There's an unwritten rule a company has to follow when updating a classic game--any changes or additions that you make cannot alter or hurt the game-play of the original (an example of this done well is Tempest 2000). Centipede breaks that rule. A choppy frame-rate, blocky textures, awkward camera angles and drifty control alt make you forget that this was once an enjoyable arcade game. While boss graphics look OK, smaller enemies are too blocky. I would have preferred simpler, rounded polygons to this choppy, blocky mess. One of the important aspects of the original game is that you could only go a third of the way up the screen. In this, you can move in any direction, anywhere on the playing field (except water and pits), making the game more like a bad version of Smash TV. Saving Wee People and worrying about mission objectives slows the game's pace, and doesn't add any additional enjoyment to the game. The music is OK, but using Redbook audio that fades in and out at the start/end of each track makes the game load way too often. Speaking of load times, it's almost intolerable for a PlayStation game to load as much as this does. Its saving grace is that it does include a version of the original arcade game, which does kick-start the memories of spending countless hours in front of the machine in the '80s.
There's nothing wrong with updating classic formulas with some modern-day twists (Robotron into Smash TV, for example). This 32-Bit Centipede is fun but the developers decided to implement free-roaming 3D gameplay, which kills the mounting anticipation of having to dodge a fragmented centipede if it should ever reach the bottom of the screen. Did this game realty need to be in 3D? Thankfully, included is the original game for old guys like me.
Here's a textbook example of how to muck up a classic game. For one, why even have 3O when the most comfortable view is top-down anyway? The 3D angle is more of a novelty than a viable play mode. Why so many levels that basically repeat the same scenario in different forms? One more-why not modify and improve the original 2D Centipede while keeping its classic gameplay much the same way Activision did with the new Asteroids?
How sad. Now that Activision's Asteroids has set the standard on how to properly update a retro game, why are half-rate updates like Centipede still appearing? Its graphics are horribly primitive, especially considering how few polygons there seem to be on screen. The gameplay and overall style is too simple. The level progression is smooth and I like the control .but that's it. The rest is pretty much crap-crap sound, crap graphics, etc. Crap.