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||The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines
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The Games Machine (UK)
As with the other 8-bit versions monochromatic sprites rear their heads. It would have been better appreciated if this version had been a bit more colourful. Luckily the original gameplay doesn't suffer too much from this oversight, and so C64 owners get fair treatment and a great game.
This is not so much a bad conversion but a bad game which without the advantages heaped upon it by a dedicated arcade machine, fails to produce goods.
Lack of speed is the main let down, although the main monochrome graphics do little to inspire further exploration. Tricky controls don't help proceedings either, meaning you often wander unawares into the midst of raging gun battles. Okay at first, but boredom is never far over that pale horizon.
Well I never thought I'd see the day when a 64 game looks less colourful than the Spectrum equivalent, it's effectively monochrome! Memory problems forced the programmer to compromise but it's not only graphics which are dodgy; the characters have leaden feet and wobble around at a staggeringly slow rate. The problem of repetitive levels is even more prominent in this version than it was in the arcade and Amiga version. With little in the way of variation in the gameplay, the endless similar mazes prove the final nail in the game's coffin.
In fact the game seems semi-paralysed, with the characters moving sluggishly and rather oddly, while colour has been leached out to give a banal monochromatic view. Sound is sparse and playability is repetitive, even the option for players to shoot each other can't save this dull product. Back in issue 54 Xybots clocked up a rating of 27%. [...] At £3 it just about manages to maintain its old mark.
Tengen's conversion of the classic Xybots coin-op left a lot to be desired - a poor quality Spectrum port, it lacked speed, colour and playability. [...] It's just a shame a little more time wasn't spent on making the conversion worthwhile.