Gex (video game)
|Designer(s)||Mira F. Ross
|Artist(s)||Mira F. Ross|
Gex is a side-scrolling platform game developed by Crystal Dynamics and originally released for the 3DO in 1995. 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.
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).
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 belonged to Rez, the overlord of the Media Dimension, who intended to make Gex his new mascot and conquer the world.
Gex traverses through the worlds of the Media Dimension, each based on different genres; the Cemetery (Horror films), New Toonland (Animation), Jungle Isle (Adventure films) 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 leading to each realm, collects the remotes within them, and defeats Rez' accomplices in turn: Morphina, the Flatulator, Sun Snake and Toxic Turtle. Gex also collects pieces to another remote, which allows 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' 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."
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.
Gex primarily attacks by whipping enemies with his tail.
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 original 3DO version, players can save their progress to the system's internal memory; all 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.
Gex received positive reviews. Aggregating review website GameRankings gave the 3DO version 79.58%, the PC version 71.00%, the Sega Saturn version 69.35% and the PlayStation version 63.33%.
The game was awarded best 3DO game at the 1994 Consumer Electronics Show by GamePro and "Best 3DO Game of 1995" by Electronic Gaming Monthly. Tommy Glide of GamePro reviewed that "Gex is destined to become the 3DO equivalent of Sonic or Mario, as this cool little lizard sets high standards for all future 3DO platform-hoppers." Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a 8.675 out of 10 and their "Game of the Month" award. Both magazines focused praise on the game's numerous secrets, detailed graphics, witty one-liners, and the player character's ability to climb walls.
The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave both the PlayStation and Saturn versions a 7.875 out of 10, commenting that the audio and cinemas in both versions were cleaned up compared to the 3DO original. They especially praised the game's humor and solid platforming action. Tommy Glide likewise stated in GamePro, "We marveled at Gex on the 3DO. Now this platform-hopping lizard debuts on the PlayStation and earns even more affection with cleaner graphics and smoother gameplay." He again applauded Gex's unique wall climbing ability, the vast size and numerous secrets of the levels, and Dana Gould's numerous one-liners. In a rare negative review of the game, Rob Allsetter commented in Sega Saturn Magazine, "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." Maximum gave the PlayStation version a mixed review, saying that the player character has a remarkable variety of abilities, but that the level design is often dull and frustrating.
- Sales figures for Gex remain unclear. In an apparent contradiction of the cited GamePro and Electronic Gaming Monthly articles, an article in Next Generation also cover-dated November 1995 says that the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (the only platform Gex had been released for at the time) had sold only 750,000 units worldwide.
- Frequently Asked Questions, rec.games.video.
- "Price Slashed on 3DO". GamePro. IDG (85): 170–172. October 1995.
- "The Next Generation 1996 Lexicon A to Z: Mascot". Next Generation. No. 15. Imagine Media. March 1996. p. 36.
- "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.
- "Gex (3DO) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- "Gex (PC) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- "Gex (Sega Saturn) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- "Gex (PlayStation) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- "Review Crew: Gex". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (71): 34. June 1995.
- "Review Crew: Gex". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (78): 42. January 1996.
- "Review Crew: Gex". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (79): 32. February 1996.
- "Ultimate Review Archive." Game Informer. Issue 100. August, 2001. Page 57. Original review published March 1998.
- "Maximum Reviews: Gex". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. Emap International Limited (5): 155. April 1996.
- Allsetter, Rob (April 1996). "Review: Gex". Sega Saturn Magazine. Emap International Limited (6): 84–85.
- "At the Deadline". GamePro. IDG (85): 174. October 1995.
- "Tidbits...". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Sendai Publishing (76): 19. November 1995.
- "75 Power Players: The Evangelist". Next Generation. Imagine Media (11): 56. November 1995.
Global sales stand at around 750,000, with 300,000 sold in the US.
- "CES: The Best of the Show". GamePro (62). IDG. September 1994. p. 37.
- "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1996.
- "ProReview: Gex". GamePro. IDG (81): 78. June 1995.
- "ProReview: Gex". GamePro. IDG (89): 48. February 1996.