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Scramble - Xbox Live Arcade review

They don't make space shooters like they used to. Thank goodness

Pros

  • Pretty upgraded graphics
  • Old-school challenge
  • Cheap at 400 points/five bucks

Cons

  • Boring
  • Frustrating
  • Lame multiplayer

Konami's greatest games keepappearing on Xbox Live - and somehow, Scramble showed up too. While games like Time Pilot aged gracefully, this side-scrolling space shooter feels old and inflexible, a crusty gaming battleship dragged out of drydock. All you can do is stare and go, "Wow, that's old."

Granted, they gave the old girl a fresh coat of paint - a major improvement, considering the horrifying original color scheme changes flourescent shades every few seconds - but the gameplay underneath still feels brutally linear. Think Defender but not as exciting: fly your spaceship through twisty, spiky caverns filled with enemy ships, rockets that could launch into your ship at any time, indestructible comets and other obstacles waiting to smash you to bits. Get your hardcore on: no continues, no starting at a later stage and notorious collision detection that kills you when you swear you were out of harm's way. It's wicked hard to reach the base on the sixth level - and after that, you juststart over. The new co-op and versus modes don't really matter; it's the same split-screen, non-interactive multiplayer trick from the reissues ofFrogger and Time Pilot.

Our theory is that Scramble came as part of an obligatory package deal when Microsoft securedKonami titles like Contra and Frogger. This relicsimply isn't compelling enough to get by on its own merits.

More Info

GenreArcade
DescriptionThis musty arcade warrior makes for a brief hardcore challenge, but not one you'll want to revisit often.
PlatformXbox 360
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating
Release date:13 September 2006 (US), 13 September 2006 (UK)
Available platforms:Xbox 360
Genre:Arcade
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