Old Classic Revitalized on the 360

User Rating: 7.5 | Xevious X360
Originally released in 1982, "Xevious" is one of the first vertical shooters in video game history. Released on a plethora of consoles over the past 20 years like Nintendo, Game Boy Advance and Sony PlayStation, it was only a matter of time before the game was released on the X-Box Live Arcade. However, unlike the myriad of other ports of the game available, this version of "Xevious" is one that every hardcore shooter fan or retro-game enthusiast should give a whirl.

Unlike other versions of the game, the 360 Live Arcade port of "Xevious" has online leaderboards and achievements, which give it more replay value than it ever had before. Those looking for a game with easy achievements should look elsewhere, though, as some of them (the 100,000 achievement immediately comes to mind) are extremely tough and will take hours to complete. Avid gamers, however, will find the challenge something to work towards and will quickly find themselves addicted to the game.

Aside from the achievements and online leaderboards, "Xevious," at its heart, is an extremely challenging shooter that has played an influential role in the continuing development of the genre as a whole. However, despite the game's roots that have played a part in video game history, it's hard to deny that the game is still a fun romp. It's one of those games that have an air of brevity that doesn't seem to change over time. In the end, the game's graphics may be dated and the control isn't as sharp as Namco's future shooting titles, such "Galaga" and "Galaxian," but that doesn't take any of the fun away.

The reason is the game's intense challenge. Over 25 years after its initial release, "Xevious" is still an extremely challenging game that can still drive novice gamers crazy. The game also has plenty of secrets that are necessary to find in order to get a great score, which will push veteran gamers to play the game even more.

With a host of already competent shooters on the 360 Live Arcade, some gamers may feel a little reluctant to give "Xevious" a chance. Regardless of its nostalgic roots, it's an easy game to pass up as well, considering a recently released game like "Ikaruga," which is both tougher and much better looking. Nevertheless, "Xevious" is a classic old-school shooter that is a must-own for anyone looking for a challenge. Any serious collector should also consider the download, as it is the deepest and most gratifying port of the game ever released.

-Patrick Hickey Jr.