Review Information
Reviewer Name: Tony Wilkins
Game Difficulty: Medium
Difficulty Options: False
Game Information
Full Title: Xenon 2: Megablast
Year Released: 1991
Game Type: Shooting
Max Players: 1

After the Xenites' defeat in the Galactic Conflict which took place in the first Xenon, they have returned with a plan to wipe out the player's history by planting four bombs in space-time areas. The Megablaster pilot will have to fend off the bizarre wildlife around them. It is necessary to destroy the largest animal in each area as they have been fused with the bomb; once the creature is slain, the bomb is shut off. Made by The Bitmap Brothers originally for the Amiga and Atari ST computers, it was ported to the Sega Master System (among several other consoles and computers) in 1991.
You pilot the Megablaster ship against hordes of enemies and battle bosses at the end of each level. Some enemies have weapons they can use against you but the majority have a penchant for kamikaze attacks. Your ship has a shield to allow you to absorb a certain number of hits but it can drain very quickly especially if you get stuck on space rocks. There's not much more to say than that other than this game offers the rather unique ability to reverse the screen should you make a wrong turn down a dead end. However, it is a slow process and chances are something is going to fly in to you as you do it. Like all good shooters you can collect a host of power ups and additional weapons. Some of these you can collect during gameplay but if you gain enough credits you can buy more weapons at the alien weapon shop between levels. You can also sell weapons to build up credits for more powerful ones. Rear- and side-shot weapons become essential as the game progresses.
In general the enemies are well drawn and animated. It makes a nice change to the usual 8-bit fare to fight biological themed enemies rather than spaceships or missiles. Seeing visible thrusters firing on your spaceship as you surge back and fore is a really nice touch too.
Sound & Music
The music in this game is definitely one of its high points. While it is the same tune repeated over and over it is catchy, high tempo stuff that will ring in your head for hours after playing it. It is actually based off a hip hop song from 1988 by "Bomb the Bass" called "Megablast (Hip Hop on Precinct 13)" which is also the inspiration for the game's name. Unfortunately, in the sound effects department it is nothing special but still reasonably good.
Your ship feels sluggish compared to other shooters on the Master System like "Power Strike" for example. This is made all the worse when the screen gets filled with enemies and the game suffers appalling slow down. Then when the screen is cleared again it suddenly feels very loose so its a bit up/down. Also, there feels like there's a bit of a delay between hitting the fire button and the ship actually taking the shot. It doesn't make the game unplayable but does require some time to acclimate to it.
Replay Value
Music & Sound
Replay Value
Depends on personal tastes. If you are a shooter fan and a Master System fan then you will come back to it but for casual gaming its not really one that will make you want to play it again and again. The sluggish controls and slow-down will discourage some.
The presentation of the game makes it feel like something special but after a few rounds you start to look past the great music and well drawn bad guys to see its quite generic.
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