Gex 64: Enter the Gecko Review

Do yourself a favor and stay away from this lizard.

Gex 64, the sequel to the platform game that first made its appearance on the 3DO, attempts to update the original by creating a 3D environment. The game's style mimics the now-familiar format of Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie: You make your way through different worlds, executing specific missions and collecting objects to advance in the game. The worlds in Gex 64 are modeled after TV and movie kitsch. For instance, one world, Scream TV, apes the world of horror movies; another world, Toon TV, puts Gex in a land of cartoon characters. All of this makes for a potentially good game. But Gex 64 fails on almost all fronts.

Most noticeably, Gex 64 suffers from inexcusably poor gameplay. The fundamental problem lies in the fact that it is almost impossible to gauge your position relative to other objects around you. Need to smack an enemy with your tail? Good luck figuring out where to stand. Want to make a jump? It's a struggle to line up your trajectory correctly. Even the camera controls contribute to the problem: Instead of allowing you to quickly swing the camera to different angles, you are limited to a slow-moving panning camera. It makes judging angles and distances excruciatingly slow.

It doesn't help that Gex 64 sports subpar graphics and the most annoying sound effects in the history of video games (yes, I've played Cruis'n USA). Dana Gould's gecko wisecracks, which were hilarious in the original 3DO title, grate on the nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. There is a strange mist hanging over the surrounding landscape, a weak attempt to save processing power. The frame rate slows to a trickle far too often.

Most amazing is the fact that Gex: Enter the Gecko looks and plays better on the PlayStation than on the N64. Where is the raw processing power that Nintendo promised us when the N64 hit the market?

Do yourself a favor and stay away from this lizard.

The Good

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The Bad

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