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The introduction begins with a view of your desk, family photos, newspaper, and the computer with an incoming call. The caller informs you of the alien attack and that their fighter carrier is now out of action. With this news you hurry off to reach your spacecraft in your futuristic car that hovers over the road. As you speed down the roads through the city streets, you run into a demonstration that is blocking your way. You've come equipped though and pull out your motorcycle to continue down through back alleys and fences to reach your craft. The nearly full screen graphics are outstanding with excellent lighting effects and motion that is as smooth as it gets for video.
Once you get into your craft, the quest to defeat the aliens will begin. There are ten difficult levels to complete. Actually, the first level is not that difficult, but once you get passed it, the rest of the game is very tricky. Don't expect to exterminate every alien you see, it just isn't possible! There are at least six different areas where death is unavoidable, and they start as early as level two. Survival should be your foremost objective while killing as many aliens as possible and picking up the appropriate weapons. With all that said, there are two difficulty levels that you can chose from: normal and hard. Normal is already very difficult. If you happen to master that level, you'll be able to make the game harder.
Your spacecraft can fire weapons from both the front and the side. Six front weapons are available in the game with three side weapons, some missiles and bombs. The default weapons are three Mega Bombs and a Laser which is useful but not very powerful. Other weapons become available as you play showing up in the form of power-ups. These are named Ripple - a pure energy pulse weapon, Plasma - an upgraded energy bolt with increased spread, Beam - a main laser and smaller side lasers that have the ability to home in on enemy ships, Flamer - a powerful and intensive flame, and the Twin is the most powerful of the six giving you the ability to set an angle for firing. Other power-ups will restore your ship's energy, provide shields, anti-gravity orbs and extra Mega Bombs.
You start the game with five lives and gain an extra life with every 2,500,000 points. Once you run out of lives, you'll be allowed to continue your game once from where you left off, keeping the same score and position. So, in a way, you can say you have 10 lives. Once the game is over, all new games will start from the last level completed up to level 5. After that, you'll have to use the passwords that are given to you at the end of each completed level. You'll also have to use the password if you want to start at a lower level. Completion of a level will award you points in the form of a bonus for both power-up pickups and destruction.
High scores are not kept in memory, but the 10 top scores of the day will remain in your PlayStation's memory as long as you don't turn it off. They are displayed on the screen along with a small picture of the type of ship used. There are three ships which you can chose from which differ by speed, and power. They are the XS01, XS02, and the XS03. I have heard that the best ship to use is the XS01 which has the same amount of power as it does speed.
The graphics of 32,000 colors are very well done and the action is smooth and fast. You'll find yourself playing in both a vertical and horizontal position on the screen going from left to right and upward. Players are indicated on the screen at the top left and the bottom left for a two player game. To the right of that is indicated the number of lives that are left, total points, number of Mega Bombs, and a strength meter for the shields.
The techno music that accompanies you while blowing up the aliens is full of energy and excitement adding a good feel to the game. Explosions are very powerful sounding, especially when your own ship is involved. Instructions and alerts are provided via an on-board computer in both male and female voices. These instructions will provide hints as to how to complete a certain area, such as using a Mega Bomb or destroying rocks to make a passage way. Alerts usually contain information about the upcoming aliens.
If you enjoy games such as Rapid Reload (Gunner's Heaven) and Galaxian, then you should have no trouble enjoying X2 which is a nice mix of the two.
Written by Trevor Bennicke
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