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Developer Crystal Dynamics Options
Distributer Midway 1 Player
Game Type Platform Memory Card/Password
Review Date March 1998 Dual Analog Pad
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Setting the Scene
Ah, it was such an easy life. Sitting around the house with nothing to do but watch his favorite TV shows, day in and day out...hour after hour. Since Gex's retirement from the public eye in 1996, television was the only thing that managed to hold any enjoyment in this young gecko's existence.

For two years Gex enjoyed the solitude of his apartment and the lone company of his remote and large screen TV. Starting off each day with a cup of Java and a dose of Kung Fu theater, then a nice cream-filled chocolate donut with his favorite cartoons and a bag of chips with His Majesty's Secret Service.

Same routine, same time, same stations...then one out of nowhere two goons appear and inform Gex that his arch enemy, Rez has returned to action and is threatening to take over the worlds TV channels. They need his help to capture Rez and return him to wherever it is that he came from! This pretty much hits Gex where he lives, I mean what would he do without his TV shows, so after some prompting he decides to temporarily come out of retirement and take the case.

So after downing one more Twinkie for luck Gex is off to stop the evil Rez so he can get back to more important stuff like watching the Indiana Jones trilogy or something..."All righty then Rez, it's tail time!"

Gex: Enter the Gecko is a 3D platform style game done in much the same vein as Mario64 and more recently Croc.

The graphics in Gex: ETG are like a breath of fresh air. The colors jump out at you and seem so vibrant and alive that you'll once again be shaking your head in amazement at what the Playstation is able to produce by way of its graphical prowess.

The different worlds or environments that you traverse are presented in such crisp detail that you may think you watching a cartoon rather than playing a video game. The texture mapping is wonderfully executed in Gex with software generated anti-alaising to smooth out the rough edges and pixelation. Only on occasion do you witness polygon seeming and break-up...this most commonly occurs when Gex is facing a wall and you spin the camera around to get a better view. I felt this was actually the right thing for the programmers to do to enable the gamer to obtain a better view, but it's still polygon seeming and minor break-up just the same.

There are a wide variety of places to visit in this game, all created with a graphic flare that makes you want to keep exploring to see what lies around the next corner. Just wait until you see some of the morphing effects and light sourcing used in the haunted house (Scream TV) episode or the neon light effects in Kung-fu Theater or the incredible water fall depiction in the Toon TV episode. There is some truly awesome graphical stuff going on here ladies and gentlemen.

Alas, not all is perfect...I did notice some fogging used on the more open levels, most notably on the main Media Dimension Map where you start your game. I suppose this is done to hide the pop-up, but it's an effect that I am not used to seeing done on the Playstation. At any rate, it's not used often and certainly does not detract from the gameplay in any way. There is also a considerable amount of pop-up in the non-fogged open areas. It happens pretty far off in the distance, but it's still noticeable if you look for it. Again, it's not a real detractor from the game at all.

I also managed to spot a bit of slowdown on some of the busier screens, but trust me there was a LOT going on and the slowdown was minimal and only occurred at certain camera angles.

Overall the splendor of the scenery actually rivals that of Crash Bandicoot 2 in its depth and depiction. The graphics are easily some of the best seen to date and continue to push the Playstation further than I ever thought possible. If you want a graphical showcase title that you can really show off to your friends, this one is certainly a contender.

Sounds and Effects
The sound effects in Gex are very well done...and there are lots of them. Practically every move that the little fly eater makes results in a unique and distinguishable sound. From his tail whip to the lashing of his tongue, you are rewarded with a specific accompanied sound. There are also a plethora of sounds that you will hear while plodding your way through the environment; glass breaking, axes clashings, gunshots, lasers, you name's in here.

The music is also fine and includes unique scores for each world. I won't say that it will leave you with anything memorable stuck in your head, but it's pleasant enough while you are playing the game and fits in well with the overall theme.

As an added bonus we get treated to the voice quips of Dana Gould. Crystal Dynamics states that there is over 500 one-liners that ole Gex shouts out at you from time to time. While I have no reason to doubt their claim, I will say that I heard quite a bit of repetition in the time that I played the game. The neat part is that the one-liners seem to come out at all the appropriate times. Stick out Gex's tongue and you will most likely get treated to an Austin Powers imitation "Slip of the tongue Baby!" or enter Kung Fu Theater and hear Gex in his best Sean Connery voice say "ah, welcome Mister Scaramunga". I found the voice acting to be a nice touch, but I am also pretty sure that some you will get annoyed with it rather quickly. At least you have the option of turning the voice off if it gets under your skin.

As soon as the game starts you just know that you are in for something special. The camera pans and takes you through a polygon rendering of Gex's world, ultimately stopping at the main menu screen...just begging you to press play.

Even the option screen is nicely modeled with speakers that you make smaller or larger to adjust the sound FX, music and voice. Even the controller option screen is colorful and worth a look-see. It's these kinds of touches that let you know that some TLC was put into this game.

Starting up the game drops Gex into the Media Dimension map. It's here that you truly begin your adventure and must navigate your slimy little lizard through his environment via the directional pad or preferably the analog controller. You can use the buttons on the controller to rotate the scenery, zoom in, flick Gex's tongue and execute a tail whip. Scattered about the main map are crystals that will give you various hints on how to control Gex and pull off some neat moves.

It's about this time that you begin the task of getting used to controlling Gex. You have a choice of three camera angles: auto - in this mode the camera will attempt to always stay behind your gecko in the direction the he is looking; Semi-auto (default) - the camera will automatically move behind Gex when he stops moving. To override, you can press the L1/R1 buttons to swing the view either direction 360 degrees. Finally there is the manual cam. In this mode you can swing the camera a full 360 degrees to get your favorite position at any given moment, and the camera will stay where you left it until you decide to move it again. Some serious fiddling with all three modes is necessary to get comfortable with the one you like. Personally I primary used the auto cam and changed to the manual whenever I needed a specific viewing vantage-point. Anyway you cut it though, the camera is not always in the optimal position all the time. At least you have the option of overriding the defaults, this helps. A few final words on camera angles, pressing and holding the triangle button will allow Gex to zoom in and rotate the view around 100 degrees to the left and 100 degrees to the right from a fixed standing position. This is helpful for lining up jumps, looking up and down and such. The camera will also on occasion default to a fixed setting. This seemed to occur mostly in closed in locations when a top-down view is called for to really see where you are in relation to the environment. When this occurs you no longer have camera control until you navigate out of that area. Bummer.

Once you get the camera angles down, learning Gex's moves is a breeze. You can jump, tail bounce, tail whip, tongue lash, and throw karate kicks. Use the main area to get down these moves and then it's off to a TV episode.

Initially there are only two areas that are open to you; Scream TV and Toon TV. Your main objective at this point is to collect Red TV remotes. These remotes will allow you to enter other TV areas in the game. Both Scream and Toon TV have three red remotes located in them. Each remote is gained by completing a specific mission in each world. Other worlds or episodes require up to 9 red remotes to enter them, so obtaining these remotes is a must to continue forward.

Other items can also be collected along the way. These collectibles are broken up into three tiers per world. Once you collect a certain number of items in each tier, you advance to the next. You get an extra life for when you complete tiers one and two and receive a silver remote when you complete tier three.

Oh yeah, there are other remotes! As I just mentioned, once you complete tier three you get a silver one. Each world also has a hidden silver remote for you to find. Find three silver remotes and you gain entry to a bonus world. There are also Gold remotes...collect four of these and you open up a rare secret level. I've only found two so far, so I can't comment on the rare level...but it's something I'm shooting for!

I really found the worlds or episodes or whatever you wish to call them, to be well varied and interesting to go through. I was having fun and felt compelled to try and thoroughly explore and complete each world. The game has a nice subtle way of drawing you in and providing hours of enjoyable gameplay.

Oh, I almost forgot...Gex also dresses to suit his environment. During the course of the game he will don a rabbit suit, storm trouper outfit, ninja costume, etc. It's all really quite funny and a nice touch that fits in perfectly with the overall theme of the game.

In essence what you have here is your basic Mario64 clone. Full 3D world's that are just waiting for you to explore via entry points that are TV's rather than paintings, but I actually enjoyed playing this game more than Mario64. It is geared at a more mature audience than the big "N" offering, has better textures, better music and sound effects and offers interesting worlds to visit. The only place it fell short in my opinion was the control. It is certainly something that you can get used to but it was not as responsive as I would have hoped. There were occasions when the camera just couldn't track the little lizards movements quickly enough and I had to slow down my pace and let the camera re-group. Ah, feeling is that we are getting very close to a great game here, it's just missing the mark by a hair.

Value for Money
This is a reasonably long and involved game here. With its multiple worlds, various objectives and hidden items, it offers a good value for your money. I tend to question the reply value of the game though once you have found everything that this game has to offer. Other than the pure enjoyment of playing through the title again, there would be nothing new to discover. Still, the game is relatively long and should take an average gamer a good number of hours to complete. I think it's worth a purchase as opposed to a rental and have no reservations recommending this title to those that enjoy this type of's extremely well done!

GRAPHICS: 18/20 Gex: Enter the Gecko is a truly fun experience. If you are looking for a darn good Mario64 clone to play on your Playstation than look no further. With its crisp, colorful graphics and over the top humor, Gex is a winner hands-down.
SOUND: 9/10
VALUE: 17/20

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