Xevious: Fardraut Saga is an enhanced remake of the arcade classic Xevious, developed by Compile and initially published for the MSX2 by Namcot in 1988.
The game has two different play modes: “Recon” and “Scramble”. Scramble mode is a new 16-area version of Xevious, with new enemies and boss battles, and four new ships, and Recon mode is a straight port of the arcade game.
Of course Scramble mode is the main area of interest here and this new version expands upon the arcade original in a pleasing manner.
Graphically, Xevious: Fardraut Saga is crisp and smooth. The greens, blues and greys of the original have been retained and used well and the vertical scrolling is slow but smooth. The many sprites flying around the screen don’t flicker too much either.
Overall this is a very good shooter that pays good tribute to the original while breathing new life into the series. It’s a game that’s still worth investigating now, even though it split critics at the time.
An even better PC Engine version of Xevious: Fardraut Saga was released in 1990. I’d say that it’s the better version, but it’s much more difficult than this one. Both versions were only ever released in Japan.