Gex 64 - Enter the Gecko © 1998 Midway Home Entertainment.
Combine a fashion-conscious, trash talkin' gecko with angry ninjas, knife-wielding lunatics, and Chinese take-out boxes. Add a dash of action and a pinch of puzzles, and you have a tasty dish called Gex 64: Enter the Gecko from Midway.
Gex is a busy lizard throughout the course of this game, but he must have spent his early days parked on the couch watching T.V. Gex 64 pokes fun at pop culture, with Gex making sarcastic references to everything from Hollywood movies to Boy George. Comedian Dana Gould provides a large variety of humorous voice samples, but the enemy characters don't seem to find them too funny.
Gex 64 contains 18 different levels, and 4 bonus areas. The overworld is divided into six areas separated by locked gates or open space. To access these areas, you must first earn a certain number of Red Remotes. There are two or three of these Remotes hidden in each level, which can be found by completing different missions. Before moving on to more advanced levels, though, Gex must prove himself by defeating bizarre bosses like the mutant half cow-half pig which oversees the "Moo Shoo Pork" level.
Gex enters these strange worlds by warping through television screens. Each world has a specific theme, and Gex usually dons a new costume to fit in to the new surroundings. Gex is a master of disguise, and he can be seen sporting a James Bond tuxedo, Storm Trooper armor, and even a Gilligan outfit. In addition to a constantly changing wardrobe, the items which Gex collects are also level-specific. Instead of coins, each level contains three different weird items for the gecko to hoard. For example, in Smellraiser (the haunted house world), Gex must collect skulls. Once Gex finds 30 skulls, a free life is awarded and then Gex must find tombstones. After tombstones, he has to collect Jason masks. Gex is rewarded with a special Reward Remote if he collects all of these weird items.
Gex uses his lightning-quick tail to thrash enemies, break televisions, and destroy walls. He uses his tongue to slurp power-ups and free lives. A large portion of the game play focuses on hand-eye coordination, with Gex jumping from platforms and navigating narrow ledges. You will also have to use your brain, because some of the objectives contain puzzle elements. It is wise to thrash as many walls as possible, because there are many hidden areas only a tail swipe away. Each world contains a hidden Remote, which is usually nestled in a secluded portion of the area.
The comedic elements of this game give it a burst of originality, but the most innovative aspect of the game play is the gecko's natural ability to stick to walls. There are special sections of walls and ceilings throughout the game which Gex is able to walk on. Gex gets down on all fours to walk across these areas, and the ability to defy gravity in this manner adds a completely new dimension to the game. During these moments the camera follows the lizard closely, which produces a striking visual effect.
Due to some awkward camera angles, the play control in Gex 64 might take some practice to get used to. Once you learn to anticipate these changes, you shouldn't have any problem side-swiping scorpions and "licking your way to the top." The variety in game play areas and mission objectives will satisfy action fans, and the dry sense of humor throughout the game is refreshing. Whether you're ready or not, a sarcastic gecko with a sharp tongue and sticky feet has stepped on the scene.
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