Japanese promotional sales flyer.
|Arcade system||Namco System 11|
|Display||Horizontal orientation, Raster, 640 x 480|
Xevious 3D/G[a] is a 1996 vertical-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. It is the eighth entry in the Xevious video game series and the second to use 3D graphics, following Solvalou (1991). In the game, the player mans a starship known as the Solvalou that must destroy the Xevious forces and their leader GAMP before they enslave all of mankind. The Solvalou has a projectile and bomb for respectively destroying air and ground-based enemies, and can collect power-up icons to upgrade its abilities. It ran on the Namco System 11 arcade board.
Music for the arcade game was composed by Ayako Saso and Shinji Hosoe, known for his work on Dragon Spirit and Ridge Racer; additional tracks were composed by Nobuyoshi Sano and Hiroto Sasaki. A PlayStation version was released a year later in 1997, titled Xevious 3D/G+[b] and included ports of the original Xevious, Super Xevious and Xevious Arrangement. It was met with mixed reviews upon release, being praised for its graphics, soundtrack and gameplay but criticized for its short length and low difficulty. 3D/G+ was digitally re-released for the PlayStation Store in 2013 under the Game Archives brand and later in North America in 2015 as part of the PSOne Classics range.
Xevious 3D/G is a vertical-scrolling shooter video game featuring 3D graphics integrated with 2D gameplay. Up to two players control their respective Solvalou starships — blue for player one and red for player two — that must destroy the Xevious forces and their leader before they enslave all of mankind. The Solvalou has two weapons at its disposal: a projectile that can destroy air-based enemies, and a bomb that can destroy ground-stationed enemies. New to this game are power-up items, found in cylindrical stations called "Poladomes" on the ground that must be bombed to acquire it — these include a blue double shot, a green concentrated light beam that cuts through enemies, and a red heat-seeing laser that locks onto any enemy it finds on the screen.
The game consists of seven stages, or "areas", including grassy plateaus, large oceans, mechanical bases and outer space. Each area also features a boss that must be defeated in order to progress, including the Andor Genesis mothership from the original Xevious. The final stage features a fight with GAMP, the supercomputer leader of the Xevious forces. Much like the first game, large Sol towers can be found by bombing pre-determined spots on the ground, alongside Rally-X Special Flags that award an extra life when collected. Many references to other Namco games are featured in the game as easter eggs, including a Pooka from the Dig Dug series and a cheat code that replaces both player's Solvalou with Heihachi and Paul from Tekken, featuring their own ending sequences.
Development and release
Xevious 3D/G was released in arcades by Namco in May 1996 for Japan and later on in 1996 for North America. Music for the game was composed by Shinji Hosoe, known for his work on Dragon Spirit and Ridge Racer, and Ayako Saso, along with additional contributions from Nobuyoshi Sano and Hiroto Sasaki. A PlayStation version, titled Xevious 3D/G+, was released in Japan on March 28, 1997, in North America on June 30, 1997, and in Europe later on in 1997 — alongside 3D/G, the game also includes the original Xevious, Super Xevious and Xevious Arrangement, the last of which was previously released for arcades as part of Namco Classic Collection Vol. 1. 3D/G+ also features a new soundtrack by Hiroto Sasaki along with contributions from other composers. The player could use the Namco NeGcon controller to control the Solvalou. The original Japanese release featured heavy slowdown, which was corrected in the North American release. 3D/G+ was digitally re-released onto the PlayStation Store for both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in Japan on June 26, 2013, followed by a North American release on February 24, 2015.
The PlayStation version of Xevious 3D/G specifically was met with mixed reviews, with common complaints being towards the game's short length and low difficulty. It holds a 69% on aggregator website GameRankings, and was awarded the "Silver Hall of Fame" award from Japanese publication Famitsu.
Both GameSpot and Next Generation stated that the game offered little value for its price, criticizing the game's short length and low difficulty setting, with GameSpot in particular saying it could be finished in a single day. Electronic Gaming Monthly compared the inclusion of the other Xevious games to that of a Cracker Jack prize, saying they're "nice to have in there, but you're not really going to play with it", and that they didn't make the game worth the purchase. EGM also said the game had too few power-up items to make it standout among other similar games. GameSpot noted that the inclusion of the arcade games were "more of a necessity" after playing the game for a while.
Critics praised the game's graphics and modern soundtrack, and for keeping the core Xevious gameplay intact. Next Generation said that the game was "a lot of fun" while it lasted, simultaneously praising its graphics and music.. GamePro praised it for keeping the original gameplay of Xevious and the included arcade games, concluding with "While it may not be the perfect PlayStation shooter, 3D/G's heritage and plentiful gaming options make it a winner." IGN was the most positive towards it for the arcade games, "outstanding" graphics and soundtrack, labeling it a must-own for shoot'em up fans on the system. GameSpot had a similar response, saying the music and graphics made for a decent title, recommending it to fans of the original Xevious and similar "old-school" games. In a retrospective review, Hardcore Gaming 101 commented that the soundtrack alone made the game worth playing.
- Webb, Marcus (September 1996). "Up and Coming Coin-Ops". Next Generation. No. 21. Imagine Media. p. 22.
- "Protos: Xevious 3D". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 92. Ziff Davis. March 1997. p. 38.
- Xevious 3D/G guidebook (in Japanese). Keibunsha. May 1996. ISBN 9784766925951.
- "Xevious 3D: You've Come a Long Way, Baby". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 94. Ziff Davis. May 1997. p. 109.
- Savorelli, Carlo (10 December 2011). "Xevious 3D/G". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- Akagi, Masumi (13 October 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971-2005) (First ed.). Japan: Amusement News Agency. p. 51. ISBN 978-4990251215. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
- Namco (May 1996). Xevious 3D/G. Arcade. Scene: Credits.
- "Product Catalog". Namco. Archived from the original on 4 July 1997. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- Namco (28 March 1997). Xevious 3D/G+. PlayStation. Scene: Credits.
- "Xevious 3D/G+ Review". GameSpot. 17 April 1997. Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
- "Finals: Xevious 3D/G+". Next Generation. No. 31. Imagine Media. July 1997. p. 163.
- Dr. Zombie (July 1997). "PlayStation ProReview: Xevious 3D/G+". GamePro. No. 106. IDG. p. 88.
- "Review Crew: Xevious 3D". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 97. Ziff Davis. August 1997. p. 52.
- "『スマッシュコート』、『ゼビウス3D/G＋』などナムコの名作5タイトルがゲームアーカイブスで配信開始". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Archived from the original on 2015-04-07. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
- Spencer (June 26, 2013). "Mr. Driller G, Pac-Man World And Other Namco Games Waka Waka On To PSN". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 9 January 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- Chen, Grace (24 February 2014). "PlayStation Store Update". PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on 30 June 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- "Xevious 3D/G+ for PlayStation". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 1 January 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- "ゼビウス3D/G＋ [PS]". Famitsu. Enterbrain. Archived from the original on 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
- IGN Staff (11 June 1997). "Xevious 3D/G+". IGN. Archived from the original on 6 May 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.