Xenon 2: Megablast is the sequel to the great Xenon and was originally designed by The Bitmap Brothers (although coded by The Assembly Line) for the Amiga and Atari ST computers in 1989. The game was later converted to the PC (MS-DOS), Sharp X68000, Acorn Archimedes and gaming consoles like the Sega Master System and Sega Mega Drive. Although its good visuals and super sound the game is widely regarded as one of the most difficult shoot 'em up ever appeared on the Amiga and Atari ST gaming era of the 90s.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Xenon 2: Megablast continues the battle straight after the original Xenon wars. The Xenites had no option except of retreating and regrouping but they are threatening to disrupt the dedicated balance of time. They have returned with a plan to wipe out the player's history by planting four bombs in space-time areas. It is up to you to blast your way through five levels, eradicating the incoming Xenite forces. Each level depicts a different time zone of the Earth's evolution and the Xenites have squadrons in each of the zones which, if you fail to eliminate, will irrevocably alter the mankind history! The enemies are mostly nondescript organic creatures, plants, bacteria-like life forms, while the final levels feature robotic, mechanical enemies and a variety of artificial hostile entities. The unique feature of this game is the capability of moving your ship downwards (!), scrolling the whole level at the bottom! The game relies heavily on power-ups that can be gained by shooting special containers. When a wave of enemies is destroyed, it leaves credits in a bubble shape that can be used later at a shop to buy (or sell) more fire-power, energy etc. Each shop appears almost in the middle of each level and at the end it. Unlike the one we controlled on the original Xenon, the Xenon 2 spaceship cannot transform into a tank but it houses more slots for extra weapons. Although Xenon 2 is a well polished shoot 'em up, the action seems too frantic at times and the gameplay becomes rather frustrating since there are a few flaws especially with the game's collision detection but these cons are thoroughly trounced by the simple experience of it. Xenon 2: Megablast, like the original Xenon, is tough but it plays extremely well, and knocks back many contenders to its throne, straight out of the skies!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics look so nice on the Amiga version although they run only in 16 colors on screen (rather awkward for an Amiga game). The three-layer parallax scrolling and the organic-style graphics certainly live up to the hype. The screen scrolls extremely smoothly and wave after wave it brings superbly detailed aliens and backdrops. The end-level guards are really something! The game features a David Whittaker version of Bomb The Bass' Megablast, a Hip Hop song on Precinct 13 Mix music. During gameplay the funky tune suits the game perfectly. There are several sampled SFX of explosions, laser blasts etc. I found the Amiga music more appealing compared to the Sharp X68000, probably due to the faster tempo of the latter version which sounds a bit awkward! But unfortunately, due to the 4 channel sound limitation, half of the music channels are skipped when the game's SFX play through.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs