Gex (video game)

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Gex
GexCover.jpg
Developer(s) Crystal Dynamics (3DO & PC)
Beam Software (PS & SS)
Publisher(s)
  • NA Crystal Dynamics
Producer(s) Lyle Hall (Gex Team)
David Zse (Crystal Dynamics)
Designer(s) Mira F. Ross
Lyle Hall
Justin Norr
Programmer(s) Andrew Lacey
Chris Schladetsch
Peter Litwiniuk
Shane Lontis
Paul Baulch (extra programming)
Artist(s) Mira F. Ross
Writer(s) Robert Cohen
Dana Gould
Composer(s) Greg Weber
Steve Henifin
Series Gex
Platform(s) 3DO, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) 3DO
  • NA November 16, 1994
PlayStation
  • JP March 8, 1996
  • NA December 13, 1995
  • EU April 1996
Sega Saturn
  • JP March 29, 1996
  • NA 1996
  • EU 1996
Microsoft Windows
  • NA November 7, 1996
  • EU 1997
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution CD-ROM, download

Gex is a platform game originally released for the 3DO in 1994. Versions of the game were later released for the PlayStation, the Sega Saturn and Microsoft Windows. It was a pack-in game for Panasonic models of the 3DO later in the console's life.[1]

It is the first game in the Gex series and introduces players to the titular character, a wisecracking gecko named Gex (voiced in this game by comedian Dana Gould). The game is also the first (and only) side-scrolling game in the series.

Story[edit]

Gex and his family live in Maui, Hawaii. His mother raised him and his three younger siblings while their father worked for NASA. Gex's hobbies include spending time with his friends, surfing, playing the ukulele, and throwing poi parties. One day, Gex's mother gets a phone call from NASA, explaining that Gex's father and ten human volunteers died when their rocket exploded on the launch pad (according to the manual, the explosion was caused by a Band-Aid floating in one of the fuel tanks)[citation needed].

Soon, the gecko family's carefree life is shattered when Gex bottles up his emotions and takes refuge in front of the television to get over the tragedy, only to become obsessed. Three weeks later, he becomes an addict to TV. After several unsuccessful attempts to get Gex to stop watching TV and consulting with a minister and friends at work, Gex's mother decides it is time for a change. The gecko family moves to Encino, California, Gex's TV is taken away, and he flees from home. After several months of living on the streets, Gex inherits an enormous amount of money, and he moves back to Maui to live in a mansion, and buys the world's largest TV.

While watching TV one day, Gex swallows a passing fly, not knowing it is a sort of miniature transmitter. Moments later, a huge hand shoots out of the screen and grabs Gex by his neck, pulling the young gecko into his own TV. The cold claw belongs to Rez, the overlord of the Media Dimension, who intended to make Gex his new mascot and conquer the world.[2]

Gex traverses through the worlds of the Media Dimension based on different genres; the Cemetery (Horror films), New Toonland (Animation), Jungle Isle (Adventure filmss) and Kung Fuville (Martial arts films). The first world he encounters is an enormous dome, surrounded by four large TVs. Gex then goes through the large TVs, collects the remotes, and defeats the various worlds' guardians in turn: Morphina, the Flatulator, Sun Snake and Toxic Turtle. Gex also collects pieces to another remote, which allow him to travel to the mysterious Planet X. Once Gex manages to collect all the worlds' remotes, the Dome opens and he travels down to Rezopolis, the capital of the Media Dimension.

Once inside, Gex defeats Rez in a head-to-head battle, using one of Rez's own mechanical bugs, and Rez transforms into a ball of energy and escapes through a hole in the dome. Gex is then teleported back to his home in Maui, and looks back and his last words in the game are "Hey, cool. I wonder what's on HBO."

Gameplay[edit]

Gex in a horror level. The jumping tomato is an enemy. The features in the display bar, from left to right, are the player's score, number of lives, number of flies, and health.

In addition to being able to walk, run, and jump through levels, Gex can attach himself to walls and crawl along them using the suction pads on his feet. This technique is sometimes necessary to progress, but can also be used to bypass enemies and hazards.

The objective in almost every level in Gex is to explore and find television remotes hidden throughout the levels.

Certain levels require players to find two remotes to access the next world. There are also hidden portals to bonus levels, and completing a bonus level perfectly gives players a piece of the Planet X remote. Though there is a bonus level in each regular level, players need only beat one in each world to reach Planet X, an optional secret world.

On the 3DO original, players must save progress on the system's internal memory. Other versions use a password system instead. To receive a password or gain access to the 3DO's internal memory, the player must find a VHS tape, hidden in the level. The tapes are usually hidden every other level in each world.

Reception[edit]

Gex received mixed to mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review website GameRankings gave the 3DO version 79.58%,[3] the PC version 71.00%,[4] the Sega Saturn version 69.35%[5] and the PlayStation version 63.33%.[6]

The game was awarded for best 3DO game at the 1994 Consumer Electronics Show by GamePro[7] and "Best 3DO Game of 1995" by Electronic Gaming Monthly.[8] They gave the PlayStation version a 7.875 average, commenting that the audio and cinemas were cleaned up compared to the 3DO original.[9] They gave the Saturn version a 7.875 as well, saying that the audio and graphics are just as clean as the PlayStation version's. They especially praised the game's humor and solid platforming action.[10] The PlayStation version of the game received a 9.25/10 from Game Informer.[11] In a rare negative review of the game, Sega Saturn Magazine commented "I suppose I should point out that the graphics and animation are polished, that the game moves at a decent pace and that it's certainly playable, but ... none of these things make up for the utter predictability of it all." They gave the game a 62%.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frequently Asked Questions, rec.games.video.
  2. ^ "It all started SO simply; I had just finished my usual morning routine of Nude Funkercise, fired up the Barkalounger, grabbed a quick bite to eat and prepared to watch some serious tube. Little did I know, my snack was sent... by Rez!" - Gex in the intro.
  3. ^ "Gex (3DO) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  4. ^ "Gex (PC) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  5. ^ "Gex (Sega Saturn) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  6. ^ "Gex (PlayStation) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  7. ^ "CES: The Best of the Show". GamePro (62) (IDG). September 1994. p. 37. 
  8. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1996. 
  9. ^ "Gex Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly (78) (EGM Media, LLC). January 1996. p. 42. 
  10. ^ "Gex Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly (79) (EGM Media, LLC). February 1996. p. 32. 
  11. ^ "Ultimate Review Archive." Game Informer. Issue 100. August, 2001. Page 57. Original review published March 1998.
  12. ^ Allsetter, Rob (April 1996). "Review: Gex". Sega Saturn Magazine (6) (Emap International Limited). pp. 84–85. 

External links[edit]