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Leeroy ST

What was/is the appeal of Gex that attracts gamers?

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Gex was a wise smart aleck Gecko that first released on the 3DO becoming a major selling title overnight leading to it being a pack-in and eventually being released on the PlayStation and Saturn. The 2nd game, being a 3D title released on the PlayStation and N64, ditto with the 3rd title. 

 

These 3 games sold 15 million units making Gex the third biggest platforming icon introduced in the 90's after Sonic and Crash bandicoot. The games were big, they reviewed well, people still play them today.

 

But I don't get the appeal, yes he's not as annoying and his jokes sometimes hit home unlike Bubsy, Awesome Possum and others, but outside of the jokes and maybe some clever game mechanics like tail whipping and climbing on walls, I don't understand what attracted so many people to the games, they seem like generic platformers once you remove all the flash and edgyness.

 

People went crazy for Gex on the 3DO selling around 1 million on it alone, it became the best selling game before it was packed-in I heard, and kept selling after. Even when on the PS1 and Saturn it still sold millions. The first 3D game, Gex Enter the Gecko was pushed hard, was on several demo discs, and sold millions. Not the N64 version of course, just the PlayStation version.

 

The 3rd game was well received, but wasn't as hot as the previous games but it still did well too.

 

15 million with just 3 games in a 5 year period for a NEW ip is no picnic. But I'm confused as to what people see with Gex they couldn't get anywhere else outside a few Gecko themed mechanics added to the gameplay and jokes?

 

I mean they aren't bad games, they are good games (N64 version of GEX 3D aside), they just don't really do anything radically different imo.

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hahaha that horrible 90's 'tude was in EVERYTHING.  Much like how today that irritating do-gooder crap seems to taint everything.  I don't particularly pine for the past, but I wish we could go back in time where it was okay to be an a-hole.

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...Gex was appealing? I've never played any of them (although I've never played a lot of games/series that sold well, such as Street Fighter), but apparently he must have been if the games sold that much. I was only a few years old when Gex launched. Sonic was EVERYWHERE in the USA at the time and I didn't see Gex until the PS1/N64 sequel. Never had those systems until after the PS2 was already out and Gex was dead by then. Looking at him now, I find him annoying, but as I am an open-minded type of human, perhaps I'll illegally acquire the Saturn version once I finally obtain a MODE for my Saturn(s) and try it.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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The graphics were very appealing when it debuted, just like every 3DO game had amazing, appealing graphics compared to 16-bit.  When I finally played Gex on Saturn, I was underwhelmed. A decent game but not in same league as Sonic, Mario or even Crash.  I still appreciate its very mid-90s look and feel though.  I remember renting Gex 3, it was a snarky voiced 3D collect-a-thon if I recall correctly. 

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I had the 3DO, bought GEX on release and really did like it.  I think you already laid out why it did well.  You have to compare it with other titles from that era and when you do, you see it was (I think) the FIRST platformer that had talking, which was pretty varied.  The sticking to walls mechanic also brought a bit more novelty to the platformer IE: it used the CD platform well and it WAS funny, at least to a early-mid 90’s gamer.

 

It’s not anywhere near the best platformer ever but it brought something new to the new generation of consoles and was fun.  If it had come out prior to Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot, it may not have done as well.  Timing is everything

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I liked it enough, but not enough to put out whatever the 3do cost. It was pretty and like most good platformers added mechanics that worked to the platform formula. Downside was being attached to an unknown expensive system (yes later available on PlayStation, but new game types attracted me more by then) only real downside, and I don't know if its gex, or 3do, but the minor hitch you'd feel when his action changed, almost like the 3do would load his jumping animation off the disc or something.

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As a kid in the 90s, Gex was cool because all of the magazines and ads and stores said he was cool. He was treated as a nearly equal mascot character to Mario and Sonic. As Public Enemy sagely observed, “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t believe the hype.”

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On 6/15/2021 at 10:28 AM, Leeroy ST said:

People went crazy for Gex on the 3DO selling around 1 million on it alone, it became the best selling game before it was packed-in I heard, and kept selling after.

It's a big fish/small pond thing. Gex is what they had--you couldn't play mario, or sonic, it was either Gex, Bug, or Johnny Bazookatone, which would you have picked? All it had to compete with were other 3do games.

 

A lot of niche consoles have that effect where the evangelized 'bestest gaems, check this out!', end up being about 4/10 titles on the more popular systems, even if the popular systems (usually) get the upgraded/superior version. 

Edited by Reaperman

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On 6/15/2021 at 10:28 AM, Leeroy ST said:

People went crazy for Gex on the 3DO selling around 1 million on it alone, it became the best selling game before it was packed-in I heard, and kept selling after. Even when on the PS1 and Saturn it still sold millions. The first 3D game, Gex Enter the Gecko was pushed hard, was on several demo discs, and sold millions. Not the N64 version of course, just the PlayStation version.

I can't speak to the ports and sequels, but I think Gex's initial popularity on the 3DO probably had to do with it being arguably the closest thing to a marquee platformer that the system had. If there was one thing a console had to have in the early '90s, it was a flagship mascot platforming title, and the 3DO didn't really have one until Gex came along. And by most accounts, it was pretty good. (Bonus that Gex was voiced by Dana Gould!)

 

I remember being very impressed by the screenshots I saw in magazines back then, of Gex and other 3DO games, but I never got a chance to play it. At the time, I only knew one kid at school who even claimed to have a 3DO (which could have been a load of bull, for all I know), and by that point, the exotic early 32-bit "half-generation" was already giving way to Saturn and PlayStation. By the time I saw Gex for PlayStation ("What the?...wasn't that a 3DO game?"), I had almost forgotten all about the 3DO. I was also into stuff like Tekken and Resident Evil, so the Gex games weren't on my radar.

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I don't know why anybody liked Gex, but I'm fairly certain that most people who claim to like Gex nowadays are doing it as a joke.

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25 minutes ago, RT-55J said:

I don't know why anybody liked Gex, but I'm fairly certain that most people who claim to like Gex nowadays are doing it as a joke.

 

Nah, pretty sure that character on Scott the Woz is being dead serious about his need for Gex. ;)

 

It's possible the reason Gex works so well as a punchline is that few people have a strong opinion of Gex--positive or negative, which makes it funny when somebody does. Contrast with Bubsy or Zool, which at first thought might make better punchlines, but it's too common to have a strong opinion about them.

 

 

Edited by Reaperman

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12 hours ago, RT-55J said:

I don't know why anybody liked Gex, but I'm fairly certain that most people who claim to like Gex nowadays are doing it as a joke.

Why is that?

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I finished Gex 3D on the Playstation 23 years ago and these are my conclusions:

 

1) The character sucks, but at least it doesn't look bad or too childish like other mascots. On Gex 3D, he is voiced by some comedian (a different one for the American and UK versions). I played the American version and the voices were kind of cool, and you can always turn them off.

 

2) The graphics are excelent

 

3) The level design, while not offering anything new, is very solid and playing the game is fun.

 

4) The music is also great

 

All in all, an underrated 3D platformer that controls like Mario 64 and lets you visit some exotic locations with music that fits each world and solid level design with some original ideas here and there.

 

I never found the first one too interesting, and I only played some levels of the third one before moving to more interesting activities for my young age (better games like Driver or GTA2, beers, 4 player soccer matches on PS1 with ISS Pro Evolution, etc.).

Edited by IntelliMission
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On 6/18/2021 at 8:23 PM, Video said:

I liked it enough, but not enough to put out whatever the 3do cost. 

3DO was cheap by the time Gex was out, or at least even with what the PSX was going to cost. 

 

On 6/20/2021 at 6:27 PM, Reaperman said:

It's a big fish/small pond thing. Gex is what they had--you couldn't play mario, or sonic, it was either Gex, Bug, or Johnny Bazookatone, which would you have picked? All it had to compete with were other 3do games.

There were quite a few choices ont he 3DO, it wasn't the Jaguar, no offense to Jaguar fans. But even then Gex sold very well outside of the 3DO and that really shows that for some reason it was really this wanted thing.

 

On 6/20/2021 at 8:32 PM, Reaperman said:

 

Contrast with Bubsy or Zool, 

 

I for a time was pondering about some sort of computer platformer and couldn't come up with the name for years, and then you bring up Zool and I look up the screenshots. There was also another one of those computer mascot platformers I forgot about, Aero the Acrobat. I think it was ported to consoles. 

 

On 6/21/2021 at 8:49 PM, Tanooki said:

What my take is here, you could have done worse for a wiseass talking mascot game -- it's not a bobcat!

The original creator always said that the reason why the Bobcat didn't have 9 lives is because the publisher lost sight of his vision with the other games, and that's slightly supported by positive reviews of the first game back in the day, but at the same time I just don't feel it could really work. I actually think Bubsy 3D, which many people don't realize, abandoned most of Bubsy's formula from before, was were it should have gone. If Bubsy 3D was released in 95 it would have been considered a great first step, it was just unfortunately beaten by two (three if you include Tomb Raider) other games that were all made in isolation from each other, that's the incredible part. 

 

The first 3 Bubsy games which combined Sonic, Mario, and others into an unorganized mash of mechanics just never really worked well. I remember the Jaguar one trying to improve the mechanics and place Bubsy in a more open world format and the result was a cat-tastrophy! 

 

Even more evidence of the format not working, Bubsy 4, first modern titles and was only 3 levels long iirc on PS4, Bubsy only retained the glide. I know technically Bubsy 4 was a retooled version of another game but they did bring some of his stage design and move set, but they slowled him down astronomically and gave stages a more spacious design. 

 

Gex, with me being confused by its popularity aside, was at least playable and I could see how people think it was good, I just don't know why it was as popular as it was.

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I'm fairly up on the whole Bubsy deal, drama of some behind it.  I actually did buy Bubsy or was gifted it on SNES back in the day.  I liked it, mostly, definitely could finish it back then too.  I found some of the overly sensitive kill mechanics a bit much when touching stuff as it seemed to have a hitbox off of the cat, coupled with the weird drifting/float mechanic was a good way to die... a lot.  It still was nice, and I could do it again some time maybe not to finish but to blow time.  I just decided to rip on bubsy to see if someone caught it. ;)  Also read those 2 modern ones weren't too hot, but I think that could also be jaded people snarking on it too to some point.

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21 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I'm fairly up on the whole Bubsy deal, drama of some behind it.  I actually did buy Bubsy or was gifted it on SNES back in the day.  I liked it, mostly, definitely could finish it back then too.  I found some of the overly sensitive kill mechanics a bit much when touching stuff as it seemed to have a hitbox off of the cat, coupled with the weird drifting/float mechanic was a good way to die... a lot.  It still was nice, and I could do it again some time maybe not to finish but to blow time.  I just decided to rip on bubsy to see if someone caught it. ;)  Also read those 2 modern ones weren't too hot, but I think that could also be jaded people snarking on it too to some point.

Bubsy, while far from perfect, is actually a fairly passable game. Bubsy II, though... well, I suppose Bubsy II is better than CrazyBus.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
I guess I forgot how puctuation is supposed to work or something.
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12 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Bubsy, while far from perfect, is actually a fairly passable game. Bubsy II, though... well, I suppose Bubsy II is better than CrazyBus.

Maybe...just maybe the second one is, or just somewhat better than being actually hit by a bus.  The original Bubsy is fine, has some issues, but you can do far far worse.  Personally I'd just like to know if the recent ones are honestly good or not.  Most the reviews are clearly bandwagon attention seeking trolls just dumping on it because well Bubsy sucks.  It's hard to get any good hard details on why they're bad, just well the franchise sucks which is amazingly stupid and narrow minded.

Edited by Tanooki

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21 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

Maybe...just maybe the second one is, or just somewhat better than being actually hit by a bus.  The original Bubsy is fine, has some issues, but you can do far far worse.  Personally I'd just like to know if the recent ones are honestly good or not.  Most the reviews are clearly bandwagon attention seeking trolls just dumping on it because well Bubsy sucks.  It's hard to get any good hard details on why they're bad, just well the franchise sucks which is amazingly stupid and narrow minded.

Yeah, Bubsy 1 has issues, but it more or less works. I rented and beat both 1 and 2 when I was a kid and I definitely did not like 2 at all. It's just not a good game, but I've played worse, like CrazyBus and that horrible GBA version of Fellowship of the Ring. I haven't heard anything about the new Bubsy games, though.

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Gex even had a "How to Draw" series book from a series about how to draw different video game characters including Pokemon, Donkey Kong, Sonic and Crash Bandicoot. I probably still have it in storage mixed in with my video game magazines.

 

Basically when you were done beating your favorite platformers like Mario, Crash, Sonic, etc. Gex was there to give you more to play. It's as simple as that to me. Croc, 40 Winks, Banjo Kazooie, Bug, Tomba, even Pac-Man turning into a 3D platformer. There were so many newcomers in the platforming genre during the era and let's face it the genre was still very popular since its debut in the 80s and transitioned to 3D in the late 90s. Most of the Disney characters and other cartoon characters were still getting new games during this time too. Gex definitely has a place among all that and was well executed in comparison to plenty of them. I just tried playing Toy Story 2 last month and it's pretty sloppy in comparison to Gex 2. The Bugs Bunny game for PS1 is awful.

 

I also don't get the opinion that the N64 version of Gex 64 is any worse than the Playstation version. It actually has a Titanic themed level that is not in the Playstation version. I'm not sure what levels the N64 version is missing from the PS1 version but somebody once said there were. It's pretty close to the same thing for the most part though.

Edited by TheGameCollector

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