Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko Download (1997 Arcade action Game)

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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 e.g. 800x600 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.


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