Xenon 2: Megablast
From Sega Retro
|Xenon 2: Megablast|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System|
|Publisher: Virgin Games Image Works (first release)|
|Developer: The Bitmap Brothers, The Assembly Line Data Design Interactive|
|Number of players: 1-2|
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Xenon 2: Megablast is a scrolling shoot-'em-up developed by The Bitmap Brothers and The Assembly Line and published by Image Works (and later Virgin Games) for a variety of systems including the Sega Mega Drive and Sega Master System. It is the sequel to 1988's home computer game Xenon, which was also the first game by Bitmap Brothers.
The game was notable for its soundtrack, an arrangement by David Whittaker of the 1988 song Megablast (Assault on Precinct 13) (which is also where the game's subtitle comes from), originally from British group Bomb the Bass. Megablast theme is based on the theme song of the 1976 film by John Carpenter, Assault on Precinct 13 (or more specifically, the 1983 disco version), with samples from the 1969 song You Can Make it if You Try by Sly & the Family Stone.
While North America and Japan got some of the other versions of the game, the Sega versions remained exclusive to Europe.
The game is a typical vertical shoot-'em-up: move around the screen with the D-pad and shoot with , collecting credits dropped from enemies which can then be spent in a shop in exchange for weapon upgrades. Your ship continuously moves upwards, however it is also possible for reverse for a short period of time (as some of the forks in the road lead to dead-ends).
According to Mike Montgomery from the Bitmap Brothers, 32X and Mega-CD ports were considered, but no publisher could be found.
The Sega Mega Drive version is the more faithful port of the game, although there is heavy slowdown and sprite flickering. The color palette is also overly saturated, with too much blue and green compared to the grays of the original. The final stage (mechanical world) is completely missing from the game.
Re-creating the Megablast theme on the Amiga was considered a substantial technical achievement in 1989, as while parts of the song were stripped out (most notably the introduction), the majority of the song remains in-tact (albeit with some slight differences due to using Amiga-generated waveforms for the instruments). This includes the samples, which although are heard at a lower quality than the source material, made Xenon II one of the first games to faithfully re-create a commercial song with non-expanded Amiga hardware.
However, despite this being one of the main selling points for Xenon II, the Mega Drive version omits all sampled audio, leaving a purely synthesized tune with gaps where the samples used to be. It also plays slightly too fast.
The Sega Master System version omits player bullets during heavy processor workload, several bosses have been removed and the final stage is also missing.
- Main article: Xenon 2: Megablast/Magazine articles.
Mega Drive version
|Sega Retro Average|
|Mega Drive, AU|
|Mega Drive, SE (Rental)|
Master System version
|Sega Retro Average|
ROM dump status
- MegaTech, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-20), page 20
- Mean Machines, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-27), page 50
- Sega Power, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-06), page 36
- Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 9
- Sega Power, "September 1991" (UK; 1991-08-01), page 16
- Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 39
- Raze, "April 1991" (UK; 1991-02-28), page 16
- Hobby Consolas, "Noviembre 1992" (ES; 1992-xx-xx), page 10
- Beep! MegaDrive, "August 1992" (JP; 1992-07-08), page 26 (28)
- Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 118
- Hobby Consolas, "Enero 1993" (ES; 199x-xx-xx), page 78/79 (78)
- Mega, "November 1992" (UK; 1992-10-15), page 66
- Mean Machines, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-27), page 48-50 (48)
- Sega Force, "2/92" (SE; 1992-11-19), page 15
- Sega Force, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-04-01), page 81
- Sega Power, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-06), page 36/37 (36)
- Zero, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 61
- Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 163
- Game Power, "Gennaio 1992" (IT; 199x-xx-xx), page 34/35 (36)
- Hobby Consolas, "Abril 1992" (ES; 1992-xx-xx), page 161 (153)
- Joypad, "Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-09-17), page 110
- Mean Machines, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-27), page 78-80 (78)
- Player One, "Janvier 1992" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 95
- Player One, "Juillet/Août 1992" (FR; 1992-07-10), page 134 (130)
- Sega Power, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-10-04), page 20/21 (20)
- Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 38/39 (38)
- Sega Pro, "July 1992" (UK; 1992-06-18), page 31
|Xenon 2: Megablast|