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3D Classics: Xevious - 3DS Download Review

Game Info
3D Classics: Xevious

3DS Download | Nintendo / NAMCO BANDAI Games
 | 1 Player | Out Now | 
$5.99 / £5.40
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18th February 2012; By KnucklesSonic8

Clearly, the whole idea of bringing back classic games and sprucing them up with a touch of 3D won't work with just anything. I can't imagine Clu Clu Land, for example, getting the same treatment as other titles under the 3D Classics umbrella. The limited number of titles that Nintendo has actually used for this side project could suggest that they're being careful not to grab any old game, slap 3D on, and call it a day. But that doesn't mean it's reaching full potential either. In hopes of proving that there is still worth in pursuing such an endeavour, along comes 3D Classics: Xevious. Choosing a game like this might come across as more of an experiment than something Nintendo believes in, which is an understandable assumption to make. Either way, treading into shallow waters isn't the best way for Nintendo to sell 3D. And though this entry demonstrates why that is the case, that doesn't make Xevious a total failure.

    First and foremost, the gameplay in Xevious is really simple. All you're asked to do is survive against a continual swarm of enemies for as long as you can in your Solvalou ship. In addition to the standard nut-shaped units, there are also rotating metal squares as well as enemy bases -- both large and small -- represented as geometric shapes on the ground. Your vehicle has a basic Zapper for rapid-fire bullets, as well as a Blaster for dropping bombs on enemies down below. Controls for both of these can be customized to whichever buttons you prefer. As you control your ship with the use of the Circle Pad, a blue crosshair will move along with it right in front. To drop bombs successfully, you'll have to position this as close to the target as possible, but if you want to get a bit fancier, you can actually destroy two or four bases at once by aiming for the middle point.

    Much like 3D Classics: Excitebike, this title is a great way of showcasing just how much 3D can affect how you perceive what's taking place on the screen while playing on the 3DS. Here, the distinction between the two layers of aerial and ground combat is made much more evident through the implementation of strong 3D effects. In general, the backgrounds in this top-down shooter are flat and uninteresting, but it's kind of neat to see how enemy fire rises from the bottom of the playing field, then abruptly arrives on the top layer as it proceeds to head in your direction. The intensity of the 3D effect is fully adjustable, but at the highest setting, you run the risk of being distracted by surprise shots in amongst the steady flow of enemies. If a simple game like this can make such great use of the 3D Screen, it certainly behooves third-party developers to step it up a notch when it comes to the incorporation of this function in the building of immersion.

Unlike the very first title in this series, though, there is a considerable difference in the evaluation of its merits. As nice as it is to see 3D incorporated so well, it's not enough to hide the lack of depth in the actual gameplay. This serves as an ironically sharp contrast to the effects of the 3D and what Nintendo set out to do with this arcade title. 3D Classics: Xevious is boring and thoroughly unsatisfying, thus you could actually say there's nothing to it. Honestly, there's very little fun to be had here, and to put it succinctly, this entry into Nintendo's 3D Classics series is nothing more than a novelty.

    Further evidencing the limited appeal of this title is the barebones nature of how the package is presented. The only real extra to speak of is a basic high score table, but in light of the above, this isn't enough of an incentive to return to the game. Once the main reason behind this game's resurfacing wears thin, you're ultimately left with something that doesn't have much merit or lasting value to it. Does this sound like something you should feel comfortable spending money on? I think not.

    If at all possible, anyone interested in this new approach to Xevious should get a glimpse of the 3D effect either through a friend or a family member. In fact, had it not been for Nintendo opening up the option to redeem Club Nintendo Coins for this game, I would have regretted paying for it. In the end, it doesn't provide players with a solid enough reason for viewing future additions to this series with a positive attitude -- the opposite of what Nintendo had in mind. 3D Classics: Xevious is a $6 novelty that effectively shows off one of the 3DS' main feature, but ultimately leaves players feeling dissatisfied on account of dull gameplay. 

14/30 - Below Average

Gameplay 4/10 - Really basic gameplay with very little depth to it, aim crosshair as you move for ground combat, dull and uninteresting
Presentation 7/10 - Great sense of depth created through wise use of 3D, adjustable intensity level, flat environment and basic visual effects
Enjoyment 2/5 - 3D is impressive at first and forms the reason behind your initial enjoyment, dull gameplay takes over once the impression wears off
Extra Content 1/5 - Basic high score table and customizable controls, no other extras to speak of, just a novelty, not worth purchasing

Equivalent to a score of 47% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by KnucklesSonic8

3D Classics: Xevious
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