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Devilman

Nintendo Entertainment System

Game Description:

You may have heard of Go Nagai if you’re into giant robots. He created Mazinger Z. Here’s Devilman, another creation by Go Nagai. Devilman isn’t a giant robot, rather a giant… demon. But he’s a good demon, more or less- he fights other demons for the good of mankind!

Well, in this NES game, you get to play as Devilman! Actually, you start off playing as his alterego, Akira Fudo. As Akira you really can’t kill anything (in the streets, you pretty much face off against blue gangsters). You first have to find a certain person, who then tells you what you must do to become Devilman. After that, the game gets slightly more interesting. Now, you can kill the demons that are running rampant across the streets, although that won’t do you much good if you don’t go around collecting information. After some talking, you can end up playing as Miki, Akira’s girlfriend. And that’s pretty much up to where I got.

The game seems to be more of a detective game in the sense that to get anywhere, you really do need to talk to people and give them the right answer (sometimes, the right answer is kinda… weird- like having to answer that, no, you did not watch TV yet). From where I played, it seems the game is more focused on information collecting rather than fighting enemies. In the streets there’s only one type of enemy. That may change in the later levels, though.

Fighting itself is kind of awkward. Not too awkward if you’re Devilman, but if you’re someone like Akira or Miki, enemies pretty much just fall back and run right back at you. You pretty much have no way of getting anywhere unless you jump over them (although I did fight one mini-boss as Miki and beat him up).

You might need to savestate if you want to get to the ending, unless you like noting down passwords. Also, if you die, the game will let you continue from there automatically (you have select continue first, though).

The game seems pretty fun. Snark’s translation is kind of pre-90’s in a way. Think something along the lines of the old Final Fantasy minus any apostrophes. Still, the game itself is pretty enjoyable.

To end this, it might be useful to know some controls:

  • A - Jump
  • B - Punch (or in Miki’s case, slap)
  • Start - Pause. Here, you can select talk if someone’s in the same room you’re at, or you can view the password
  • Select - Once you’ve transformed into Devilman once, you can transform back and fro at will by selecting either up (Devilman) or down (Akira) in this menu. Later on, after you’re done with Miki, you seem to need to punch demons out as Akira to build more anger so Devilman can fly to the next area.

Usually, characters will be terrified of Devilman and would much rather talk to Akira. Still, it’s fun to see their wailing screams as Devilman tries to talk to them.

Edit: After having played a little further from the time this review was written, I have determined that there is a greater action focus later into the game. I was actually unable to get any further because I suck at fighting in this game.