I can't remember ever playing Xenon on my mate's Amiga. I remember playing Xenon 2, vividly. But any memory of the first one escapes me. Strange. Maybe I didn't play it at all.
Now I have, though, and here we are. Xenon is a pretty interesting vertically-scrolling shoot 'em up. You start in a land-based craft, and can move in any of eight directions across the landscape. Enemy gun emplacements will rise from the ground and should be destroyed... not just because they're nasty, but also because they tend to leave behind powerups for your craft.
Early doors, and the land craft is about to have some work to do...
Eventually, though, the landscape will present you with towers and structures that get in your way. When that happens, a quick waggle of the joystick will see you transform into a plane-type craft. Soaring through the skies, you'll have no problem in flying right over any bothersome obstacles. This craft, too, can be powered-up with collectables.
The plane, on level 3. Yes, that says demo. No, I couldn't get to level 3 myself.
The game's formula is fairly predictable, otherwise. Move up the screen, destroying the enemies until you reach the end-level boss. Then die. Erm, I mean, you must defeat that to progress to the next level.
It's a pretty difficult game, but quite an enjoyable one. It's neat and crisp looking, and has a very upbeat tune which does a good job of driving you on through the level. Later efforts have surpassed this, but I reckon that Xenon stands as a good example of its time, with enough there to make it worthy of an hour of play. I could go back to this one.