I would love to believe that most games on the NES would make more sense if I’d had the manual for them. I’d be familiar with the backstory, the characters, and their motivation for doing whatever it is I was doing in the game. But I know that in the majority of the cases, I’d be dead wrong.

Xexyx is one of those cases.

Xexyx stars Apollo, a generic guy in armor, in his quest to run to the right (and sometimes to the left!) to achieve some goal that I was not able to determine.

What’s weird, though, is that the game tries to be a fusion of two genres. The first genre, the generic action-adventure game, has you running around trying to find the secret boss to defeat to get the secret power star you need to enter the not-very-secret ‘mechanical castle’ where the boss lives.

The bosses live in the other genre, the shoot-’em-up. In these sections you pilot your highly-destructible ship toward the significantly less destructible boss and show him the business end of your weapon of choice. Then you start trying to figure out how to get into the next ‘mechanical castle’.

I never actually decided if this game was any good or not. I played it a fair bit, but wasn’t terribly impressed by its goodness or its badness. It was just kind of there. That might be because the game is fairly long, and I always played it on a rental. I’d rent it and make some amount of progress and then get my password, which I’d inevitably lose. So then I’d rent it again and start over again, and then make about the same amount of progress, get my password, and then lose my password. So I never really made it more than about a third of the way through the game, which I’ve played a dozen times or so. And that’s fine, but I probably should try to make it further in the game some day, so I can find out if it gets better, worse, or stays the same.

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