Chicks dig the trakball!
By Ryan GennoOctober 25, 2005
One of the best games ever.
You ought to know the drill by now.
During the early 1980's Atari scored big
when legendary programmer Ed Logg (also well known for creating the game
Asteroids) made another popular game called Centipede. The
game is a fast paced shooter where you hunt down killer bugs before they
take you down. If you are looking to relive the arcade experience at
home at see why the 5200 is one of the best versions around.
The premise in Centipede is really basic yet it works. In the
game it's your goal to help an elf to shoot down an invading
Centipede before it has a chance to reach at the bottom of the
screen. It may sounds easy but the problem is the Centipede will be
guarded by tons of annoying (but shootable) Mushrooms and it will still
advance even if you shoot off parts of its body. If you manage to shoot
down all the pieces of it another Centipede will quickly take its
place. The other big obstacle you have to worry about in the game is the
ever aggressive spider and it is actually much tougher to avoid the
spider (especially on the 5200) then the game's star attraction.
All the action takes place on a single screen and are little hero can
freely move across 1/3 of the bottom area so you have a bit more freedom
then other shooters like Space Invaders or Mega Mania
where you can only move left or right. The game plays well on the
standard 5200 controller (which is good because usually they suck) but
it should also be noted the game is compatible with the cool Atari 5200
Track Ball Controller too so it plays even more like the arcade
original. Believe me, you're going to need great controls for this tough
Not only are the controls very accurate but the game even looks just
like the arcade game. Your hero is not a mere block like in the 2600
edition and everything from the Centipede to the Mushrooms have a fair
bit of detail. This shooter looks so good that the graphics are even
better than the Letterbox 7800 version if you ask me. The game also has
the that constant marching beat and various other arcade sounds effects
just like in the arcades. The problem is the arcade game was never that
great looking or sounding to begin with. For example: the boring black
background and lack of any real game music are still very apparent.
Although the game is not too graphically impressive and the action can
get very repetitive as well, if you love the action packed arcade
original this edition is has close as you can get especially with the
Track Ball controller. If you have the 5200 be sure to check out the
simple but fun and challenging Centipede.