Review by Alpha218

"A good game that definitely kicks some tail."

In Gex: Enter the Gecko, you play as Gex, a smart-mouthing gecko tasked to save TV land from the clutches of evil. And if the idea of mouthy one-liners being spouted out at you isn't enough to convince you that this game is worth a play, then read on.

Story:
I'm just going to cut to the chase here – if you're looking for a story to go along with your platformer, you've picked the wrong game. The basic gist of the story is that Gex is sitting around at home watching TV when two suited men suddenly confront him. They take him into interrogation until he agrees (with lots of benefits, of course) to stop his arch-rival, Rez, from taking control of TV land. So as you can see, the story in the beginning isn't that great. And to avoid spoilers, I'm simply going to say that the ending is just as lackluster. But really, that's okay. The story can easily be ignored, as the other parts of the game do a great job of helping you forget the lack of a decent storyline.
Story gets a 4/10

Gameplay:
Yes, gameplay. Probably the part of the review that you're most concerned about, and rightly so. Basically it comes down to this – it's fun. The platforming is (mostly, because of camera issues sometimes) solid, and thankfully Gex can pull himself up on ledges (via his tongue, funnily enough) which prevents the platforming from becoming infuriatingly hard, since there's some ledges that you can barely make. The difficulty curve is very nice, as it eases you into the platforming very nicely. You have your standard high jump (via tail bounce), you can attack enemies with your tail, and hey, you get to do flying karate kicks to boot (because who doesn't like flying karate kicks?).

There's one part of the gameplay I don't particularly like – the silver remotes. There are two of these in every normal level and they unlock the bonus levels. One is simply hidden in the level. This one is fine. However, there is one that you have to collect 120 different collectibles to get, and it is somewhat frustrating with all of the backtracking needed to get this remote in the levels because some paths don't have enough collectibles to get this remote.

Another complaint is that sometimes the camera can be very irritating. You're given 3 options on how you want you camera to work – manual, semi-automatic, and automatic. They're all bad in the same situations. I have no idea why automatic is even in here as it does the same thing as semi-automatic except you have no control over the camera whatsoever. Semi-automatic also fails in certain sections because the camera turns so that you cannot see where you are supposed to be jumping or the camera moves mid-jump. Trying to rotate the camera usually results in the game telling you you can't do that or the camera simply snapping back into the same difficult place once you move. Manual camera does not help at all when you are trying to do some of the more complicated platforming in the game. Overall, however, these complaints are far from game-breaking.
Gameplay gets a 7/10

Graphics and Environments:
The graphics are a tad better than what you'd expect from your average Playstation game. Everything is clear and the graphics don't detract from the game, which is important.

Now, onto the environments. This game has several entertaining types of level templates. From a cartoon show to a pre-historic channel, Gex has some interesting environments to go through (with interesting names as well – such as “Frankenstienfeld” and “The Umpire Strikes Out”) if he wishes to reach Rez and save TV. However, it's slightly obvious that the designers may have gotten lazy when it came to designing level themes, however – the Scream TV theme was used in a total of 5 levels in the game, as opposed to the other themes that got 3 levels max. Playing through 5 separate Scream TV-themed levels got to be repetitive in the end, and ultimately impacts the score that this section shall receive.
Graphics and Environments gets a 6/10

Music:
Unlike the somewhat disappointing selection in environments, the music tracks in this game are varied and likable, not to mention the fact that they fit their host levels very well. There are also multiple tracks in each level, making each part of them feel unique. The Toony TV tracks were definitely “toony”, the Circuit Central tracks were definitely tech-inspired, and the Kung-Fu Theatre tracks definitely sounded oriental in nature. This game, being such a parody of TV in general, also features funny theme song cameos, such as the Jetsons theme song in one of the Space Channel levels.
Music gets a 7/10

Voice Acting:
Yes, I do consider the one-liners an important enough part of this game that they got their own section – and for good reason. For the most part, they are very funny, and I admit that some had me laughing for a good 5 minutes. I would give this section a perfect score because I really like a lot of the jokes, however by the end of the game I feel that the distribution of them was terrible. Jokes that had me on the floor laughing in the beginning of the game had me shaking my head in disgust by the end, and certain level-specific jokes I did not hear enough of. Also, a word to the wise – the older and more mature you are, the more references you are likely to understand and laugh at.
Voice Acting gets an 8/10

Overall, I give this game a 7/10. The story was laughable, while I found the rest of the categories good enough to justify this rating (especially the voice acting) While many of these qualities alone make a decent game (except for the lackluster story, of course), the combination of them makes a great, albeit somewhat lacking in replayability, game.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/20/10

Game Release: Gex: Enter the Gecko (US, 01/31/98)


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