First Released
December 10, 1982 (41 years 2 months 17 days)
Very Good
Need more votes

It's a nightmare, but it's true! Research shows that we are the actual aliens on Earth, and the ruthless Xevions are the original inhabitants. Now the Xevions want Earth back -- minus humans! Their invasion forces are fierce -- the land is crawling with deadly Domogram Rovers; the sky is black with Toroid Patrol Fleets and Zoshi Death Squads. Our puny weapons offer no defense. Earth's only hope is our powerful new Solvalou Fighter Plane. Its pilot will have a single mission: Penetrate the enemy ranks and destroy the Xevious Mother Ship. The mission is dangerous. We can't guarantee success. But at this point, it's do or die! One small problem. We still need a pilot. Any volunteers?

Editor review

1 review
Soaring Through Retro Skies: A Pilot's View of Xevious

Reviewed on Xbox 360 in December 2023
Overall rating
Fun Factor
Visual / Sound Quality
Level of Challenge
As I sit down to reminisce and share my experience with the iconic 1982 release of Xevious, developed by Namco, I can't help but feel a surge of nostalgia. This game, a pioneer in the realm of vertically scrolling shooters, not only captivated my younger self but also set a precedent for the genre. Here's an honest, first-person journey through the highs and lows of this classic title.

The Game at a Glance:
Xevious is set in a time when Earth is under threat from the Xevious forces. I, as a player, take control of the Solvalou starship, armed with a zapper for airborne enemies and a blaster for ground targets. The game is marked by its seamless transition across 16 distinct areas, each featuring unique geographical landscapes like forests, roads, and rivers. The challenge escalates as I destroy specific enemy types, only to have them replaced by more advanced adversaries. The pinnacle of these challenges is the Andor Genesis mothership fights, a true test of skill and strategy​​.

The Creative Journey:
Masanobu Endō, the brain behind Xevious, aimed for a game that was inviting for newcomers yet challenging for the skilled. His vision encompassed a consistent, detailed world with an integral storyline. The design was influenced by popular sci-fi works, with the Solvalou ship drawing inspiration from the Nostromo space tug of "Alien". The game's sprites, a collaborative effort between Endō and Hiroshi "Mr. Dotman" Ono, were crafted with a unique technique that used different shades of gray to add depth and color within the limitations of the arcade board​​.

Reception and Impact:
Upon its release, Xevious garnered positive reviews for its thrilling action and impressive graphics. Its detailed backgrounds and intense gameplay made it stand out among its contemporaries. Retrospectively, Xevious is lauded as the "father" of vertical-scrolling shooters, influential in setting up the template for future games in the genre. Its legacy extended beyond the arcade, with the Famicom version becoming a best-seller and boosting console sales significantly​​.

Gameplay Experience:
Playing Xevious is a lesson in simplicity and skill. The game demands attention on two fronts: aerial and ground combat. With no power-ups and a fixed bombing reticule, the challenge lies in managing these two aspects simultaneously. The game's difficulty is notorious, with sudden spikes and seemingly impossible sections. However, the satisfaction of mastering these challenges is unparalleled. The looping nature of the game, returning to an earlier section after completing all 16, adds to its replay value​​​​.

Visuals and Sound:
Xevious, while revolutionary for its time, shows its age in the visual department. The limited color palette and basic shapes might not hold up against modern standards, but they possess a charm of their own. The game's music, though catchy at startup, becomes a repetitive loop during gameplay. This can be grating over time, leading some players to opt for playing with the sound off​​.

Despite its dated visuals and sound, Xevious remains a cornerstone in the evolution of vertical shooters. Its addictive gameplay, coupled with the challenge it offers, makes it a classic worthy of respect and playtime. While modern gamers might not fall head over heels for it, Xevious deserves recognition for its pioneering role in gaming history and is a must-play for those interested in the roots of the shooter genre​​.

Fun Factor: 75/100

Xevious delivers a straightforward yet engaging experience. Its no-frills approach to gameplay keeps you hooked, though the lack of variety might not cater to all tastes.

Visual & Sound Quality: 60/100

For a game from the early 1980s, the visuals are groundbreaking, but they haven't aged well against modern titles. The sound, while iconic, can become repetitive and grating.

Replayability: 85/100
The game's design encourages multiple playthroughs, with its looping levels and escalating difficulty. This aspect makes Xevious continually challenging and engaging for those who enjoy mastering their skills.

Level of Challenge: 90/100
Xevious offers a high level of challenge that escalates as you progress. The game's difficulty curve is steep, presenting a true test of skill and strategic thinking, especially for those seeking to conquer its more advanced stages.

In conclusion, Xevious is more than a game; it's a trip down memory lane, a testament to the evolution of video games, and a milestone in gaming history. Its impact is undeniable, and it holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers, including mine.

2287 reviews
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account?
Fun Factor
Visual / Sound Quality
Level of Challenge
You will be able to upload media right after you submit your review.