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Devil's Crush: Did Critics Worship Demonic Pinball in 1990?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 01, 2014   |   Episode 102 (Show Archive)  

   

Devil's Crush (TurboGrafx-16)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

It's the first day of October, the spookiest month of the year. All month the Review Crew will be looking at the scariest games for 8- and 16-bit consoles. Today we're taking a look at Devil's Crush, the frightening pinball game for the TurboGrafx-16. Were critics into the demonic theme back in the 1990s, or were they turned off by the pinball theme? We dig through old issues of Raze, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Video Games & Computer Entertainment for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the reviews. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. For more details and answers to common questions, we encourage you to read the Review Crew FAQ. There you'll find information on review guidelines, how we convert scores, magazine covers and more.)

Devil's Crush
[ Company: NEC | Console: TurboGrafx-16 ]

RAZE #1
93% out of 100%

"Devil's Crush is far superior to Alien Crush, with more gameplay and a greater sense of involvement. It's the sheer unpredictability that makes the game more addictive. For instance, I received a 600,000,000 bonus for doing something special, and I haven't been able to do it since -- which makes me either the jammiest person in Trowbridge, or the greatest pinball player in the world. I know which one I prefer."

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #14
8 out of 10

"Despite a few inherent flaws, this video pinball is a blast to play! Beautiful graphic presentation and sophisticated music kept me enthralled for hours. Lots of secret bonuses and bonus rounds enhance play. For ALL ages!" -Sushi X

VIDEO GAMES & COMPUTER
ENTERTAINMENT (October 1990)
8 out of 10

"Everything that made Alien Crush a great pinball simulation is present in even greater supply in Devil's Crush: superior graphics, multiple screens, authentic pinball action and loads of targets and bonus areas -- all tied together in a sinister theme of the undead and unholy. Devil's crush is a must-have for those who enjoyed Alien Crush. It's loaded with more clever animation, impressive graphics and fast, frenetic action than the original." -J.W.

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #14
7 out of 10

"Two pinball games from the same company for the same system? While this version is definitely better with a lot more features and animations it still is pinball. Great sounds and bonus founds add to the game play." -Ed

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #14
5 out of 10

"This is a decent follow-up to the first Turbo pin, Alien Crush, but there really isn't much to it. Sure, it plays like an entirely different pin, but the same formula of bonus rounds and a scrolling playfield leave something to be desired." -Steve
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 74% - Sorry Steve Harris, but I don't trust anybody who feels the need to shorten the word "pinball." It's a short enough word on its own, it doesn't need to be called "pin." You sound like one of those jackasses who orders a "za" from Domino's.

While some critics enjoyed (and even loved) Devil's Crush, I can't help but notice that others took a more dismissive tone. Electronic Gaming Monthly's Ed Semrad liked the sounds, bonuses and better animation, but noted that it's still a pinball game. He even started his review with obvious shock that a company would release two different pinball games on the same console. And yet nobody bats an eye when the same sports game gets re-released every year.

Thankfully, there were a few critics that enjoyed Devil's Crush. Both Video Games & Computer Entertainment and Raze praised the game for being a big improvement over the original, even calling it one of the best games on the TurboGrafx-16. Sushi-X was the only EGM editor to give the game strong marks, calling it a blast to play. Who knew that Sushi-X would be into both fighting games and pinball? With his score, Devil's Crush averages a so-so score of 74%. That's much lower than it should be.

ON THE NEXT REVIEW CREW: The month of horror games continues when Review Crew tackles Bram Stoker's Dracula for the Sega CD. By mixing full-motion video elements with traditional 2D action, Sony created one of the worst action games of all time. Do the critics agree that it's an unplayable mess, or were they mesmerized by the flashy graphics? Find out on Friday when the Review Crew takes on this oddity. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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