Adventure, Action, Platformer
Vexx is a video game that stars a character of the same name, a young man who is fueled by vengeance and is determined to reclaim balance to his world of Astara that has been conquered by the evil Dark Yabu. Vexx must navigate numerous puzzles and fight many foes along the way. He must collect at least 60 Wraithhearts within 9 different worlds to charge the Rift Hub, defeat Dark Yabu, thus restoring peace in his homeworld of Astara.
The introduction tells briefly of a planet called Astara that was inadvertently destroyed by its own inhabitants, who "opened a door better left closed". The planet was, in fact, destroyed by the Shadowraiths, who had poured through the Landspire and the Rift system that had been created by the ambitious Astani in order to access other worlds. The Wraiths, led by their leader Dark Yabu, attacked Astara, ultimately draining all of the energy out of the Rift system. However, an official supplementary comic reveals how Treyven, the Guardian of Astara, used the legendary Astani war talons to defeat the entire first wave of the Shadowraiths at the cost of his own life.
Seven hundred years later, Astara is literally in pieces, and all that is left are large chunks of land floating in an asteroid field. However, the individual pieces of the planet are still habitable. One village known as the Overwood, populated by a primitive race called the Valdar is eventually discovered by Dark Yabu, who attacks the village with his Shadow Horde. The only Valdani who try to resist are Vargas, the village Guardian, and his grandson, Vexx. Despite their bravery, they are overcome by Yabu's forces and are shackled with the rest of the villagers, all of whom are then made to toil in mines searching for Wraithearts - the last remains of the first wave of Wraiths and the only remaining source of the Rift system's power.
Vexx is "beaten with word and whip" until "his rage became unbearable", and he finally lashes out at his oppressors. He is stopped by Yabu, who would have killed him if Vargas had not then attacked Yabu to save his grandson. Furious, Yabu turns on Vargas instead and murders him with his shadow powers. Later that night, determined more than ever to get revenge, Vexx sneaks out of the caves and onto Yabu's windship. There he discovers Treyven's skeleton wearing the legendary Astani war talons and clutching a spire of rock. Yabu had kept the talons hidden for years because he was unable to destroy them and feared them falling into enemy possession. The talons permanently attach themselves to Vexx's hands, at the same time causing an explosion that destroys the windship and nearly kills Vexx. While he is unconscious, Vexx learns through a vision that Vargas' soul is still imprisoned within Yabu's magical amulet; Yabu plans to feed on the soul's pain and misery until Vargas is no more. Vexx is then taught how to use the Astani war talons while still unconscious by the weapons themselves, which pass on all the knowledge and experience of the previous talonbearers.
When he wakes up, Vexx is in the Hall of Heroes, where previous wearers of the war talons have been entombed. An old man named Darby appears and informs him that it was he who carried Vexx to the Hall, thinking that the young boy was dead. He also tells Vexx that Yabu completely destroyed the village and that Vexx and Darby are the only ones left. Darby, however, is too old to fight, so he instructs Vexx to collect the hearts of dead Wraiths, which still contain the energy drained from the rift system, and use them to power the gates in order to find and stop Yabu before he opens the gate to his own world. Before Vexx departs, Darby warns him that the Wraiths are shape shifters and to "trust no one along your journey".
Later on, Vexx meets up with Darby again inside the Landspire, and the two of them encounter Reia, the last remaining Astani warrior, who is also the narrator of the game. Reia exposes Darby, who turns out to be Dark Yabu in disguise. Both Reia and Vexx try to attack Yabu but he escapes, taking Reia's magical staff with him. It is revealed that by collecting the Wraith hearts, Vexx was actually helping Yabu power the gate to his own world. Since the only way to close the rift is with Reia's staff, Vexx has to activate the rest of the gates and catch up to Yabu to get it back.
Vexx finally finds Yabu in the Shadow Realm, and the two of them fight one last time. During the battle, Vexx manages to take Yabu's amulet, which gives him an extra dose of power. Vexx ultimately wins and retrieves the staff, but Yabu's death causes the platform on which he and the portal back to Astara stand to begin to crumble. Unable to get back through the portal, he throws the staff through, successfully closing the rift and thus saving Astara, but also trapping himself in the shadow realm. He is last seen roaming the desolate, wraith-infested lands.
Vexx is a platformer where players take the role of a Valdar called Vexx. Vexx explores 9 worlds, using both agility and combat to navigate. He will fight many enemies in these huge worlds.
A key element in the game are the Wraithhearts. There are several ways to acheive them, including flying, climbing, swimming, and even defeating bosses. To collect all 81 Hearts in the game, Vexx must put every single one of his abilities to the test.
Vexx received mixed reviews. As of 2018, the game has scored 71 (NGC), 70 (Xbox) and 63 (PS2) on Metacritic. Various critics praised the platforming, puzzles and level design, but criticised the graphics, camera, story, sound, and lack of voice acting. IGN and Game Informer enjoyed the game and considered it good overall, scoring it around 7/10 and 83/100 respectively, but reviewers like Eurogamer, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, and TotalGames.net were harsher. Some critics thought it was released too late, saying it would have faired better if it was released during the 64bit era.
IGN's Hilary Goldstein liked the big worlds and their design, and the platforming, seeing it as one of the strong points. He also noted that over 20 hours can be got out of the game. He was more mixed about the graphics, pointing out some nice touches while criticising the pop-up and poor draw distance. He gave the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions a "Good" 7.2, 7.4 and 7.6 in that order.
GameSpot's Ryan Davis was less positive, criticising the dated graphics, familiar mechanics and sound design. He went as far as saying it does little more than imitate Super Mario 64. However, he did note some of the game's good points, calling the juggle system a neat twist, and in the end declared that it's not a terrible game, scoring a "Fair" 6.3.
Game Informer was one of the more positive critics; the reviewer praised just about every aspect of the game, like the level design, humor, and the size. The reviewer even praised sound effects, (which was a popular target of criticism), and thought the combat was fun, while saying it was somewhat repetitive. The GameCube version earned 83/100.
Eurogamer's Kristan Reed gave the PS2 version a negative review, calling it "A charmless, shoddy, unfinished, unplayable mess and does nothing that a dozen other games haven't done infinitely better." and said he wouldn't want to play it if it was the last platformer on Earth, giving it 3/10.
Today Vexx is essentially unpopular, as it is unheard of by a majority of gamers across the world. However, most individuals who've played the game have enjoyed it, and many who've reviewed it have been very positive, in contrast to the more mixed reviews given by many professional critics. Many fans believe that Vexx is horribly underrated by critics such as IGN and GameSpot. On Metacritic, the Xbox version currently has a user score of 8.5/10, indicating "Generally favorable reviews", making it the most popular version. The PS2 and GameCube versions are less favoured, earning 8.0 and 7.3 respectively.
Future of VexxEdit
It's been over 15 years since Vexx was released, and a sequel seems very unlikely to be made. However, over time there has been many persistent rumors. In 2006, Acclaim Entertainment, the company that created Vexx, went out of business and the rights of Vexx and many of Acclaim's games were sold to Throwback Entertainment. With this, many fans began to speculate that Throwback will either edit the original Vexx game to make it better, or to create a sequel which would answer fan questions concerning Vexx's imprisonment in the Shadow Realms and if he would return to Astara or not.
- There was originally going to be a Game Boy Advance version of this game, but it was eventually canceled.