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Phix: The Adventure

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Phix: The Adventure
121603-phix-the-adventure-playstation-front-cover.jpg
"Someone needs to Phix this game."
Genre(s): Platformer
Platform(s): PlayStation
Release: JP: May 18, 2000
US: July 15, 2003
Developer(s): Affect Co. Ltd
Publisher(s): JP: Affect
US: Agetec
Country: Japan


Phix: The Adventure is a platformer game developed and published by Affect that was released in 2000 in Japan, and 2003 worldwide by Agetec, best known for localizing the PS2-era Armored Core series and King's Field. Billed as an action-adventure game for the whole family, this "E"-rated 3D platformer puts players in control of Phix, who must return a special object to a remote location. Reminiscent of the Dreamcast's Super Magnetic Neo, many of the game's puzzles and challenges are conquered by altering positive and negative magnetic forces.

Plot

The Magnia Stone, the sacred stone of the Magnetic World is knocked off its floating altar in the sky and falls towards a slumbering creature called Phix. He swallows it and starts to attract metallic objects and creatures. This upsets the balance of the world, and evil creatures start to appear throughout the land. Phix must travel to five realms in order to bring the stone to its original place and return peace. How was Phix to know the importance of that magic stone that fell from the sky? Still, he probably shouldn't have eaten it -- now the world of Magnetica is in turmoil and only Phix can set things right. Phix will also face fierce creatures and collect special crystals as he makes his way to the Sanctuary, to return the magic stone to its proper place and Magnetica to its former, peaceful state.

Why It Should Be Repelled

  1. The game came out in 2003 in North America, which is extremely late for a PS1 game when the PS2 was already on store shelves for 3 years. Also the original Japanese release was from May 2000, which was also fairly late for a PS1 release, the PS2 had been out in Japan since March that same year.
  2. Awful story that is full of plot holes.
  3. Why would the Magna Stone, the most important object in the world, be placed in a unguarded island in the sky on a flat surface, randomly fall down, and how can Phix swallow it whole without getting injured, despite the stone hurling down like a meteor?
    1. Also, why do the bosses want to kill Phix even though they are trying to help him. Some of them even tell Phix that they are trying to help him after you defeat the boss.
  4. Extremely poor graphics for a 2000 video game. The whole game looks extremely ugly and pixelated, and the character models look awful.
  5. The "collectibles" are extremely tiny and easy to miss, as they are just small tiny pixels that are barely visible. You would probably think that it is just a background element and nothing else.
    1. Also, collecting all of them is unsatisfying, as all it unlocks is a challenge mode. It doesn't even unlock anything else, like a sound test or a photo gallery.
  6. There is only 1 training level, which is inexcusable, as you don't learn all the controls in it and you will still feel confused after beating it.
  7. The game is very short, as there are only 5 worlds with 4 levels each. It will take you less than 5 hours to beat the game.
  8. Very generic, bland and forgettable soundtrack.
  9. Very slippery and poor controls, which can lead you to tons of very cheap deaths and unforgiving moments.
  10. Very awful character designs, most notably the second boss Gorgonia, whose design is very inappropriate for a kids game.
  11. The main gimmick, which is switching magnetic polarities, is very cumbersome, unresponsive and repetitive, and it is not very fun to do. The polarity gimmick, combined with the poor controls, will also lead you to tons of cheap and unfair deaths and tons of glitches.
    1. During some levels, you need to use the polarities to position Phix so he can reach a high ledge, only thing is, the polarity bounce is very short.
  12. Very bad level design, most notably Level 1, which has tons of water, which instantly kills you if you fall into it. This, combined with the poor controls, makes it a nightmare to get through.
  13. Annoying sound effects that will get old real fast. You will hear Phix's screaming a lot, due to the easy deaths.
  14. Terrible camera angles throughout the whole game, especially in the open world style levels.
  15. The second boss, Gorgonia, is extremely hard, as she just throws a bunch of stuff at you that is hard to avoid.
  16. The game is just a rip-off of Super Magnetic Neo, and rips off elements from other (and better) platformer games such as Super Mario 64, Sonic Adventure, Crash Bandicoot and the Spyro games. Speaking of Super Mario 64....
  17. The levels also try to be open-world to compete with Super Mario 64, even though this isn't an open world game. The open-world structure makes the levels harder to get through.
    1. The levels that are linear 2D style are ripoffs of some of the levels found in the Crash Bandicoot games.
  18. The in-game map is useless, as it barely shows you where you need to go to reach the next area. It doesn't even tell you where enemies spawn.
  19. There are tons of clipping problems, most notably that Phix can fall through edges, making you die a lot.
  20. Tons of glitches and bugs that hinder the experience. Most notable the aforementioned clipping problem, enemies going through Phix, some enemies not appearing and many more.
  21. The first boss, Calimonstro, has a tree that you need to attack to damage him. The thing is, it only works if Calimonstro is near the tree, otherwise, the tree will DAMAGE YOU!
  22. You cannot see the shadow during the volcano stages, which will make you fall into the lava hundreds of times. Not to mention, just like the water and pits, touching the Lava is a instant-death.
  23. In one level, there are switches that you have to press in a specific order to activate the exit door. If you don't activate them in the order, the door won't open. This gets very infuriating.
  24. Some levels are very dark, which will make you fall into the ground a lot and make you not see where you are going.
  25. Phix only speaks twice in this game, and only at the end. During the rest of the game, he mostly makes annoying cartoon voice effects instead of speaking.
    1. There is also no voice acting throughout the whole game.
  26. The ending is unsatisfying, as Phix returns the Magna Stone, only to find out that he is stuck on the island forever, and he can't get down.
  27. The "challenge mode" is just a huge waste of time. Thanks to the even worse level design, the poor controls, the awful polarity mechanic and the bad camera, the challenge mode is almost unbeatable unless you are a pro.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The concept of an animal that has magnetic powers is rather interesting.
  2. Each world being named after something related to magnets is kind of fun, namely prominent contributing figures like Luis Neel and Paul C. Lauterbur.
  3. Phix's design, despite being weird, is adorable.
  4. If the game was improved, this could have been a decent game, despite not aging well.

Reception

While the game itself wasn't reviewed by any major gaming websites due to its obscurity, it received a 3.5 stars on GameFaqs and received a negative review from Shane and Adam of Rerez, who criticize it for its busted magnet gameplay, nonsensical story and the easily missable collectibles because of one pixel dot, which made them incredibly frustrated and angry. They also compare it to the Dreamcast game Super Magnetic Neo, which was released the exact same year as Phix's Japanese release. It is number 2 on their "Worst Games Nobody Played" list.

Videos

References


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