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PSS
Paul Hutchinson
1984
Arcade: Maze
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


46,47
Chris Bourne

Yes, it's down to you again, this time you really are the very last survivor, in fact you are XAVIOR! If you think XAVIOR sounds a bit like SAVIOUR, you might be right, because that's what you are, the saviour of your race. In a vast subterranean complex beneath your planet the constituent sections of the DNA which, when combined, form the vital chain that enables your people to thrive once more, have been scattered about. The pieces take the shape of small red wiggles. In some rooms there are blue globes to be collected which allow you to open doors and fire. Fire power is essential! The complex is huge, 4096 rooms to be precise, and they are inhabited by as many as 256 different apparitions which materialise as soon as you enter a room. Contact with any of these apparitions is fatal. As the DNA pieces are collected, they are automatically linked up. On collection of the final piece of DNA the genetic chamber has its doors revealed and you must enter, destroying the nasties will ensure the survival of your race.

The screen is split up into a square playing area, with the walls of the rooms taking up quite a bit of the space. The doors are set into these walls, blue before exit is permitted, left black after opening. Once a room has been cleared of monsters it remains so, allowing free access to it again. On the right is the status board which informs you of how many 'clones' you have remaining, whether an orb has been collected and what you are allowed to do with it, DNA pieces linked, bugs purged and the amount of unused orbs.

CRITICISM

'Xavior with its 4096 rooms plus 256 creatures sounds like it will keep you occupied for hours. After playing it I decided that due to the general routine of rooms and monsters all being very similar, the game was not very addictive. The graphics were smooth, but because the clone is so large you tend to have difficulty in moving about avoiding creatures. This is no bad thing, as without this the game would be boring. It's very well presented but there is not enough variation.'

'Different to say the least. Xavior, who looks like a Red Indian to me although he's actually yellow (but no coward), has to collect DNA to save his race - where have I heard this before? This game is played in a small part of the screen, why I don't know, perhaps they have tried to confuse the players with many moving objects in a small area. Xavior is quite well animated - fairly detailed as are all the graphics in this game. Everything moves very well at a nice pace. However, the game seems to lack in content, just mere shoot em up skills won't sell a game these days, high content is just as important. I must say that either the game is very simple (that is, not easy playing) or l must have missed a very large point of the game. A good, but confusing shoot em up, watch the tune - it drives you mad!'

'There seems to have been a drive recently to provide us with 'complex' games that contain thousands of locations. While this sounds impressive and can even be fun, the problem with such games is that the locations are all very similar if not identical. Such is certainly the case with Xavior, where there is little to distinguish between one room and another. That apart, the game is quite playable, for despite the size of the moving characters and the tiny playing space, the program is very kind in allowing you to hit aliens easily and does not kill you off at the merest contact. Good looking graphics, annoying sound, a reasonable shoot em up, but in the end a bit boring as well.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: user definable, four directions and a fire needed
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2, AGF, Protek
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: good, very colourful
Graphics: fairly smooth, very large and detailed
Sound: spot effects with tunes
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: 4096
Special features: Currah Microspeech
General Rating: Above average to good.

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Screenshot Text

One of the thousands of identical rooms from XAVIOUR with the red indian-like hero fighting his way through tons of materialisations.