Metareview: Scurge: Hive
When it comes to Nintendo's bounty hunters, it's all about the ladies. But the long-awaited, oft-delayed Scurge: Hive is no Metroid knockoff, despite similarites in heroines (and in weapons of choice). In Scurge: Hive, you take on the role of Jenosa Arma as she investigates a distress signal from a lab. Unfortunately for the intrepid Jenosa, the lab and everything around it is infected with the Scurge, a dangerous alien plague that spreads parasitically, infecting a host and taking it over. Before she can escape, she is infected and must go through a rigorous decontamination process while battling the alien menace and a wide array of monsters. But Jenosa is up to the task, difficult as it may sound. When you're a bounty huntress, that's just all in a day's work.
Overall, the game has seen solid reviews praising the pacing and story, but decrying the repetitive aspect of gameplay. No matter how interesting the story, in the end, it does come down to: kill enemies, get to sickbay. But then again, what game can't be boiled down to the sum of its parts?
Interestingly, the DS version has seen more negative criticism than the GBA -- the touch screen is barely used (it serves as a map screen) and the graphics seem to have suffered in the transition to the updated system (it was originally designed as a GBA title).
GameZone - 80%: One part action, one part RPG. One part Metroid, one part Zelda, one part reminiscent of the PSone era. Technically this is a GBA title, and unfortunately does not take advantage of everything the DS has to offer. But that doesn't prevent the game from blasting through. Scurge: Hive dives into the world of isometric action/RPGs, delivering an experience of intelligent puzzles, thrilling action, and monumental entertainment.
IGN - 70%: Scurge is one of the nicest looking games I've ever seen on the GBA. The Nintendo DS version however doesn't just suffer from having GBA graphics, but they actually seem to be worse. A lot of the neat mist effects, and the enemy animations are either gone or not near as polished as the GBA version. Don't get me wrong, Scurge is still a nice looking game on either handheld. Jenosa looks great, and is beautifully animated. Even her absurdly long ponytail looks great on either system. Scurge is a wonderful game to look at, but the DS version should have at least been on par with the GBA.
1UP - 70%: Even with these problems, though, Scurge: Hive is an entertaining adventure that boasts impressive production values, especially given its origins in a tiny development house. Its greatest failing is that it stands uneasily on the line between arcade-action and console-adventure. If you don't mind something that mashes two genres together without necessarily perfecting either, though, it's like having a lost chunk of 1993 in your pocket.