Nintendo 3DS, Namco Bandai, cert: 3, out now
It may seem rather odd that an ageing 2D shooter such as Xevious would stage its return on a handheld famed for its 3D display capabilities, but it all makes sense when you load it on to the 3DS.
There are few of the extras typical of retro remakes, and on the whole it's a fairly straight take on a game that last felt fresh in 1982. However, Xevious is a classic that long ago dictated many conventions of the genre. There's the top-down perspective, scrolling background, relentless waves of enemies and the lone protagonist spacecraft ? always outnumbered, never outgunned.
Despite being played on one 2D plane, Xevious always challenged the player with enemies dispatched on two levels, on the ground and in the air. Now, using the handheld's 3D display, land and sky appear truly separated. For the first time in a shoot-'em-up there is a sense of being in the clouds.
This downloadable game is certainly rudimentary in form, and would be significantly less striking without nostalgia in its arsenal, but for wistful older gamers Xevious's minimalism is part of its charm.