Lots of action
It was a definite surprise for me when I stumbled across this game, mainly because I am just in shock that I never got a chance to play the original back when it was released in 1986. Despite this, after sitting down and trying out the remake of this game, I am glad that I finally got to see what it is all about. From the influences of Contra, to the side scrolling action of R-Type, XainD Sleena combines two different gameplay styles into one, and does it flawlessly. This particular remake, completed in 2006 for the Retro Remakes Competition, does a superb job. From the updated graphics and music, to the additions of some unlockable options for dedicated gamers to discover. All around, this remake is fantastic and is quite fun to play.
The quick story of the game involves your character Xain, the rebellions finest soldier, who is sent to take back five planets from the dreaded Empire's grasp. Each of these planets have been overrun by the Empire, and it is up to you to fight your way through each of these planets and blow up the Empire base on each of them. Xain also has jet powered boots and special armor to protect him from some of the dangers of each planet. You also have the choice to pick which planets you wish to see on your journeys to stop the evil Empire.
When you load up the game you have your choice of choosing between starting the game, and modifying your controls or options. As an added bonus, there is a cheat mode ready to be activated, should you choose to do so. It will eliminate the challenge along the way, but thats your choice.
The gameplay in XainD Sleena is definitely similar to that of Contra, which you might actually think came out after XainD Sleena, but Contra was actually released in 1984 in Japan, and released later in 1987 to North America. There is plenty of running and gunning action against the empires soldiers. These soldiers range from the simple grunts, to the more advanced soldiers who may carry laser swords, drive vehicles and generally are there to stop your progress and prevent you from defeating them. Once you guide Xain across each planets surface, you will have to take on the final boss of each area, which of course is super strong and super powerful and always has a super weakness in most cases. Once you defeat a boss, you set the charge to destroy the base, and then fly off in your ship. But it is not over yet for you. Next, you engage in some side scrolling space shooting action, as you fire on the enemies ships and try to make your way past all the forces of the Empire and onto the next planet.
Attention to detail, and to following up with a worthy remake, are all evident in the game. From the outstanding graphics, which show off each different planet, with its own unique characteristics and colours, it all comes together very nicely. Careful attention to detail was paid not only to the environments, but to the characters as well. It all looks quite nice. This lovely looking game is just enhanced by the work done in this area.
The music and sound effects are also spot on, and it sounds really good as you are playing through the game. From just the firing of your weapon, to defeating an enemy, to the sounds you hear in the side scrolling space action portion of the game, it all comes together nicely and sounds superb.
To provide some further incentive for your hard work, there are some extra modes to unlock after completing certain requirements. If you wish, you could also access these right away via the cheat option in the game. Either way, if you want to take the easy way or the harder and more satisfying way, you have your choice available.
Overall, I was glad to discover this lost gem through this remake, and must give my props to the developers for putting in a lot of effort for this remake. The team did some fine work on the game, and it definitely shows. If you are looking for a game with plenty of action and blasting away of enemies, and much more then XainD Sleena is the game for you.
Review by: DeathDude
Safe for all ages