It seems thousands of years have passed Since the Xenonites were defeated an the last galactic wars. During that time, they've been plotting their revenge and the method that they've decided on involves five time bombs.
There are five vertically scrolling levels to battle through, each one set In a different time. The inhabitants of each time are of a hostile nature and do their utmost to bring year life to an abrupt end.
Aliens are of two basic tykes: landscape-based and flying. Landscape-based aliens are part of the landscape and move with it, whereas flying aliens move all over the Screen in their murderous endeavors.
Shooting aliens has advantages other than satisfying your blood lust - money. Dead aliens leave cash behind and you just have to fly over it to collect it.
AS usual you to have a means of protection, in the form of a forward firing laser, but to stand any real chance you'll need to build up your arsenal. From time to time pod-like objects appear on-screen and if you shoot them a capsule will be released. Collecting the capsule will add to your firepower or defenses, Extra weaponry includes smart bombs, cannons, side shots, back shots, huge lasers and double shots. Energy can also be collected in a similar way.
Half way along each level ant at the end there's a shop where you can buy or sell equipment using your hard-killed-for cash. There are 29 Add-ons for your ship, which range in price from 200 to over 5,000 units of currency. The cheapest is advice, which gives you a recommended add-on to help you through the next stage of the game.
before you get to the shop at the end of the level you must defeat the obligatory guardian. Masses of firepower is needed to blast your way through. On later levels there are guardians at the mid-point of the level too. When a guardian bites the dust it leaves behind it loads of cash - and you're gonna need it to buy those valuable armaments.
Bomb the Bass were drafted in to do the music for Xenon 2 and you can take that as bad or good depending on your musical taste (i.e. whether you have any taste or not). A sample is played initially and then the ST sound chip kicks in part way through the load - and you'll notice when it does. All this is part of the Bitmap hype loading routine. Eventually you'll get to the game and can turn off the music if you want too. Sound effects are very good and they'll probably drown out the music anyway.
The parallel scrolling is smooth and animation is excellent, Speed remains constant, even when there are lots of things on- screen, and after a few levels you'll have a barrage of firepower blasting away all the time and things will still be fine, One inconsistency, though, is the way the background stars move faster than the fore- ground landscape.
Shoot-‘em-ups have been done to death over the years, so it takes a lot to make a good one. Xenon 2 is extremely addictive and exciting, so that even though it might not have any new concepts it's still a great game. Brilliant end-of-level guardians, strap-on weaponry and hordes of aliens are all boosted by superior graphics to make it one of the best vertically-scrolling shoot-‘em-up’s around.
Its in the same elite class as Blood money so if you are a shoat-'em-up addict then look no further.