PSN Roundup: PC Engine Special • Page 2

Stuff to do with that Japanese PSN account.

Devil Crash

  • Platform: PC Engine
  • Price: ¥600

Devil Crash presents an elaborately planned, cleverly executed pinball table full of surprises and gratifyingly destructible matter - mostly weird-looking cretins who march about the table until you hit them with a well-pinged ball. The sequel to Alien Crush, this one is, as you'd expect, full of animated ghouls, devilish bric-a-brac and spooky scenery.

Devil Crash reminds you of the immense satisfaction of a simple pleasure such as achieving a new high score, even without online leaderboards or any of that jazz. I've played this game a couple of hours every evening for the past week, but I'm sure I still haven't seen every permutation of every bonus stage that's hidden away here. Like any good pinball game, Devil Crash generously rewards your persistence and exploratory endeavour with unexpected sights and sounds, additional challenges, extra balls and - the best bit - bonus points.


Takahashi Meijin no Shin Bouken-jima

  • Platform: PC Engine
  • Price: ¥600

This was Hudson Soft legend and living Famicom mascot Takahashi Meijin's first appearance in a non-FC game, though at the time that fact was lost on most people outside of Japan, who snapped this up as "New Adventure Island" on the TurboGrafx-16 and reacquainted themselves with a Takahashi doppelgänger called "Master Higgins". (This is the only known instance of a videogame character christening inspired by the fictional works of P.G. Wodehouse.)

By this stage, the series' origin as a Wonder Boy clone was starting to fade from view and New Adventure Island found Hudson strutting confidently with an update that was (slightly) more obviously its own. In spite of the flagpole finishes and whirling fireball chains deftly nicked from some game by some Kyoto company, Shin Bouken-jima was and remains something for the Sapporo softco to be fairly proud of.

Takahashi recently told me that he was disappointed by how difficult the earlier games in the series were - for a man of his joypad prowess, who was able to complete the first Adventure Island using jumps alone, that's some confession. New Adventure Island is, no matter who's at the controller, a much better-balanced challenge; more forgiving than the Famicom games before it, but still with enough bite to encourage careful pattern memorisation. It is also exceptionally pretty and gifts you a skateboard that actually feels like a skateboard.


Sengoku Mahjong

  • Platform: PC Engine
  • Price: ¥600

21 years ago, Hudson put out a Mahjong HuCard and sold copies of it to the locals at ¥4,900 apiece. It had no multiplayer and it had no music, but it played a passable game of Mahjong. Flush with the disposable currency of Bubble Era Japan, some people bought it. For it was a Mahjong game.

The End.


If you're a VC-envying PS3 owner who just cannot wait for some PCE lovin', it is possible to buy Yen-charged tickets for use with your stealthily obtained Japanese PSN account. If you're not that desperate (or that stealthy), just wait until Sony gets around to bringing PC Engine goodness to a PS Store near you. Probably in 2013.

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