The top 30 Amiga games of all time! Part 2

Stuart Sumner

Computing runs down from 20 to 11 in its all-time ranking of the best Amiga games from yesteryear

17. Xenon 2



It's a Megablast! Released on the Amiga in 1989, this Bitmap Brothers game (they designed it, but The Assembly Line actually developed it), is a vertically-scrolling spaceship shoot ‘em up with great graphics, original features, and one of the best soundtracks you'll ever have the joy of experiencing in a video game.

Interestingly (or embarrassingly, depending on your perspective), we thought the soundtrack was created by the Beastie Boys, until researching this very piece. So that goes to show its quality (if not our pop culture general knowledge). It was in fact ‘Megablast (Hip Hop on Precinct 13)', penned by Brixton-based musician Tim Simenon.

Although vertically-scrolling, one of the unique features introduced by the game is the ability to reverse movement and scroll backwards for a short time, useful when a little extra time is needed to defeat a wave of enemies or a boss, or simply to extricate the ship from a dead end.

By killing enemies and collecting the credit bubbles they drop the player can afford to upgrade the ship's guns, but an interesting glitch happens should the player collect too many over the course of a level. It's possible to collect so many that the counter glitches and wraps around back to zero. Unfortunately for the player they won't find this out until they complete a level, and they'll subsequently be unable to purchase any power ups. The game basically becomes next to impossible at that point, leading most to restart. Oops.

The developers also had trouble initially with the credit bubbles, devoting lots of time and effort into making the background warp when viewed through the bubbles as they float down the screen. Apparently it never worked properly, but when they gave up they thought that simply because of the shape and shading on the bubbles, it gave the illusion of warping the background anyway.

In fact it didn't, but the developers seemed happy enough with the result, and the game looked and sounded fantastic, and was enormous fun to play, so we'll let them off.

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