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Released: 1981

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Compu-Games AS

Developer: Konami

Submitted by: Scott Reed

The year is 1981. Four years will pass before Konami will produce Gradius and show us all. But the engineers of the Metal Gear are already giving us a good idea. What about? Oh just how to make side-scrolling shoot-em-up’s awesome.

Scramble is a unconventional, no scratch that, bloody strange schmup. Everything happens below you. Your arch-enemy, one you will learn to resent, are the rockets that fire up from below and explode you. Luckily they’ll always fire off in the same order from one try to the next. So it’s not to much of a trick to learn what’s coming after a couple of detonations.

Further, your flying phallic object the ship Renegade has only so much fuel. Y’kow like a real flying machine. To keep yourself topped up you’ll have to blow up Fuel Tanks, again located on the ground below you. Requiring the mastering of your bombs. A weapon that is in no hurry to get anywhere.

Actually, now I think, the whole game is on the same time frame as those bombs. It’s not a very fast paced title. Which is a good thing. Dodging and bombing is difficult enough at this speed. It also goes a way in lengthening the game. The mere six levels my main complaint for Scramble.

But hardly a complain to be ashamed of is it? Imagine Scramble in the playground “I have camera issues” says one of it’s mates “My controls are all to dick” says another “oh my main complaint is that I end” smiles a smug Scramble.

I’ve a mate, a very good mate, who every time you mention Scramble makes repeats ‘I don’t like that’. I finally figured out why. He’s been playing a demo of the Xbox Live Arcade version. I understand his point of view, I wouldn’t like flying a silver penis over what looks like pomegranate and intestines covered in Day-Glo paint either. So I say stay away from that version. It’s one of the few games compiled in the sickly Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits though. And there’s MAME. But that’s illegal…shhh.

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