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Centipede: Recharged Review

Official Score

Overall - 55%

55%

The arcade action of Centipede: Recharged is inoffensive, but there simply isn’t enough content here to justify its price tag. Even the most devout score chaser will likely get bored with this title’s lack of variety, and its bland aesthetics seal its fate.

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Following the release of Missile Command: Recharged last year, Adamvision Studios, SneakyBox, and Atari have some nasty critters in their sights with the release of Centipede: Recharged. This score chaser made a name for itself in arcades the world over – does this remake keep the spirit alive?

Centipede: Recharged Review

Fixed shooters are simple by design, and the original release boiled things down to its most basic elements. You’re a Bug Blaster at the bottom of the screen, and a bunch of nasty centipedes (natch), spiders, and scorpions are all looking to cause havoc and take you down. Throw in a bunch of mushrooms that’ll eat your shots, and you’ve got a score chaser with a “kill or be killed” objective that anybody can understand. Rather, the tricky part comes when enemies start to flood the screen.

Centipede: Recharged keeps things largely the same, right down to the aesthetics. Things certainly look a lot better – its neon-drenched vector aesthetics are certainly a sight, but it doesn’t have too much personality. The same goes with its music – its synthetic beats are largely forgettable, rather than being at the forefront of the action.

Gameplay-wise, there’s a number of power-ups players can grab along the way that offer up a distinct advantage for a limited period of time. Whether one slows down time or shoots explosive rounds, there’s a little something for everyone. The 16:9 widescreen playfield gives players more real estate to explore, though those weaned on the aspect ratio of the arcade original might be at odds with it. There’s also the chance to play the title in co-op, allowing for twice the firepower – certainly a helpful addition when the going gets tough.

It all comes down to the overall format of the title. Score chasers were popular in the 80s for the diehard crowd, but the general entry fee was typically 25 cents and a few minutes of your time. While Centipede: Recharged has global leaderboard support, it also only has one level. Even titles like Ms. Pac-Man had more level variety on display than this title. It might stay true to the formula, but its current $9.99 price tag on Steam is far too steep for what is included.

However, those that don’t mind a bit of repetition can spice things up with its Challenge Mode. These objectives are nothing too out of the ordinary; players are tasked with destroying mushrooms, reaching point thresholds, and killing a set amount of enemies with bombs. Some are more challenging than others, and additional challenges unlock over time, but this is more of a side attraction than the main event.

The arcade action of Centipede: Recharged is inoffensive, but there simply isn’t enough content here to justify its price tag. Even the most devout score chaser will likely get bored with this title’s lack of variety, and its bland aesthetics seal its fate.

This review of Centipede: Recharged was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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