Thursday, April 19, 2012

Game of the Day - Xevious 3D/G

Xevious 3D/G is one of those games that I poked at a few times and was not very compelled by - then, I played again, for a while longer, and was completely blown away.  It is a great game.

As you might expect, X3D is a sequel to the original Xevious, but done in true 3D.  So it is very polygonny.  But the perspective is done incredibly well.  You fly in, out, over, under and around all kinds of things and the camera positioning is always effective.  Also, the graphics are really fun and interesting - and they don't lose their nut when they scale larger (as you get close).

Lots to cover here so here we go...

Two buttons and a joystick control the action.  The two buttons are fire and bomb, but we are in 3D here, so the fire button shoots out (air to air) and the bomb button drops bombs down (air to ground).  This is very important, because most enemies are only on one plane or the other and thus can only be hit by the right weapon.  Many of the enemies and especially the ground targets take multiple hits (even in specific spots) so be quick to attack when stuff is coming at you.

The power-ups in X3D are very nice.  They are color-coded and change their color so you can choose which weapon to get and/or make sure to add to the power of the current one you are sporting.  Most of the power-ups come from the ground.  They are housed in small buildings that you need to bomb to have the power-ups released.  Then, you scoop them up (hopefully when they are the color you want).
The programmers make exceptionally good use of the 3D.  Sometimes when you are close to rotating structures, the walls come very close.  Sometimes, enemies unseen from above can beam down lasers in your path that you need to avoid.  Also, there are many ground based enemies that can shoot a beam up into the sky - just another obstacle to be avoided as you navigate the landscape.  Additionally, on occasion your 3D perspective changes from a 3/4 top-down view to more of a straight behind view.

Other programming details show a lot of care went into creating the game... The sound of the weapons changes as they increase in power... There are stats showing your percentages of hits and kills at the end of each stage (and if you read this blog often, you know I love me my stats)... Also, the stages have very different looks and themes from one another (rarer in 3D games than traditional 2D).

All in all, some top-notch shooting here.  So don't pass it by (like I did for a while).  Crank it up and have fun.  One last important point in case you were wondering... Despite it's 3D graphics, X3D did NOT give me Ecco the Dolphin Syndrome.  Hallelujah.

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