Feeds

Xenon: Bitmap Brothers' (mega)blast from the past

Classic Amiga and ST scroll-play gaming

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Antique Code Show Xenon marked the beginning of a distinguished career for The Bitmap Brothers, legendary developers of the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST era. Overhead, vertically scrolling shooters were doing great trade in arcades across the land, and with its exposure on Saturday morning kids’ show Get Fresh (you don’t remember Gaz Top and Gilbert the alien?) Xenon was always going to do well.

Xenon Amiga, open for fighting business

Xenon Amiga, open for fighting business

The game tells a predictable, futuristic tale of antagonistic aliens – the Xenites – attacking Earthlings, with the players’ task being, of course, to take on their multitudinous onslaught and send them back to whence they came.

You pilot an innocuous enough spaceship flying in the upwards direction, an archetypal pop-down-the-shops runaround, with a few tasty guns welded on for good measure. Power-ups have a hint of R-Type, Irem’s Japanese classic, about them, with beady eyed drones that mirror your ship’s movements while increasing firepower.

Xenon Amiga, big boss number 1

Xenon Amiga, big boss number 1

Players need every bit of additional power they can possibly grab – Xenon was not the easiest game to master – and dodging the glut of incoming enemy fire was a key skill, especially when boss characters loom into view at the climax of each level.

This vertical shooter did have a novelty to distinguish it from the crowd: the ability to transform your vehicle majestically into an eight-direction manoeuvrable tank-like craft. Thus, air-borne enemy fire couldn’t touch you once sat safely in the grounded tank, and similarly, foes stuck on the ground were useless with the spaceship re-deployed.

Deploy the tank to sort out that rear attack

Deploy the tank to sort out that rear attack

Furthermore, driving the tank would also halt the vertical scrolling, allowing ground-based enemies to be cleared up from any angle possible, even using walls and other scenery as a defence, before switching back to the spacecraft and carrying on upwards. All quite innovative gameplay mechanics really, lending the title a tactical edge.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?
How keen will buyers be when exposed to the real price?
Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper
Monsters need to earn a living too
Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none
Forgive the double negative but seriously, no one wants this mobe
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.