The Game: You are the chosen one! Cool, huh? Oh, wait…chosen for what? You are Wally, a bumbling elf who is apparently destined to rid the elven world of a vicious army of centipedes and other bugs. You travel from village to village in different locales to undertake your divine exterminating duties, armed with a hovering weapons platform/vehicle simply called the Shooter. (Hasbro Interactive, 1999)
Memories: Sometimes it seems as though the modern video game manufacturers are overdoing their attempts to bestow a Hollywood plot upon the simpler games of the past. Exhibit A: Centipede, based on the mega-hit Atari coin-op of the same name – a game which, to my knowledge, never really needed a plot because most people don’t look kindly upon wormlike creatures with a hundred legs anyway.
But for some reason, there are suddenly villages full of elves in this game. Go figure.
The various animated settings, complete with waterfalls, ponds, drawbridges, and other sights to see, are a nice addition. There are two “camera” modes – a sort of quasi-overhead view and a first-person view which is completely useless since, in this revival of the game, the spider tends to sneak up behind you.
For those who play the new Centipede for a while and wind up pining away for the original, there’s a decent emulation of the original aracde game included, though for Playstation owners, the Atari Collection 1 volume of Arcade’s Greatest Hits has a better version.
One last complaint…this game fairly cries out for a musical score with both whimsical and menacing overtones. Why, for a Smurf-like setting, are we stuck with techno music?!? (For that matter, why are most games saddled with that style? I have nothing against techno, but it doesn’t fit every situation!
The Game Boy Color port of Centipede is more of a rehash of the arcade game, and – thankfully – this nicely playable version of the game trades in techno for what sounds like the occasional harp glissando.