RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Jul 3rd 2009 at 08:27:30 PM by (ga5ket)
Posted under Review, Mega Drive, Genesis, Sega

E-040-S-05150-A.jpgXenon 2 was one of my staples back in the University days, although then I played it on a pc. Now I've got the Mega Drive version I find it's almost identical, from the pounding Bomb the Bass track Megablast to the Super Nashwan firepower upgrade that's totally useless.

The game is a vertically scrolling shooter, with just about everything including the scenery being an enemy. Find yourself trapped in a cave and as the screen scrolls to the bottom and no way to back out and you've lost a life. As is common with most of these shooters the enemies arrive in predetermined waves and always fly the same pattern, which means that to extract the best out of the level you have to play it and play it and play it so that the patterns become second nature.

Each swarm of enemies destroyed creates bubbles on screen that when collected translate into money that you can then use for upgrades, some of which can be found floating around various levels anyway.

E-040-S-05150-A_04.pngThere's a real knack to getting the best firepower for each level and the game restricts you to what you can carry, for example you can't have both side and rear guns, but you can have an insane amount of front facing weaponry. Some of the levels have a plethora of side attacking enemies, some come from the rear.

Each level ends with a boss fight, and it's really only here that the game shows any break from swooping attack patterns as the bosses, whilst usually stationary, can actually aim and take proper shots at you. Each one has it's own weakness to be discovered, and once you do it's pretty straightforward to repeatedly exploit this until it explodes into a mass of bubble coins.
E-040-S-05150-A_03.pngDuring each level and again at the end you're able to visit the shop to buy and sell upgrades and it's vital that you make the right choice here - buy a side shot on a level where everything happens behind you and it makes for a very frustrating experience indeed.

The game is quite short, taking about and hour to play to the end, but the memorization required to achieve anything like a decent high score is phenomenal and will take many more hours.

I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to play a simple shooter that doesn't require the reflexes of todays shmups, and fancies a bit of 80s electronica as background. A word of warning though, the only music track is Megablast, and after about 30 minutes of playing it my kids told me to 'turn that damn noise off'. I expect they'll be shouting at me to get off their lawns next.

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Sorry, there's supposed to be a link in there to the Megablast track on YouTube. Something screwed up.
I got the Master System version, it's ok but there are some framerate issues sadly.
The music blew me away when this came out. Loved it. I used to play it on my Amiga during my college days. Lots of fellow students into this one too.
I liked the upgrade system, it was cool being able to make space ship covered in guns with a flame thower on the front - but I found the pace a bit plodding and I wasn't then keen on the browness of the graphics.
Nice review, I should try to find this game one of these days.

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