Insert Disk collects Dragon’s Fury for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis
Today’s retro game review is Dragon’s Fury for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis. This retro gaming classic is one retro game known under many titles, Dragon’s Fury, Devil Crash and Devils Crush. Dragon’s fury is a horror themed video pinball table. The gothic art style and grungy soundtrack make for a most excellent Halloween party game. Expect Demons, dragons and of course reanimated skeletons.
Greetings collectors and welcome to today’s retro game review. What do you get when you combine horror with video pinball? Well, you get a game called Dragon’s Fury or should I say Devil Crash or even Devil’s Crush? When it comes to the 16-bit Sega pinball genre most people will be familiar with Psycho Pinball. It was the bright and cheerful socially acceptable face of pinball fun.
There was however a darker alternative if you cared to seek it out. In the UK and US the game was titled Dragon’s Fury but Devil Crash in the Japanese market. Over in Japan through the original title had been Devil’s Crush when it was originally released on the Turbo Grafx-16. As you can see from the opening screen both Sega versions were similar apart from the title screens.
As you might expect the game is packed full of horror imagery. Some of it is rather generic such as the zombies and skeletons but there are nice touches of more sinister elements such as pentagrams to amuse the player.
The table is divided in to three segments of flippers. At each segment there are plenty of features to aim for and the game generally moves at a fast pace. The game also features sub-games. These usually lock you in an area where you must destroy dragon eggs, take down the undead and deploy damage on wandering dragons. These sub-tables provide a nice change of pace from the main table. See each one as its own mission with the aims of earning huge bonuses and extra balls. Dragon’s Fury looks great. It’s suitably dark, somewhere between cartoon horror and more artistic horror. I personally enjoy waking the dragon queen. There is something quite sinister and H.R. Geigerish about the art style.
The sound department also delivers. The Sega Megadrive and Genesis were well known for their grungy, metallic and brash capabilities. This fits the bill well in Dragon’s Fury. The background music is noticeable but not overpowering whilst the sound effects add a consistency of dark fun.
So here’s the UK edition of Dragon’s Fury. As standard you should look to get a case, manual and cartridge all in mint condition.The artwork really add to sell this game. Asking players toy cough up money for what is essentially a 1 table pinball game could have been a bit of a hard sell. I feel Tengen did really well with the on shelf presentation though. There’s demonic queens, dragons and our old favourite, a reanimated skeleton. It screams horror cliché but all the more awesome for it. Generally the table is quite generous with points and never too difficult to hit the skill shots. It’s always frustrating when the ball is lost down the gutters but that’s very much the feel of real world pinball so I think the developers got the feel of the game just right. Interestingly the game cover states “World’s Greatest Pinball game”. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Did the marketers ever play Pinball dreams or Pinball Fantasies for the Commodore Amiga? Having said that Dragon’s Fury holds up very well. I distinctly remember this game being in bargain buckets along with other Tengen games Gauntlet 4 and Hard Drivin’ at the end of the Mega Drives life cycle. You practically couldn’t give it away.
Having revisited Dragon’s Fury though I feel that we were wrong to turn away from it. I found the game addictive, well laid out and really enjoyed the horror theme. Despite this being a one table game (apart from the sub-quests) there is enough content here to interest me. I’ve previously said how much I enjoy Psycho Pinball on the system. In terms of enjoyment Dragon’s Fury certainly matches the entertainment value of any of Psycho Pinball’s 4 tables in my opinion. I really am a sucker when it comes to reanimated skeletons though.
If you are looking for a retro party game to play at Halloween with your friends this is a great self-contained title to try and top the high score table. Is it the “World’s Greatest Pinball game”. Perhaps not. Is it the world’s best pinball game with skeletons doing the conga? Most likely.