(VC Arcade / Virtual Console Arcade)

Exed Exes (VC Arcade / Virtual Console Arcade)

Game Review

Exed Exes Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Extremely excruciating

We've seen a metric tonne of shoot 'em ups made available on Virtual Console already. With well-known classic games like the Gradius and Star Soldier series as well as lesser-known greats like Cho Aniki and MUSHA among them, there's more than enough good stuff available to satiate the desires of any fan of the genre. Because of this, developers should really think twice about releasing any more – unless it's a well-known title that is still somehow missing, chances are people aren't going to pay much attention to it.

Exed Exes is one of Capcom's very early arcade games. A vertical shooter, it has you blasting vast amounts of Galaga-like space bugs as you progress through the multitude of stages. It's pretty hard, but that should come as no surprise going by the difficulty of other Capcom releases from around the same time. Your craft moves awfully slow, and while enemies aren't that numerous at the beginning, by the time you reach stage two you'll probably find yourself avoiding more bullets than you are killing bad guys. It's also one of those classic button masher games, which means you can't hold down fire to shoot continuously – oh no, you need to tap for each shot.

There's also naturally a boss at the end of each stage, which is generally just some strangely-shaped craft with a bunch of turrets on it. Blowing them all off will net you a victory, but it's best to hurry as if you take too long, enemies will start coming up from behind you.

There are 16 levels total, but they don't really differ much. You'll see the exact same backdrop pretty much constantly, only getting a different one (a completely black screen) during bonus rounds in which you rack up points by shooting skulls. Like any classic arcade game, beating all 16 areas will reward you with being sent back to square one and going through it all again until you lose all of your lives.

Like pretty much every Virtual Console Arcade game, Exed Exes has some configurable options to make the game a bit easier (or harder), which pretty much any new player will want to do – it's not exactly fun to die every 30 seconds and have to plug in more credits. Thankfully, you will continue right where you perished instead of at the beginning of the stage, which eases the pain a bit, but it's still quite annoying.

As said, there's not much to the backgrounds and enemies, but the game's sound will also quickly get on your nerves. It's comprised of a very short theme that loops endlessly, and when you get to the bonus stages, the game will reward you with an even shorter, more grating one.

There are usually one or two things totally unique to a shoot 'em up that instantly allow you to recognise it among a bunch of others, but Exed Exes, to be quite honest, doesn't really offer anything special – it's about as generic a shmup as they come. Yes, it's old, but games like the aforementioned Galaga also featured unique gimmicks and were already out for several years by the time Capcom created Exed Exes.


Exed Exes is a completely by the books 80's shoot 'em up featuring no real charm of its own. Your ship trudges along doing more evading than shooting, and unless you're a complete master of the genre you'll see the continue screen every minute or two. With so many other, better games of its type available on Virtual Console, there's just no real reason to go for this one. It's nice that Capcom is putting their early catalogue out there again, but this one is best skipped.

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User Comments (11)



Philip_J_Reed said:

Dang. At least we've got GNG from this big batch of recent disappointing VCA releases. :/



Corbs said:

This is a tough game. I used to play it at the supermarket while my mother shopped for groceries. Needless to say, I pumped in a steady supply of quarter on this one. I was quite relieved when they got rid of it finally and got in Tron and Dig Dug.



StarBoy91 said:

Good review, Drake. Glad to know that it actually does reach an end. And I pretty much concur about many things in the review.

I'll take this game over Magician Lord any day.



StarBoy91 said:

@FantasiaWHT - you're not the only one who misread the title the first time around. When I played this game for the first time years ago, I read the game's title as Exed Eyes.



starcrunch061 said:

Exed Exes (which I also read as "Exed Eyes" back in the day) is a pretty boring game. I have the version on the Capcom Collection.



BearClaus said:

This review's tagline is wonderful, thanks especially to the etymological root of the word “excruciating.”



Priceless_Spork said:

This game is a quarter eater and will kill you good.
My big complaint is that I got the high score then died and continued. The game reverted back to the original high score, Its repetitive and all but I dont care, Im on a lifelong retro quest to wipe out BUGS in shumps!!!

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