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Xevious

A classic vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up Namco arcade game (distributed by Atari), Xevious sent your ‘Solvalou’ craft into solo battle against the invading Xevious armies.

Unfortunately, the Xevious could attack from the air and ground as well, putting your Solvalou into the heart of a deadly crossfire.

Two separate buttons controlled your blaster and your bombs, allowing you to launch an attack on both areas simultaneously, aiming your bombing run with the crosshairs in front of your ship.

Since the object of Xevious was simply to shoot and bomb everything in sight, the programmers made sure there was enough of “everything” to keep the game moving.

From flying rings and shiny metal ground targets at the beginning, the game moved on to tanks, speedy mini-jets, invulnerable flying mirrors and the enormous Andor Genesis Mother Ship, which could only be taken out with a direct bomb hit to its reactor core.

As the game went on, the machine actually reacted to player skill, bringing out tougher enemies if the player was having too easy a time blasting the lesser foes.

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A monster hit in arcades, Xevious ushered in a new wave of action games, as vertically-scrolling shooters became one of the most popular genres of the mid-to-late ’80s.

A handful of sequels appeared over the years, including a more difficult 1984 update, Super Xevious.

In 1991, Namco released Solvalou, a 3-D sit-down version.