ZX Spectrum Xevious
Another conversion of an arcade game, this time by Probe Software and published by US Gold. Xevious was released for the ZX Spectrum in February of 1987 to a mixed reception.
The original arcade game was from Atari (licensed by Namco) and was a very popular shoot em up. Even though the game was basically a shoot everything in sight type deal, it did have a story to it.
Apparently millions of years ago during the ice age, a race (called Xevious) inhabited the earth and left for pastures new as the ice advanced across the globe. Years later they had returned - and were a mite peturbed by the race of technological beings (us) that were now present. They wanted 'their' homeworld back, and war broke out as both sides fought over our lovely planet...
So there you have it - a cracking plot that Roland Emmerich would love. Game on.
You piloted a fighter (the niftily named 'Solvalu fighter') across the vertically scrolling (from top to bottom classic game style) landscape as wave after wave of the 'Xevious' came at you. Not only that but ground based aliens would take shots at your craft as you skimmed overhead.
The objective of this arcade game was to make to the Xevious mothership and take it down by destroying it's main reactor.
The main area of the screen displayed the action (Probe decided to make the ZX Spectrum version monchromatic to increase the detail of the graphics) as the enemy fighters, ground installations moved in from the top of the playing area. The left area of the screen displayed your current score - and not much else that was useful. Aside from alien fighters the Xevious would also send in indestructable flying mirrors (those Xevious were devious) which took one of your lives if they crashed into you.
Your craft was equiped with forward firing guns and also bombs which could be dropped onto ground targets with a bit of careful aiming. And that's about it - this game was a simple and straight shooter that emphasised speed and reflexes.
Once you had destroyed the mothership the game started all over again, and in the usual fashion it was more difficult each time around.
This arcade game was met with a moderate reception. The Sinclair Spectrum version never quite managed to capture the spirit of the arcade original and there were plenty of other shooters around with more depth, better graphics and more variety (Uridium anyone?) The game was far from being 'bad', but once you had played it afew times the simpleness and repetition of the gameplay soon became apparent. Still, with it being an official arcade conversion it did reasonably well.
The test of time:
Well here in the land of Spectrum games we can't get too excited about Xevious. It was kind of average then, and it still is now. It is okay for a quick ten minute blast, but that's about it. Fans of the classic arcade game may find it of interest, but as far as shoot em up's go, there were plenty better for the rubber keyed 8-bit machine.
If you're a hardcore retro shoot em up fan then try this one out.
We recommend getting hold of the real Sinclair hardware but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other ZX Spectrum retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: Early 1987
RELEASED BY: US Gold
DEVELOPER(S): Probe Software (Nick Bruty)
The conversion of the arcade game Xevious on the ZX Spectrum:
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