To me personally, playing an arcade classic is a necessary experience. Sometimes after spending 17 hours in full 3D bump-mapped rendered free roaming environments confronting characters made of billions of polygons piloted by state of the art Artificial Intelligence it's sometimes a breath of fresh air to play a simple shooting or maze game. For a quick fix of arcade enjoyment Centipede was always a good candidate.
For those of you too young or too stoned to remember, Centipede is the world's first "twitch" game. You play some kind of.. well.. something, I never really knew what. What exactly are you supposed to be, anyway? Little tiny space ship? Guy with a magic wand? A disembodied snake head that shoots lazers? I do not know.
Anyway, you play that thing that shoots stuff, as you're trapped in some kind of forest made out of giant mushrooms. Your job is to shoot at crazy homicidal attacking insects who are all hell bent on destroying you for some reason, the main antagonist being the resident centipede. No doubt if this game were made today it would be a gigantic sandbox style mushroom forest with a 47 hour quest to hunt down the mystical centipede monster that's terrorizing your mmorpg world. Back in the 80s we didn't need no plot in our games.
Unless you've been in a Turkish prison for the last two decades then you've probably played some form of this game. This particular version does a good enough job. All of the elements from the arcade game is there (all the insects, the fleas, the spider, the scorpion, etc.) The music is fast peppy 8-bit sounding electronica type stuff that fits the gameplay well. Controls are fine, which really all there needs to be is move around and shoot stuff. There is a bit of choppiness going with the sprites, this was probably done on purpose to reduce the appearance of blur on the screen.
One thing I notice is that when you move under the flea to shoot it, it will suddenly speed up and kill you. Don't remember if this was part of the arcade game or what, but it's annoying. There's not really much you can do to mess this game up. The only gripe I really have is it's too easy. There are four different difficulty levels, but even on the highest the game only enters twitch territory after the 25th round or so.
A great port that manages to capture the feeling of the arcade game well. Slightly choppy graphics drag the title down a notch, but what is left is more than adequate.
Graphics: Well done sprites, a bit choppy but otherwise clear.
Sound: Too many sound effects going off at the same time, everything gets cluttered. The little tune that plays whenever a new level is reached is pretty