A NintendoFuse Game Review by Jeremy Hardin (JHardin1112)
Game – Centipede Infestation
Version – Wii
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Atari
Developer – Way Forward
Set in a post apocalyptic world where nuclear waste has caused insects to grow larger than life and society is relegated to bunkers/communities surrounded by the Wastelands, our hero Max The Bug Slayer roams said Wasteland with no purpose just trying to survive day to day, that is until he runs into Maisy, the girl with a green thumb. Maisy doesn’t care for Max as he is a bug magnet and all she wants to do is tend to her gardens. Of course Max in his arrogance thinks he is protecting Maisy by killing the bugs, so he tags along. Interestingly enough, Maisy is the only one who capable of growing gardens in the Wastelands and wherever she has a garden it produces oxygen, which allows people to live outside of bunkers. Along the way, Max develops feelings for Maisy and realizes his calling to rid the world of these bugs and restore life back into the Wastelands. The story unfolds via non animated cut scenes (with visual style reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons) before each level.
Gameplay and Controls
Centipede Infestation is a top down shooter comprised of 35 levels and 5 boss battles. You can play in single player or 2 player co-op mode (which is where the replay value lies.) The levels are quite small in scale but the enemies come at you from every corner, whether it be through crawling, flying, digging or hopping so be on guard at all times. Before each level you will be given an objective, most often times it is to destroy all the bugs, however there will be occasional changes to that formula, such as protecting Maisy or making your way through a larger level. Really though, your main focus is to kill all the bugs. The game controls are simple and work really well. You move Max around with the analog stick and move your on screen cursor by pointing the Wiimote at the screen. You can press and hold down the B button to fire, but alternatively you can press A to perform a stomp attack which destroys all bugs within a small radius. This is quite helpful when the bugs have gotten to close to you and you need some breathing room. Just note that the stomp action has to recharge and takes somewhere between 10-2o seconds before you can use it again. You will notice a second circle underneath Max when you are able to perform the stomp.
Now, let’s talk about all those sweet guns you’ll be playing with. You start off with your basic gun in each level but are quickly offered several upgrades within moments. Upgrades come in the form of spiders that drop down from the ceiling. These spiders don’t attack you, but if you touch them you will lose a hit point. So, make sure you destroy the bug first and then collect the upgrade. You can store up to four gun upgrades at once which are assigned to your d-pad, and you can increase the power of these guns by collecting two of the same upgrade tokens. The gun upgrades are timer based once you activate them, so once you activate them keep an eye on the timer. The guns themselves are pretty cool and you will find yourself using guns such as electricity, freeze, flamethrower, laser, nukes, poison and more. My two favorite gun upgrades were the laser beam and the machine gun, especially when they were maxed out.
To help you fight off the waves of bugs are the bugs themselves, their carcasses I mean. Certain bugs when killed will cause a turret to grow which will automatically fire at the enemies, this is tremendous help when you are in the thick of things. Other times, dead bugs will cause mushrooms to grow which act as blockades between you and the bugs. At the end of each level you will face off against some centipedes and as you kill them, mushrooms will grow where they died. Most often times the centipedes are incredibly easy to kill, save for how quickly they move.
Visuals and Sound
The visuals were alright as was the sound, but nothing really stood out to me as impressive. I was disappointed with the repetition of audio tracks and the environment. I admit that I don’t understand the process of creating a video game, as in how much time or cost is required. Maybe the developers were on a deadline and had to leave things out, I don’t know. So maybe I don’t know enough to truly appreciate the visuals or sounds. I just don’t understand why they were so repetitive. The bugs on the other hand looked good and I liked getting to lay waste to countless swarms of them and watching their bodies burst apart, so yeah that’s cool. Plus, the guns had some cool visual effects.
Concluding Overall Impressions
You may have noticed a recurring theme in my review of Centipede Infestation and that is repetition. Centipede Infestation is a modern take on a classic game that unfortunately fails to deliver due to repetitive gameplay and bland level design and in a game as short as this (just over 4 hours) repetition really hinders the enjoyment. I want to stress that there is fun to be had, especially if you can get a friend to join in the Co-op mode, but it is limited. While the hi-scores, challenges and unlockables provide a little replay value, they are not enough to justify the $29.99 price, at least to me. Regardless, if you would like to purchase a copy of Centipede Infestation for the Wii so you and your friends obliterate heaps of bugs, then stomp on over to the NintendoFuse store and pick it up today - Buy Centipede Infestation.
Final Score: 3.5 out of 5