STAFF REVIEW of Vexx (Xbox)

Sunday, February 16, 2003.
by Tony Ingrassia

Vexx Box art Our little friend Vexx is from the village Overwood, on the planet Astara. The Shadowraith Dark Yabu decended upon Vexx's village and reaked havoc & destruction. Vexx and his grandfather were defiant, and when Vexx could take no more he launched a futile attack on Dark Yabu. Vargas, Vexx's grandfather tried to help and Dark Yabu turned his powers against Vargas and destroyed him. Striken with grief, Vexx escapes vowing to take revenge, but fate turns to fortune with the legendary Asanti War Talons. Now armed with his talons and fearless determination, slave turned savior will stop at nothing to overthrow the Dark Yabu, avenge his grandfather's murder, and bring peace back to his planet. I have been waiting for this little dude for some time, and all i can say is...Vexx can clobber Mario any day of the week. Now that i have that out of my system, Vexx is a fantastic platform with huge, detailed levels full of surprises, hidden levles and varied challenges. Vexx is devided up into different worlds, each one presenting a new set of challenges to finally reach our goal. Platform lovers, don't let this one pass you buy, too bad it wasn't an exclusive to our beloved system.

As i mentioned earlier, Vexx is devided into 9 worlds which offer up a total of 70 objectives, the goal of each objective is a Shadowraith Heart. As you complete objectives and retrieve the hearts you bring them to the portal's Rift Hub opening new worlds. Vexx has many enemies to encouter and with each defeat Vexx recievs talon charges to unleash the talons special powers, Vexx has a combo-based fighting system wiich is very easy to understand and utilize.Vexx can also retrieve Elemental power ups such as the Rock Suit, very cool, and the Air Suite. There are also health and extra life power ups hidden in the vast worlds. The cool thing is that our hero has nemerouse abilities, from climbing shere mountain sides with his talons, to swimming above and under water, super jumps, and devastating attacks. Vexx's worlds also contain Devices, a Sundial that can fast forward or rewind the day, and if you play close attention certain times of the day open "Hidden" levels that are crucial to your succes. Portals and World gates, bounce pads and Spirit Stones to booste your health when needed. Time does pass in Astara, and night will fall reveiling new and fiercer enemies. The challeng builds as you progress form world to world, worlds that take you from Ruins, Deserts, Oceans, and Frozen Outlands. As you exit the portal into new worlds your given hints as to the were abouts or method needed to reteive your next Shadowraith Heart. Vexx is a well balanced platform adventure with tons to offer and over 20 different baddies to cope with, add various puzzles to solve and hidden treats. Your in for hours of gaming bliss. Long awaited platform for the XBOX delivers big.

Aklaim did a great job with Vexx, vibrant days chilling nights. Beautifull sky scapes that always have something going on, watching the sun set and the moons rise on Astara is really cool. Attention to detail is very evident, dust and sand being kicked up as Vexx lands on the ground, water droplets hitting the camera as he splashes into huge waterfalls. Some decent textures and nice camera manipulation help get you into the game. Attacks are vibrant and effective. The charecters are a tad blocky, but it takes very little away form the overall experience. HDTV 480p enhanced delivers that extra punch if your set up for it. Solid effort from the developers.

A great soundtrack runs through the worlds of Astara, not over the top or anoying, what little voice acting ther is in Vexx is done well with effects to get you into the story. Environmental souds abound, from waterfalls, creaking bridges and grunts from the Puggles comming up behind you. In-Game Dolby Digital lends itself well to this title, the world and all its sounds wraps around you very well. Once again very Solid.

None, I think Aklaim put out a quality platform game without having to resort to cute charecters. Need a sequel!!

Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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