4-One Retro Corner: Jersey Devil

Jersey Devil Case CoverHello everyone, welcome back to the Retro Corner. This week, the game I will be covering is Jersey Devil. Whilst there were plenty of choices to make in regards to what game to play in the early Playstation One era, this game was surprisingly good. This game was first released in 1997 for the Playstation One, and eventually made its way onto Windows in 1998. It has currently not seen a re-release to this day.

The game begins with a cartoon cut-scene involving Dr. Knarf discussing with his assistant how he is going to use the now an infant Jersey Devil as a subject of dissection. As Dr. Knarf is forced to leave the lab due to his assistant, one of the mutated plant monsters accidentally sets the Jersey Devil free in an attempt to eat him. This then leads to the infant Jersey Devil blowing up the lab, and landing in the nearby town of Jersey. After many years go by, the town of Jersey is beset by the armies of Dr. Knarf, and it’s up to the now grown up Jersey Devil to battle the army, and stop Dr. Knarf.

As for what actually occurs in the game, you play as the titular Jersey Devil, who is intent on stopping the evil Dr. Knarf and his army of mutated vegetables and prehistoric monsters. Much like other games in the same vein as Spyro and such, you must collect a certain number of items in each level to carry on, in this case, the letters that make up Knarf’s name. This search for letters tends to add a puzzle element to the game, making it more than just a collectathon. As well, the game allows you to glide, something which I loved in any video game that allowed that form of movement (looking at you Soul Reaver).

Jersey Devil LevelNow, praise aside, the game did have some cons that are worth mentioning. One of which was the camera, which while usually stable, could be downright abysmal on certain levels. As well, many critics cited that the graphics were mediocre at the time.

Now one thing that critics, players and even I could attest to as a child was how amazing the soundtrack to this game was. In a time where graphics took a backseat to gameplay, a good soundtrack was just as, if not more important than how nice the game looked. At least if the game looked bad, you could get over that after an hour or so, if the music’s terrible, you’ll either play with no music (personally not a favoured option), or be forced to listen to something just awful.

Jersey Devil Title PageAfter taking all of this into account, I hope this is something more people were able to play as a child, or if you’re looking for a classic Playstation One game, check some pawn shops out for this one, you won’t be disappointed. With any luck, some day Sony will look at either adding this onto a classics playlist or even remake, fingers crossed.

 

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