|Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko (c) Crystal Dynamics|
Gex is the playstation's answer to Mario 64. You control a lizard named Gex through somewhat open levels. You usually have specific tasks to complete like finding 5 purple mushrooms or 5 blood coolers. Once you accomplish these tasks you gain access to Gilligex Island.
Gex3d is quite vibrant in some levels, and it certainly doesn't shy away from using fully saturated blues and greens. The default, and seemingly only resolution is 512x384. This is kind of a downer since Voodoo 2 boards support 800x600 which looks vastly better. There are no options for changing resolution so even the almost expected 640x480 res is not available. What this lower res boils down to is less overall detail and jaggier edges on objects. I also found that the game had a slightly disjointed appearance to it. Objects and terrain didn't seem fully connected and you could see seams between textures and clipping occurred quite often (when the viewpoint passes through a polygon and makes it see-through. I don't recall any clipping problems in Mario 64 so this is one area where Gex3d is inferior. I also found the fog to be improperly used. Gex3d uses what's known as linear fog, which means that at a certain distance fog begins to blend to and from full fog. Some areas like a little dent into a canyon wall, would actually have fog if you moved the right distance away. So the fog looks good most of the time, but when you see these errors it kind of ruins your impression of the game. Also I wasn't crazy about how the camera tracked Gex. The camera follows in either semi-automatic or automatic modes or manually. The 2 following modes are too jerky though and you find the screen swinging back and forth just from minor changes in direction. Mario 64 followed much more smoothly. Visually, Gex3d is appealing. It's colorful, and the game makes good use of colored lighting and translucency effects. The textures look good but are just slightly blurry looking. There are also some nice starry effects when grabbing certain items and when you reach 30 "coins" and receive a free life. Overall the game is competent in it's graphics but not in any impressive manner. Nothing I haven't seen before.
The sound is a big bone of contention. The sound effects are fine but the speech is where the problems comes in. Gex is quite a verbal little fellow, often making little comments about Keith Richards, George Michael and other popular people. The comments are amusing but the voice is a British accent. The original PSX voice was much better according to many people who've played that version. I've never heard the PSX version but this one still sounds a little strange. A talking lizard is one thing, but a lizard with a British accent is really pushing it. No music.
Not being a console gamer, I don't often play games of this genre. The last such title was CROC, which turned out to be CRAP. I've played Mario 64 however, and I found it vastly superior to this title. Mario is a seamless world, with excellent control and impressive graphics. Gex is sort of a conglomeration of levels that don't seem to fit together. One level is all cartoony and the next is a haunted house. You can move freely in the various levels but you don't feel like your actually exploring. Instead it feels like a linear quest. The levels have no interconnection so once your done with an area, that's it, your finished with it forever. Gex has a double jump but it's not as cool as Mario's jump, hop, super-jump sequence, so I wasn't thrilled with that. I completed the haunted house area and did half of Toonland or whatever it's called, but I can't say that I'm dying to play more. The would-be amusing speech was supposedly a big feature of the PSX version of Gex, but since that was changed for the PC version, it comes off flat. To me, Gex3d suffers from the common problem with consoles, shallowness.
Graphics: 17 / 20
Overall Rating: 74 / 100
From the smash Sony Playstation hit comes the PC version of Gex 3D: Enter The Gecko. Although only for play with 3DFX Voodoo cards the game is a very good conversion in terms of speed, controls and graphics.
Graphics: (18 / 20)
An excellent conversion in terms of graphics for this title. Since the Playstation version had numerous amount of special effects such as explosions, and Playstation's version of fog, these two effects and more look much better on the PC. The game blasts away at about 45 fps which is excellent considering the complex world and environment Gex is given to explore in. The entire game is based on the 3D engine including the introduction and options screens. Very good graphics throughout the game, the main character is very well done also, and the enemies are also nicely animated.
Sound: (8 / 15)
Throughout the game Gex has his key sayings, that are humorous, and other sounds. Ambient sounds exist so that the player can hear a monster walking or attacking him from a distance. Other than that not too many sound effects exist such as when Gex steps on different surfaces and such. This is one of the few low points of the game.
Gameplay: (23 / 25)
Although the controls are a bit unresponsive, which might be fixed with a patch, the game is very fun to play. Any adventure fans who like exploring big worlds with great graphics will love this game. The character can do numerous amounts of moves such as spit his tongue, climb walls, hit and bounce with hit tail and much more. As with most adventure games secret areas are abundant and a set path does not have to be followed since the player can choose what point Gex can start or continue his mission. Kids under 15 will love this game and others will find it quite good as well.
Fun Factor: (17 / 20)
A very fun game for most people since Gex is a very humorous character. His sayings throughout the game add life to the game and also help with his interaction with the monsters. I assume this game will take about 8 to 10 hours to complete with his excellent for an adventure/action title such as this one. Although some points in the game are a bit boring unless the player is the type of person who likes to spend time solving puzzles and not just fighting their way through.
Multiplayer: (0 / 5)
No mulitiplayer capabilities exist in this title.
Packaging: (5 / 5)
Overall Impressions: (8 / 10)
Overall the game is very fun to play. Although I am not a fan of adventure games I recommened this title to anyone looking for a game with great graphics and puzzles.
Graphics: 18 / 20
Overall Rating: 79 / 100