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
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
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!"
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.
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 it...it'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.
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
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
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
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, well...my feeling is that we are getting very close to a great
game here, it's just missing the mark by a hair.
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 adventure...it's extremely well done!
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.