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Xeno Crisis was originally funded on Kickstarter to create a brand new action-packed Sega Mega Drive game, today it released on PC with Linux support right away. Interestingly, the Linux release (along with Windows/macOS) was actually a stretch goal that was hit. We've seen stretch goals for just Linux or Linux/macOS together but an entire PC port in a stretch goal doesn't happen often.

The gameplay in Xeno Crisis involves running from room to room as one or two players, smashing through all the aliens that appear and then running onto the next room. The room layout is randomly generated and when you reach the end of an area, you're in for a big boss fight. Since GOG sent over a copy, I've been playing it today and it's a huge amount of fun.

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I had a lot of games for the Sega Mega Drive and this firmly reminds me of them. That should go without saying really though, since it's made like the classics and it's inspired by them. There's also a clear Alien franchise inspiration too with the design of the dropship resembling the UD-4L Cheyenne, your main weapon looking like the M41A Pulse Rifle and some of the aliens look just like a Xenomorph.

Feature Highlight:

A faithful port of the hit 16 bit game with added extras.
Incredible pixel art from the legendary pixel artist, Henk Nieborg.
Intense FM chiptune soundtrack by Savaged Regime, originally created for the YM2612!
Two difficulty levels and three modes of play.
Seven varied areas to traverse.
Many different enemies to tackle.
An arsenal of 10 weapons to master.
Upgrade system allows you to change your tactics each playthrough.
Play solo or local co-op with a friend! (2 player requires at least one controller)

Quite a challenge. You have limited ammo so you can't just continually spray and pray, although it's not punishing as it dumps an ammo box into the level as soon as you're about to run out. Getting to that box is another matter though, since the levels are small and fill with enemies quickly. The weapons you pick up don't last long either, as soon as you grab them it starts counting down until you're back to your original weapon. That's all part of the fun though, it constantly tests you and keeps you on your toes. Huge amount of fun if you like retro-inspired arcade shooters.

Pick it up now on GOG and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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9 comments

MisterPaytwick 28 Oct, 2019
Nice pixel art arcade game. Really nice. Seems short once you master some tricks, but I believe the focus is on making a nice highscore (but it's weird to not have it visible during gameplay, only after killing the boss)

Tho, the whole thing is giving a great feeling.

Extra point for me from the hostages reminding me of Metal Slug.
sub 28 Oct, 2019
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: MisterPaytwickNice pixel art arcade game.
It's not pixel art, it's just native resolution to the SMD. And very well done.
I love how they haven't upped it to 60fps, retro style 2d games are horrible at such high frame rates, they belong in the 15-25 area.
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: MisterPaytwickNice pixel art arcade game.
It's not pixel art, it's just native resolution to the SMD. And very well done.
I love how they haven't upped it to 60fps, retro style 2d games are horrible at such high frame rates, they belong in the 15-25 area.

Is this running through an emulator or is this a port?
Never liked the typical look due to the palette and sprite limitation
But that looks amazing if it runs on a Genesis!
F.Ultra 28 Oct, 2019
Quoting: sub
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: MisterPaytwickNice pixel art arcade game.
It's not pixel art, it's just native resolution to the SMD. And very well done.
I love how they haven't upped it to 60fps, retro style 2d games are horrible at such high frame rates, they belong in the 15-25 area.
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: MisterPaytwickNice pixel art arcade game.
It's not pixel art, it's just native resolution to the SMD. And very well done.
I love how they haven't upped it to 60fps, retro style 2d games are horrible at such high frame rates, they belong in the 15-25 area.

Is this running through an emulator or is this a port?
Never liked the typical look due to the palette and sprite limitation
But that looks amazing if it runs on a Genesis!

They released it first as a ROM to the Sega MegaDrive, don't know if the PC version is running the rom on an emulator of they also ported it though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zXxR2B-IJc


Last edited by F.Ultra on 28 October 2019 at 6:26 pm UTC
Mrokii 28 Oct, 2019
I'm getting sick and tired of "randomly generated" layouts for games like this. It's come to a point that I immediately loose interest in even taking a deeper look at the game. More and more I have a feeling as if these layout-techniques are nothing but a cheap excuse lazy developers use, so they don't have to come up with clever / intriguing level-designs.
sub 28 Oct, 2019
Quoting: MrokiiI'm getting sick and tired of "randomly generated" layouts for games like this. It's come to a point that I immediately loose interest in even taking a deeper look at the game. More and more I have a feeling as if these layout-techniques are nothing but a cheap excuse lazy developers use, so they don't have to come up with clever / intriguing level-designs.

This is an undeniable issue indeed.
ageres 29 Oct, 2019
Quoting: GuestI love how they haven't upped it to 60fps, retro style 2d games are horrible at such high frame rates, they belong in the 15-25 area.
wat
60 fps is always better in any game.
Quoting: F.UltraThey released it first as a ROM to the Sega MegaDrive, don't know if the PC version is running the rom on an emulator of they also ported it though.
Commercial homebrew NES/SMD games are usually written in C and cross-platform. It isn't platform-specific assembly language.
Quoting: Guestwhich is a bit crappy because there isn't a cycle-accurate emulator of the SMD yet.
What about BlastEm? It can run tech demos other emulators cannot. Anyway, it's very unlikely that a game (this one particularly) uses some features that need very high accuracy for emulation.
sub 29 Oct, 2019
Quoting: ageres
Quoting: F.UltraThey released it first as a ROM to the Sega MegaDrive, don't know if the PC version is running the rom on an emulator of they also ported it though.
Commercial homebrew NES/SMD games are usually written in C and cross-platform. It isn't platform-specific assembly language.

What's your point?

C code can end up very platform specific, ofc.
ageres 29 Oct, 2019
It sure can, but I mean games are being written with multiple platforms in mind. Just a bunch of #ifdefs.
F.Ultra 29 Oct, 2019
Quoting: ageresIt sure can, but I mean games are being written with multiple platforms in mind. Just a bunch of #ifdefs.

Depends on how much they have to push the hardware, if they really have to push the hardware (and I don't know the MegaDrive enough to make that judgement) then not even C fits the bill.

One example is TANGLEWOOD where the Steam version is the MegaDrive ROM running on a bundled emulator.


Last edited by F.Ultra on 29 October 2019 at 5:37 pm UTC
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