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Xevious (Arcade) artwork

Xevious (Arcade) review


"Xevious is nothing you'd play if you were embroiled in something great and substantial. But it's a decent distraction when there's nothing else at stake. Brainless blasting is always more attractive to me than an old puzzle game like Ms. Pacman or a provencial pseudo-platformer like Mappy, because you can actually go somewhere. The screen actually scrolls, the illusion of travelling occurs. "



***SPOILER***



THIS GAME IS OLD!



***END OF SPOILER***

So if you don't like old games (old shooters in particular), and I'm talking about the one-screener generation, then MOVE ON.

Me, I can handle this stuff. Not in heaping portions mind you--after awhile 80s games disturb my tempermental palette. I've played Xevious in the arcades and I've played it on those Plug-N-Play devices that are so popular these days, for use on your television. In both cases, the point was the same: to kill time.

Xevious is nothing you'd play if you were embroiled in something great and substantial. But it's a decent distraction when there's nothing else at stake. Brainless blasting is always more attractive to me than an old puzzle game like Ms. Pacman or a provencial pseudo-platformer like Mappy, because you can actually go somewhere. The screen actually scrolls, the illusion of travelling occurs.

Of course the same scenery is just stretched out and pasted down over and over, sort of like Fred Flintstone's house when he's running through it or floundering on roller skates.

Anyway, this is overhead blasting of the most primitive type, with one twist. I believe this game is the originator of the TARGETING RETICLE SECONDARY WEAPON. You know, the crosshairs weapon that you see in the RayStorm series of games. So you've got the expected pea shooter, and you've got the unexpected crosshairs weapon for use against enemies on the ground.

Those enemies include flying dishes, flying grey orbs, grounded (and therefore, NON-flying) orbs with red centres, and every so often, a hackneyed giant UFO to bring down for lots of points. The aforementioned relentlessly repeating background alternates between grass, and strips of dirt sans grass. Sometimes there is a body of unmistakably unmoving water to fly over, and, oddly, sometimes there is a Nazca phoenix pattern worked into the grass. (Is this Xevious's attempt at getting deep?)

That's all there is. It gets intense when enemies start dropping bullets at a faster rate, and diabolically so, as they leave the projectiles for you as they exit at the bottom of the screen, like a nasty parting gift that you don't want, like the ones game show contestants must get.

Did you expect more? You read the spoiler didn't you? Xevious is old and limited in scope and heavy on repetition without the critical addictiveness factor that can save ancient games at times. It's worth a play if you've got nothing else to play. And under no other circumstance.

Rating: 4/10

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (August 06, 2005)

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