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Centipede: Infestation Hands On Preview

Humans are involved, but it's not what you think.

WayForward Technologies is remaking the arcade classic on Wii and 3DS with 3D environments and new features. No longer limited by an invisible ceiling like in the original, players can run all around the enclosed arenas with the nunchuk while aiming the Wii remote and blasting away with the B button. Thus far in the game's development, the only other move is a stomp (done with A or C) and the D-Pad is for changing weapons. Whether there will be a jump to aid in dodging or exploration/adventure elements is still undecided at this point. I saw very few mushrooms and destructible barriers; hopefully they'll be added in the next several months of development.

True to form, things stay pretty hectic thanks to some tightly enclosed stages; playable were garden, skyscraper (wasn't able to fall off, but that may change), and a boss fight on skyscraper. Over a dozen insect enemies on screen move to either swarm Max, wander aimlessly or go on a set path and they keep spawning for awhile. Plants sometimes sprouted that acted like turrets; grubs would swarm and attack them too. Unlike the original, the centipede in the demo didn't appear until the area was cleared but it did have a red weakpoint and split in two after taking some damage.

Powerups such as better weapons/upgrades, speedier running, armor, “rage” (invincibility), etc drop from spiders if you shoot them fast enough.

The early pre-alpha Wii demo showed a game with many important aspects still being decided on and tweaked for its release this fall. Stay tuned to PixlBit for more pictures and video from the show floor.

Some more confirmed details:

  • 35 levels take place on rooftops, in wastelands, caves, tops of trains, and combinations thereof. The first one involves defending female protagonist Mazy's garden, who is also a playable character in co-op.
  • 3DS version will be “heavily influenced” by Wii version, but it sounds like mostly a port.
  • $40 price is being considered (seems likely).
  • 5 boss fights (alpha centipede, giant spider, etc), with the demo's featuring a centipede launching a sidescroller-ish wave of energy ball attacks.
  • 20 guns and 20 different enemy types.
  • Glowing orbs dropped by enemies can be used to purchase guns and upgrades (longer reach, etc).
  • Voiceovers and some animated cutscenes pad out some story time between levels: a single missile made it past Missile Command's defense, leaving Max Awesome (yes, for real) to rid the world of the insect invasion that is sucking the energy from the world.
  • Competitive multiplayer is possible but uncertain at this point.

I asked if there was a chance of seeing Moon Patrol get a 3D remake. Infestation's director/designer had fond memories of the original and seemed to like the idea, but nothing is currently in the works.



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