When it comes to static shooters, Centipede is a true classic but how does this modernization hold up? Let's get shooting and find out.
Centipede: Recharged should be a familiar experience for anyone who has played the original as you control a little cannon while shooting up at bugs. The main enemy type are centipedes that move left and right then down 1 row when they hit a wall and after being shot; they split and leave a mushroom at that spot which acts as a destructible wall. Other enemies include fast-paced downward-moving bugs that leave a trail of mushrooms and spiders which, in this iteration, spawn cool power-ups when defeated. It's simple arcade-shooting fun that's easy to pick-up-and-play and on top of that, you can play cooperatively with a friend which makes it even more enjoyable.
When it comes to presentation, Centipede: Recharged features clean visuals that make its gameplay completely unambiguous which is great as it allows you to focus on the gameplay. However, I find the neon aesthetic to be a bit overdone at this point and it gets rather tiring to look at after a while. Thankfully, the colours change over time which admittedly looks great. Meanwhile, the electronic soundtrack is pumpin' while the sound effects are super-satisfying and add a lot of palpability to the onscreen action.
As I mentioned, Centipede: Recharged features power-ups which is excellent. Whether you pick up an item that slows down time or places bombs around that you can then shoot to explode, you're in for a treat. Plus, there are oodles of rewarding weapons such as a rapid-fire and spread shot. On top of these, Centipede: Recharged also has an extensive list of challenges to master in addition to its survival-based arcade mode and no matter how you play, you have the opportunity to rank on the online leaderboards. I definitely wasn't expecting this to be as jam-packed as it is and the variety of challenges is exquisite to boot. Can you beat my high scores?
Revisit the origins of Centipede
If you'd like to play the original Centipede then check out Atari Flashback Classics for the arcade, Atari 2600, and Atari 5200 versions of both Centipede and its sequel Millipede. Plus, Evercade Atari Collection 2 includes Centipede for Atari 7800.
Even though I had a lovely time with Centipede: Recharged and plan on playing it more, it does have its issues. The most substantial of which is that its gameplay wears thin after an hour or so considering just how simple it is. In other words, it's a fun game but only in short sessions. Finally, I found some of the challenges to be luck-based. Specifically, you might get a weapon that helps you complete a challenge in mere seconds while during other runs, you may only get power-ups that slow down time which can actually make you get a worse score. To remedy this, I wish the developers would only include predetermined power-ups in the challenges.
Centipede: Recharged does a wonderful job of bringing Atari's classic static shooter to the modern age. With super-fun co-op play and oodles of challenges to master, you'll gladly pick it up whenever you want a quick fix of arcade action.
- + Easy to pick-up-and-play arcade shooting action that's even more fun with a friend
- + Clean visuals and great music and effects
- + Lots of enjoyable challenges to master
- - Even with power-ups, it's still a very simple formula that wears thin after a while
- - Neon graphics get a little tired
- - Some challenges are luck-based