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Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko
Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Platformer (3D)

Graphics & Sound:
The graphics in Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko are 3D, with fairly obvious polygons, but this seems to fit in fine with the “cartoon-like” characters you encounter. Be prepared for a whole lot of puns and humorous environments with bathroom humor thrown in for good measure. In addition to the game’s 3D graphics, there are some FMV cut scenes, many of which feature Agent Extra Marliece Andrada. Most of these are less than you might expect, though some are humorous at a juvenile level. Also, for some reason, the video seems to skip a little during the FMVs while in the game. If you have a Game Wizard Pro, however, and you choose to play just the Full Motion Video (while not inside the game), this “skipping” does not occur.

If you are a fan of the previous Gex games, then all I can say is, “It’s Tail Time!” The reptilian king of quotes is back on the case, this time braving the media dimension to rescue the alluring Agent Extra. Unfortunately, it seems that the name “Extra” was derived not from Marliece Andrada’s obvious bountiful assets, but rather from her rare and occasional “bit” part. Even though the video sequences were on Gex’s “watch,” they were not used in the middle of levels, but instead, only at the end of each successfully completed level. I was hoping that Marliece would have played a bigger (and more interactive) role... I was really hoping to see more of her.

As for the actual gameplay, Gex 3 provides the same fun and humor as the first two Gex games... with some added features. In Deep Cover Gecko, these features include a variety of new “themed” Gex “personas,” where you get to play in different levels, as well as additional characters which you can control in certain secret areas. These include Cuz, Gex’s cousin, which becomes playable if you find and rescue him from Rez and Rex, Gex’s (cute) prehistoric dragon ancestor (think Gon from Tekken). Gex also has a butler who helps out when you’re in a pinch. (He’s much more helpful than Lara Croft’s butler -- he actually shows up near difficult puzzles to give you useful clues about them. One neat feature (which is reminiscent of the Donkey Kong Country games on some OTHER console...) is the addition of “ridable” characters in certain levels -- everything from Humps (a camel) to Scales (a crocodile) to vehicles such as a snowboard and a tank. This game is full of fun features and funny phrases, but this time, Gex’s humor (at least in his exchanges with Agent Extra) have turned to that of an amorous schoolboy. And, as unlikely as it seems, Gex gets the girl in the end -- in a typical “James Bond” style.

Much like the previous Gex titles, the difficulty of this game deals with being able to pull off a series of moves at the right time, according to where you are. Gex 3 is a fun, yet typical, 3D platform game... jump, shoot, kick, swim... and solve the puzzles. There are some neat levels and interesting twists which liven up the gameplay, but advancement through the game is not difficult, just time consuming. This game is suitable for gamers of all skill levels.

Game Mechanics:
The 3D graphics engine appears to be improved somewhat over the second Gex title. There’s less for distancing, fewer clipped polygon “z-errors,” and smoother interaction. There are also several ridable characters, vehicles, and alternative Gex’s which provide versatility in character moves and abilities. The video with Agent Extra (Marliece Andrada) was a good concept, but was not well utilized in the game. As mentioned earlier, there is one technical problem with these FMVs -- a skipping which occurs while viewing them during gameplay. This is apparently due to some background activities being done while the PSX is playing the FMVs. If a Game Wizard Pro or similar device is used to just watch the FMVs, this does not occur.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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