1983 was a milestone year in video arcades worldwide. Games like Mario Bros. (Nintendo) and Dragon’s Lair (Cinematronics) set precedents that echo to this day. That same year, one of the greatest forward-scrolling airplane shoot-’em-ups jetted in from Japan: Atari‘s Xevious.
I spent countless coins fighting off waves of oncoming aircraft, boats and tanks, all the while dodging their perfectly round homing bullets! At the end of each wave was a boss fight, and each successive level got harder until only the Guinness Book ranked players were left standing…in the arcade…for days.
Now, ⅓ century later, we have Revolution Ace from Laser Guided Games; a Xevious-like jet fighter with enhancements such as inventory, multiplayer and varying difficulty levels.
As you advance through waves of enemies, you earn new types of weapons and armor, as well as special-use items that require a recharge period before they can be re-deployed. There are also elusive “perks”, which bestow permanent upgrades to your jet…everything from extra shields to additional missile slots. When you deem items obsolete, you can salvage them and use the scrap to improve your inventory.
Enemies come at you from all venues…land, sea and air. There are also stationary ground targets to destroy. A great feature is that you can return at any time to maps you have already beaten. This lets you farm for resources, as well as go back and take that awesome screenshot you missed earlier!
Multiplayer modes are fun, but non-cooperative. You can play split-screen “versus” to see who scores higher, or you can record your play and compare it to your opponents’ recordings…very avant-garde.
Eventually, you will amass an impressive arsenal of offensive and defensive items with which to equip your fighter. There’s something very satisfying about dragging and dropping missiles into position under the wings, and adding homing capabilities to an otherwise basic pellet gun.
Overall, I recommend Revolution Ace to anyone who has considered playing a game of this genre. The “easy” mode is truly easy with plenty of shields and armor to get you started. Through perks you can further increase these protective forces.
When your skills improve and you think you’re ready, select one of the tougher modes. The AI there is smarter and the game becomes less generous with the perky handouts! So go ahead and give Revolution Ace a test flight. We’ll see you at 40K feet.