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Vexx Package Art
 GENRE
  Platformer
 DEVELOPER
  Acclaim Austin
 PUBLISHER
  Acclaim
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1
 CONNECTIVITY
  no
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Vexx

First and foremost, Vexx looks cool. There are some “mascot” characters out there that just plain blow in terms of their look. The nice thing about the look and attitude of Vexx is that he has a dark side. Instead the pukey, furry, fluorescent-colored crap out there, Vexx has been tormented and he’s had his family messed with and now he’s going to “claw” (get it?) his way back to vengeance! I wish more platformers took this route as it provides an edge to an otherwise sappy genre of video games.

You’ll find that Acclaim has gone nuclear with Vexx; they haven’t held anything back. The game supports progressive scan, Dolby Pro Logic II, it has an excellent cast of characters that are both original and well crafted, the game plays extremely well and has a huge amount of gameplay to conquer. Acclaim held this game back from the holiday feeding frenzy in order to add some further polish to Vexx. In my opinion, the time has paid off. Vexx has buffed up nicely and is an excellent addition to the GameCube line up. Because of it’s theme, I found this game to be more interesting than Mario Sunshine.

visuals

Wow! There are about 9 dazzling environments in Vexx. Some of them are just so bloody huge! I was impressed when I stepped on the first time dial and watched the environment turn from night to day in a progressive fade right before my eyes. Very nice! In addition, characters like Vexx, Darby, and Vargas have a distinct look that has a real lean towards the fantasy genre. Vexx himself animates well and looks really sharp.

There are some graphical issues. First and foremost, I’m not completely enthralled by the look of the enemies. The puggles are not that intimidating, and the Grimkin’s seem like something out of an Area 51 knock off. I think that with the level of graphical presence put into this game, the enemies should’ve been looked after a bit better. The other issue is that, in some instances, the environments seem a bit visually dated. I’m prepared to ignore this minor complaint though because the environments are so massive that their scope more than makes up for some instances of texture spreading and other minor issues.

Finally, I love, and I mean love, that opening screen with the namesake on it. I could watch that thing for hours. Good job overall!

audio

Very nicely done, from the excellent soundtrack to the audio environment that responds to the action of the gameplay. I will say that, once again, the enemies could’ve used some more focus testing as some of them sound like my Norelco shaver when it runs out of batteries.

I have to say that it seems apparent that Vexx’ development schedule leaned heavily towards the visual side of the candy and that’s fine. The audio aspect makes a decent showing as well.

gameplay

This game definitely borrows heavily on the Mario 64 approach to platform gaming. I think that this is a great move because Vexx is standing on the shoulders of a giant by doing this. While I don’t mean that the game is all about jumping, it does have several distinct worlds that require several stars, or in this case shadowraith hearts, to be collected (along with other collectibles). In turn, these worlds are connected by a central location, in Mario this is a castle and in Vexx it is the Rift Hubb. Some critics have stated that this scheme is dated. My comment to that critique: horseshit. Mario 64 is a great game and Vexx has done well to use its skeletal structure. Hey, in Mario Sunshine I don’t think Nintendo did as good a job of approaching the basic level structure and hub interface as Vexx has done! The day vs. night scheme is a nice touch too!

Like Mario’s squirt gun in Sunshine, Vexx has his own unique tool and that is his claws. With his claws Vexx can do some wicked things like climb up walls, speed swim, grab edges and even a Tallon Blast. One thing that I don’t like though is the battle system. Something about the interaction between the enemies and Vexx just doesn’t seem to be working well. The juggling seems like a bit of an add on or gimmick. I much prefer the fun of exploring Vexx’ worlds than fighting most of its enemies.

One thing that I would’ve also liked to have seen is a “throw and grab” play mechanic. What I mean by that is that Vexx’ claw would detach as if thrown and having a chain attached to it then Vexx could either pull himself towards what he’d grabbed or bring it towards him in the event it was an enemy. This would’ve been a really cool feature and it would’ve been nice to see Acclaim take more advantage of Vexx’ claws.

All in all, Vexx has a lot of game to conquer here. Unlike most other games, there is a lot to do, see, collect and explore. This is a very good platformer.

multiplayer

N/A

overall

Vexx is a solid platform title that will give you hours of good gameplay and fun. I am impressed with the level of effort that Acclaim Austin has put into this title. It’s obvious that these guys are trying to establish a pedigree for Vexx that Turok paved for itself. They’re off to a good start. Vexx is a game worth checking out.

final score 8.6/10





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Staff Avatar Eric Mattei
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"Lost like tears in rain"


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