Title : Devil World
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : Nintendo
Genre : Maze Puzzle
Players : 1 / 2 Player
Release Date : 1984
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $150 - $175
Before I jump into this review, I figured I would remind everyone that reads this joyous blogs of two things.
1) Don't forget to enter the giveaway contest that only has little over a week to go! Don't miss out your chance to win a free NES system bundled with some games! It's a great way to kick off your retro collection! You can find it over at the CONTESTS link at the top of the page, or you can even go here
2) I've started something a bit new, that hopefully some of you will enjoy. I'm trying out some youtube LETS PLAY videos (yes it's been done before by many, many, MANY other tubers), but you know what I have fun playing games and I have fun filming myself suck at video games. Hence why they are called "LETS SUCK" videos and not LETS PLAYS. I'm actually going to go through every game in the NINTENDO library much like I am doing now with my reviews, play a few minutes of every game, and just goof off while playing them. Hell, if I like the game I'll probably play through the whole damn thing. I'm also streaming live on TWITCH as I do it, so be sure to check it out. It'll happen typically weekday nights around 10 pm, and weekend mornings. So if you're bored, come on by. Here's two of the links, so be sure to head over, and subscribe!
With that crap out of the way, back to some video games, eh? This one is a tad bit interesting. You would think we have seen all there is that Shigeru Miyamoto has to offer over in the states, right? Well, you'd be pretty damn wrong. In fact one particular game plagued by religious conflict has yet to jump over stateside. The reason? Well, Nintendo of America doesn't like it when religious icons are portrayed in video games, and when you're making a game entirely around the DEVIL, well, yeah you might have some issues.
Sure, there's a lot of leniency now regards to freedom of expressing your own beliefs in video games. I can't just spew out a list of games off the top of my heads that use religion as some sort of basis for plot. But back then, it was a huge issue, and Nintendo didn't want to take any chances by releasing a game such as DEVIL WORLD for the US to see and for gamers to whip out their pitchforks outside their HQ.
But, you can always get your hand on the PAL version and play it that way, which is what I did. And you know what? We really missed out on something good over here in the states. When you take a green dragon, and send him on a quest to kill the devil by use of magical power crosses filled through monster filled mazes, well, how COULD you go wrong!?
Oh, good 'ol early 1980's NES games and their simplistic title screens. I can't tell if those are supposed to be devilish red eyes, or bats....I'm going with eyes. There's no story in this game besides you being either a red or green dragon tasked with killing the Devil. But in order to do so you have to survive his mazes. Now, here's where it get's interesting. At the top of the screen you'll see the Devil, and he'll go off waving his hands in different directions. Wherever he points his hands, that's where his little minions are going to control which way the maze moves. Get it? The fact is, you can end up getting trapped against maze walls if the Devil decides to suddenly move the maze in a certain direction. That one element in the game leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat hoping that the Devil won't decide to screw you over. But, that's what the Devil is known for, eh?
Besides dealing with the maze moving, you also have to deal with Beelzebub's minions running around the maze trying to kill you. That's where religious artifacts come in. Primarily, you'll want to collect crosses to allow you to breath fire and collect the dots, a la Pac Man, scattered across the maze. Collect all the dots, and you'll then have to collect bibles to complete a seal to prevent the Devil from affecting the maze any longer. You know, technically they didn't have to make this religious, and I'm wondering now why Nintendo of America just couldn't change the cross and the bibles into something else. Oh well.
Between stages, you'll also have the opportunity to complete some bonus levels that allow you to rack up more points for some extra lives. Trust me, you'll need as many lives as you can get because I have gotten screwed over by that damn demon so many times in the first few stages. As the stages progress, you'll end up encountering more monsters and the maze will actually move even faster than it did previously. There's a lot of luck involved too. You can just happen to be in a spot where the Devil decides to move the maze....sucks for you, but it happens and you get crushed like Luke in a garbage compactor.
Prepare yourself for some clammy hands, because this game is nerve wracking. Thank God I don't have to feed it quarters.
Not much else can be said about puzzle and maze games, they either get the job done right or wrong. There's no happy medium here. Luckily, DEVIL WORLD does it all right. There are equal parts frustration from a moving maze, and equal parts long lasting fun thanks to the addictive gameplay. There is something extremely satisfying about burning a one-eyed monster to death with the flame of Catholicism....yeah, I'm going to hell.
Music is catchy, graphics are decent for a 1984 game, and the maze designs are somewhat repetitive, but extremely challenging. But, you have to love the cutsey enemy designs, and they might look familiar because they make guest appearances in a lot of current gen Nintendo games like Smash Bros in the form of trophies.
A lot of people go, "Oh, this is just a PAC MAN clone." Sure, you can say that but Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka (who actually developed this as his first game) didn't even design it after PAC MAN. Hell, Tezuka never even played PAC MAN before so you can't say they ripped it off. Even if it does have pellets, and it is a maze, the fact that it's a moving maze and you're competing against a devil makes it that much more entertaining. But, as far as PAC MAN clones go, this is still one of my favorites, and damn you Nintendo of America for not bringing it over.
Final Score (out of 5)
Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!