2021/11/20: Dreamcast: Xeno Crisis

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VideoGameCritic
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2021/11/20: Dreamcast: Xeno Crisis

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 20th, 2021, 1:55 pm

I'd like to hear your thoughts on my long-awaited review of Xeno Crisis for the Sega Dreamcast.

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Matchstick
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Re: 2021/11/20: Dreamcast: Xeno Crisis

Postby Matchstick » November 20th, 2021, 3:06 pm

Wow, an A?? Didn't see that coming!

I like the game pretty well, don't get me wrong, but stacked up against the other quality games in the Dreamcast library... I dunno, man. All I'll say is this: if Xeno Crisis is an A, then Soul Calibur is an A+.

In my eyes, nothing tops Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. NOTHING!! :twisted:

Anyway, I will say that my enjoyment of this game has really hinged on having a reliable Player 2. Yes, the co-op mode is a blast, but if your second player isn't particularly skilled at this style of game, it can make for some tough sledding. I have yet to play it with a buddy / family member who was really "on the level" enough to enjoy it - they just kind of played along with me because I asked them to. Not ideal.

My wife pretty much hates this game. And she's my normal Player 2. D'oh! But if you have buddies that enjoy classic arcade action like this, you're in for a treat.

For the rest of us, there's cheat codes! I posted a few over on the "Now Playing" board, and they can likely be found online, as well. It does help take the edge off in multiplayer. To quote my wife, "I'd like this game fine if I could just stop dying!" Heh. I think running out of ammo is a pain the first few times you play the game, but once you get used to it, it does add a tension-building wrinkle to the gameplay that otherwise wouldn't be there. Now that I've played the game more, I've really come to appreciate it.

One suggestion on the review: there are three Metal Slug games listed in the "If you like..." section. May I suggest removing two of those, and replacing them with Loaded (PS1 / Saturn) and Soldiers of Fortune (Genesis / SNES) instead? This game was more or less directly inspired by Soldiers of Fortune (know as "The Chaos Engine," overseas in Europe) in particular, and the name of Xeno Crisis's developer (Bitmap Bureau) is a play on the developer for Soldiers of Fortune (Bitmap Brothers).

In that sense, Xeno Crisis is a spiritual successor to Soldiers of Fortune, and it seems like a real shame to leave that game out of the recommended list. Loaded, I feel, is another top-down shooter in a similar vein as Xeno Crisis, and is the game I immediately thought of once I first played co-op with the wife.

Outside of that, I feel the review text is fair - even if that final score gets a little side-eye out of me...

Luigi & Peach
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Re: 2021/11/20: Dreamcast: Xeno Crisis

Postby Luigi & Peach » November 21st, 2021, 12:23 pm

Matchstick wrote:Wow, an A?? Didn't see that coming!

I like the game pretty well, don't get me wrong, but stacked up against the other quality games in the Dreamcast library... I dunno, man. All I'll say is this: if Xeno Crisis is an A, then Soul Calibur is an A+.

In my eyes, nothing tops Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. NOTHING!! :twisted:

Anyway, I will say that my enjoyment of this game has really hinged on having a reliable Player 2. Yes, the co-op mode is a blast, but if your second player isn't particularly skilled at this style of game, it can make for some tough sledding. I have yet to play it with a buddy / family member who was really "on the level" enough to enjoy it - they just kind of played along with me because I asked them to. Not ideal.

My wife pretty much hates this game. And she's my normal Player 2. D'oh! But if you have buddies that enjoy classic arcade action like this, you're in for a treat.

For the rest of us, there's cheat codes! I posted a few over on the "Now Playing" board, and they can likely be found online, as well. It does help take the edge off in multiplayer. To quote my wife, "I'd like this game fine if I could just stop dying!" Heh. I think running out of ammo is a pain the first few times you play the game, but once you get used to it, it does add a tension-building wrinkle to the gameplay that otherwise wouldn't be there. Now that I've played the game more, I've really come to appreciate it.

One suggestion on the review: there are three Metal Slug games listed in the "If you like..." section. May I suggest removing two of those, and replacing them with Loaded (PS1 / Saturn) and Soldiers of Fortune (Genesis / SNES) instead? This game was more or less directly inspired by Soldiers of Fortune (know as "The Chaos Engine," overseas in Europe) in particular, and the name of Xeno Crisis's developer (Bitmap Bureau) is a play on the developer for Soldiers of Fortune (Bitmap Brothers).

In that sense, Xeno Crisis is a spiritual successor to Soldiers of Fortune, and it seems like a real shame to leave that game out of the recommended list. Loaded, I feel, is another top-down shooter in a similar vein as Xeno Crisis, and is the game I immediately thought of once I first played co-op with the wife.

Outside of that, I feel the review text is fair - even if that final score gets a little side-eye out of me...


Thanks for bringing up Soldiers of Fortune, Matchstick. I remember seeing that game in my friends Nintendo Power and thinking it looked good. I never played it, but now that you brought it up think I may need to go look that game up.

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Matchstick
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Re: 2021/11/20: Dreamcast: Xeno Crisis

Postby Matchstick » November 21st, 2021, 5:43 pm

Luigi & Peach wrote:Soldiers of Fortune... I never played it, but now that you brought it up think I may need to go look that game up.

Heh, thanks, L&P. Nice to know someone actually reads my phonebook-length posts. I wonder, sometimes...

I think I had that same Nintendo Power. Was it the Mega Man X issue, with the silver cover? Regardless, I first heard about it there, as well, and later read a review in GamePro for the Genesis version. I never tried the SNES version, but the Genesis version was a blast with two players.

The biggest difference between it and Xeno Crisis is that SoF's levels are one big, interconnected maze, not a series of separated screens like in XC. If you played Jurassic Park on the NES or SNES, you know what to expect. The level-up system is fun, but it is pretty easy to die and lose all of your upgrades and progress. One of those games where it really is to your benefit to have a skilled Player 2 - just like XC.

The characters in that game are pretty memorable, too. I was partial to the "Scientist," becuzz I'mma nurd.

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Re: 2021/11/20: Dreamcast: Xeno Crisis

Postby MSR1701 » November 22nd, 2021, 6:44 am

I concur with the score; when playing Xeno Crisis on the Evercade, found it VERY addicting...

evergreen13
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Re: 2021/11/20: Dreamcast: Xeno Crisis

Postby evergreen13 » December 10th, 2021, 9:58 am

I recently picked this one up on the Switch (it was discounted to $10 on the eShop for Black Friday). Hot damn this is a good game! It's one of those games that is greater than the sum of it's parts. On the surface, it's just a simple retro twin stick shooter. Yeah, it has great controls and everything runs smoothly, but the gameplay really shines. I think a big part of it is the dog tags that you collect. They give the game a strong risk/reward system, forcing the player to move around and put themselves in dangerous places in order to grab these tokens for upgrades. The screen gets filled with sprites and explosions, but when you get hit it's almost always your fault when you take a hit, so you want try again to do better next time. No, it's not a game you'll binge for 20 hours, but it's absolutely fantastic for a round or two when you only have half an hour...

Oh, and that soundtrack is an absolute banger.

Probably the best retro-inspired modern game since Gunlord X, which like Xeno Crisis, is also playable on the Neo-Geo & Dreamcast (as well as modern systems).


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