Pages: 1 2 3
Review by: Bob Mandel
Published: December 8, 1998
Probably nobody out there has even noticed (or even cared), but as the arcade action fanatic among The Adrenaline Vault’s PC game reviewers I have been suffering a bit of a drought lately. Sure, there have been great racing games and pinball games coming out that I love to play, but it has been months since I have received a release version of an arcade shooter (in full 3D, not the old 2D scrolling variety) that I really like. Withdrawal symptoms have begun to appear, forcing me to play oldsters in this genre to keep my presumably lightning-quick destruction reflexes in gear.
When I heard that Hasbro was going to release a new 3D version of the old 1980s Atari classic Centipede, my first reaction was a big yawn. Though I enjoyed many of the old video game releases, this one never really caught my fancy. It just seemed like an endless series of long slimy creatures (along with other assorted bugs) that crawled across my screen from side to side that led to a kind of mechanical mowing down that very quickly became tiresome. I had played the only two earlier arcade action releases from Hasbro (most of their games are more of the board game variety), Frogger and H.E.D.Z., and honestly had not been overly impressed with either one. So I did not expect very much.
When I opened the box and installed Centipede, I noted that there are two modes of play: arcade and adventure. Through sheer force of habit (I always go for arcade gameplay), I clicked on the arcade option, and there before me appeared a reasonably accurate slightly enhanced version of the original 2D Atari game. I thought to myself, “is this all that they did?,” and grimly prepared for yet another disappointing gaming experience. But then I thought I had better try the adventure mode, just to see what it is. That is when everything changed, and I discovered to my overwhelming delight that I had an unexpectedly awesome arcade shooter on my hands.
What Hasbro, along with the developer Leaping Lizard Software, has done to modernize and re-vitalize this game is nothing short of astounding. The game is now fully 3D, and you are immersed in a busy insect-infested environment that makes anything you might see in the movies Antz or A Bug’s Life look static and sluggish by comparison. Using a choice of top-down, over-the-shoulder, and first-person viewpoints, you really feel a part of the action and totally absorbed into the physical setting. This is, by the way, one of the many arcade action games where I feel that the first-person perspective is the least useful, because in this case (as in many others) it makes it much harder for you to be fully aware of all the dangers coming at you at any one point in time.
Pages: 1 2 3