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 Atari ST (original) version has similar colors and level like the Amiga version (an ST port anyway) and although it runs only in 16 colors on-screen the visuals look great. The three-layer parallax scrolling and the organic-style graphics certainly live up to the hype. The screen scrolls quite smoothly for an ST game, offering superbly detailed aliens and backdrops. The end-level guards look really nice as well! The game features a David Whittaker version of Bomb The Bass' Megablast, a Hip Hop track on Precinct 13 Mix music. Unfortunately there is only a short part (a loop actually) of the Amiga sampled tune on the intro screen while the gameplay tune is composed via the ST's YM sound chip, which still suits the game perfectly. There are several SFX like explosions, blasts etc, but not sampled!
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).