At 25, Xevious is probably older than a number of the people reading this review. For those of you who don’t know, this 1982 Namco coin-muncher was one of the first vertical scrolling arcade shooters, helping establish the standard for everything that came in its wake. And while the shooter genre has largely come and gone in the annals of gamedom, Xevious remains a very big part of interactive entertainment history.
But the problem with porting and releasing downright ancient games like this on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is that no matter how classic or significant they are, they generally just don’t stand the test of time. Xevious is a perfect example of this pitfall.
Xevious features no power-ups, very few enemy types, one incessantly looped tune, no level breaks and no end. Does all that add up to a bad game? No, not at all. It just doesn’t add up to a whole lot of fun anymore.
The hardcore shooter aficionados out there will definitely appreciate the history and challenge presented by Xevious, of course. This is no cake walk. While there are very few enemy types, the mixture of airborne and ground-based targets - both of which are generally chucking everything they have at your one-hit-kill ship - is such that the game doesn’t necessarily feel too intense, but it is. It takes a steady hand and major skills to make your way through Xevious.