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The Commodore version fares better on colour of course, than the Spectrum. As with the other versions, the aliens are a tough bunch to destroy, leaving you on the first couple of screens for a while, but none of the 16-bit playability has been lost.
The thing about Xenon it isn't particularly fast, but it's very smooth and is set at just the right addictiveness and difficulty levels. You'll keep coming back to it when you should be doing your homework or going to bed or whatever (which could cause a few family related prob's).
Graphically it's not too bad, with well defined characters and backdrops, although everything is pretty repetitive, variety to some degree being sacrificed to difficulty. And it is HARD - in fact I'd say that this version beats the hell out of the 16-bits in terms of toughness. Trouble is, it's this level of difficulty, together with the problem with the bullets, which ensures that Xenon's just pretty good rather than really brill.
Decent vertical scrolling, an inventive use of the vehicles to swap between, reasonable music and FX, and the bas relief graphics that were to become a Bit Map trade mark (even if they didn't actually write this version) combine to give you a good blasting experience with the odd novel twist. [...] Xenon isn't as intense as many a recent blaster, but it is still pretty good value at a budget price, offering an entertaining number of features, if not division one destruction anymore.
The C64 game is even tougher with a hail of bullets and ships with a dull main craft leading to some confusion. Being sent back to the start of the level soon gets wearisome, while the tune is weak. Repetitive and unoriginal it compares badly to Silkworm.
This little number caused a wave of excitement on the 16-bit machines a couple of years back. Pity it's magnificence didn't transcend onto the 64. A time waster.
Unlike the nifty Speccy version, C64 Xenon plays like a dead hippo. Dull graphics don't help the matter any, and the ship handles like a slug in treacle. Not a very good shoot 'em up, so leave it on the shelf.
Xenon is a truly dire game. The scrolling is smooth enough, but what a shame about the action. The collision detection is awful, as is the sprite masking. [...] At first glance, a conversion in the truest sense of the word, but at second glance, a steaming great mistake that should never have been allowed out of the Melbourne House stable. A joke, and no mistake guv.