The Game: Evil aliens are taking over the world and building heavily-fortified installations on land and undersea! Our last defense against them? You – and your well-armed Solvalou Fighter. You can repel air attacks with your lasers, and take out ground bases, missile launchers and tanks with your bombs. (Fortunately, you never run out of either of these!) Every so often, you’ll have to fight the odds to take out one of the aliens’ primary bases – and then you’ll have to deal with the huge “Bosses.” (Namco, 1997)
Memories: This somewhat obscure Namco title updates and revives their classic arcade title Xevious, which accumulated a cult following in 1983 when the game was released Stateside by Atari. Truth be told, Xevious 3D/G+ doesn’t rewrite the book or reinvent the wheel. For the most part, the game simply puts the original Xevious in a vaguely third-person 3-D perspective, adds some weapons and enemies (most notably the enormous and hard-to-kill Bosses), and kicks ass graphically. I liked this a lot. It has a great deal of respect and reverence for its source material.
As a bonus, Namco once again delivers positively perfect emulations of the original Xevious, the Super Xevious arcade upgrade kit, and a newer upgrade of which I had never heard before, Xevious Arrangement. It is this third game, which features updated graphics and music, which is the closest arcade relative to Xevious 3D/G+. Xevious Arrangement was the first incarnation of the game to feature “power-ups” – something now almost universal to modern games.