“At best, Xenophobe can be thought of as an early shade of survival horror genre on the NES, and an interesting exhibit among its early offerings. At worst, Xenophobe on NES is tedious, unfairly hard, and rife with either poor design choices or unassailable hardware limitations.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.
Some video games are great choices for home conversions from an arcade cabinet, while others are obviously missing something from their original version.
Q*Bert is missing the distinctive, mechanical “ker-plunk” sound effect to simulate Q*Bert falling to the ground.
Galaga notably suffers from no longer being in a tall, vertically oriented cabinet, making for a different shooter experience.
Pin*Bot was an actual pinball cabinet in its original version.
The NES iteration of Battleship does not even have a two-player mode, which is the hallmark of the board game.
Donkey Kong is missing the “pie factory” level.
Captain America and the Avengers is an entirely different game from what its arcade fans would likely expect.
But, then, I think Toobin’ was a darn good conversion, for what it was.
And to make up for the missing four-player functionality, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game even added a couple new original levels and boss fights.
So, what is the NES version of Xenophobe missing from the original arcade experience?
The pace is slower, the guns are weaker, the graphics are worse (even if that is typically to be expected for 8-bit conversations), the co-op is not as effects, there are not only less enemies but so many less enemies as to create an entirely different feel for the game, and the entire production just feels roughshod, slipshod, and not-quite-there.
This game is not awful, and is actually better than I remember as a kid when I truly hated it back then, but it is still certainly nothing spectacular.
Read The Full Review For: More in-depth critiques of Xenophobe’s flaws, really.
NES Gameplay Tips for Xenophobe: If you are standing next to one of the hopping green aliens, immediately run away from them, or consider going into the next room altogether. Treat your health like it is a desperately healthy resource, even though you begin with four digits worth of it. Keep firing. Keep moving.