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Centipede: Infestation (3DS) artwork

Centipede: Infestation (3DS) review


"Centipede: Infestation could best be described more as a reimagination than a bastardisation of the Centipede franchise. While only superficially resembling the classic arcade game, Infestation does borrow heavily from other arcade games of the era . In each of the game’s 40 stages, your primary mission is to survive, accomplished by sending endless bullet spray at overgrown wasps, spiders, ants and other assorted icky-crawlies, mowing them down by the hundreds with your trusty Pea Shooter, capable of shooting in all four cardinal and diagonal directions. The action in each area is done in assorted beautiful battlefields, the view of your on-screen character a bit of a mixture between bird’s-eye and behind-the-shoulder."



There is a faint, subtle quality to Centipede: Infestation: its obvious inspiration by low budget B-movie plots. Witness, for example, how boy first meets girl: by saving her from a swarm of man-sized centipedes, triggered by nuclear fallout that left most of humanity dead and mutated insect predators to a hundred times their normal size. Instead of dealing with an ethical subplot on nuclear proliferation, Max and Maisy, generic protagonist and damsel in distress, end up running away from an extremely large centipede, its hundred-foot length dwarfed by its sinister black colouration. Max later reveals to Maisy that he reared the centipede from when it was only a foot in length, and he nicknamed it Soot because of its pigmentation. If you found the above spoiled too much, the stylistic approach of Centipede: Infestation probably is not for you.

Developed by WayForward Technologies, perhaps best known for their Shantae games, Infestation could best be described more as a reimagination than a bastardisation of the Centipede franchise. While only superficially resembling the classic arcade game by way of common antagonists, Infestation does borrow heavily from other arcade games of the era in its gameplay. In each of the game’s 40 stages, you must select one of three players (starting with only Max available) to send endless bullet spray at overgrown wasps, spiders, ants and other assorted icky-crawlies, mowing them down by the hundreds with your trusty Pea Shooter, capable of shooting in all four cardinal and diagonal directions. The action in each area is done in assorted beautiful battlefields, the view of your on-screen character a bit of a mixture between bird’s-eye and behind-the-shoulder.

Some enemies will drop Power Ups, which you manually toggle on and can use for a short period of time before the Power Up runs out and you return to your regular gun. These Power Ups include mostly fun upgrades such as the Missile Gun, which allows you to lob out a rocket-shaped grenade shortly ahead of you which detonates on landing, spraying bug guts across the field (no friendly fire damage taken), or the Lightning Gun, which shoots out a healthy dose of Sith-blue electricity to fry enemies from the inside. You can hold up to four Power Ups at the same time, and two of the same Power Up drop will stack together to make the technique more powerful, last longer and/or increase range, so there is little need to strategise and conserve resources.

Which is a good thing as Centipede: Infestation lasts only about 4 hours. Much like any arcade game worth its salt, much of the replay value comes from attempting to increase the high score you get from each level, attaining the Gold Medal ranking for each stage, and generally basking in the entrails of your enemies’ remains. Along the way, you can unlock the other two characters, two extra types of common pellet guns, and some hilarious costumes (one dress-up, for example, is Max cosplaying as a 7-foot humanoid Centipede).

Refining your skills is a necessity to accumulate more points. Some enemies will drop plant seeds as they fall to the ground, felled by death blows – these seeds grow up into Plant Turrets, some of which simply shoot the myriad number of enemies for you with common pellets (and obtain points in doing so), and others which have turret characteristics matched after your Power Ups, such as the Laser Plant, which shoots a laser piercing through any obstacle on the battlefield to kill its chosen target. Keeping these plants from being destroyed by the endless opposition helps to continue racking up more points, and gives you a bonus at the end of each stage. The finale for most levels is also the most exhilarating part – a twenty-foot centipede comes out of hiding to play hide and seek. By first shooting its middle segment, you can split its body in half, creating two smaller centipedes both intent on chasing you down. Damaging the remaining segments of each centipede will finish them .

Each stage is tied together by a little bit of story and character byplay, taking you through five bosses. Each boss is designed with their own quirks and routine to take them down – take, for example, the Queen Wasp, who surrounds herself with smaller protective wasps. After damaging the wasps, the Queen Wasp sends out her underlings to spin quickly in a radius around her, trying to soak up bullet damage as well, while you must attack her exposed body. Then there is also the token difficulty spike once you take on the Giant Spider, who uses its spindly legs to slam the ground and create damaging shockwaves, and whose carapace can only be damaged once its legs have taken enough firepower to send it crashing to earth (hint: it takes a long time).

It all culminates in the end-game battle with Soot, now the forlorn Alpha Centipede, for once deciding the battle of supremacy between man and monster. It is an arduous, multi-stage affair involving a mix of endurance and skill to successfully complete. After the final showdown with the Centipede, it hits you – this isn’t your father’s Centipede. But, with all its arcadey elements, Centipede: Infestation is a worthy successor.

Rating: 6/10

darkstarripclaw's avatar
Community review by darkstarripclaw (September 08, 2012)

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JoeTheDestroyer posted September 10, 2012:

Sweet review here that makes me consider grabbing this game, should I see it at s low price. One ti.y complaint: your usage of the term powerup is inconsistent. Otherwise, it's a solid piece.
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darkstarripclaw posted September 10, 2012:

Fixed up, thank you for the feedback.

Also, Amazon has it up for only $10, not sure if that is low enough for you.

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