Is XenoCrisis Possible on SNES?

Continuing with my idea for a series of articles looking at both old and new Sega Genesis games and analysing whether they could run on SNES or not–I’m here to prove they can by providing examples of similar feats being achieved in actual SNES games, both old and new titles, plus any modern demos and the like where necessary–the next game I want to look at is XenoCrisis.

First, let’s look at some actual gameplay of XenoCrisis in action:

Now, I think this is going to be a shorter feature, because the next two examples should demonstrate most of what needs to be said regarding whether SNES can handle a game like this or not:

There’s plenty of fast-paced action with loads on-screen in this game: 2:53, 21:01, 3:18 and 18:34
Here are a few choice moments: 2:47, 10:46, 35:08, 1:00:04, 23;58, 20:02 and 1:02:11

Note: And Super Smash TV is even running in SlowROM, which is 2.68 MHZ and around 75% of the SNES’ full CPU speed.

Honestly, I think the only thing that would obviously need to be changed on SNES would be the reduced horizontal view since the SNES’ standard resolution is 256×224 and Genesis’ 320×224, which would mean a little bit of reworking of level layouts and some of the bigger bosses. But, other than that, I think the SNES is more than capable of running this game. And, as per usual, it has many more colours to play with, added multi-coloured transparency (great for moments such as 26:26 and 39:08 with the faux semi-transparent enemies, where the effect had to be faked on Genesis), more background layers, etc.

Look, I took literally twenty seconds to crop the view, just to give you an idea of what you lose on SNES, and it’s not really bad at all (all the essential stuff is there), especially given a real version could simply scroll the screen left and right a bit as the players moved to show everything ultimately, or something along those lines:

By the way, I just checked and there’s only 43 colours used in this image for background, bloss, players and all–wow, that’s some great use of limited colour there–so, just imagine what could be done with the standard 120 colours for backgrounds plus another 120 colours for sprites on SNES to push the visuals even further if someone was so inclined. . . .

Of course, there are some pretty impressive bosses in XenoCrisis, like the huge alien monstrosity at 3:07, and you have to wonder if SNES could handle an enemy that large, all gross and pulsating. Well, that’s really just a background layer dedicated to the boss with some animated tiles from what I can see, which I think the SNES could manage if these examples are any indication (they certainly look cool):

Also, something that isn’t so obvious from the footage is that the SNES’ controller is basically perfectly suited to this kind of game, as the particular face-button layout makes it very easy to map the eight-way firing onto A/B/X/Y, while simultaneously allowing for eight-way movement using the d-pad, as you can see via the image below:

By contrast, here’s the official option for dual eight-way control on Genesis using the regular controller:

That’s just a convoluted and clunky mess. And, although it is technically possible to map the dual eight-way controls to the Genesis 6-button controller, it’s not particularly well laid out for that kind of use either due the way the buttons are positioned. Plus, only around half of the Genesis owners had/have the 6-button controller, so it’s not exactly ideal. Every SNES owner has the same standard controller.

So, yeah, I think the SNES is more than up to the task of running a game like this.


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