Xenophage: Alien BloodSport

aka: Arena
Moby ID: 899
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

Xenophage: Alien BloodSport is a versus fighting game starring somewhat unusual combatants: aliens. Eight alien fighters have been gathered on a space ship to fight each other to death. The Story Mode has the player follow this tournament from the point of view of one of the aliens; Free Play mode allows players to pit them against each other in any combination.

The gameplay follows the conventions of 2D fighting games; however, the characters are rendered in 3D. The camera follows the combatants, zooming in and out on the screen. The game includes considerable amount of gore (which can be adjusted), as well as special moves unique to each fighter, dubbed "humiliations".

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Credits (DOS version)

8 People

AI Programming
Sound Code
Additional Graphics / Artwork
Cover Art



Average score: 51% (based on 5 ratings)


Average score: 2.6 out of 5 (based on 15 ratings with 2 reviews)


The Good
Still looking.

The Bad
Well what can I say, some games make you cry out loud they are so bad, but you can't even do that at Xenophage. I felt sorry for it, from the control scheme that never wanted to work, to the laughable sound and music, to the graphics that make you think a three-year-old did the modeling for the game. Shame on anyone that would put their name on this pile of dung heap.

The Bottom Line
Just say no to Xenophage.

DOS · by Derrick 'Knight' Steele (2347) · 2000

SNK or Capcom fighter this ain't.

The Good
Well, let's see...I did like the fact that it was a shareware program (which lets you try before you buy), because I had to think REALLY long and hard about buying this over something much, much better like Fatal Fury 3 or Street Fighter Zero 2. Oh yes, and the scene in the intro where the Earth explodes and a piece goes flying past the screen with the cow and barn still attached to it, but that's about all.

The Bad
Here it comes, kiddies....yet another pile of horse rubbish gets its dues at my sharp blade...this may be messy, so stand back.

For starters, this game is pretty damn bad in a lot of fields. Let's start with the gameplay. And to be honest: it's definitely not anything to shout about. The characters move rather stiffly and some have "floaty" jumps, which makes some moves (which are already hard to pull off) even more of a chore. Controls consist of two punch and two kick buttons (although you can set it to just one punch button and one kick button), which makes me think the developers were biting off of SNK's KOF style a bit. Special moves are done with fireball and charge sweeps, but I can NEVER get them to work, EVER! I've tried playing with both the keyboard and a gamepad, and 9 times out of 10, the moves simply don't come out. And here's a funny thing: I can play ANY King Of Fighters game under an emulator on my PC and get nearly every move to work using the keyboard, so I know it isn't me or my keyboard. This game just simply DOESN'T WANT TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE KEYPRESSES.

I know fighting games usually don't have much in terms of storyline (save for maybe SNK's fighters), but I just had to mention the one in here...it's just so damn STUPID! The characters you can select are supposed to be chosen to represent their own species in a battle for propigation rights of your species (in other words, so you can keep on making more of your species through ahem). That's stupid enough already. But here's where it gets stupid: you're also fighting to relieve the boredom of some alien guys called the Council, who will place you and some ugly alien opponent into a holographic chamber which creates a virtual world based on your opponent's planet. To Star Trek fans out there: doesn't this sound an awful lot like the episode "Arena"? Nice story guys you've got there, Argo. Real nice. (Note sarcasm.)

Well, ok, so the story is hardly original. Maybe the characters will be better, right? WRONG! Apogee kept hyping up how cool and original the alien fighters were (which includes two humans), but about the only thing original these fighters have is how UGLY and how CORNY they all look. Every fighter was 3D rendered, but you can't say much in the way of looks (especially the two human fighters). These things are just plain UG-LY, no other way of saying it. As a special mention, Selena (the female human) can walk away tonight with the "Most Butt-Ugly Female Fighting Game Character" award, even topping the entire cast of Catfight! :)

Cosmetics wise...well, let's be honest. Besides all the characters looking like utter freaks of nature, the game's backgrounds are pretty uninspired and rather dull looking. The backgrounds do have some nice artwork in them, but for the most part, it all seems so clichéd (inside a spaceship, swampy planet, organic caves....you get the drift). There are also some rendered cinematic scenes here and there, but they're just so bad. The animation in them is easily some of the WORST I've ever seen anywhere. Sounds and music aren't anything mind blowing either. The sounds were hyped up as being "realistic" and "bone crunching", but there's nothing really here except for some squishy thuds and klunks, and "BONK! BONK!" when your character gets knocked down. The music...to be honest, it stinks. And it's not just the fact that it's a simple MIDI soundtrack, either. Even if the game had Redbook (more on this later) or digitally stored music, it'd still stink. It's not driving, it's not emotional, it's not ANYTHING! It's just filler, that's it. There's nothing here you'd like to listen to outside of the game, unlike an SNK or Capcom fighter.

Here's a few other glaring things I didn't like about this game. The game came on a CD, but no one ever bothered thinking "Hey...we have all this storage space...why not add the soundtrack onto the CD as a Redbook soundtrack?" It wouldn't have mattered anyway, since the music sucked right from the start. Also, I HATED how Apogee was hyping this game beyond belief, praising such things as the zoom feature and the alien fighters and nearly everything else. A word about the zoom feature, Apogee: 1992....Art of Fighting....look into it, 'kay? You can stop hyping this crap, Apogee; it tanked anyway.

The Bottom Line
In short, I really think that this game just tried crimping on everyone else's style, but it never worked at all. The game's very uninspired and nothing to be praised at all. But don't get me wrong: it's not the worst fighting game out there (believe me, there IS worse than this), but it's definitely not SNK or Capcom material. Sorry, Apogee. Maybe next time you'll learn that neither you nor Argo are not the godly SNK, nor are you the titan known as Capcom. I'd just recommend that people who collect fighting games grab it (it adds to the pile), but all others may pass this one up. Trust me, you'll be much better off if you do.

(Final note: I'd like everyone to know that my constant praise of SNK and Capcom does not make me bias. It's just that, in my opinion, SNK and Capcom are the only two companies who REALLY have it in them to keep the 2D fighting genre alive, and people can always look foward to them for more wonderful 2D fighting greatness for years to come.)

DOS · by Satoshi Kunsai (2020) · 2001


Xenophage: Alien BloodSport version 1.0 was first released on April 26th 1996, although a public beta was released on December 29th 1995.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Derrick 'Knight' Steele.

Linux added by Plok. Windows, Macintosh added by ZeTomes.

Additional contributors: Xantheous, Frenkel, Abi79.

Game added February 23rd, 2000. Last modified November 5th, 2023.