Review by KasketDarkfyre

"Just another victim of an over-staurated genre!"

Long-standing top down shooters are easy to come by on the Nintendo Entertainment System, in terms of the different styles and themes that you can play. Through the fog and mist of all of these games, one comes to mind that I can’t quite recommend, simply because the game falls at the wayside with the same goal and less than stellar visuals and sound! In Xevious, you take control of a ship that has the capability to do some destructive damage, and you face off against a fleet of huge cylinder enemy ships that come at you in varying forms and speeds. Through the battles, you’ll be able to bomb enemy targets, and generally have a field day blowing things up. While this follows most shooting game recipes, there are some serious in game issues that make this game less than worthwhile to play, and even less worthy of buying.

The game play works much like any other shooter, in which you have a ship that is taking on a seemingly endless fleet of enemies in a stage to stage battle. What Xevious does is give you a ship that has unlimited guns and bombs, and sets you out across several stages of shooting and avoiding, without offering you an variation on weapons or enemies in general! Through each stage, you’ll be able to drop huge bombs down on targets that are located on the ground below with the use of the small crosshair ahead of you, while in the process of avoiding and shooting what is flying at you. This may seem like a generally great idea to most, but it quickly becomes repetitive after about two stages and twenty minutes of play. With no variation on the different stages and enemies as well as weapons or even special things that you can do, there isn’t a saving grace in the house that puts the game play anything above average. The two-player mode isn’t a two-player cooperative mode, but more of a mode in which you take turns after one another and have no other option but attempt to beat each others top score. I’m really not sure about the rest of you readers out there, but I haven’t come across a game yet that has this feature as a fun type of two-player adventure and it just seems to make the game drag on for extended periods of time, especially if you or your friend is skilled enough at the game!

The control here suffers from Ghost Control, but not with the actual shooting. It more or less comes when you are trying to drop bombs on ground targets, and you release a bomb, only to have it miss its mark because your ship is still moving forward, while the bomb is shot to the crosshair ahead of you! This can come as a bit of an annoyance, especially when you have ground targets that you can't hit because the damned bomb is dropping either too far ahead or just short to create any damage. If you add this into the fact that the ship moves slow enough to get hit by everything that comes your way, the amount of practice needed to learn the timing is extensive. Other than that, the game is relatively easy to learn and play, with one button controlling your normal shots and the other controlling your bombs. You’ll find that the game doesn’t feature much else, and in the end, there is nothing more that you have to learn, other than the timing of the game and how to effectively use your ship!

Visually, the game sucks. I say this based on the fact that neither your ship, the enemy ships, or the backgrounds you fly over have any sort of detailing or shape. This is especially true with the stages, in which the jagged edges of different environments comes forward without flowing together, and the ships move in such a way that it seems stiff and forced! I chalk this up to being an early NES game, and the fact that games like this were common is probably enough to make most not pay much attention. What will catch most people is that the game has nothing of special effects and even the bombs exploding on the ground comes forward with a bit of flat detail. The only aspect of the visuals that I can see that is actually any good is the way that the enemies move and the formations they take as they come in. However, these small details are quickly overshadowed by the fact that the game never takes it to the next level and you’ll see it about a hundred times per stage!

The music is strictly NES MIDI fare that is supposed to instill some sort of adventurous “I’m saving the world” theme in your heart, but manages to become extremely annoying after about twenty minutes. With that being said, there is nothing that tops the game music in the very beginning with the title theme, so you’ll be left with having to hear something relatively good, and then be thrust into a audio nightmare! The sound effects also fall the same way, with short NES beeps and bloops being your only guide through several stages of torture and mayhem. If you’re really into old NES games, then you’ll be right at home, but if you’re looking for improvements, or anything that has something new to add to the genre, then you’ve taken a wrong turn here.

Xevious is a poor man’s Gradius and a 1943 wannabe that probably had some potential. I won’t assume to know what people like as far as this game goes, but in my own opinion, there is nothing here that offers anything new to the scene, or to the genre. With less that impressive visuals, audio and game play, there is something to be said about other games that have taken the same idea of saving the world, and actually made it into a game that is worth playing! If you’re a die hard shooter fan, then you may want to check this out just to see what the game has to offer. However, if you’re not really into shooter games, then you might as well steer clear of this one and move onto something else, because this one has nothing to offer to the already over-saturated genre!

Reviewer's Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Originally Posted: 12/07/01, Updated 12/07/01

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