Saturday, May 05, 2007

XBLA review: Centipede/Millipede (5/10)

Well, here's yet another "remake" of a classic arcade game. Thankfully, someone realized that Centipede by itself is pretty lame, so the games come bundled as one.

Each one has a classic version and an "evolved" mode (yawn), which is pretty much a waste of time. Hey, guys, these games don't need fancy graphics. They don't add anything. If anything, it makes the game worse, because the graphics make it harder to figure out where you need to move and shoot. Each mode has standard difficulty and "throttle monkey" difficulty, which is basically top speed and top difficulty (the actual games have "pin" settings so that you can change these incrementally, but those aren't available in most ports.

The achievements are decent - one of them is the remove-all-mushrooms-from-the-screen in Centipede. I was never able to do that. None of them are stupid online achievements, either.

The biggest drawback to the game is that there is no trackball available for the 360. (I suppose you could use a USB trackball if you had one. My SlikStik console's trackball only works left-to-right, needing repair, so I couldn't test it, but I'd think Microsoft could come out with a mini-trackball.) The analog joystick is woefully inadequate, especially in throttle-monkey mode.

Other than that, the games are what you expect. If you liked them, you'll like them here, with the caveat that they look funny on a widescreen TV. (Someday they'll make a TV that rotates and lets you flip the output, so that classic arcade games and others can be viewed in the right aspect.)

If you want the achievements, then it's probably worth it, but otherwise I'd suggest getting an emulator and playing them with the right controls.

zlionsfan's rating: 5 fleas out of 10.

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