Crue Ball

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Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

A few months ago, we introduced you to Holy Diver, a Japanese-only NES game inspired by rock music and particularly the band Dio. Apparently, Irem wasn’t the only development team in the late 80’s to have this idea to base a game on a rock band. Today’s game is on another unlikely source of gaming inspiration. Today’s game is Crue Ball, developed by NuFX and released for the Sega Genesis in 1992.

Crue Ball is a pinball game based on the music and themes of the band Motley Crue. This time, unlike Holy Diver, the developers actually got an official license also! Not only does the game use the band’s imagery but it also contains Genesis renditions of Motley Crue songs “Dr. Feelgood”, “Live Wire” and “Home Sweet Home”

Crue Ball is what I can best describe as an action pinball game, similar to Sonic Spinball or Devil’s Crush. Players play on a single, multi-tiered pinball table and must try and complete various objectives to progress the game, usually hitting an enemy or target of some kind. By completing the objective, players will change up the table in a few small ways or be rewarded with a cutscene. There isn’t much of a story to speak of in Crue Ball beyond a kid wanting to play Motley Crue music very loudly and waking up the neighbors who yell at him to turn it down.

Interestingly, Crue Ball was not actually intended to be a Motley Crue game at all when it was initially conceived. The game’s prototype name was Twisted Flipper and was actually intended to be a tie-in to the MTV show Headbanger’s Ball which played all kinds of heavy metal music videos. MTV passed on the license, however, so the team started shopping around to specific bands instead, with Motley Crue eventually agreeing late into the game’s development.

While there seem to still be some diehard fans of the game online, I’m unable to find any significant reviews for the game. The Genesis does a decent job of capturing the three songs licensed and in-game, it mashes them up along with some original music as well. It goes together surprisingly well and sets the tone without feeling repetitive, at least in the time I spent with the game. The single table could use some variety and feels a bit bare compared to other pinball games I’ve played so if you’re looking for an interesting table, I’d maybe go with Devil’s Crush over this one.

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.