Sunday, June 5, 2011
If you don't like Pinball, I'm not sure what to say. Everyone loves pinball. But without going on a tirade about the dwindling number of pinball and arcade machines in the wild, I'll review Devil's Crush, a pinball video game. Most people, however, probably cringe at the thought of a pinball video game. With so many imaginative video games, who would want to play a regular, real-world game like that? Windows XP comes packaged with a damn fine pinball game, but nothing compares to Devil's Crush for the Turbo Grafx-16.
Devil's Crush is the 1990 sequel to 1989's Alien Crush, a space-themed pinball game. Typically I'd roll with the sci-fi game, but in this case Alien Crush has a few mechanical issues that make it slightly inferior: the board is smaller and the scrolling is not as smooth. Other than that, Alien Crush is still a damn fine game, and deserves it's own review. Devil's Crush fixes both of these problem, increases the size of the world, and remains the 8/16-Bit pinball game.
The coolest stage feature is a face that slowly transforms into a demonlady the more you hit the bumpers around her. Activating certain features, or going in certain passageways will launch the player into a bonus stage (1 of 6), in which the player fights a boss or a few mini-bosses.
Even though Devil's Crush may not be the real deal, that gives it certain advantages of which the designers fully take advantage. Little monsters run around the entire game, the skeleton's eyeball follows the player, and the physics are forgiving. Often, pinball games try to be too realistic, and this results in the player losing balls unfairly. Nothing of this nature appears in Devil's Crush, and more often you will make a shot that you expected to miss.
All your normal pinball crap is present, but the environment and music set a nice, creepy tone. This is clearly the most extreme pinball game for a home console, and a must-own for all TG-16ers. However, if considering purchasing this game for the VC, be aware of exactly what you are purchasing. If you suffer from a short attention span, Devil's Crush might not be the TG-16 title for you.
But for most gamers, Devil's Crush will provide many hours of fun and even features a 2-player alternating mode. Good luck convincing your friends to play this one. My best suggestion: simply turn the game on and hand someone the controller without saying anything. After spending a few minutes playing Devil's Crush, the attention to detail and balanced gameplay should keep everyone coming back for more.