Scurge: Hive

Scurge: Hive

The titular game caught my eye awhile ago in a list of “Hidden gems that you might have missed”. The game is for GBA, ported to DS, and falls into the action-adventure category. Is it worth getting? in short, yes. Not quite so short, read on…

Scurge: Hive tells the story about Jenosa Arma, an intergalactic bounty hunter hired to salvage what she can from a research lab overrun with the parasitic-experiment-gone-wrong, Scurge. Yes, the game quite blatantly borrows large chunks of it’s story and design from Metroid, and the general idea of the game is the same. Jenosa Arma can, like Samus, upgrade her suit and weapons to enable her to reach new areas, and the entire game is about exploring the different-themed parts of the research lab. Gameplay-wise, however, Scurge is more reminiscent of Secret of Mana as you play in a top-down manner, and enemies give you experience points when defeated so you level up and become stronger.


In the beginning of the game, Jenosa gets infected with the Scurge and to keep the infection at bay, she must revisit decontamination platforms. I thought this was really bothersome at first, but as these platforms also save your game and replenish health you never forget to save your game, so the system has some merit. A thing that did annoy me about Scurge was how heavily it sometimes relied upon Jenosa’s ability for diagonal movement, the D-Pad for the DS is decent but a little to small to allow you to press several directions with precision. After awhile you learn methods to work around these situations, but it’s still sad that something like that should be a problem. It is also somewhat disappointing that once you’ve beaten the game, there’s not much more to it; while in Metroid you had lots and lots of secret areas, I don’t think there’s a single room in Scurge that you don’t have to visit at least once during the game.


Despite these issues, Scurge: Hive is still a good game in a genre that doesn’t see many games at all. Thought-through controls make the game flow really well (apart from the diagonal issue), puzzles are interesting but don’t hold up the action by being tedious, bosses are grand and impressive and the level-design is varied – in some aspects even more so than Metroid. Seeing as it was originally a GBA game, audiovisually it isn’t quite as good as other DS games but at least the graphics are clean and don’t hinder the gameplay.

Apart from some gameplay elements, Scurge: Hive isn’t at all original. It does, however, prove that a good game doesn’t necessarily have to be.

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Posted on Aug 11/07 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »