Developed in 1980, Centipede gained popularity throughout arcades all over the US. The coin-operated arcade community immediately fell in love with it, and it has been a staple in arcades for a long time. While other popular arcade titles like Pac-Man and Galaga have revamped and re-imagined their brand time and time again, Centipede has never had a chance to show its potential until now with Centipede: Infestation landing on the Nintendo 3DS.
Centipede: Infestation is a complete overhaul of the original for the Arcade and later, the Atari. Instead of a 2D shooter of old, Centipede: Infestation takes Centipede into the glorious world of 3D graphics with the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS. It is now a shoot ‘em up type game without the limited movement the player has in the arcade version. Now, the player can move anywhere on screen instead of the left to right motion.
Along with the player, the enemies have also been re-imagined and can attack from any point on the screen. Spiders, wasps, scorpions, and of course, the centipede, have all been brought into modern day and look pretty intense.
Centipede: Infestation is a really straightforward game. You will play as Max the Bug Slayer, and yes, he prefers to be called that. He is a goofy, yet strong character that players will get to take control of. There is a main mode, story mode, which lets you fight for the minimal plant life that still exists in Max’s world. By maintaining the plant life, you will have to conquer an extreme amount of bugs that have infested everything that was once Mother Earth.
Along with the story mode, the only other mode available is a co-op, in which two players can play through the campaign together. It isn’t download play, but it is still a lot more fun shooting up immense amounts of colossal insects with an extra friend, and more importantly, an extra gun.
The story's presentation isn’t anything special. The cut scenes are animated with mostly still pictures and voiceovers. It is interesting, and it’s a good addition, but at the same time, the game really just does the bare minimum in telling the story. However, it is a surprisingly good story with some pretty significant, emotion-jerking points. In many games like this, it can stand alone without a story. So, even with the minimal story presentation, the story is a much needed and excellent addition.
The gameplay actually fits well with the story. Again, it is good, but it does nothing to set itself apart from the competition. It does the bare minimum of throwing some fun your way, but that is it. As Max, you will run around, shooting with the basic gun at enemies flying everywhere throughout the environment. In each stage, there are power ups for Max to receive if you defeat certain spiders that magically drop down from above. Shooting down wasps and tackling an enemy like the gigantic centipede is a thrill and is fun, but it’s the potential that was lost in this title. It sometimes gets too repetitive and slow.
As many of the 3DS games to date, this game lacks a true grasp on the capitibilities of 3D through the 3DS. In all honesty, it didn’t look very appealing at all. Recently released games such as Super Mario 3D Land and Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D have shown us how special a game can be in 3D, and Centipede: Infestation isn’t anywhere near the 3D experience that games like that offer. It felt as if developers didn’t find it very necessary to explore more into how great 3D could have been incorporated into this game. Instead, as mentioned before, this game provided the bare minimum, which isn’t good enough in today’s industry.
Looking back at the original on Arcade and now at Centipede: Infestation, the series is back on track, but it still lacks anything that could set it apart from its remastered arcade brethren. It does a lot of things good. The gameplay is fun, and the story is interesting enough. However, at this point of time, the competition is vast, and this game is missing things that have become default in a new title to be able to stay competitive. The lack of content is extremely disappointing.
Centipede: Infestation only has two modes, and nothing else. At the end of the day, you will play about 40 levels by yourself or with a friend, and that is it. Along with co-op, many games, especially shooters, have an almost limitless amount of other modes you can play outside of the story to immerse yourself even more into the game. This title lacks everything a modern game has, and with the potential there, it is heartbreaking to know this game could have really been something refreshing to Centipede enthusiasts.