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Handheld Games from Orbital Media Now in Stores

by Daniel Bloodworth - October 25, 2006, 12:05 am EDT
Total comments: 17 Source: Press Release

Scurge: Hive is out for DS and GBA, and Juka and the Monophonic Menace has been released on GBA.

Scurge: Hive and Juka & the Monophonic Menace in Stores Now!

SouthPeak Interactive and Orbital Media Bring Two Highly Anticipated Sci-Fi Titles to Nintendo's Handheld Consoles

GRAPEVINE, Texas and CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- SouthPeak Interactive, a leading independent publisher, and Orbital Media, a videogame developer for handheld videogames, announced today that Scurge: Hive for the GameBoy Advance and Nintendo DS and Juka & the Monophonic Menace for the Game Boy(R), are now available for gamers who have been anxiously awaiting their release.

"Scurge: Hive will throw gamers into fast-paced action while Juka and the Monophonic Menace is an exciting adventure game that players of all ages will enjoy tremendously," said Steve Shatford, President and CEO of Orbital Media.

Scurge: Hive features Jenosa Arma, a bounty hunter, whose insatiable appetite for trouble and curiosity could be her very undoing. Forty-eight hours ago, a distress signal was sent from a remote research lab studying a virulent organism identified as the "Scurge." Scientists have been studying its remarkable metamorphic and energy abilities. Armed with top-secret projectile gauntlets and a prototype battle suit, Jenosa has been commissioned by a black-ops cell from the government to investigate and salvage any research technology from within the facility.

Juka and the Monophonic Menace features Juka, a young Alchemist, whose peaceful world is turned up side down when local villages start to disappear. Juka must use his power of potion creation and master the ancient art of The Sound Staff if he is to make his way through the many quests, puzzles, and Menace Machines that he will encounter while trying to free the land of Obla from the evil Monophonic Menace.


KDR_11kOctober 25, 2006

Interesting, Scurge seems to get released this week here, too. I hope it's good, I can always use good handheld games.

Though I still think they shouldn't have made it so obvious how much they're copying Metroid with that story. Should at least not use the bounty hunter and distress signal from space station mechanics EVERY Metroid game uses. I mean, the Scurge - X similarity is unavoidable for the game concept I presume but this could have been handled much less blatant.

JonLeungOctober 25, 2006

Alberta, eh? That's kind of neat (as I live in Edmonton).

I was looking forward to these two games, well, I guess I still sort of am, but:
1. I have WAY too many DS games to play right now (they've released too many good ones recently, including some RPGs! >_< ), and
2. now I'm wondering if Scurge: Hive is really any good. It sounded like an ismoetric Metroid, but X-Play didn't rate it high. Then again, X-Play didn't like several games that I do, so forget that. But I'll probably check out some more reviews first now.

couchmonkeyOctober 25, 2006

Yeah, I also want to see a few reviews - these seem to be coming out of nowhere and I don't trust that. Racing Gears Advance was awesome, though.

KDR_11kOctober 25, 2006

Nowhere? Considering all the hype Scurge has been getting it counts as a high-profile GBA game.

couchmonkeyOctober 25, 2006

Really? I haven't heard anything about it in months, but maybe I just don't read the right things. In any case what I really meant by "nowhere" was that there are very few reviews so far, which can be a sign that the publisher doesn't want anyone to critique the game before it's available.

I did read a review of Scurge on 1UP and although it only received 7/10 I was pretty happy. The only real complaint was that the game has a timer that counts down from each save point and kills you. Annoying.

KDR_11kOctober 25, 2006

With most GBA games we hear NOTHING about them before they are released...

vuduOctober 25, 2006

I thought this game came out on GBA like six months ago. Didn't it? Didn't Circuit City have it marked down to six bucks a few months back?

Smoke39October 25, 2006

No. The developer was without a publisher until fairly recently.

vuduOctober 25, 2006

Then what game am I thinking of? The RPG/Space Shooter combo....

JonLeungOctober 25, 2006

You're thinking of Sigma Star Saga...

KDR_11kOctober 25, 2006

BTW, what's the difference between the DS and GBA version, if there is any?

I've read a review for that Juka game, apparently a nice Zelda-esque game but too short and easy.

EDIT: Apropos Sigma Star Saga, while Amazon says that is out of print by now I have NEVER seen it in a store.

hockeyoilers99October 25, 2006

I've been following Orbital for a while now, and have really wanted Scurge for a while. Problem is, I don't know where to find it. EBGames doesn't have it. Best Buy lied to me, claiming they had copies, only to have nothing to show me when I got there. I'm supposed to be getting review copies, but they were supposedly shipped over a week ago, and still nothing. Argh. I just want to play these games.

Smoke39October 25, 2006

Order them online?

Smoke39October 27, 2006

I just read IGN's review of Scurge. The GBA one got an 8, but they only gave the DS version a 7. They docked it partly for not making better use of the DS's greater capabilities, which doesn't really bug me, but what's odd is that, "A lot of the neat mist effects, and the enemy animations are either gone or not near as polished as the GBA version." They also mention that Jenosa's voice as a negative for the DS sound score, but make no mention of it in the GBA version, so I don't know if that's different.

Now I'm not so sure which version to get.

KDR_11kOctober 28, 2006

I'd get the GBA version so I can keep another DS game in the system at the same time unless the DS version has some advantage over the GBA one.

Smoke39October 28, 2006

The larger screen gives you a bigger viewport, and the map is always visisble on the bottom screen, which is convenient even if it isn't exactly inovative. But the bigger viewport is the main appeal to me.

KDR_11kOctober 28, 2006

Dunno, I just bought the GBA version because it's a: 10€ cheaper, b: I can play it even when my sister borrows the DS and c: It can be stored in the GBA slot or the cart holder of a DS game box.

The sound difference may be from them expecting better sound on the DS, the intro music has a lot of noise in it (though that may be intentional) which could be seen as a deficiency of the GBA hardware in that version while being unacceptable for the DS. Not sure if less fog is worse, it is pretty annoying (and I already encountered a graphic bug that made my character sprite invisible near the fog).

Overall the game doesn't feel nice on my eyes, I think the text could use more contrast (and a fast-forward function) but there's some eyestrain I can't really explain (maybe I'm just tired).

The game could use a bigger view area but the GBA-DS screen difference means almost zero with those large sprites.

Most enemies run directly towards you and explode on impact (at least in the early game) which is pretty annoying since you can't run and shoot at the same time. Especially since the shot patterns from the enemies that do more than just rushing you don't leave much chance to get into position and fire (since you can only fire into 8 directions) but it doesn't matter because you can afford to get hit a lot as most enemies drop health that restores more than they take with one hit.

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