No Gex Please, We're British

A Gexceptional game for 3DO

Look, I know it's been a while since I've been properly Gipping up in here. But now my journo gland returns to full engorgement as I discuss - yes! - the original Gex for 3DO. Yeah, the Panasonic 3DO, a machine that's caught my interest lately. One emulator download later I was sac-deep in gecko, racing through Gex like it's gone out of fashion. Which it has. Entirely. In 1994. But I digress. If you haven't played the original, you should consider doing so. Unlike its more well-known and popular sequels, it is a 2D side-scroller, admittedly in the vein of many, many others.

Gex's lamentable motor-mouth is admittedly an issue - comedian Dana Gould voices Gex and his many quips, all of which will repeat so often that you may get exceptionally tired of them. I ignored them and ploughed through like a real gamer, and I saw past the cries of "It's tail time!" and witnessed the strength of the core design. It's not by Core Design though. It's by Crystal Dynamics. Cheers.

Making admirable use of Gex's gecko-y gecko-ness, you'll clamber and scuttle all over the walls, up and down, on the ceiling, everywhere. You can even leap onto background walls, should they be present, and swing your tail around like a low-battery helicopter blade. Enemies are everywhere so you'll need to master the tail swipe and the more complex tail bounce, which has you hold down on the D-pad in the air to land on and destroy enemies. You can use this to bounce off enemies to reach higher ground, and the game will often reward you with lovely secrets for doing so. Bonus levels akin to Donkey Kong Country and caches of Fly Coins (this game's thing you collect 100 of for a 1-up) or bubbles containing new powers.

Hitting the "tongue" button (oo-er) causes the mighty Gex to flob out his rimmer, catching icons if they're present, which in turn bestow him with mighty powers such as the ability to breathe both fire and ice, to greatly increase his speed, to become invincible and to gain an extra life. There are others, but I don't know what they do yet.

Level design is fine. I'm not gonna pretend this is top-tier platforming, but it's better than bargain bin. It's not as good as, say, Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, but it is still a fun time. The stages are all admirably different, even within the same world. The music is great, too - a bit of an underappreciated score. It's no masterpiece, of course, but Gex is a lot of fun. The only things that let it down for me are the lack of a sensible save feature (you've got to find a video tape to save, and it's eminently possible and indeed easy to miss them) and the incessant onslaught of unfunny bollocks that streams out of Gex's face hole.

Good game, though. I'm going to say it, I don't care: Gexcellent.