Xevious (US Gold) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By U. S. Gold
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #40


When Xevious first arrived in the arcades the reviewers trotted out all the usual cliches about state-of-the-art graphics, addictiveness, entertainment - the works.

The reviewers loved it. To the punters it looked like just another vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up. This does the game an injustice but it is certainly true that it will never set the world alight.

It is somewhat strange therefore to see the licensed conversion coming out from the US Gold stable at the end of 1986.

This is probably evidence of the headlong rush to convert any coin-op that moves. Actually it is slightly more sophisticated than that for Xevious is not just a coin-op, it is a shoot-'em-up t'boot. The two magic ingredients for making big bucks in games this year.

The cassette inlay tells you an amazing yarn that I certainly wasn't aware of when I used to put my Dad's hard-earned into this cabinet.

Apparently the technologically advanced Xevious people had to scarper from planet Earth just before the Ice Age (if they were that bright you'd think they'd have heard of hot water bottles). Several million years go by. The Xevious people decide they don't like 'N' - other place in the galaxy and they want to kick us out, and recolonise the Earth. (The cheek of it!)

Your services are required (What me again?) to pilot the Solvalu Super Spacecraft and go and knock the stuffing out of these so and so's and keep the Earth a fit place for a generation of CU readers to live in.

Like all shoot-'em-ups, it starts easy. The first wave of nasties are those disk-shaped ones that seem to be all the rage at the moment. You know the sort, the metallic ones that look like a half-sucked Smartie.

These are graphically disappointing. They looked superb in the coin-op all shiny metal. I don't know why they couldn't have been so in the C64 version as well. Lots of other games - Parallax and Uridium for example - seem to have no trouble creating this effect.

In fairness the graphics do quickly improve. The Xevious Attack Ships are nicely drawn and the spinning mirrors are excellent.

The Solvalu has to destroy Xevious ground positions as well as coping with the onslaught of continuous air attack.

Bombs are dropped on the enemy positions by pulling back on the stick and pressing Fire. The target must first be dead-centre in the sights which are constantly in view, a little in front of your ship.

It's very neat when you hit a ground target. A crater appears where the building used to be.

Alien flak is very difficult to see - another reason why you have to keep your eyes peeled.

If you survive all the aliens can throw at you, you will eventually reach the Andor Genesis - Mother Ship. You will need to score a direct hit on her central reactor to immobilise her. But this will not be easy as the Xevious air forces will attack more vigorously than ever.

Xevious has plenty to recommend it. With one or two reservations I would say the programmers have achieved a reasonably accurate conversion.

The real point about the game is that it has been superceded by a new generation of coin-op shoot-'em-ups. I am thinking of the Nemesis-type games where you ship gets souped-up as you fight by 'winning' extra lasers.

Of these two latest shoot-'em-ups to be reviewed Terra Cresta owes the most to this 'new wave'.

Having said that - I don't think I would be pumping ten pence pieces into Terra Cresta either - even in the unlikely event of spotting one in my local arcade. If it's old in the arcades - it's old on the C64 too. Gamers want a lot. They want the latest coin-ops to play at home now.

That's what we want Ocean, US Gold, Elite. Can you deliver?

Eugene Lacey

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