Tuesday, July 21, 2020

GameFAQs Review - Centipede (Atari 7800)

CENTIPEDE is a well-known 1980 arcade classic from Atari, where you have to fend off against the eponymous Centipede and its hordes of minions. It's a tremendously enjoyable affair, became a hit, and was eventually ported to several home video gaming systems. The version were going to be looking at today is the Atari 7800 iteration and this is actually a pretty good port of Centipede on the Atari 7800.

Of course, this isn't a perfect port in regards to gameplay; the original Centipede arcade game used a trackball as its main input for controlling your bug blaster thing, whereas on the Atari 7800, you were using the stock 7800 joystick or equivalent controller and there's no trackball support for this version of Centipede. For the most part, control in Centipede is a pretty solid and simple affair. No real complaints in this department. It's really no different from almost any other home conversion of Centipede you'd find on the market. It works, it's responsive, it suits your needs just fine. Nothing more to add on that count.

Gameplay is pretty much the same familiar Centipede; clear away the mushrooms and kill off the Centipede segments for points, as well as spiders and other critters looking to make life difficult for you. Nothing new or different in that regard; you also have difficulty select in the grand tradition of Atari 7800 homeports, so if you're having a bit of trouble, turn it down a notch. Nobody will know...

The game has some rather nice graphics and closely matches the visuals of the arcade original, save from minor rough edges... but still, it looks pretty nice. This is different from what was done the 7800 port of Asteroids, where the traditional vector-based space rocks were replaced with actual well-rounded space rocks... with craters... and smooth animation. But Centipede looks really good. Just about the only improvement made to the game is that everything looks a tad bigger - probably to fill the screen considering the arcade's vertical screen doesn't lend itself too well to horizontal home televisions, but it looks good. I can't really complain.

As for the sound, it has all the sounds of Centipede and it sounds pretty good. Not much more to say that that; I've got no issues with the sound.

It goes without saying that Centipede is an enjoyable yet challenge arcade shooter. Easy to pick up, simple to understand, and yet difficult to conquer. The Atari 7800 version of Centipede does a superb job of bringing the action, overcoming the lack of a trackball controller with its solid traditional controls. This is just another in a long line of excellent arcade conversions on the Atari 7800, which was one of the main strengths of the system. Centipede is a great game, loads of fun, worth a look if you own a 7800.

- Solid conversion of Centipede with multiple difficulty settings.
- Controls well with the stock joystick or gamepad

- No trackball support


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