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Radical Rex (Genesis) artwork

Radical Rex (Genesis) review

"Why did the dinosaurs die out? "

Why did the dinosaurs die out?
Because you touch yourself at night LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!11!1

That might be the most overused (and unfunny) joke ever but asks a very good question. How did they die out? Scientists seemed to have come up with a good theory; the herbivores had no food to eat, so they died, and then the carnivores had nothing to eat since the herbivores starved to death. But dinosaurs existed millions of years ago, so what do we know?

The opening scene in Radical Rex: To Hip to Be Extinct suggests that some weasel put a spell on the dinosaurs, making them all hate each other so hopefully someday the mammals will rule the world. Luckily Rex, a small dinosaur heavily influenced by Tony Hawk and Bruce Lee was asleep, so the spell didn’t affect him. Now Rex will have to travel through five worlds to stop this weasel once and for all.

Rex’s primary enemies he will be fighting are dinosaurs who were affected by the spell and now working for the weasel. This doesn’t make too much sense; you’re defeating the dinosaurs you are trying to save? Or maybe Rex’s whole mission is BS; maybe he’s just trying to prove how “hip” he actually is.

Rex also shows off his hipness by utilizing his rather unique fighting style. Either that or the developers are trying to find a way to make a use for Rex’s several pointless fighting moves. Here’s a standard encounter with an enemy:

1. A random dinosaur starts charging/gliding towards Rex.
2. Rex breathes fire out of his mouth (first hip move!), causing his foe to be burnt to a crisp and unable to move or attack for a short period of time.
3. Rex finishes off his foe by performing a jump-kick (second hip move!) or by roaring (third hip move!). Are these moves really necessary?
4. After making a goofy face, Rex pulls out his skateboard out of his “pocket” that he doesn’t have (definitely the hippest action I’ve ever seen in a videogame EVER) and begins to ride around, searching for a new foe to defeat.

I think I’ll go with the latter.

The skateboarding aspect I mentioned above works quite well, but unfortunately the poor level design makes it very difficult to put that idea into affect. Radical Rex is a platformer, and jumping is an integral part of the game. Since Radical Rex lacks a linear path suitable to skateboarding, it is impossible to skateboard for more than a few seconds before being forced to put it away and go back to good old platforming. So with the exception of the first level (you have a chance to skateboard in the beginning of the level), the skateboarding aspect is a wasted feature.

The poor controls make the platforming very frustrating. Rex moves very unpredictably; if you tap the control pad sometimes he’ll barely move, sometimes he’ll move a lot. The jumping is very hard to pull off. You only need to press one button, but Rex tends to listen to your request about a second after you push the button. This makes the levels with a lot of jumping very hard and instantly makes Rex less hip (ok I’ll stop saying that).

Not only is Radical Rex a chore to play through, but it is also very short and has virtually no replay value whatsoever. The game’s five levels can be beaten in about two hours, and after the game ends and you watch the ending, that’s it. Once you complete Radical Rex you have the option of replaying the levels, backwards! It’s hard enough to play through them forwards, so it beats me why anyone would want to do that. Two people can play, but I do not understand why anyone else would want to play it.

Radical Rex features some good ideas but in the end it falls flat. If the game was longer, controls were more responsive, and the moves and skateboarding was put to better use Radical Rex could’ve been a decent game. Not only does the poor quality of the game make Rex not look hip; it also makes him look like a total buffoon. If you’re looking for a good platformer pick up Ristar instead.

Halon's avatar
Community review by Halon (November 26, 2008)

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