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Atari STAtari ST User
The music is superb, and a neat touch in the way a digitised picture of one of the Bitmap Brothers - the programmers - pops up and announce the start of each section. This game is an absolute must and deserves a place in every arcade game collection. I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for the ultimate fast action shoot-'em-up.
Atari STACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
The Bitmap Bros have managed to strike that fine balance between frustration and addiction, and have produced a wonderful game. It's just a shame all this sort of thing has been seen and done before. The graphics are superb, the installations and explosions are wonderfully-drawn. Sound consists of some atmospheric tunes and great explosion effects. Control of your craft is good, though you can find yourself changing craft at a crucial moment simply because you were "waggling" the joystick.
After the 50-year Arachnid War, the universe has settled into a period of trading and artistic accomplishment. Philosophy and religion have reached a point where science has answered many of their fundamental mysteries. Spacecraft have been sent to the edge of the cosmos and found close space, leading thinkers to believe that there were no more sentient species to be contacted. However, they were proven wrong with the sudden emergence of the Xenites, and their rapid colonisation of 15 planets. Now, ten years after their first appearance, the Xenites hold a grip of terror on the merchants and traders who dare to cross the vastness of space, for raids are frequent, swift and deadly.
ZX SpectrumComputer and Video Games (CVG)
It's you against the rest of the universe in this vertical scrolling blaster. The graphics and sound are quite neat, and the game is very playable indeed, if a tad tough. Overall, a very good blast, and well worth shelling out for.
ZX SpectrumACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
The game that made The Bitmap Bros famous makes it onto the 8-bit machines. The graphics are as good as you could get from a Spectrum, and though all the extra weapons aren't there, the gameplay is. A great conversion of a good shoot-em-up.
Amstrad CPCComputer and Video Games (CVG)
The Amstrad conversion of the Bilmaps' first scrolling shooter hits the Amstrad budget market and we're pleased to report that it's a nippy little game with plenty of shoot 'em up action. The variety in the backdrops is a tad lacking but otherwise this is fine.
AmigaComputer and Video Games (CVG)
Ready yourself for plenty of vertically scrolling shoot 'em up action in this re-release of one of the first quality Amiga games. The action's a bit dated for gamesters of today, but those after a challenge could do a damn sight worse than this
Atari STST Format
[Budget re-release] Those attention-seeking Bitmaps struck out on the rocky road to stardom with this shoot-'em-up. In 1987 it was something of a bestseller but now it looks a tad dated. You must make your way through a plethora of levels, changing between an airborne ﬁghter and ground-based attack craft. If your budget doesn't stretch to Xenon 2
, then you could do a lot worse than sharpen your joystick thrashing skills on this simple blaster.
Commodore 64Computer and Video Games (CVG)
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.
Atari STPower Play
Es war Liebe auf den ersten Blick, doch die Beziehung hielt nicht lange: Xenon ist eines von den Spielen, die zunächst mehr versprechen als sie halten. Grafik und Sound sind gehobene ST-Klasse: gutes Scrolling, schön gezeichnete Gegner und starke Musik. Doch es gibt leider auch ein paar gesalzene spielerische Mängel. Schon der erste Wächter, der einem im ersten Level begegnet, ist nur sehr schwer zu besiegen - vor allem deshalb, weil man hier unsinnigerweise die meisten Extrawaffen abgezogen bekommt. Nahezu unspielbar wird das Geschehen ab Level zwei, doch wenn man hier hängenbleibt, versäumt man nicht allzuviel: In den weiteren Spielstufen wird wenig Neues geboten. Wer nicht gerade einen Hang zum Masochismus hat, wird mit Xenon nicht allzu glücklich werden - schade um die technischen Stärken.