The Top Ten Video Pinball Games in the History of the Universe (Part 9 of 10):Devil’s Crush

Click HERE for the Rest of the List

#2 – Devil’s Crush

I’m sure no one saw this one coming.

Devil’s Crush, for the Turbografx-16 (also known as Devil Crash outside North America) is the touchstone upon which, even today, pinball videogames are compared. Most contenders to the throne don’t fare well in this comparison, and, perhaps as a result, the genre has been fodder for bargain bins ever since.

It’s hard for me to put my finger on what makes this game so great. The formula used in DC isn’t all that different from say, Pokemon Pinball, or more appropriately, Pinball of the Dead; you play some pinball, then you get sent to another room for a minigame, then you play some more pinball. That pretty much sums up the whole non-realistic pinball subgenre. Though it arguably perfected it, DC certainly didn’t invent this concept [I believe that honor would go to Nintendo’s simply-named Pinball for the NES, with it’s Breakout-styled Princess-rescuing minigame. I could be wrong though]. So after all these years, what makes this game continue to be the popular high water mark for the genre?

Well, for one, the music kicks all kinds of ass. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that inescapable fact. How developer NAXAT Soft made 16-bit hardware rock this hard is still a mystery to this day.

The table design is equally outstanding, and is filled to the chin with cool little details (such as the skull’s eye following the movement of the ball) and more fun objectives than most real-world tables possess.

The minigames too are a step above the rest. While not nearly as creative as the diversions found in other pin games, DC’s minigames uniformly revolve around killing or otherwise breaking shit with your steel ball, just as they should. In other words, there’s no gimmickry here. The game realizes that you want pinball dammit, and only pinball. Look elsewhere if you’re want fancypants basketball or driving subgames. Most of these side tables are also very nice from an artistic perspective, assuming you consider skulls with eyeballs as being the pinnacle of high art.

But you already know all this stuff, because you’ve played Devil’s Crush to death, or else you wouldn’t be here, looking for fresher pinball pastures. I understand that, which is why I’m gonna shut the fuck up sooner rather than later about this game that needs no hyping whatsoever.

If you haven’t already played Devil’s Crush, get off your ass and buy it. All you kids with your newfangled Wiis have absolutely no excuse not to play this classic, since it’s available through Nintendo’s Virtual Console service. The rest of you need to dust off your TG-16, or you Genesis. That’s right, Genesis; the game was ported to Sega’s system under the decidedly less cool moniker Dragon’s Fury. Though the graphics are arguably less clean-looking, the meat of the experience (the gameplay) is present in full effect.

Also check out: Lots of stuff. Alien Crush is the most obvious recommendation, and it’s also the one I can most heartily recommend. But there are also two other games that, while not from the same developer (and thus not as good), can be seen as spiritual sequels to the Crush games.

The first one is Fantasic Pinball Kyutenkai, by Technosoft, which is only available on the Japanese Saturn. It pretty much takes the formula and general layout of the Crush games, adds a few new wrinkles, and plasters it on an EXTREMELY Japanese aesthetic. The theme is still Hell and Devils and such, but now it’s all in a cutesy anime style. Kinda blah in that respect, but the game itself is fairly solid.

The other game, called Dragon’s Revenge, is a direct sequel to the Genesis port of Devil’s Crush (which, if you recall, was renamed Dragon’s Fury). Between crazy physics and a strangely designed main table, the game is somewhat of a mess, but it still manages to be a fun time despite it’s flaws. This is due in part to the really cool artwork seen in the bonus games, which feature a winning combination of unconventional background designs with the sure-fire addition of a bunch of comely wenches.

Click HERE for the Rest of the List

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~ by Krooze L-Roy on March 7, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Top Ten Video Pinball Games in the History of the Universe (Part 9 of 10):Devil’s Crush”

  1. Hahaha! I’m glad I’m not the only person that remembers Devil’s Crush! I’ve been telling friends for years that this was a great pinball game, but none of them had tried it. A couple of years ago I found three Turbografx-16 and a TurboDuo along with a stack of games at a flea market. I got the whole lot for $50 Canadian! Included in the stack of games was Devil’s Crush and Alien Crush (another great pinball game!).

  2. I’ve been gearing up for a pinball project for awhile now and your list has helped me find some great references. It can be tricky finding information on pinball games – there needs to be more sites like this one. Kudos! I’ll be checking back to see what you picked for #1.

    PS ~ Pinball Dreams for the SNES was the biggest let down for me in the history of my life … That’s not really true but I played that game maybe four times before I casted it away, never to be seen again. Tsk tsk. All I wanted was a game like Devils Crush. WHY GOD?!

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