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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre: SHMUP

Awards: None
Tanks but No Tanks Pros: Excellent Arcade Version/ Non-stop Shooting Action
Cons: The Main Ship Washes Out Against the Background
Put a Glide in that Slide... a Dip in That Hip... and Take it Back to the Mothership


Overview: The 7800's forte was without a doubt their stellar ports of popular, classic arcade games.
Xevious, once again, is an excellent conversion. Xevious was one of the Original Gangster 2D SHUMPs, and was definitely an important transitional game paving the way from the likes of single screen shooters like Space Invaders into scrolling bullet hell titles like Ikaruga. This is a quality title.

Graphics: The graphics are not great, but they are adequate. On the plus side, the colors are vibrant and there are several types of baddies to blast and terrain to explore. Overall, the graphics are fine except for the fact that the main ship seems to "wash out" a little against most of the backgrounds. The Atari 7800's games do a great job when it comes to sprite flicker compared to the NES and the Sega Master system. Here is another example of the MARIA graphics chip flexing that non-flicker muscle. I have counted up to 16 moving sprites on the screen at once, from the player's ship, the flying enemies, tanks and bases on the ground and bullets... no slow down or flicker whatsoever.

Sound: The sound in this game is actually pretty good. Laser fire sounds less annoying than in most 7800 games and there are quality (yet shrill) musical blurbs when you lose a man and its replacement is heading into the game. It also features a very good arcade quality "techno jam" during most of the game. Not distracting, yet it does a good job setting the correct tension.

Gameplay: The background story behind this game is bleak, but who cares? We want to kill! And there are TONS of different types of enemies to waste: ships, tanks, boats, laser cannons, 3D flying mirror thingys...and call George Clinton..."cause you're about to take a trip, on the mothership". Yes, there is even a "boss ship" in the game. Woo-woo. There are several levels in the game as well, each with very unique terrains and sometimes ground to air "mini-bosses" at the end of each stage. Sometimes you'll see a large concrete parking lot in the shape of an Eagle. Sometimes you'll see topless sun bathers***. You'll never know what you'll run across in Xevious and that's probably the best part of the game. The stages are not numbered or interrupted by cut scenes, but you can tell when a new one is beginning due to the large forest you approach. Blowing things up can be done one of two ways: laser blasting things in the air, and bombing things on the ground. With a 7800 joystick, these can be done independently, or with a 2600 controller, both happen simultaneously.

Interpretation: This is another excellent arcade conversion for the 7800. The biggest difference in the department of gameplay is the fact that the bomb sights are much closer to the ship than in the arcade version. This makes bombing more difficult, therefore creating a more challenging experience and appeals to advance players. The scrolling in this game is perfect.

Value: The game is very deep as far as variety of stages and enemies go. There are four difficulty settings to choose from, but the standard difficulty is tough enough, thank you. The game cannot be beaten, but it takes a LONG LONG time before the levels begin repeating in order. Even after the mothership confrontation, there are many unique levels to play after that squabble. My only complaint here is that the game is so bare bones that you lose any sense of urgency or purpose blowing through the screens. With Space Invaders, we are fending off aliens trying to take over the planet. With Defender, we are trying to save humans from being abducted by aliens. In Planet Smashers, we are trying to save the earth shield and the planet from a full blown alien invasion. Now that I think of it... aliens are a*holes. But in Xevious, our mission is vague. We could be an alien a*hole for all we know. I would have liked to have seen some sort of evidence of evil doing on the ground: An enemy missile silo... a planet killing lazer... people frantically putting pineapple on pizza. Something...

Overall: There is not a lot to this game besides 100% pure shoot 'em up enjoyment. If you dig on 2D classic arcade shooters, Xevious for the Atari 7800 is a no-brainer. The gameplay is smoother than Planet Smashers, but the game itself is void of the bells and whistles that Planet Smashers provides. A simple, but fun title. Pew Pew Pew!



Other Reviews:
The Atari Times (Joey Kay): 85%
CV's Panoramic Froo-Froo: 4.0 out of 5.0 (Very Good)
Video Game Critic: B-
The Atari Times: 7 out of 10





Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Mitch Orman, owner of The Atari 7800 Page for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.


***Dude, I'm totally lying