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Xenon 2 - Megablast

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Written by ST Graveyard

June 17, 2001

Comments

I have to admit...I just love those Bitmap Brothers games. And I think I'm not the only one. You have to say it like it is. They're one of the few software companies who've always combined fantastic graphics with great gameplay on the ST. And "Xenon 2 : Megablast" isn't an exception. Who thought they could beat their fantastic debut "Xenon" in such a big way.


Again, this is a straight forward shoot 'em up. Kill everything that moves. But it's one of the best ever made, even by today's standards. From the moment the intro starts playing, combined with the Bomb the Bass soundtrack, you know you're in for a treat...


Graphics

This is where the game really shines. Beautifully, slick rendered graphics from beginning to end, combined with smooth, parallax scrolling. Just look at the variation of the backgrounds. Each world is very different from the previous one.


We get some really strange enemies to kill in this game. Weird, fantasy like creatures. Just pay a little attention to it before you blast everything away, it's all top notch. These are one of the best graphics you'll find in an ST game. It's a true piece of art!


Sound

A fantastic sampled soundtrack during the intro of the game. This is very good considering the ST's sound limitations (in comparison to the STe or Amiga machines). In-game music is also pretty good. Some nice sound FX and a cool background tune. But admittedly, it's the weakest part of this version. Not bad, but nothing special...


Gameplay

This is a very playable game. Controls are very accurate. It can be frustrating sometimes, yet it is very addictive. There are lots of levels for you to complete. The first 2 are pretty easy, once you know how to destroy the bosses. Then it starts getting tougher to make it to the end of a world. It gradually increases the difficulty level.


Example: Later on in the game the enemy will not only attack from behind - they fly, creep and crawl everywhere. Don't be surprised if something jumps at you right out of the wall!


While playing, you'll notice that killed off badies leave bubbles behind. It is important to grab as many of these as you can. The more you catch, the more money you get to spend. After every finished level, you enter the shop. Here you can buy weapon upgrades, extra health, power ups...Xenon 2 offers some great fire power for you to choose from. These power ups are a big plus in the game. Just take a look at some of the pictures on this page to get an idea. It's great to blast everything of the screen with a laser and a flamethrower. And although I haven't made it that far into the game, it should be possible to equip your ship with 4 lasers at once.


Conclusion

As you might have already noticed, I love this game. To me, there isn't a better vertical shooter game made since its release. Like other Bitmap games, it laid new standards for other companies to break. Some came close (Thalion's "Wings of Death"), but in my opinion, it hasn't been beaten. The great gameplay, the superb power ups and the cool final stage bosses make this a dream to play. A must! Xenon 2 remains the king of the shoot 'em up genre, shining high on its throne!





Score
  • Graphics: 10
  • Sound: 9
  • Gameplay: 10
  • Overall: 10

Review Comments

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Son Shu Shi

March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard

What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

Cybernoid - The Fighting Machine

March 28, 2020 by Morcar

When you boot up the game you’re presented with a fantastic loading picture of your ship. It's detailed with bold colours and it tells you This is 16-bit, bitch. Then you get the wonderful rendition of the Cybernoid theme that's on all the 8-bit versions. It's not exact but the changes still make it noticeable to anyone who knows it.

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