Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Xenon II - STE - Megablast!

Xenon 2 can be like Marmite to some, they either hate or love it. Well, I love it and it's also one of my favourite shooters with superb power-ups and insanely unique enemies. Technically, it's also a masterpiece with outstanding graphics that prove our old Atari STFM needed no custom chips to keep up with any other 16bit machine. Beautiful colours and parallax scrolling tarted up what was already an amazing sequel to an amazing game. Once again, The Bitmap's embarrassed most other companies with their talent and commitment.

However, nothing is perfect, and as much as I love chiptunes we did feel it lacked the thump of the sample which played during the intro. Peter Putnik of 8BitChip has fixed that for Atari STe users so crank up the volume and enjoy a new version which plays a 25KHz recording - during gameplay - using the DMA co-processor. It gets even better - the music can be changed to anything else you might prefer using the right tools on your Mac or PC. Use something like Audacity to convert your tune into an 8-bit track @25033Hz. If there was a downside, it's the insane hardware requirements of a minimum of 1mb Ram and an Ultrasatan (or hard drive). Yep, pretty much what most already have and hardly a bid deal to most fuji nutters...

Xenon II will always be a Megablast for me. It's a fantastic shooter but this upgrade has taken something great and made it even greater. I cannot recommend this highly enough and I hope Peter converts more games. Top marks!

LINKS

 - Waste no more time and get this installed onto your Atari STe right now thanks to Peter at 8BitChip.
 - Peter recommends Audacity to convert your tunes into a format the STe handles. It's so easy too!
 - Of course, AtariMania has Xenon featured within their ST database website.