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Devil’s Crush – TurboGrafx-16

Devil’s Crush – TurboGrafx-16

Devil's_Crush_CoverartPlatform: TurboGrafx-16

Developer: NAXAT Soft

Publisher: NEC

Release Date (NA): 1990

Genre: Pinball

Nerd Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Note: This review is of an emulated version.

When I first decided to get into the TurboGrafx library, I spent a lot of time just searching for a starting game or at least something fun that would set the mood for later adventures with the system. Many of the sources I looked through suggested a set of pinball games, to my surprise, as some of the console’s greatest. At first, I was a little apprehensive about even trying them because I’m generally crappy at pinball games. However, for the sake of Nerd Bacon, I tried it. And shit, I loved it!

Devil's Crush (U) - 150802_0252_3

The board’s top section.

Devil’s Crush is one of the two pinball games from the Crush Pinball series on the TurboGrafx-16, with Alien Crush being the first. Although both games started on the TurboGrafx, they wound up being ported out to other systems. In fact, Devil’s Crush is actually available on the Wii and Wii U virtual consoles as well as PlayStation Network, although only the Wii’s virtual console version is available outside of Japan. So if you find this game interesting, there are some opportunities to play it on modern consoles. Otherwise, you can find the good ‘ol Hu-Card version online for upwards of $45, used, which is pretty fair considering how rare the game is now.

Once again, I’m not really a pinball player so I came into the game with little skill or know-how on pinball games. So when I started on Devil’s Crush and its predecessor, Alien Crush, I expected more of your typical pinball machine with maybe a few monsters on the side. Devil’s Crush took the typical pinball gameplay and spliced it with some monster killing! And to match, the game boasts a really sweet horror-fantasy theme with pentagons all over the place as well as the numerous monsters and skeletons.

Devil's Crush (U) - 150802_0253_3

One of the bonus stages.

The game’s controls play out like any normal pinball game, you use the two flippers on each side of the screen to shoot the ball at the numerous stage decorations to earn points. When the ball falls to the bottom of the screen, you lose a ball and have to knock the ball up again, if all of your balls fall to the bottom, you lose. However, with Devil’s Crush, you’re playing through a single pinball table with three sections, including three sets of flippers. And instead of your typical bumpers, the board is filled with monsters which bounce the ball off of them when hit (as well as die).

Each section of the board also has a main attraction of sorts, as well as tons of smaller parts to aim for. In the center of the board there’s a big boss type monster, a head that changes from a woman to a lizard creature as you sink the ball into the sockets around her. At the top, there’s a pentagram with eight mage-looking monsters circling it to hit. And at the bottom of the board there’s a tower with monsters circling it, as well as a dragon with a set of eggs on the left-hand side.

Devil's Crush (U) - 150802_0254_1

Top of the middle section where the woman-serpant lies.

My only real complaints about this game are regarding the camera’s movement and the lack of additional stages. While I understand why the developers probably only made one board, it does disappoint a bit. It would have been nice if there had been at least a second board available to play on. However, having a second board of the original’s size probably wouldn’t fit on the TurboGrafx 16’s HuCards. Although the game does have a multiplayer mode, I haven’t had any chances to experience it, so I can’t really comment on that.

However, I found the game’s camera movement to be a bit of a hindrance while moving through the board’s three sections. Instead of flipping back and forth to the different sections like Alien Crush, the camera in Devil’s Crush tries to follow the ball. The problem with it is that the camera will sometimes get fixed in a position on the board between flippers, making it difficult to see what you’re doing. I’ve lost quite a bit because the camera didn’t move down to the flippers as fast as the ball did.

Devil's Crush (U) - 150802_0113

The bottom section with the tower and dragon.

Even though I never reached the top five on the scoreboard, the game really drew me in. There’s just so much detail on the board, and the graphics themself just look cool. Compared to its predecessor, Alien Crush, Devil’s Crush is much more detailed a game. The bonus stages are also interesting, as they pit you against different boss-type creatures.

Perhaps I’ve attempted to describe this in more Action-Adventure game terms, but Devil’s Crush feels so action packed for a pinball game! Perhaps I’ve only touched the tip of the creative pinball game iceberg with Devil’s Crush, but I definitely want to explore more of the Crush series and similar games.

As a final note, Devil’s Crush has its own in-house cheat codes with the game’s password system. Although I couldn’t find anywhere in the game that hinted at passwords, they’re pretty easy to find online. Most of them involve a boost in balls and score, but you can see the ending.

I highly recommend trying Devil’s Crush and predecessor Alien Crush, pinball junkie or not, you’re going to have a ton of fun!

Devil's Crush (U) - 150802_0255

Not in the winner’s club today.

Written by Doc Croc

Doc Croc aka Kelly is Nerd Bacon’s Editor-in-Chief and resident narcoleptic. In the off-chance she isn’t already asleep, you can find her here at the Bacon!

 
 

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