Video Works by Jeremy Parish

Although I've previously covered The Tower of Druaga on Game Boy Works, this version precedes the portable rendition by half a decade and stands as the more towering achievement of the two. So to speak. Another solid arcade-to-Famicom conversion by Namcot, Druaga's move to consoles felt like a figurative as well as literal homecoming: As an arcade game, Druaga feels frankly unfair thanks to its harsh one-hit-kill combat and mandatory secrets hidden behind abstruse and unintuitive rules. As a home game, however, Druaga offered a more expansive role-playing-style adventure than had ever been seen on consoles, and its design comes off as far less punishing when you don't have to drop 100 yen into the machine every time you run out of lives (which happens frequently). I don't know that I'd recommend Druaga today, as many games followed in its wake that built and improved on its design... but would those games have had a design to improve on without Druaga? I say they would not.

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