Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Top 30 Vertical Shooters for the Atari 2600 #3


Insanity.  Millipede is distilled insanity in a video game.  Compared to it, Centipede feels like a child's game.  There are so many things happening at once on the screen that it is literally impossible to keep track of it all.  The best you can do is to keep moving and keep shooting and hope you last long enough to earn another life.  It is absolutely absurd that a game this frenetic can also be this incredibly fun.
Millipede is, at its heart, just Centipede with more going on.  In addition to the millipede that marches across the mushroom field, you'll be joined by spiders, beetles, inchworms, mosquitoes, bees, dragonflies, and earwigs.  Sheesh!  Furthermore, each pest does something different and some can even help you live longer.  The inchworm, for instance, will slow down time temporarily when you shoot it.  This has obvious benefits, but is actually one of the most important helpers in the game.  Mosquitoes will help scroll the screen up and clear some of the mushroom field.

Another innovation that sets Millipede apart is the intermission waves.  After successfully destroying a millipede you are regularly treated to a swarm of some other kind of pest.  This swarm rains down upon you and can be shot for mega bonus points, but you have to be careful because they come at you quickly and can easily overwhelm.  With the right swarm of pests you can rack up major points, clear the screen of mushrooms and even score an extra life.

This all sounds well and good, but the game speed in Millipede is dazzling.  The game starts out with a fast pace and then rapidly ramps to madness speed.  This sounds like it would make the game infinitely frustrating, but somehow the balance of challenge and fun is just right.  You'll most likely die quickly your first several games of Millipede, but the thrill of the action will bring you right back for one more game, time and again.

Millipede is pure action.  You will not find a vertical shooter for the Atari 2600 with faster-paced, frantic action.  I was initially intimidated by Millipede's blazing game speed and level of challenge, but after a few games I settled right in and now it is a must play for me anytime I'm looking for some shootin' action!

My Top Millipede Score: 111,262

No comments:

Post a Comment