Thursday 13 August 2009

Devil World

Urban Champion, Tennis, Baseball, Pinball, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Volleyball, Soccer... tell me when you can guess what all these games have in common. Here's a hint, they all came from the early days of the NES when small carts were common. Kirby's Adventure, one of the last NES games released a decade later, was produced on a 768kb cart - that's 32 24kb Urban Champions for the price of one. This blog post will probably be bigger than some of those games.

Why do I mention this? Because these games are terrible, and not even in a good way. They've been ported to various different consoles due to their small size, sometimes more than once, but never improved on or updated, despite the fact they should have been left to rot (or at least combined into one title rather than sold spearately). It's surely criminal to sell these games for the same price as say, the majority of the NES catalogue that were between 5 and 13 times the size of these things, but it happens. There's not even a discount due to the fact that they generally suck.

But there are a few exceptions which I'm willing to stretch for, such as Devil World.

Devil World is a reasonably early Famicom game that bypassed the US markets due to crazy religious censorships in that region at the time. It did, however, reach Europe in 1987 (after a three year delay I might add), making it one of the only first-party Nintendo games EVER to skip out the yanks in favour of us. But that's not exactly a good thing, because Europe hated the NES. Europe was Sega's fun-zone, and it took up until 2006 for Nintendo to actually start leading the pack for once (and even then "leading" could be mistaken for "positioning themselves at the front to collect all the shovelware"). Devil World, having had its references removed from Super Smash Bros. Melee for some reason, fell into a world of obscurity. And even though it's available on the Wii's virtual console, history is repeating itself simply because nobody knows what Devil World is (and at the end of the day, all NES games are very, very old).

Following in the footsteps of PacMan, the player follows a green dragon called Tamagon on his quest to erm... attack the "Devil's world". You do so by eating dots and then putting books in holes. You're hunted down by the Devil's minions who can be killed by using the POWER OF CHRIST (or just crosses/bibles) and the Devil sits at the top of the screen making two other minions scroll the screen about, trying to crush you. Unlike PacMan, there's a two player option and there's a few different maps rather than the same thing over and over. A nice time waster, and yes it was made by Shigeru Miyamoto, unlike the likes of Golf.

But it's still a shame for this to be yet another entry to my ever growing list of underdogs. It's a step above most of the games released for the NES at the time (by "the time" I mean 1984, the Famicom release... 1987 put this game at a slight disadvantage due to titles like Super Mario Bros.), and if it hadn't been filled with Devils and crosses, chances are this would be a common addition to any normal person's NES collection in the US. But from what I gather, it isn't, so give it a go at some point.

1 comment:

  1. Those characters look a lot like the ones from Bubble Bobble.