Dinosaurs, eh? They were rubbish. Big, cumbersome mothers who existed only to eat plants and one another. No wonder they all died out. Now, had they been like THIS dinosaur, they’d have been OK. For this species can skateboard, breathe fire, kick and jump really high. Forget the T-Rex—the only species worth its salt was the Radical Rex.
This is (yes) a platformer starring cute gaming hero #443, Radical Rex. Rex is a sweet little chap who needs your help to stop the evil Skritch, a naughty mammal who has hypnotised all of the other dinosaurs into doing something bad; it’s not really specified what.
The game handling suffers in being rather floaty. When Rex jumps, he stays in the air longer than he really should, being a dinosaur and all. The buttons are responsive, but some of the placement is a bit pointless. For example, the A button alone is unused, yet you must use UP and A to roar. WHY? The A button has no function, and would have perfectly suited to this action.
The levels are enjoyable, a lot of well-executed elements pulling together to make a satisfying whole. The skateboarding is enjoyable, if a little throwaway. Secrets are deviously hidden throughout the game, with rather satisfying rewards (e.g. a giant flame attack—sweet!) Rex is a rather slow-paced critter, though, and at times you’ll wish he was Sonic the Hedgehog, zipping around the landscape. Rex travels through the jungle, followed by the swamp, then a lovely trip into a Brontosaurus’ guts; as you can envisage, he gets around. The levels are varied enough to keep you playing, each one delivering several new elements an gameplay mechanics (e.g. the bouncy surfaces in the aforementioned Bronto stage).
Not to hard, this—though the lovely twist at the end will make you wince. The difficulty settings significantly change the game, as well—most bosses and several large enemies do not appear on the easier modes. It is this attention which makes Radical Rex enjoyable.
The sound is nothing special, though the speech is quite impressive. The music is bouncy and will probably get stuck in your head. Which I guess is a good thing. Repetition gets annoying later on, though.
The visuals are…functional. That is not to say they are sub-par, but they just don’t leap out and grab you by the testicles. Which is also probably a good thing. But the point is, they just don’t WOW you, and that’s really important nowadays. The characters are well-defined and the enemy sprites crafted well.
This game will keep you playing if you tackle Hard Mode, but once it’s beaten, there’s little incentive to replay. Some of the levels are worth revisiting, but I cannot see any major draw to glue a player to their seat with sheer anticipation.
A platformer worth a play—if not a purchase. Give it a try, and see what you’re missing.