Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Bargain Bin Laden #12: Scurge: Hive

9:16 PM on 04.15.2007 // Aaron Linde

This week's Bargain Bin Laden begins with a personal gripe: Nintendo and NST really crapped in my cereal with Metroid Prime: Hunters. Not because it was a bad game -- quite the contrary, actually -- but just because the original Prime took my favorite 2D series and sort of lodged it into a 3D environment, and was then brought to the haven for 2D gaming: a portable platform. Metroid Prime is a hell of a good time, but when I settle down with my DS, I prefer my gaming in two distinct dimensions: X and Y. Sure, there's this 2D Metroid Dread title rumored to be floating around at Nintendo's Intelligent Systems studio, but the murmurings of its cancellation in the two years since it was mentioned (not shown, mind, but only mentioned) make me fear that classic Metroid might be getting muscled out. The Castlevania DS titles have served well to ease my need for this brand of adventure gaming, but they'll never fill the void quite like another 2D Metroid.

You might be wondering what all this Metroid talk has to do with Scurge: Hive -- that is, unless you've read a preview or review of the game, y'know, ever. The comparisons are drawn for good reason: you, a female bounty hunter named Jenosa Arma, bring the pain to an assembly of weird creatures while staving off an infection you picked up on a space station. If it sounds familiar, it ought to; being so heavily influenced by Metroid Fusion, you can't help but draw comparisons between these two titles. 

Fortunately, Scurge stands as one of the best Metroid-esque titles released in the last year, making it a suitable stand-in while we await a true 2D Metroid sequel. On top of that, Scurge nets a haul of extra brownie points for bringing some original ideas to the table, creating a sweaty smorgasbord of delectable 2D gaming for a very low price. Strap on your skin-tight bounty hunter jumpsuit and hit the jump for more!

Scurge: Hive (DS, GBA)
Original Release: October 26, 2006
Developed by: Orbital Media
Bargain Binned:
$12.99 used for both the DS and GBA versions at GameStop/EB Games, cheaper elsewhere. I found my DS copy for $8 shipped on, so keep your eyes peeled.

It's no joke that this game is so often compared to Metroid Fusion. The story, as summarized on Wikipedia, is as follows:

Scurge: Hive features a female bounty hunter tasked with hunting a parasitic lifeform. The story follows Jenosa Arma, who has been contracted by the military on a rescue and salvage mission to Confederation Research Lab 58 on planet Inos. The perpetrator of the disaster is a virulent organism known as "Scurge," a parasite which has the ability to transform various organisms and technologies into Scurge derivatives. Jenosa has been equipped with a suit that resists infection. Unfortunately, it can only slow the infection down rather than make her immune; she is infected with Scurge the moment she first encounters it.

Change "Jenosa Arma" to "Samus Aran" and "Scurge" to "X" and you've got what is, essentially, Fusion's storyline, minus all that Metroid DNA claptrap. But let's not beleaguer Orbital Media for crafting a game that, for good reason, draws from some of its finest predecessors so heavily. Much like how Crackdown took its spiritual grandpappy Grand Theft Auto in a new direction, Scurge takes the space bounty-huntin' racket and reworks it in a way that makes for a fresh, invigorating gaming experience.

First thing's first: Scurge ain't a sidescroller. Gameplay is presented in an isometric (3/4) view, something we haven't seen in an action-adventure title in quite awhile. This alone comes along with a whole set of costs and benefits, which come in the form of a series of trade-offs. The isometric view allows for a freedom of movement in all directions and a slightly more dynamic combat system, but unfortunately only allows Jenosa to fire and move in eight directions. When you're being assaulted on all sides by baddos, this can be a bit of a pain, but it's something easily worked around by staying as mobile as possible while you're making your way through the game. The isometric view makes it somewhat difficult to gauge distances and depth for big jumps, but being able to work your way around enemies -- not just over them -- is a big plus. This is probably the biggest hurdle to get over in Scurge, but once you get the hang of it, the rest comes easy.

Jenosa's infection is an ever-present threat to your exploration; an indicator at the top-center point of your HUD displays the current percentage of infection currently bearing down upon you, and it ticks up a percent every so often, necessitating a trip to a decontamination station. These stations, positioned at locations interspersed throughout Scurge's levels, serve as charge-up locations and save points as well as a means of washing clean your filthy, dirty body and ridding you of your current contamination level. Other factors, like being struck by the angry bastard creatures that stand in your way or stepping upon certain contaminated surfaces, also increase your level. Once the gauge reaches 100%, you'll be taking steady damage until you can get back to a save point, which is both a great motivator for tearing through the game as well as a serious detractor to the sort of easy-going exploration element common amongst adventure titles.

Scurge has all the standard issue faults of a Metroid-style adventure game, including backtracking and ability-based impasses, but if you're the sort of cat who is into this sort of thing, it's likely that you already expected that. Another big difference is the inclusion of a level-based system to develop Jenosa. You'll gain experience with every slain enemy and, naturally, level up from time to time, boosting your HP and attack power. Scurge also offers a host of weapons with which to splatter your foes, but using the wrong weapon on the right enemy gives them a boost in power and energy, necessitating a dash of strategy in your ass-kickin' exploits. 

Scurge is an absolutely beautiful GBA game, which means it's a pretty great looking DS game. The DS version, being a port, won't stack up to some of the beefier 2D efforts on the platform like Lunar Knights or Yoshi's Island DS, but the graphics really shine on a DS Lite. The game is vibrant, colorful, and full of creative boss battles and enemy designs, and the music is atmospheric and moody -- not quite up to the bar as set by the Metroid GBA titles, but pretty phenomenal nonetheless.

With this in mind, you might be asking yourself which version to pick up. They cost the same and the games themselves are identical except for one key difference: Scurge on the DS includes a map on the touch screen at all times. As superficial as this detail might be, it's actually fairly handy to have, particularly in some of the game's later, more labyrinthine areas. I hear tell (though have not confirmed, as I don't have the GBA version myself) that some of the environmental effects and sounds didn't make the leap to DS as elegantly as the game's other features, so the GBA might actually outclass the DS in terms of audio and visual fidelity, in this case. Choosing a version is as simple as deciding what's more important to you or whatever platform you prefer. Simple as that.

Scurge's strengths definitely outweigh its flaws, and at just a hair over a ten bucks, it's one of the best buys on the Nintendo DS. While you're praying for Metroid Dread, why not dig into a game that so heroically robs the classic series of some of its best traits? Off with you! Buy this game!


Aaron Linde,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Got Deadpool, Arkham Asylum and BioShock 1 and 2 all for 30$. Not to bad for going Black Friday shopping late.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If you haven't played Tales from the Borderlands yet, GO BUY IT! By far the funniest game I have ever played, and the characters and narrative are incredibly well written. Very few memes unlike BL2 by the way.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Played all of Life is Strange today in one sitting. Bloody hell. You should all play it. Only game this year to make me cry. Bravo developers. Possibly the most valuable thing I've ever bought for £10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, got farther than ever in Wasteland 2. This is my third playthrough-once thru beta, once through the orig version, now on Directors cut. Worth the restart, and it speaks highly of the game that I like it enough to do this. DAMONTA HERE I COME!
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
GUYS HELP I KEEP BUYING MORE AMIIBO. Today it was Little Mac, since he went back up on Gamestop's website. I probably would have gotten Captain Falcon as well if I wasn't already running a little short on cash.
BigDoniel avatarBigDoniel
50 hours in and I can safely say that Xenoblade is the best JRPG I've played in years. Should hopefully be finished in time for X too!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
One job down on day I should have off, now for the other job.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I beat Murasaki Baby on PS Vita. Easy 100% trophy. That ending theme tho.
TheGwailo avatarTheGwailo
I have 34 games in my Steam queue alone, 4 on xbone, and a handful on handhelds. I have 3 days to make a dent. Time's up, let's do this!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: To make up for yesterday, I decided to ask a second Community Question today. Have you taken advantage of any Black Friday deals today? If so, what did you purchase? Feel free to share pictures of your spoils, if you have any.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Some Black Friday artwork arrived today ! [img][/img]
Lawman avatarLawman
Black Friday is getting to me. All these games I kinda, maybe want that are at anywhere between respectable and deep discounts, but I'm not sure if I want to bite. I'm wondering if Godzilla's worth $12? After checking review scores, I'm not sure.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Mission complete![IMG][/IMG]
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Black Friday slowly seems to creep its way onto Continental Europe, but I'm not complaining! I managed to get my grubby little paws on a new physical copy of The Wonderful 101 for €20! Thanks, America!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Since I missed yesterday, I am going to do something a little different today. Are there any questions you would like to ask me for a change? If so, please feel free. I may add a second Community Question later today, as well.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Isn't PES 2016 Free-to-Play model just the demo with extra crap thrown in?
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Damn Gumo, you cold as fuck. [img][/img]
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
While partially responsible for one of the biggest jokes in the metal, Cold Lake by Celtic Frost, Curt Bryant is doing the soundtrack to the game Slain!. I'm digging the shitty garage band vibe.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
How is the Lightening thread STILL GETTING COMMENTS!?!?!? P.S. I am trying to make Chex Mix, but we lost my special recipe I custom designed. sucks man.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Got a deal on a Surface Pro 3 model that I wanted. Now I just need a deal on a PS TV in Canada and I'm golden.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -