Xenon 2 Megablast is a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up. Unusual for the genre at the time, the player’s spaceship can reverse the scrolling of the play area for a limited distance; which is used in the game for defeating bosses, avoiding enemies and escaping dead ends. This game consists of five levels which are each divided into two sections.
The game has a generic sci-fi theme and almost no plot, focusing instead on presentation and gameplay. Indeed, it was the quality of the music and graphics that led to the game’s memorability. The graphics bear the trademark “Bitmap Brothers” appearance, with realistic and detailed renditions of rock and metal objects. The enemies are mostly various nondescript organic creatures, plants, bacteria-like lifeforms, though the final levels feature robotics, mechanical enemies, and various artificial hostile entities.
The player of Xenon 2 Megablast must rely heavily on power-ups, which may be gained by shooting power-up containers that appear through the levels. When an enemy or a wave of enemies are destroyed they leave behind credits in the shape of bubbles. Small bubbles are worth 50 credits and large bubbles are worth 100. When a mid-level boss or end of level boss are destroyed, they explode to reveal lots of credit bubbles. Credits are then spent at Colin’s Bargain Basement. Power-ups of various sorts may be bought there. Accumulating power-ups rewards the player with more heavy-duty firepower. The shop appears mid-level and at the end of the level.
At later levels, getting credit bubbles becomes easier, as certain areas contain an endless supply of enemies – strange bee-like creatures and killer kites – which will always drop a credit bubble upon dying. If the player stays long enough, making slight movements backwards, he can get an enormous amount of credits. This is where a major glitch occurs in Xenon 2; if you accidentally “over-collect” the credit bubbles trying to maximize your money to the highest possible amount, the money counter will simply wrap over back to zero, which the player will find out only upon finishing the level. When this happens the player is left with something like 200 or 500 credits, the game becomes next to impossible, and the player has to start all over again.
Xenon 2 has superb graphics with excellent backgrounds and some outstanding sprites, particularly the end-of-level bosses. The game is fast paced, with plenty of baddies on screen and on later levels the action provides enough challenge to test your skills but is still enjoyable enough to keep you playing without getting frustrated that the game is too tricky. The scrolling was a little jerky but did not effect the game too much.
I give this game a score of 80%
Begin game play and qualify for a high score entry. Enter ARM as initials on the high score screen. Play again and qualify for another high score that is lower than the previous attempt. Enter OUR as initials on the high score screen.Press the Reset button on the Genesis when demonstration mode begins. Begin a new game with invincibility enabled.
Begin game play and qualify for a high score entry. Enter OLD as initials on the high score screen. Play again and qualify for another high score that is lower than the previous attempt. Enter AGE as initials on the high score screen. Press the Reset button on the Genesis when demonstration mode begins. Begin a new game with unlimited lives enabled.