Scurge: Hive Review

Scurge: Hiveís premise is sure to evoke thoughts of Metroid. After all, you take on the role of a female bounty hunter tasked with clearing a base of an alien infestation. However, writing the game off as a simple Metroid knock-off would be a mistake as Scurge can be enjoyable in its own right. Itís not quite up to Metroid standards, but you can still have some fun with it.

In Scurge: Hive you are Jenosa, the lady bounty hunter Iíve already mentioned to you. A research colony has become overrun by an alien menace known as the Scurge. Things quickly become personal as shortly after entering the station Jenosa is infected by the deadly Scurge virus carried by the slimy aliens. The infection continually builds to a level of 100% and when it reaches this level time becomes very short for Jenosa. Luckily the research colony is equipped with medical stations that you can use to drop her infection level back to zero Ö for the time being at least.

The gameplay in Scurge: Hive is as much about obtaining the right tool for the job as it is about blasting aliens. Upgrades to Jenosaís spacesuit will allow her to do things like jump wide gaps, grab blocks and enemies with pincers, and freeze enemies into blocks of ice. While the gameplay takes place within the same station, it is effectively divided into levels by doorways that need to be triggered by solving a puzzle or defeating a boss, or by obstacles that canít be overcome until you upgrade your suit. This leads to some inevitable backtracking which isnít all that bad, but is made a tad tedious by the fact that the same enemies regenerate in a room each time it is entered. Overall the puzzle-like progression of the game makes it more interesting than your typically linear action game.

The game features a variety of enemies, some of which will relentlessly pursue you and try to latch on to you and others which will sling various projectiles at you from afar. These enemies all share two things in common, though. As mentioned earlier they regenerate each time you enter a room which can get to be a bit of a pain during backtracking or wrong turns. The second is that they can be frustratingly hard to shoot at times. Itís not that they are very adept at dodging your shots; itís more of an issue with your weapons. Enemies will follow the shortest path towards you, but your weapons can only fire in the eight basic directions. This means that enemies will often be coming at you from an angle that lies between your shots, and you wonít usually have much time to jockey yourself into position to line up the shot. At other times it will be just about impossible to line up the shot due to the cramped quarters of the rooms in the station. Boss fights are another matter though. The bosses in the game each have their own unique attacks and weaknesses, and the multi-round bouts with these slimy behemoths are one of the highlights of the game.

The presentation in Scurge: Hive deserves special mention. The game has a cool look to it, with colorful graphics that give it almost a comic-like feel. The graphics are also backed by some great music, which also works to give the game a unique feel that makes it stand out from other DS titles.

Scurge: Hive can be a little frustrating at times, but the overall experience is enjoyable. If youíre in need of some more Metroid style action on your DS, then Scurge: Hive is a good choice to scratch that itch.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 80%. Be careful, Scurge: Hive can be infectious.


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