Vexx - GameCube

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Also for: PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Acclaim Soft. Co.: Acclaim
Publishers: Acclaim (GB)
Released: 4 Apr 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Memory Card


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Glaring at you from the cover of Vexx, the central character beckons; those ugly fingers almost protruding from the packaging are pointing at you, daring you to open up the case and see what's inside. The dark, moody exterior conceals a world of dark, moody gaming. A platformer/actioner with plenty of adventuring thrown in, Vexx is on a mission to avenge the death of his grandfather and the enslavement of his family and friends.

Those closest to Vexx have suffered at the hands of the Dark Yabu, an evil ShadowWraith who came to Rockhaven to make everyone's life a misery by enslaving them. Those who resisted the forces of Yabu were dealt with in the severest of ways, leading to Vexx's grandfather's death for refusing to do Yabu's bidding.

Vexx finds his way onto the enemy ship, and, deep in Yabu territory, he finds the last remaining pair of Astani BattleGauntlets. Vexx finds that his newly-acquired super-gloves give him powers he's never experienced before, thus equipping himself for what's to come.

What lies ahead is a whopping 18 levels, taking in deep, dark caves, even deeper underwater explorations, live volcanoes, and spooky temples in the desert. All locations are lovingly rendered in dazzling colour and detail, with an impressively adaptable camera function to boot. The ergonomic pleasures of the GameCube controller make Vexx a pleasure to play. If you're familiar with the platform genre (and who isn't?) you'll be glad to discover that Acclaim haven't gone and made things too complicated. A few minutes reading the manual and a little self-tutoring is all it takes to get to grips with Vexx.

If you're expecting Rayman-style cuteness or the'I-want-a-pet-dragon-now'-type feelings that Spyro provokes, you have a surprise coming. Yes, the gameplay is pretty straightforward - platformers should never be over-complicated - but the darker subject matter means that Vexx isn't big on the 'aaah' factor, which maybe signifies Acclaim's desire to appeal to the more mature platform gamer. The GameCube needs games like Vexx - a splash of midnight blue-blackness in a lake of pastels - if it's to avoid the wooden-est spoon of all.

Put down that copy of Rayman and slip into something darker...