|By Dan Hearth||Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007|
Judging by its cover art, you would likely suspect Dragon’s Fury to be a role-playing game or a dungeon-crawler of some kind. In actuality, this is a pinball game, but it is unlike any other pinball game you have ever played before.
In Dragon’s Fury (also known as Devil Crash MD), your goal is to rack up as many points as possible and clear the game’s six bonus stages. What separates this game from other pinball games is the unique, organic-looking playing field you play on which is crawling with monsters. There is a wide array of demons, dragons and other foul creatures roaming the game’s three-tier pinball table that try to get in your way and block you from getting to the bonus stages that hide in the various openings. The bonus stages are separate from the game’s main table and each has a boss that you must destroy in order to open the path to the seventh and final stage. The bonus levels can be done in any order, but it can be frustrating when you need to clear a specific stage since you can only enter the stages from certain openings; most of which are not easily accessible. You fight bosses of each stage by simply launching your ball at them, though this is easier said than done, as they will usually try to defend themselves by blocking or avoiding your attacks. The game is very enjoyable, but it is also very difficult to beat.
The graphics are good for the time when it was made. There is a bit of slowdown on occasion when there are a lot of things on the screen at the same time, though it doesn’t affect the gameplay much. The game’s normal monsters are often small, but they’re usually detailed enough to know what they are. What’s more impressive are the larger creatures that are fixtures of the game’s playing field, such as the woman’s face that transforms into a dragon at the centre of the table, and the bosses of each bonus stage. There are a lot of things moving around all at once: there always little demons and monsters crawling around, there’s a skull at the top of the machine that looks down at you and grabs the ball when it comes in reach, a dragon that guards its eggs and breaths fire at you when you smash them, and so many other neat things that give you the impression that this pinball machine is alive. There’s a horrific and gruesome theme throughout the game and really sets it apart from other pinball games.
The audio of this game stands out quite a bit. The sound effects are pretty standard fare with the usual crashes and bangs you would expect from a pinball game, as well as the roars and growls of the monsters. What really stands out is the game’s excellent music. The game’s title screen is creepy and foreboding which is fitting for the game. The background music you will hear most often is a rock-sounding (at least as well as the Genesis can produce), fast-paced song that really gets you pumped up, as is the music for most of the bonus stages. One of the most memorable sounds in the game is heard when you lose a ball and the giant skull at the side of the table lets out an evil, mocking laugh.
The game’s controls are simple and responsive. The D-pad and the B-button control the flippers and you can tilt the machine with the A-button. If this is not to your liking, the controls can be configured to any buttons you desire in the options menu. The ball’s speed can be set to either fast or slow, though it doesn’t help that much to tone down the game’s difficulty.
Overall, Dragon’s Fury is a fun and exciting spin on pinball games. The game can be very difficult at times, but it’s a solid game than no fan of pinball should overlook. It is definitely my all-time favorite pinball game.