Review by Psycho Penguin

Reviewed: 01/02/02 | Updated: 01/02/02

Playing Xevious is about as pointless as being a Maryland fan and still watching the Orange Bowl... oh wait, I'm doing that..

To say that the shooter genre has been saturated with many quality games over the years would be an understatement. Despite the fact there aren't as many being released now as compared to a few years ago in the glory years of the 16-bit era, there were still a lot released over the years, especially on the NES, which is home to some of the greatest shooters to ever grace a home console, from the riveting 1943 to the spellbindingly great Gradius, with classics as Legendary Wings right up there with the best.

However, with every spectrum, there has to be two ends, and the second end of the shooter genre's stay on the NES has some really disappointing games. One of those games is an old boring shooter called Xevious. I used to enjoy this game, but now I just don't see why there is any reason to play a drab, lifeless shooter when there are so many quality ones out there that you can actually enjoy playing. About the only reason to play this disappointment is to see why shooters had to evolve in a hurry, because this was one of the first shooters ever released, and I believe it may have been the first one for NES.

Needless to say, it was a disappointing beginning for the shooter genre on the NES. All of the elements in this game just reeked of a lack of quality few shooters have ever provided. The graphics were piss poor, the music was mediocre at best, the lack of sound effects combined with the ones present being disappointing led to overall crappy sound, and the game was just not fun at all. This is really just a poor attempt at a shooter, and I am quite shocked that anyone actually enjoyed it. Yes, it has all the qualities needed to be a shooter, but none of the qualities lived up to the qualities of mostly any other shooter, so why would it be a good game?

I'd like to say that the game featured any sort of storyline, but it didn't, unless it was one of those ''instruction manual'' storylines (where the story is inside the manual but the game fails to make any mention of it), and since my copy of the game did not come with a manual, I will make up a storyline to fit mostly any other shooter. You are a spaceship, and you need to save the world from the evil bad guy. Flying the spaceship Xevious, you go from level to level killing baddies until you get to the ultimate final dude who is just ULTIMATELY ULTIMATE and then you kick his butt and win the game. Then you save the world and be a big hero and you are the new ULTIMATELY ULTIMATE being of the world. There you go.

Graphically, to say Xevious looks like it was drawn by a blind four year old with broken crayons would probably not describe how truly awful the graphics were. You know the game has problems graphically when the backgrounds have JAGGED EDGES. That's right, when you start up the game, you are treated to a stale green background, which I assume is supposed to represent grass, and then you see a little brown line show up in the middle or left of the screen once in a while, where enemies make their habitat. However, this brown line has JAGGED EDGES. Yes, jagged edges plague this line, so it looks like bart simpson's head. There is no excuse for this piss poor graphical job.

The rest of the graphics in this turd looking game are just horribly done. The enemy designs suffer from looking plain and generally boring. In addition to the little gray saucer things, you have little gray bombs on the ground, but sometimes the bombs have little red dots, or sometimes even black dots, which do nothing to add to the overall designs. Then you have the little gray planes. I don't recall ever seeing an enemy in the entire game that was a different color than gray. I apologize if I made the graphics in the game seem anything less than puke, because that was not my intention.

Musically, the shooter genre has usually hosted some of the finest music ever featured in video games. However, as you may have already guessed, since Xevious has pretty much broken every shooter rule, that the music is disappointing, too. From the opening theme to the final boss, you will not find a single theme that you will enjoy. Most of it is annoying beeps and bloops randomly put together in a desperate attempt to make anything that sounds remotely close to music. Sound effects are total garbage, as the only sounds you will hear are the simple bleeps and bloops that are supposed to resemble bombs blowing up. Newsflash to producers of game: If you want to give off the effect that a bomb is blowing up, a simple beep will not suffice.

Controlling your ship in Xevious is a painful chore that should not be experienced often. One button is used for shooting, one is used for dropping bombs, which is your standard shooter fare. However, the game has a new ''innovation'' that was supposed to... I have no idea what the point of it was, but it was there anyways. Basically, there is this little crosshair thing in front of your ship, that is supposed to help you determine where your bomb is supposed to land. However, this thing will hurt you more then it will help you, because chances are you will move over the enemy, and throw the bomb down expecting it to hit the enemy, forgetting all about the crosshair, so you will only be hitting the enemy every once in a while. If you had to use this thing for shooting instead of bombing, this would be the worst game ever made.

Xevious has a lot of qualities that would qualify it as a shooter, as you go up, shooting at enemies and trying to blow them up. However, that's where the shooter qualities end, as this is a rather boring game that does nothing to add to a quality genre. This is definitely the black sheep, as you will start off being annoyed as hell with the game. ''2 Sovalou left!'' What the hell is a Sovalou? I guess Namco wanted to be all technical or something.

You go up, and a wave of enemies come at you, but they don't do anything. it takes about half a level for enemies to start shooting at you, and their shots are easily avoided. Then all of a sudden a wave of enemies come at you shooting, while enemies on the ground are shooting at you (do they have guns that shoot upwards or something?). The mix of enemies could have definitely been better. Then, if you get hit, you die, and when you die, you go back to a random ''checkpoint'', but you have no clue where the ''checkpoint'' is since the game does not distingush them, so you will have no clue what is ahead of you if you die, which is just pointless. The two player mode is basically the same game, only people take turns, so now you can torture your friend in addition to torturing yourself. Spiffy.

if you have read this review so far and think I am going to say anything other than ''the game has no replay value'', you are a retarded monkey. The game simply will not make you want to keep playing, in fact, it will make you want to throw your NES into a crowded subway station and hope someone picks it up, takes it home, and plays this crappy game for themselves. The only redeeming quality of this game is giving it to your enemy as a christmas gift. However, the reprcussions of this are great, as he could then throw it at you, which would cause brain damage if aimed at the right spot.

I'm sure this game has some sort of challenge to it, but I didn't see it. i got through the first four stages without dying once the first time I ever played it. I am dead serious. I wish there was a little bit of challenge here, but the last few stages sort of make up for how easy the first stages were. The enemies always seem to act retarded, which doesn't help the situation, and once you figure out their patterns, this suddenly becomes the easiest shooter of all time. Hey, shooters are usually challenging, and this one isn't. ANOTHER SHOOTER RULE BROKEN!

Xevious is simply the worst shooter ever released, and there is no reason to play it. I feel no shame in giving it a 1/10, because it is not a game worth playing at all, and any score higher than that might make some people believe there is some redeeming quality to it, and there is simply not any reason to play it. With so many quality shooters out on the market, don't waste your time with a piece of crap like this. It is not fun, the control sucks, the graphics are terrible, just avoid this like the plague.

Good Points
-There is a way to turn it off.
-The game ends.
-It's a shooter.

Not So Good Points
-The game starts.
-The game breaks every shooter rule imaginable.
-The stupid crosshair idea makes bombing enemies impossible.
-The music, graphics, and sound effects are horrible.
-The game doesn't end soon enough.

Shooter Rules This Game Breaks
Good Graphics: Yeah right.
Extreme Challenge: It's like a Sesame Street game compared to some of the other shooters out there.
Responsive Control: No, not here.
Classic Music: I hated all the music in the game.
Some Sort of Storyline: Hey, even Gradius had a storyline!

I Run Down The Game... Psycho Penguin Style!
Storyline - Not Available
Graphics - 2.1/10
Music - 1.1/10
Sound Effects - 0.8/10
Control - 0.7/10
Gameplay - 0.6/10
Replay Value - Below Average
Challenge - Below Average
Game Length - Doesn't end soon enough.
Rent or Buy? - Neither.
Overall - 0.9/10


Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

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