Xexyz (NES)

Xexyz Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: April 1990

Developer: Atlus

Publisher: Hudson Soft

Genre: Action

What is this? How shall I pronounce this game? How about Xexyz. It’s the year 2777 and human caused destruction has wiped most of the Earth’s population off the map. Now only five small islands exist and are populated. One fine day, the island nation was attacked by extra terrestrials called Goruza. The people rolled over and had their queens captured by the aliens. The king was murdered and you, the battle soldier Apollo, suit up to challenge the mechanic beasts!

The game begins as a side scrolling platformer. Apollo can shoot with the B Button and jump with the A Button. Higher jumps and shooting above you can be achieved by also holding up. Enemies need to be destroyed or avoided with your puny weapon. Throughout your travels, you can find better, more advanced weaponry, either given to you or purchased with energy, found across the land or from enemy corpses. The 45 gun throws a bouncing projectile down in front of you, which deflects off surfaces. The Wave gun shoots ahead in a quick wave pattern. The Moon gun has an option that circles around your head and can rapid fire by holding down and the B Button. The Laser gun is a rapid fire projectile that does great damage. There is also a room that will power up your weapon, giving it more projectiles or damage.

In the platforming levels, you must find a hidden door by shooting a specific star block five times. This takes you to a battle to earn a Force Star, which acts as a key to the mechanic castle. Along the way, you’ll find several doors which you can enter. Inside, you may find free energy, a treasure house where you jump at a ghost to knock down the chest, an item shop that will sell you weapons or magic, a life restorer, which is much appreciated, and mini bosses guarding princesses or fairies. Different magic items are the foot wing, which allows you to glide as you fall, the typhoon, which grants you invincibility for eight seconds, and the mirror, which adds a second shooter on top of your head, invaluable.

The mechanic castle is a maze that you need to find your way through to the Cyborg Rider that puts you into a side scrolling shoot ‘em up. Blast through and avoid projectiles. Collect S capsules to increase your speed and P capsules to power your weapon up and add more projectiles. At the end of the screen, you have to choose one of two doors. One sends you back to the beginning of the room, while the other moves you to the next. Then you find your way to the boss of the castle and as long as you’re sufficiently powered up, should be able to handle it. That is, until the penultimate boss. You need full health, a fully powered laser, and mirror upgrade to stand a chance (1:01:00). I tried a bunch of different tactics, but they all failed.

After destroying the bosses, you’re back in the shoot ‘em up section to fly to the next island. There really isn’t a whole lot to these other than don’t get hit enough to die. There are bosses at the end, but again, if you’re fully powered up, they shouldn’t be a problem. The final boss requires you to shoot star missiles at the Goruza base while avoiding blasts. It’s really not that hard, though.

Graphics: 2.5

Everything looks slightly better than par for the course. There’s some flickering and slowdown here and there.

Sound: 2.5

I like the music, but some of the sound effects are grating.

Gameplay: 2.5

Both the platforming and shoot ‘em up portions work fine even if there’s not much depth and too much repetition. There are enough weapons to choose your own playstyle.

Difficulty: 2.5

Each level is pretty easy. There’s enough energy available to not have to grind. You have plenty of life. Until the dragon boss, you don’t feel like you’re overcoming anything.

Fun Factor: 2.0

I didn’t enjoy myself nearly as much as I should have. It may be that this game benefits from playing a level a day and coming back after a break. I pushed through it, instead.

Overall Grade: 2.4

Xexyz earns a C+. It’s fine and you’ll probably get a couple hours of fun out of it, but maybe not all at once.

Xexyz Video Review on YouTube