Saturday, July 23, 2011

3D Classics Xevious Review

Nintendo has decided to surprise us by giving us the classic arcade game Xevious as the next game in their “3D Classics” series. 

While Xevious was never one of my favorite arcade titles, I find that I can not put down this 3D version. The 3D adds depth, and lots of it. This added depth allows me to better differentiate which enemies are flying at my level and which enemies are ground base. 
Besides the simple addition of 3D, the programmers also added some extra options that include a list of high scores that not only keeps track of score records, but also what appears to be how long it takes you to reach the ridiculously high score of 9999990. Other options include adjusting the controls to allow for not only button mapping, but also adding rapid fire. The neat thing is that they also allow you to specify whether you want the rapid fire to be slow or fast. You can actually map out your buttons so that you have two at standard shot, two at slow rapid fire, and two at fast rapid fire. A neat thing that they added is an in game depth adjuster. This allows you to adjust how much depth you have with the 3D. Now the 3D slide bar on the 3DS still controls the 3D depth for the system. This means that you can limit how much the 3D changes when using the slide bar on the 3DS goes. This allows for some real fine tuning of the 3D effect. 
3D Classics Xevious looks great. The transition to the widescreen was done well. No stretching here, just the addition of clouds on the left and right side. These clouds are set at 3 different layers which helps to add depth to the overall 3D experience. The 3D for this game can go from having just a slight difference between the flying ships/enemies and ground enemies to having all of the flying ships/enemies appear to be sticking out of the screen with the ground enemies appearing to be deep within the screen. This effect works well for this game. As I said previously, the 3D effect allows your eyes to focus on the individual level. This to me is pretty intense and is what has been lacking from 3D games on the 3DS. Being able to focus solely on the enemies on your level, or focusing on the ground enemies has made this game, in my opinion easier to handle.
Thankfully the programmers steered clear of stretching the game over the course of two screens like oh so many Nintendo DS games. All the action takes place in the top widescreen while the bottom screen is reserved for listing your score, what area you are in, how long you have been playing, and how many Solvalous (lives) you have. The music and sounds, from what I can tell have remained untouched. No remixed music here, just classic Xevious.
The game also plays well with tight controls. The 3D analog circle works great and feels similar to how the actual arcade game plays with a joystick. The digital pad also works well with this game for those who prefer the feel of the Nintendo port. 
Only gripe I have has to deal with the typical lack of online functionality. No online is offered. Not even uploading your high score to an online ranking.  Also offering online two player would have been great. Imagine playing online with a friend, alternating turns battling for a high score. While one person plays, the other is able to watch their friends gameplay. Being able to use the mic and talk while playing would also be great. While this might not be 100% feasible on the 3DS, there is no excuse for the lack of online rankings.
Overall at $5.99 this game is a steal. It is the classic you remember brought into the 3rd dimension correctly. No ridiculous 3D cockpit view remake here, just some classic Xevious in 3D with some tweaked features. 

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