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A.P.I Review: Centipede
Developer: Hasbro Interactive OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Atari Interactive 1-2 Player
Game Type: 3D Shooter Memory Card
Review Date: May 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

Legend has it that every hundred years; a multitude of armored beasts emerges from the Earth, swarms to the surface, and tries to overtake our world. Every hundred years we think we destroy them, but every hundred years the Legend awakens again. This time, Wally Gudmunzsun must be the hero and save the planet from the onslaught of insects.
Can you help him control The Shooter and accomplish his mission?
Do you have what it takes to be Wally's partner through adversity and challenge?
Let's see what kind of grit you've really got…

Sound & Vision

With all of today's high tech graphics and sounds and effects, how can a remake of a popular 1980's Atari game keep up? It can't! But Centipede isn't about high tech graphics and amazingly realistic sounds, it's about bringing back some of the old memories and fun while adding new and exciting adventures as well. Although the sound and vision effects of Centipede aren't the best on the Playstation, Atari makes the game work.

In the Arcade version of play, they incorporate the exact version of the 80's game only without the trackball in tow. It still amazes me how simple yet enjoyable these games were. The graphics are extremely basic and the sounds are coarse, but it's Centipede back in full force in 1999!

In the Adventure mode the graphics are a little bit more up to date but they still lack the pizzazz of most of today's games. With some of the different perspectives you can use it's possible to get up close to the centipedes and other bugs, which is pretty neat, but there isn't a whole lot of detail to mesmerize the eyes. The spiders look almost the same as they do in the Arcade version, not very fancy. The levels and backgrounds are very plain as well. Sometimes it's a bit difficult to move around depending on the chosen view perspective. But with new worlds and a bunch of new levels and bugs there is some variety to break the monotony of the rather average graphics.

The Adventure mode doesn't offer much excitement in the sound category either. Just your every day run of the mill stuff. You can hear the centipede coming and you definitely know when the spiders are around. The Shooter's weapon sounds as you would expect a fake laser to sound. My two favorite aspects in the sound category were the voices of the little citizens when you rescued them, and the ability to turn the sound effects and music off.


So far it probably sounds like I'm not very happy with this game, but that's not true. Centipede, although sorely average by today's standards, is quite entertaining to play. As the player, you must help our unsung hero Wally operate the almighty combat vessel "The Shooter" and exterminate the bugs for good. There are two different modes to choose from, the Arcade mode (80's version) and the Adventure mode, which takes you out of the rectangular board to take on bugs face to face in new 3D worlds.

There isn't much to say about the playability in the Arcade version. It's the same addictive gameplay as before. You can choose one or two player (alternating turns) and the goal is to get as high a score as possible. Same mushrooms, same centipedes, same spiders, SAME FUN!! You move around the board with the D-Pad and shoot with the X button. That's all there is to it.

The adventure mode however is all new. The basic premise of the game is the same, kill the bugs. But now you must fly The Shooter, a hover craft, through many different worlds, all the while killing bugs, picking up stranded citizens and druids, and protecting buildings and crystals on your way to Evile to kill the Queen Pede. These levels include various new bugs, exploding mushrooms, and other hazards such as water and lava to make things more difficult. However, they also include secret weapons, shields, and extra lives to aid you in your heroic quest.

Like I mentioned earlier the sounds and graphics aren't great but they get the job done. I did like that there are three different view perspectives to choose from, top down, third person (over Wally's shoulder), and first person. This feature allows you to pick what feels best for you. I also liked the Dual Shock Analog capabilities. You can control The Shooter entirely with the left and right sticks, including jumping and shooting or you can use the more traditional D-pad and shoulder buttons, your choice.

At the end of each level you get to see how you did. Bonus points are awarded for picking up citizens, saving buildings, etc., based on the different bonus objectives for each level. You get a free Shooter at every 12000 points and don't forget that high score is always your objective. The higher your score, the bigger the hero you are.

GRAPHICS: 13/20 Although most aspects of Centipede are pretty plain, it is still the same addictive game that it has always been. You can't help but get caught up trying to better your last score and avoid or kill those damned spiders. For any old Atari players out there, the Arcade version is a great porthole to the good ole days, while the Adventure mode is a welcome segway from a classic history to a new and exciting present and future. At $39.95 SRP it isn't that bad of a buy either. You're sure to get loads of enjoyment from the Arcade mode and plenty of challenge and excitement from the new Adventure mode. Overall I really enjoyed playing Centipede.
SOUND: 6/10
VALUE: 15/20


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