For a shoot 'em up released over 30 years ago, Xevious truly stands the test of time. This collection contains four arcade iterations with the most notable being Xevious 3D/G. Strap in to your Solvalou, we're going on a ride to experience retro arcade shooting at its prime!
Every Xevious game is generally played the same way. You control a ship known as the Solvalou while shooting with two weapons; the Zapper destroys airborne foes while the Blaster is effective against ground-roaming enemies. It's a simple and proven formula. Being able to time your Blaster shots to explode moving vehicles is always a satisfying moment. Another unique aspect of the series is the fact that bosses can be taken out with as little as one perfectly executed Blaster bomb while you dodge hundreds of oncoming projectiles and hazards. There is no way to describe these encounters other than exhilarating. As you soar through the sky wiping out countless adversaries, deploying perfectly timed bombs, and carefully avoiding enemy fire and impenetrable obstacles, you'll understand why the Xevious series is considered such a highly regarded collection of classic shooters.
The main reason to pick up this package is Xevious 3D/G which features a few added weapons and full 3D graphics. First off, it looks crisp even with its rudimentary textures. Although the gameplay remains 2D, you can't help but get excited when the camera angle changes to showcase action-intense moments. Throughout the journey, you'll battle within a handful of distinct environments that add some needed diversity to the established Xevious formula. The only downside is when the ground has a detailed texture as it becomes slightly more complicated to discern objects. Anyway, your ability to switch between three weapons upon collecting power-ups is a treat, especially considering how different each one is. Picking your favourite then using it during an epic boss battle feels awesome. This is how to successfully update a classic; faithful gameplay, clean 3D visuals, increased arsenal, different environments, and unique boss fights.
Other games included are the original Xevious, Super Xevious, and Xevious Arrangement. The latter two titles are actually quite rare to come across since they haven't been ported to any other Namco collection (except for Super Xevious which is a hidden game in Namco Museum DS). It's cool to have all three of these games in one place along with Xevious 3D/G, but after playing them you'll realise that they're basically the same. Super Xevious is simply a more difficult update to the original while Xevious Arrangement is slightly more ambitious as it features updated graphics and new enemies. However, a problem with Arrangement that's difficult to overlook is the grainy and choppy visuals. As you squint to try and decipher your surroundings, you may not notice a projectile before it's too late. This is disappointing since it's the most promising of the classics, but you can always stick to the two originals which can be quite enjoyable.
If you're looking for ways to customize your retro shooting experience then Xevious 3D/G+ has you covered with plenty of options. Every game allows you to choose the difficulty, how many lives you start with, and even lets you assign a button for Zapper rapid-fire. All three originals give you the alternative to play with your television on its side to allow for a more authentic arcade feel, and Arrangement and 3D/G can be played while listening to either the original or arranged soundtracks. You can even change the length of the original and Super Xevious' campaigns. Although there are many variations to experiment with, the lack of unlockables and goals means that you'll spend all of your time merely chasing high scores. That being said, if you have a friend who also digs Xevious, some replay value is added because you can play both Arrangement and 3D/G in simultaneous multiplayer.
Xevious 3D/G+ is a must-buy for retro arcade fans looking to add a few uncommon titles to their collection, though some gamers may be perplexed by how similar three of the games are. However, if you're the kind of gamer who loves to beat your high scores and challenge yourself then you can't go wrong with picking up a copy of this old school shoot 'em up compilation.
- + Xevious 3D/G modernizes the series well with new features and 3D graphics
- + Decent collection of hard to find Xevious titles
- + Large amount of options to tinker with
- - Three of the Xevious games are too similar
- - Not much to do besides obtain high scores
- - Xevious Arrangement is grainy and choppy