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Jersey Devil

by Sony
PlayStation
Everyone
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • ASIN: B00002STJ5
  • Media: Video Game
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,887 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

The sinister Dr. Knarf has plans for world domination. And he's created an army of nasty mutant vegetables to carry out his doomsday plot. That is until he encounters the fiendish charms of Jersey Devil.... hmmm - if he only knew what he was getting into!

Review

Every so often a title comes along that, for whatever reason, you really want to like. A game that you think could've been something special. But there are things that keep it from being just that. Little nagging things, big itches that just refuse to be scratched. Eventually the title that held such promise leaves you feeling exasperated, not because it was so far from its goal, but because it was so close. Jersey Devil is one of those games. In Jersey Devil you're waging war against Dr. Knarf and his legion of mutant vegetables as they attempt to take over Jersey City. It's your job, naturally, to put a stop to the Doctor's plans and return the city to its former glory.

Originally previewed at 1997's E3, Jersey Devil was a game that held a great deal of potential for the action-platforming genre. The main character looks something like a rabbit in a Batman suit, with a little Green Hornet thrown in for good measure. He wears a purple mask and suit, complete with double-breasted jacket, cravat, and elbow-high black gloves. The Jersey Devil is not only stylin', but is less contrived a mascot than Sony's main man Crash Bandicoot. In fact, there was a sufficient buzz surrounding the character to prompt a small-scale bidding war over the publishing rights to Jersey Devil. Eventually Sony itself picked up the contract and delayed the release so that it wouldn't compete with Crash 2. Not that it would have mattered, because in the end, while certainly a substantial effort, Jersey Devil pales in direct contrast to Crash's superior graphics and playability. While it seems almost unfair to continually refer to the mighty marsupial's track record for comparison, the similarities between the two games practically necessitate it. Here's why.

Over the course of six large levels you must collect five tokens that spell out the letters K-N-A-R-F. These letters are strewn about the levels, sometimes requiring you to perform certain objectives in order to reach letters seemingly out of range. Once collected, you receive a golden "K" that lets you access secret areas. Along the way you're also required to smash green nitro boxes, illogically marked "K," in order to increase your nitro power. Fortunately for you, Jersey Devil is a scrappy kind of guy. Practically an amalgamation of console mascots everywhere, JD can punch (Mario 64), do a tail-spin (Crash), jump (everyone), duck (Yoshi), and glide (umm...). Surprisingly, there is no butt-bounce. As is a staple of platform games everywhere, there are lots of boxes lying around just waiting to be smashed open. Inside these boxes are pumpkins; if you collect 100 pumpkins you get an extra (surprise!) Jersey Devil. Also scattered around the game are Devil's tails that award you with an extra try should you happen to find one.

During the game, JD is required to perform all sorts of feats, such as climbing up flagpoles, pushing boxes, throwing switches, and swinging from ropes. While you're attempting to do your chores, there are dozens of Knarf's minions attempting to put a dent in your day. Maniacal mutated pumpkins chase you around throwing bombs in your direction. Irradiated carrots, ill-tempered cavemen, and bad-mannered pterodactyls, among others, populate the stages with the single intent of putting you out of business. Additionally, each of the six huge levels has three subsections that must be completed, with bosses to meet along the way. While some of the bosses are nothing more than a nuisance, others can be extremely difficult, with unpredictable patterns and a fairly crafty AI.

This wouldn't be so bad if the controls were up to snuff, but they're not. This makes performing even the most rudimentary tasks a tiresome exercise in frustration. Digital control is way too touchy to navigate some of the precarious environments you'll find yourself in, while analog control (think Gex: Enter the Gecko) is often too loose for those very same situations. Granted, analog has a much better feel, especially when coupled with dual-shock vibrations, but it still doesn't help too much considering the collision-detection is just plain bad. Enemies will come from all over, and you'd be lucky to land a solid punch while they have no problems landing theirs. Timing the spinning tail-whip is no easy feat either, since you must first jump in order to execute it. Maybe the developers did it to differentiate it from Crash.

Another problem that seems to plague just about every 3D platformer is the camera. While the camera is, for the most part, adjusted by the gamer, it can only be done on a horizontal axis. You cannot look up or down, and the problem with this is that the fixed perspective is situated at a slightly overhead angle, which limits how far ahead you can see. It also makes it difficult to see any items that may be above ground level (and there are many). Also, whenever Jersey Devil gets too close to a wall, the camera moves to a complete overhead position, which, at the wrong times (like in a fight) makes for some severely disorienting moments.

Other problems include a complete disregard for Z-buffering. What this means is that things pop up from behind closed doors, solid objects disappear even if JD is standing behind them, walls pop out, etc. Even little things that shouldn't happen, happen. For example, there are fountains everywhere in Jersey City, if JD runs into the fountain it will shoot him up so that he can reach the objects usually "hidden" at the top of the stream. The interesting thing to watch is his shadow floating right along with him; even when he jumps the shadow floats right in the middle of the streamPolygon draw-in is apparent but not horrible. In fact the environments are fairly well designed, which serves to disguise some of that pop-up. Which leads us to Jersey Devil's strong points.

Jersey City and all of its dungeons, cityscapes, and palatial vistas are surprisingly well designed. It seems as if the designers were inspired by the old Tex Avery cartoons. It's actually a shame that the camera and control don't do the rest of the game justice, because otherwise it might have been an enjoyable platform experience. The environments really require you to do a fair amount of exploring, and, often, you will return to previously explored areas to find secret paths that weren't available before. The frame rate never drops from a respectable 25-30fps, which is fairly impressive considering the size of the environments. Most of the characters, JD included, are nicely animated and make you feel like you're watching some sick, twisted cartoon. Speaking of cartoons, the opening movie is a poorly animated introduction depicting the origin of the Jersey Devil. Once you've seen it you'll never need to watch it again. The last thing worth mentioning is the music. While the sound effects are all perfectly suited to a Looney Tunes game of this kind, the music is almost too good for the game. It's a dramatic score that wouldn't be out of place in an Indiana Jones movie. It's so good it could almost pass for a John Barry soundtrack. Unfortunately, that isn't enough to save the game.

While Jersey Devil had all the right elements in place, it didn't have the proper tuning to make the whole thing work. What remains is a game with an irrefutable charm that at the same time is just plain exasperating to play. With a few minor adjustments, despite its derivative nature, Jersey Devil could have carved a respectable place for itself in the hearts of gamers everywhere. Instead, it's just a glimpse of what could have been. It's not as if the developers didn't have the time. Hopefully the Devil will be back, though, because for all the Bubsys and Blastos, this time we had a mascot worth latching on to. Too bad we didn't have the game. --James Mielke
--Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A keeper! March 13, 2000
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Jersey Devil is original, addictive, and keeps you guessing with a constant shift in strategy and focus, from fighting enemies to solving riddles and mazes, to testing your dexterity and reflexes in very difficult moving obstacle courses.
And as a treat, occasionally you get some high-speed snowboarding or skateboarding action that will leave your head spinning.
As for control, I never had any problem mastering the jump-tailspin combo with my simple analog controller, and the difficult moves only require practice to do well.
The music was great, to the point that I wish I could get a soundtrack. This game kept me busy intermittently for over 6 months of play, and there are still secret levels I want to go back and play.
Lastly, the images and scenery were like something out of the collective unconscious. The first time I saw the turnip-head guy, I swore I had met him somewhere in real life.
I really hope there will be a JD2, and he'd make a great Halloween constume, too!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite an addicting game! November 27, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Jersey Devil is one of the best platform games Iv'e ever played.There are a lot of challenges in the game ranging from easy to pretty darned hard.My whole family enjoyes playing together(sometimes what one person can't do,another can).Recommended for all ages and skill levels.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jersey Devil was a superb game. June 26, 2002
Despite the fact that it didn't catch on with the public too well, I personally thought Jersey Devil was alot better than alot of other platform games out there. If I didn't have Crash, Jersey would be my second game of choice. Sure, it had its' lil flaws just like any other game but they weren't big enough to mar the gameplay experience. The graphics were good, it was like playing a cartoon. The sound was great, all the way down to the cartoon noise effects. And, most of all, the gameplay was challenging(just like a good platformer ought to be). If you like a good challenge.....love platform games and just plain having fun, Jersey Devil is the game for you.
Don't miss out on this classic, get it now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JD - Devil With An Attitude! May 27, 2000
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Jersey Devil has got to be my favourite PSX game yet. The main character has got what it takes to become a big star - good news, considering that Jersey Devil 2 IS very much in the works :-) The levels are huge, and have just the right balance of everything. I especially liked the downhill sliding sections. I hope that the sequel will be as good as this... Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any gamer! July 11, 2001
This is my most favorite game I have. It is very creative and has a clever plot. The controlls are easy to master. The game is easy and challenging as you get depper into the game. The graphincs are so-so, but the surroundings are awesome. I suggest a memory card unless you have about a month of free time.You can do anything from snowboarding down slime to gliding in the air. When your ready you can take on Dr. Knarf and his mutant vegetables. This game is fun and challenging at the same time. So I suggest yo are used to playstation before you get this game. When you do have it, have fun and you'll find it's a great game.
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By Chood
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
I first played this game as a demo at my brothers house. I then had to get a Playstation ( back then they were still $150. I can't believe they are only 40 bucks now) I bought Jersey Devil as my first game. It started out easy and way different from the demo. Then as the game went on and got extreamly hard. As time passed the game got scratched and unplayable. I never acually beat the game. I got to the part with the pirates and the pirannas. The only time thios game ever dissapointed me was when I had to play a basketball game against Obert. I thought i had to kill him and he never died. Then I figuered out that I had to shoot the basketball into the hoop. I recommend this game to everyone who likes classic Playstation games. This game really is a classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this game! April 30, 2014
Verified Purchase
This is such a fun game! I played it years ago and when I saw this I had to buy it and replay with my son.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for the family January 17, 2012
By zora
Verified Purchase
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
This is an unusual game. The graffics aren't great because of the it being the original PS game. But the overall quality was excellent. Once you get used to the moves and the limitations of the character, it's great fun.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Got it as a gift.
No compaints, fast shipping, game works and i got it as a gift and they had a hard time finding it, thanks to the user and amazon, it made the gift possible thanks. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Corey
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as advertised!
This game was a favorite of my son's when it first came out...so imagine my happiness at being able to find it for him as a surprise for Christmas this year. Read more
Published on January 25, 2010 by S. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic game
I originally purchased this game shortly after I bought my playstation. It is dark and challeging as jersey devil travels through haunted museums, graveyards, and sewers to defeat... Read more
Published on September 12, 2009 by pacman8m
5.0 out of 5 stars Jersey Devil
This is a game for people who enjoy spooky games. Many vampire, ghosts and bats, etc. to fight with. It got a little hard at times. Read more
Published on May 18, 2008 by the contented cat
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm hoping to get my hands on this one.
I've been hoping to play this again. I love this game.
Published on March 18, 2002 by R. Love
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm still questioning this one.
Two words:STAY AWAY! I'll tell you one thing this game will burn that hard earned money and shove it in your face. Read more
Published on July 17, 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good first playstation game.
It's good to get it when you get a little better at playstation, but if it's your first game, it's insanely difficult. Read more
Published on July 1, 2000
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