Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Xenon II - STE - Megablast!


Xenon 2 appears Marmite to many, either they love it or hate 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 a masterpiece with outstanding graphics and gameplay which prove that the Atari ST needed no custom chips to display beautiful colours alongside parallax scrolling - when programmed by developers who have talent and commitment in equal measure.

Peter Putnik has upgraded Xenon II with support for the custom audio hardware within the Atari STe. Now you can play the game with music streamed at 25KHz thanks to the DMA co-processor and this means beautiful music with zero CPU usage thus zero slow down. This upgrade completely transforms the game and you could take it further by converting one of your own tunes using a program like Audacity. So long as you convert it to 8-bit @ 250333Hz then the Atari STe will handle it fine. I have a range of ZZ Top songs already stored on my Ultrasatan :)

This great shooter just got even better and I hope Peter converts many more games to use the DMA audio co-processor which lurks inside the Atari STe. The possibilities are near endless, perhaps I should send him a wishlist...

LINKS

 - Xenon II w/ improved music can be downloaded now from 8BitChip.
 - Use Audacity to convert your tunes into an STe friendly format.