Review: Xevious

Review: Xevious

Are you devious enough to beat Xevious? Probably not- this game is hard as hell!


Year: 1983

Played on: Xbox 360 (Via Namco Museum: Virtual Arcade)

Also on: Various Namco Museums, NES, Various Home Computers

Developer: Namco

Publisher: Atari


Curse those damn rotating block things!


Date posted: December 3, 2017



I bring Namco Museum week to a close with yet another favorite of mine, Xevious, a game that has a lot of weird history behind it. For example, did you know that someone allegedly wrote a three-part novel based on it? That’s right- an epic space opera was said to be written about a simple space shooter arcade game! Star Wars has nothing on “Fardruat”! (If it even exists!)

More fun facts- Xevious was the first arcade game to get its own commercial and use prerendered graphics! That’s right Donkey Kong Country- you really think your hot s@#t? Xevious got you beat by nearly a decade!

Those damn mirror things even appear in Smash Bros!

So what in the hell is a Xevious anyway? It’s actually the name of the planet the aliens you fight come from, controlled by a thing called GAMP. The aliens, by the way, were originally from earth. No joke, this game has a convoluted backstory that extends to a friggin anime and manga, its that complex! Of course, Xevious doesn’t need a backstory, really, but it does show the amount of care and detail designers back then were willing to go in order to create a convincing game! No seriously, just look at this commercial!

Hey, I didn’t even talk about what you do in Xevious! It’s simple really- you shoot at space ships and squares on the ground and what not. What? Were you expecting deep and profound gameplay?


I think one of the first things that comes to mind on why I love Xevious so much is its flow. You see, unlike other arcade games or games in general, Xevious does not have “levels” per say. Instead, the game is split into areas, and plays as if it was one huge continuous level. I love games that do this kind of stuff- it makes you feel like your going on a journey or something like that- no intermission screens to break up the flow of gameplay- when you die, you restart at the beginning of the “area”, and the game just goes on and on….

Another great thing about Xevious is the amount of enemies you have to contend with. You have these strange flying saucers flying at you, gunships trying to take you down, and most notably those damn gray rotating panels, which cannot be killed (or so I think.)

Confound these metal menaces! How I lothe them!

You also have various ground units, like tanks and stationary turrets that can be blown to pieces using bombs- another satisfying thing I like to do in video games. Of course, I can’t not talk about the huge Andro Genesis base, one of the first examples of a “boss” in video game history! Seeing one of these things is easily one of the greatest surprises in video game history, as I had no idea it was coming. Defiantly a iconic video game moment that I don’t see a lot of people talk about!

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The shooting mechanics and movement is great, I think- the addition of the ability to bomb was a remarkable move on the design front. Like I said, nothing is more satisfying then destroying ground forces using a well executed shot!

Also, I f@#king love this map!


I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but once again, the game is hard as nails! Once you reach area 4, the games just throws everything at you! And yes, you have no continues- you only have 3 to 5 lives (depending on what version you play) to get though all 16 areas. Has anyone even reached area 16 without cheating? Who knows….

Of course, this isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, it would just be nice to have some lee-way…

Also, some may not like the repetitive music. I don’t find it that bad, but I guess it could wear on you after a while.


Xevious is a classic- what it there more to say? If your looking for yet another great space shooter from Namco, you don’t have to look too far! Defiantly recommend this! It also has a bunch of sequels and spinoffs that I have not yet got around to playing. Also, Namco, please bring Solvalou to America- I love early 3d flat shaded polygons- I would play the hell out a working version of that game!


Agree? Disagree? Good! Leave a comment about how terrible my taste is in the comments below!

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