics' version of Jaws.
James Bond's archenemy. Besides the parody and humor. Enter the Gecko is also distinguished from its competition by his unique ability to stick to walls. So while Croc and Mario are running around 3-D worlds. Gex will be busy climbing sideways and even upside down. This leads to interesting gameplay and strategies, but unfortunately. Gex cannot do this whenever he wants. Only certain walls can be vertically scaled by the gecko.
Besides running and sticking to walls, Gex can use his tail to attack and his tongue to grab on to ledges. When he picks up certain power-ups. he'll have even more moves available. For example, Gex can eat certain fireflies that may give him a 360-degree tail attack or set him on fire to engulf his enemies.
Although Mario and Sonic are tough acts to follow, Gex has little other competition. Now that he has gone 3-D (with analog controller support), and he's keeping his trademark humor (comedian Dana Gould is returning to do the voice acting again), he might have the right stuff to launch him to star status.
- MANUFACTURER - Crystal Dynamics
- THEME - Action
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
Story & Fun Factor
Trapped again in a television-world paradox, Gex must traverse several levels themed after TV shows and movies. Gex trashing cities as Gexzilla puts the leapin' lizard in a new light! The game is a blast to play, and the various stages sport goodies like power-ups and hidden areas. Rest assured, 2D purists-- Gex works perfectly as a 3D game. This isn't an example of a game going 3D solely for 3D's sake (unlike Contra and Bubsy 3D). "Tail time" starts this fall.
The analog controller works perfectly with this game; Gex is a breeze to move around. In addition to his hop-n-bop skills, Gex can climb walls and ceilings, and can use his tail to swat enemies. The only problem we encountered with this 40 percent preview version was the confusing camera angles, which moved around too much. However, the final version will enable you customize the point of view.
Graphics & Sound
Just wait until you see Gex in motion--you won't believe your eyes! It's Nintendo 64 quality on the PlayStation! The stages feature detailed 3D environments and cool visual effects like flowing lava and hanging lanterns illuminating dark hallways. Cartoony sound effects fill the audio track, aided by themed music that varies from stage to stage. The only thing that still needs to be implemented is comedian Dana Gould's voice, which will add sonic enhancement to Gex's one-liners.
If you've played a Gex: Enter the Gecko on any system, then you know the general feel this Game Boy and Game Boy Color version of Gex: Enter the Gecko has--except it's not in 3D, of course. As you'd expect, Gex is out to prevent his archenemy Rez from taking over the world's television broadcasts. Like the other games, Gex must find his way through a variety of levels--each being a parody of popular TV shows and movies--ultimately taking down Rez.
This 8-Megabit GB cart works on any version of the Game Boy, but is specially adapted for use on the Super Game Boy and, of course, Game Boy Color (you know: color, extra memory and a faster CPU). The game features over 26 levels of gecko goodness. Crystal Dynamics insists Gex: Enter the Gecko for the Game Boy will be "one of the largest and most complex Game Boy games available." Gex has all of his standard fighting moves found in other versions including tail whips, spins and bounces, fly eating, karate kicking and wall climbing, among others. And he'll need every one of them against the more than 20 different types of enemies he'll encounter (many of those found in the PlayStation and N64 versions of the game). Of course, there is no Dana Gould voice in the little cart since that is next to impossible
Cower, Crash, and beware, Blasto there's a new platform king on the PlayStation! Gex returns for his second adventure, Enter the Gecko, delivering a three-dimensional tail-kicking of the highest order.
Son of the Tail
Quick with a tail-whip and quicker with a joke, Gex heads back into the Media Dimension to unseat Rez once again. This time he'll find himself in a haunted house, in outer space, on a desert isle, inside a computer, in a psychedelic cartoon world, back in the Stone Age, policing the inner city, and fighting ninjas in the streets of China, among other theatrical locales. Every level holds multiple challenges and different-colored remotes to collect. When Gex has enough clickers in his collection, he battles Rez for the ultimate show.
The Lizard's Innards
Everything in Enter the Gecko is 3D--even the menu graphics and the words on the screen. GEX alone is made up of hundreds of polygons, which results in smooth, lifelike articulation and animation. You'll be impressed by all the little nuances in his movements and wait animations. Three camera settings give you plenty of viewing options and enable you to see the game from just about any angle you can imagine.
Cex may be a gecko, but the soundtrack's a chameleon, constantly changing with recognizable-but-not-exactly-copyright-infringing musical themes to match each level. From the rasta beats of cops on the street to the Bond-style crescendo of brass and bongos, every track's a winner.
Of course, GEX wouldn't be GEX without a boatload of wise-ass remarks. Comedian Dana Could reprises his role as the loose-lipped lizard, spewing 500 or so one-liners over the course of the adventure. Better hope your pop culture chops are up to snuff;
GEX riffs on everything from Planet of the Apes to Richard Simmons to Stephen King to Land of the Lost. You may not get all the jokes now, but that's the beauty of GEX's "stealth humor" next time you see a movie or TV show, don't be surprised if one of the lines sneaks up on you and suddenly makes sense.
GEX supports the Sony Analog Controller, but you're still only moving in just eight directions. The controls prove comfortable and responsive, while the levels are plentiful and not frustratingly hard, which adds up to a high enjoyment factor, even for platform newbies. Hidden and bonus remotes, not to mention entire bonus levels, add to the replay value. Plus, watch for a surprise cameo at the end!
Gex looked good in the preview versions, and it's great to see a game live up to its potential. GEX: Enter the Gecko ranks as a must-own for platform fans, but more importantly, gamers who have grown tired of the hop-n-bop genre may find some of that old magic again.
Enter the Gecko teems with well-constructed characters and excellently designed levels. GEX also pulls off effects like transparency and mirror textures, and you'll hardly notice any annoying slowdown or breakup.
With either analog or digital controls, Gex moves smoothly and responsively. Occasionally the camera won't play nice, but most of the time you can get just the view you want.
Clever music choices combined with Dana Gould's endless stream of inside-joke wisecracks make every nuance worth hearing.
Killer looks, intricate levels, a wry sense of humor-Gex: Enter the Gecko has everything a platform fan could possibly want. The work that went into this one really paid off.
Gex returns to the PlayStation, wise-cracking and tail-whipping his way through a new, and very impressive looking, 3D action/adventure. The story so far has Gex turning secret agent to prevent his arch-nemesis Rez (buffed-out and badder than ever) from controlling the nation's television broadcasts. To do so, Gex must battle through eight channel worlds, each parodying popular movies and television shows like Star Wars and Godzilla. Comedian Dana Gould returns to lend Gex his voice, while former Simpsons writer Rob Cohen has been hired to give the feisty gecko the fiercest one-liners and quickest quips heard in gaming. What's most stunning about Gex is its unbelievable graphics and smooth gameplay, especially considering the early stage of the project. Gex has approximately 115 animations, from running to tongue lashing, and when he talks, you actually see his mouth articulately lip-synch the words. If Gex continues its gexcellent development, it could be one of the top games of the year.
One of my all time favorite PSX games starred a little green gecko with a really big mouth. The game was a traditional 2D side scrolling platform game that followed every cliche in the book. The one thing that made it stand out was since you play as a gecko, you could climb just about any wall or surface around. You spent 90 percent of your time off the traditional ground. This, along with the wisecracks from Dana Gould, the voice of Gex, kept me playing until I defeated REZ and beat the game.
Here we are, some 2 years later and a lot of things have changed, but a few have not. What has changed is that you are no longer a 2D stick figure. GEX has graduated into the world of 3D. You are now sporting some of the coolest threads around instead of running around naked. Your path in life does not follow a typical 3D linear route, you are free to move about checking for the many secrets that lay hidden within the game. What has not changed is GEX's love for TV and REZ's love for causing trouble. It seems that REZ is back up to his dirty work and GEX has been, ahem, forcefully recruited to stop him again. It is up to you to find all of the remotes hidden throughout the worlds in order to confront and defeat REZ. Once again, the fate of the world is literally sticking to your back.
GEX 2: Enter the Gecko still follows along the same paths of a platform game but adds much more to help in the replay department. The game is broken up into a number of different worlds, each with its own theme, usually based on a TV show or movie from the past. It is up to you to maneuver GEX through the world to receive the remote control at the end of each world. After collecting the world's remote controls, another section will open up and you're off to collect the remotes from the new worlds. Sounds easy enough, and it really is easy if your only goal is to get the level remotes and move on. Fortunately, there is much more to do and see.
First off, I said that the game is made up of different worlds. Each world has at least one remote control to acquire by meeting the objective of the world, one remote that is obtained by collecting enough of the collectibles located throughout the world, and finally a hidden remote somewhere in the level. Each world has a number of objectives that must be achieved before you will be allowed access to the remote for the objective. For example, early on in the game, you will find yourself in the haunted house level. One of your objectives is to smash 5 blood coolers (they look like the big water coolers, only filled with blood). After smashing 5 of these, you can go to the exit and the remote will be waiting for you. You will then have to go back into the level and achieve 2 other objectives to get the two other objective remotes. This will keep you busy for quite some time in each world.
I also mentioned that you will get another remote control by obtaining enough of the collectibles in each world. Each world has three tiers of collectibles. You will collect 30 tier 1 collectibles and it will automatically switch to tier 2. After collecting 40 tier 2 collectibles, it will switch to tier 3. After collecting 50 tier 3 collectibles, you are rewarded with a secret silver remote. By obtaining all three silver remotes per level, you will open up a special bonus level. This would keep you from running from the beginning to end of the level just to get the objective remote.
Finally, you have to collect the secret remotes. These are remotes that are hidden in each level that you must search high and low to acquire them. These were the hardest to find and later in the game, I spent hours exploring levels just looking for the hidden remotes. At the end of each level, you are given a recap of the items you find and it tells you if you have found the secret remote for that world or not. This was quite helpful.
Now let's talk about GEX himself for a minute. For those of you who never played the original, GEX is a gecko. If you don't know what a gecko is, they somewhat resemble a lizard with suction feet allowing them to travel on just about any surface (unless you are a gecko playing this game... more in a minute). GEX has spent too much time in front of the TV, so just about everything he knows and says relates to the TV in some form or another. All of his one-liners are lines from or about TV show personalities or movies. This is one of the best parts of the game. You never get tired of hearing what he has to say. The game claims to have over 500 phrases, but I did find that they got repetitive quickly. It did not stop them from being funny, but you would just hear them over and over.
This also brings me to my first gripe about the game. It has been at least two years since the original title was released. Couldn't they have thought up all-new one-liners instead of recycling them from the original game? There were a few things that were carried over from the original game. Look, I heard them enough the first time around, so give me something new! That is not to say that there were not a lot of new ones, because there were. However, I just don't understand why they reused some.
The second complaint I had with the game is the troublesome camera. I guess all I need to say is that this is a 3D game and that should sum up the camera problems. Anyone who has logged time on a 3D game knows exactly what I am referring to. The camera seems to just miss the right angle which makes routine jumps and other actions nearly impossible. On the positive side, Crystal Dynamics has done some work to help curtail the problem. They give you three different levels of camera control and you can select the one that works best for your playing style. I found the semi-auto cam to work best on most levels because it gives you decent auto angles but you can also adjust it manually if the angle it picks is not satisfactory. There were times that it would take a few minutes to manually get the angle just right before making a big jump or something. I know this is an inherent problem in 3D games but it is still annoying.
The single most aggravating thing about this game is that they took the gecko out of GEX. In the original, it was rare that you would find a wall or surface that GEX was unable to climb. In this game, it is rare that you find a place that GEX can climb. They usually have one little wall or something per level just because they felt they had to have something, but it is a far cry from satisfactory. Like I said, one of the things that made the original so cool was your ability to climb just about every wall, floor, or ceiling. This ability has almost been completely stripped out of the game. Come on guys, do you remember the whole reason for using a gecko as the star character of the game?
GEX has some awesome 3D graphics. Everything is 3D from the intro screens to the ending scenes. Of course, 3D brings the camera problems, but it also really brings the characters to life. GEX looks, feels, and acts like a live creature. His movements are fluid, realistic and lifelike. The worlds were also well done. There was never any question about what you were looking at or where you were going.
In some ways I was a little let down by this game. I think that the whole point of GEX being a gecko was lost. Aside from this, though, the gameplay was fun and addictive. I found myself playing just one more level over and over. GEX is the ultimate smart-ass and you have to admire that. I think most people will get a kick out of this game and enjoy playing it for a long time. Platform fans will have to have the controller pried from their hands.
Snapshots and Media
GameBoy Color Screenshots
- Crash Bandicoot
- Crash Bandicoot 2
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
- Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
- Frogger: Helmet Chaos
- Looney Tunes Cosmic Capers
- Lost Vikings 2: Norse by Norsewest
- Oddworld Abes Exoddus
- Oddworld Abes Oddysee
- Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath
- Spyro the Dragon
- Spyro Year Of The Dragon
- Super Mario Bros.
- Amazing Penguin
- Battle Lode Runner
- Chuck Rock
- Chuck Rock 2
- Linus Spacehead
- Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns
- Sumo Fighter
- Super Duper Sumos
- Taito Legends
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Return of the Shredder
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin