Konami's Scramble (1981) on Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday's

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Konami's Scramble (1981) arcade screenshotKonami's Scramble (1981) arcade screenshotWell, it was that time again yesterday, Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday, where Microsoft releases one new Xbox Live Arcade game each Wednesday until further notice. They missed last week, with technical difficulties with the still unreleased "Lumines Live!", but this week saw Konami's "Scramble" come out (Konami seems to be a HUGE Live supporter, don't they?).

For those unfamiliar with "Scramble", it's the 1981 arcade shooting game from Konami where you control a spaceship flying over a forced-scrolling landscape, able to shoot "bullets" and drop bombs, but needing to refuel frequently (by blowing up fuel tanks - go figure). To me, it's the lesser version of Universal's superior and contemporary "Cosmic Avenger", also from 1981, which features lusher landscapes and had a fun ColecoVision conversion that I played a ton of. In any case, I enjoy these types of games and many may be familiar with Scramble's sequel, "Super Cobra", which received conversions on countless platforms in the early to mid-80's courtesy of Parker Brothers.

In any case, "Scramble" on Xbox Live Arcade provides the typical options of downloading a free demo or buying the game outright, which, as usual for this type of game, roughly equates to $5 in Microsoft Points. Unlike some other demos, however, this one is very short in that as soon as you reach "Stage 2", it ends. It's enough to give you a flavor of the game, but still not enough in my opinion to convince you to buy it if you're on the fence or not an original fan of such games.

The game defaults to a revamped hi-definition mode with updated visuals, sound and soundtrack. It's not a bad revamp, but I find the original's visuals more charming, even with their somewhat garish coloring. The game also seems to play just a bit differently in revamped mode, moreso than the other games that have received similar treatment. As is usual on my widescreen hi-def TV, there is a decorative border on the left and right of the screen to accomodate the original aspect ratio. In this case, it works just fine, unlike some games where it wasn't as appealing.

I did actually purchase this one since I'm a sucker for this type of game, though again I think it's the weaker of the bunch mentioned above. The Gamertag achievments come quick and easy for the most part, save for one or two seemingly impossible achievments typical of these types of games on Live Arcade. There's also an online-enabled multiplayer mode that I have yet to try (in fact I have yet to try them with any of the Live Arade games that support it), but the fact that it's there is another bonus.

This is one tough game, as are all the examples in its class, but its one that makes you want to play "just one more" over and over again. That's an accomplishment in my book.

Comments

Fighter17 (not verified)
IGN..

gave it a 4.5, and after reading the review, they were kind-of bias.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
I can't argue with the 4.5

I can't argue with the 4.5 actually. Like I said, it's not even the best game of its type (I prefer Cosmic Avenger or even Super Cobra if you want to stay in the arcade game class), it's very difficult and there's not much to it. It's a pure bad-ass old school shooter, nothing more. It's an enthusiasts game and a niche enthusiasts game at that.

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Only yesterday I said Mr Custard I won't be buying Scramble.....

only to come back on my decision and buying it today....
Just got Test Drive: Unlimited..... not sure what to think of it really. Been driving around aimlessly a bit.....

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

n/a
forcefield58
Offline
Joined: 05/19/2006
Scramble

I downloaded it, trail version, and it didn't do anything for me.

I downloaded Test Drive - Unlimited as well...wow, 768Mb's over the Xbox took forever!!!!

Not impressed with that either. I wish for once that damage would accumulate on vehicles to the point where they were undriveable. Not sure if that option exists in that game, but would be nice.

For you driving folks out there, have you found the "ultimate" game for the 360 yet??? I liked PGR and Dub for regular Xbox. I think I'll download PGR for 360 and check it out.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Xbox 360 Racing Games

I tried the first Test Drive Unlimited demo and didn't like it, then downloaded the newer Test Drive Unlimited demo and still didn't like it. The visuals didn't impress me and the controls were especially bad in my opinion. I'm intrigued by the massively multiplayer type of concept, but since the controls stink, what's the point?

I enjoy PGR, but it's the same style as all the other ones, just with better visuals of course. You either like the PGR games or you don't. I find myself playing the most of Burnout for the 360, which is no suprise since I'm a huge fan of the series. I'm looking forward to the next gen one thought that eliminates stage loading and provides a more seamless and even more over-the-top experience. Need for Speed was pretty good too, though that series never really did it for me and Ridge Racer was dissapointing, but at least is easy to drive.

That upcoming wireless steering wheel seems neat, but I've been burned by those things before. If it doesn't improve my experience over using the analog stick, why bother?

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.