Xevious (NES)

Game Review

Xevious Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

An early vertical scrolling classic

When Xevious hit arcades in 1982 it represented one of the first vertical shoot 'em ups of its kind. Not only that, but the game introduced a second bombing mechanic to give it a little more flare. After seeing a handful of home releases, it sprang upon the NES system with a vengeance and once again showed that the 8-bit NES could bring home a faithful arcade port and shine while doing it. Now Namco is unleashing their classic shooter upon the Wii U Virtual Console, and the game still looks as faithful and arcade perfect as it did 30+ years ago.

The gameplay in Xevious is uncommonly simple: fly your spacecraft around various terrain, taking out enemy ships and bombing enemy installations that tend to fire cannons at you. That might sound easy enough, but it can get quite tricky as you progress through the various areas. It doesn't hurt that enemy fire gets progressively more intense, not to mention there's the occasional boss fight to test your mettle.

The controls are simple. You can move your space ship in eight directions, and there's a crosshair out in front of you for targeting not only your cannon fire but also your bombs. It's as smooth and responsive as you'd expect in a shooter, and creating a balance between cannon fire and bombing plays an integral role to your survival. You'll have to take out enemy installations in later levels in order to avoid the massive barrage of cannon fire from them.

Visually Xevious on NES is nearly arcade perfect. You'll notice tiny little differences from time to time in the sprite work, but as a whole the game is picture perfect. Vibrant colours are abound and there are plenty of enemies and terrains to enjoy. The same can be said of the musical presentation the game features. All the classic tunes and sound effects are intact and you'll swear, at times, that you're playing the arcade original. The developers have done a fantastic job of capturing all of the fun, look, and sound of the original.

Everything about Xevious holds up well, even given the age of the game. The controls are still very crisp and the overall gameplay package still feels fresh for gamers who can appreciate a great shooter. It's nice to see a simple gameplay scheme still feel relevant, even three decades later.


Xevious on the NES was a solid and very straightforward port of an arcade classic. While there are no additional bells and whistles, the game represents everything that was great about the arcade original and does so in a way that should please fans of the game. The simplicity of the game still resounds and proves that you don't always have to have a lot of complexity to make a fun shooting experience. If you can appreciate a good old-fashioned arcade shooter, you should definitely give Xevious a try. About the only thing better would be a straight up arcade release on the Virtual Console.

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User Comments (16)



manu0 said:

"About the only thing better would be a straight up arcade release on the Virtual Console." Have you completely forgotten about the 3D Classics version?



kenzo said:

I get reminded of Xevious every day. I made a ring tone out of the music for my mobile.

I have the classics game on 3DS and its a faithfull port. Same game but with depth.

My main gripe is the white bullets aimed at your ship are very difficult to see and thus avoid. This to me is a big oversight ( read MISTAKE ) and needs to be fixed ASAP to realise its classic potential on 3DS,



gojiguy said:

isnt the arcade version available on Wii VC?

And the 3D Classics Version on 3DS?

Like, there are so many better options than this.



iphys said:

I love this game, but I'm glad I have the 3D Classics version instead.



CrazyOtto said:

@gojiguy The arcade version is only on the Wii VC in Japan, but you can play the arcade version on a Wii or Wii U with Namco Museum Remix or Namco Museum Megamix.

The "3D Classics" version of Xevious uses the graphics and sound from the arcade version. You can also play the arcade version on a DS or 3DS with Namco Museum DS.



JonWahlgren said:

Man I totally forgot about the 3D Classics version I have. I almost spent the cash on this one, too.

Good save, everyone! Thanks!



cheetahman91 said:

Not a bad game but it's really showing it's age. Nothing wrong with simplicity, but this one's a little too simplistic for my tastes and pretty bland as well. This is one better left for the past. 5/10.



RetrogamerFan said:

Love the 3d classics version. This is a good port to.
Pleased the 60hz version has been released in EU e-shop, makes a big difference for this type of game.



blackknight77 said:

I have just about every version of this. If you like it also check Xevious ressurection on the PSN Namco Collection. Its really good



sinalefa said:

I got the 3D version of this one. I am not that into shooters, but it is still pretty enjoyable.

When you read things like Iwata Asks, you see this one and Space Invaders are the most played and revered games by Japanese developers, and they usually have fond memories, not to mention they helped them to choose their career.



Senate_Guard said:

I was lucky enough to get the 3D classics one when Club Nintendo first started offering games for coins. A fun, classic game.



Mr-X9000 said:

how did ths get a better score than the wii VC version even though there the exact same game?

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