SCURGE HIVE / Orbital Media / Nintendo DS
Scurge Hive wants to be Metroid sooo hard. See if this sounds familiar: a spacefaring female bounty hunter gets called upon to investigate a remote research station that's been overrun by a parasitic alien life form. She'll do this in non-linear style by using an arm cannon, jumping and gaining gradual power-ups. Even the game's music and sound effects recall those you've heard in one of the numerous other Metroid games. Bosses are also frequently "puzzle bosses" that are thinly veiled re-takes of gimmicks used in the Prime games. Really, the one thing that differentiates it is that it rips off the Boktai games for its gameplay more than it does Metroid's 2D or 3D incarnations.
And that's the main reason why it sucks. Running, shooting and jumping is slow and clunky, like it's taking place on a hexagonal grid that you move tile-by-tile through. Even common enemies take shit tons of hits from your pansy cannon, and endlessly respawn in most screens. To add to the fun, you're infected with "Scurge", which quickly depletes your HP if you let the meter get all the way up to 100%. The only way to counteract it is to bring the gauge back down to 0% at a save station. It fills up at a rate of about 1% per 5 seconds, so it's not a terrible restriction, but it's just fast enough to be annoying, especially with how much firepower it takes just to deal with common little respawning enemies.
Really, they'd have been better off going full banana ripoff and making this a 2D sidescroller. It's a bunch of concepts airlifted from someone else's work, which can be fine if arranged in an original and interesting way (see Hideo Kojima), but here it's just more like lazy design slapped on top of a mediocre action engine.
* Gameplay Video