Wayback: Crystal Dynamics – Gex

When’s the last time you’ve played a mascot platformer that wasn’t a Mario or a Sonic? It was probably a Crash or a Spyro if it was anything at all. The genre is dead, and I miss it very much.

Gex, at least to me personally, is the iconic failed mascot platformer. He’s everything bad about the genre: he talks way too much and thinks he’s clever, his world is made of cookie-cutter tropey levels that don’t fit together, he has way too many gameplay gimmicks, and in the grand scheme of things he’s been completely forgotten. These are all the reasons that I find Gex oddly enjoyable, as a game trilogy that just doesn’t really work and isn’t very fun.

Unlike most platformer mascots, Gex was not aiming to be the face of a single console: he was the catchphrase-spitting gecko mascot of Crystal Dynamics, a video game company founded by women in 1992. Crystal Dynamics had a broad ‘a little bit of anything’ approach to making games: they had many platformer games, an action-adventure franchise, a point-and-click, a fighting game, a racing game … you get the idea. I guess they also worked on some series named Tomb Raider.

But Gex was Crystal Dynamics’ thing. He was funny, he was memorable, and he was the face of the company, especially once the substantially more popular sequel Gex 2: Enter the Gecko was released in 1998. In that way, Gex was a fixture of the late 90s, a reminder of what things were like.

And what’s more ‘late 90s’ than a terrible website for a terrible video game?

Today I’m going to the Wayback Machine to see the Gex pages on the Crystal Dynamics website from 1998 to 1999. It’s tail time, as one might say.

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CHATTER: Top 8 Games That Needed a Verbosity Slider

Have you heard about the new Bubsy game? The quick-talking bobcat has finally returned in 2017 for another venture into old-fashioned platform-style gaming, a mere 21 years after the failed 3D title that killed his franchise seemingly permanently. But perhaps the most interesting thing about Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back is that they finally added a slider labeled “verbosity”, which allows you to control how much that cat chats. For those curious, yes – you can finally shut him up. But who would want to?

Having the choice to adjust the verbosity of a character is a great idea – so why not apply it to other games? We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 games we think could have been made better if they had a verbosity slider!

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