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User Reviews

There are no reviews for the Atari ST release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 4.1
Graphics The visual quality of the game 4.1
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 3.9
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 4.1
Overall User Score (11 votes) 4.0

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
The One (Mar, 1991)
[Budget re-release] When it first appeared. Xenon set new standards in shoot 'em ups and introduced features which have been 'paid tribute to' ever since. This is an absolutely essential item for the definitive software collection. If you don't have it already - get it now.
Atari ST User (May, 1988)
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.
It's difficult for me to tell you how good Xenon is. All the clichés are too well worn. You know what I mean, statements like "it's worth to buy an ST just to play this" - that kind of crap. All I will say is that in five years of reviewing computer games this is the best shoot-'em-up I've played. This is arcade entertainment to play at home and no bull.
It's still one of the best of its kind around.
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.
Summa summarum: KELLY X wird als „fertiges“ Produkt von sich reden machen, das steht außer Frage. MELBOURNE HOUSE hat es verstanden, ein ansprechendes, intelligent aufgebautes ST-Game zu produzieren, das in puncto Grafik (jeder Sector hat ein eigenes „Innenleben“ - keine plumpen Wiederholungen), Animation, Sound (die Begleitmelodie erinnert stark an den Titel-Sound der Krimi-Serie „Ein Fall für Zweit“), Spezial-Effekten und gutem Gameplay absolut überzeugen kann. Der einzige Nachteil, falls man dies so bezeichnen kann, ist, daß man das Abenteuer einfach zu schwierig gestaltet hat
ST Action (May, 1988)
We at the ST Action office haven't managed to complete level two yet and, having played the game for so long, you'd have thought we may have become bored with it by now but Xenon has been well designed and programmed with the result that the player yearns for that "one last go". It is interesting to learn that this game has simultaneously been released in the arcades on Mastertronic's Arcadia label. I suspect Xenon to be a big hit in the seaside slot halls, but, before you deposit those precious silver coins, I suggest you buy the ST version first and get in a bit of practice. Although Xenon represents nothing staggeringly new, it is well implemented and extremely playable. For these reasons alone, Xenon will surely be the finest shoot 'em-up to-date in your collection.
Players of the original won't be disappointed with the conversion as all the tactics used in the coin-op game can be applied to the computer version exactly. Xenon is the most challenging ST shoot-'em-up so far.
Raze (May, 1991)
[Budget re-release] The game's packed with the normal array of distasteful enemies and contains more than its fair share of big vehicles and monsters. This shoot-'em-up is undoubtedly better than Gemini Wing and even gives Silkworm a run for its money.
ST Format (Apr, 1991)
[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.
Power Play (Mar, 1988)
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.
Retro Archives (Dec 15, 2019)
Xenon restera à jamais le titre qui aura fait connaître les Bitmap Brothers, leur ambition inégalable et leu créativité débordante. Rétrospectivement, on comprend aussi aisément pourquoi on parle beaucoup plus volontiers de sa suite directe que de ce premier opus maladroit, frustrant, injuste, pas très impressionnant et avec lequel on s'amuse au final assez peu. Il est assez révélateur que la plupart des joueurs en aient surtout retenu l'animation digitalisée annonçant le début de chaque niveau: plus qu'un jeu, Xenon était avant tout une promesse, une porte ouverte sur les véritables capacités des ordinateurs 16 bits que le monde attendait encore de connaître en 1988. Plus de trente ans après, on sait que cette promesse aura été tenue; c'est hélas à peu près tout ce qu'il y a à retenir d'un titre qui a, avouons-le, atrocement mal vieilli.