Jersey Devil is a game that desperately needed to be made, you see there are ideas of settings and circumstances that are perfect for movies or books, or videogames. A creepy game with the kind of atmosphere Jersey Devil provides is a unique experience, yet with familiar mechanics and below-average graphics.
Jersey Devil starts out with an interesting animated intro, which explains partially where JD came from, and why he does what he does. He seems to be a hero with no motivation to be one besides from the fact his conscience tells him it’s the right thing to do. His background really isn’t explained to well, and his characterization makes it nearly impossible to become a mascot, which back when the game was released I felt sure that is what he would become. I realized I never noticed what studio made this game, and in researching Behaviour Interactive, I found another sad reason why Jersey Devil never got a second chance.
Apparently the company made only two games I’ve played for the PSX. JD and Bugs Bunny, Lost in Time. I remember renting that one once, and looking back, it has the studios unique feel to it. Unfortunately shortly after, the studio was forced to make crappy kids games that had no hope in selling, Disney channel Gameboy Advance games, Scooby Doo, and a bunch of games I’ve only ever seen en masse in bargain bins. There was an original IP called “Scaler” about some kind of chameleon, and then WET, but besides those two, A2M/Behaviour hasn’t struck another hit. Maybe it was for the sins of creating such games as Drake and Josh for the Gameboy Advance, or High
School Musical the game.
Back to Jersey Devil, the “evil” Dr. Knarf has unleashed his mutant vegetables on Jersey City. I assume as to make it kid friendly because there is NO WAY it was done to make sense in the plot. So what you need to do, because it’s a slow night or something, is stop the madman. The music is
eerie, with great in game sounds. The graphics are under average for the ps1, and some enemies have a boxy look. The art style leads to a great atmosphere of monster movie magic (ALITERATION!)but the controls hold the game back. Imprecise, poorly calibrated, and sticky, it’s a bit hard to move around, and the camera will do you exactly zero favors. The level design is fickle, at some points it’s a true 3-D platformer, but other levels seem like they were designed for the SNES as a 2-D game.
There are boxes to break to reveal pumpkins, get one hundred and be granted the clichéd extra life. There are nitro boxes too, break all of them in a level, and instead of simply beating a boss, you can asplode its home too. Oh, and you unlock a secret level too. It’s the normal punch, spin, glide deal and while it’s a unique idea, JD missteps in its execution. If you find it for less than ten bucks, buy it and play it, it’s interesting. But it’s also frustrating and the Bat Cave level is pure agony. So do or don’t, you’ll miss out, but it’s debatable as to what it’s worth. If you have fun with it then great, if not don’t bill me for the game. EHKOS out.