History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

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The most powerful console of its time and a true cult classic

To be a console gamer in 1987 was to be the owner of a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or Sega Master System (we won't consider Atari's 7800 since you could get more or less the same amount of enjoyment out of hooking up a pack of sausages to your telly).... read more

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History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby Cameltoe » 07 Apr 2013, 12:57

Crikey, that was a blast from the past! Great article.
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History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby Reegeee » 07 Apr 2013, 12:58

I remember they had those funny gamecard things for the Master System too early on, or at least something like it.

It's always intrigued me the PC engine. Some really top games on it, it's a shame we never got it over here. It would be ace if that Retron console that keeps getting re invented had a port for PC engine games as well as Snes, Megadrive, NES etc.
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History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby toaplan » 07 Apr 2013, 13:09

A neat little console and the one that got me into console gaming. Even an Amiga gamer had to take note of those excellent arcade ports on the PC Engine. R-Type, Splatterhouse, Ninja Spirit, Image Fight, Mr. Heli, Vigilante, Tiger Heli, Salamander, Chase HQ, Ghouls&Ghosts (if you had a "Supergfx") etc - they were superior to the Amiga ports, or not available on it. However, the very best arcade ports at the time were on the legendary, mythically rare (in the West) and expensive Japanese SharpX68000 computer :shock:

The CD-Rom add-on was really cool and the beginning of the whole CD-era in gaming as far as I'm aware of. The wonder of redbook audio soundtracks and voice acting in games... The HuCards were wonderfully compact and durable, and it was great to be able to play them on the portable PC Engine GT as well. I wish I hadn't sold my GT. Playing on an emulator on the Xperia Play is a decent replacement though.

Final Match Tennis is indeed a fantastic game and definitely plays even better than Super Tennis on the SNES, which on the other hand looks and sounds better. Final Match can be a bit exhausting to play, as it's very fast-paced and the CPU A.I. is quite tough and relentless. Super Tennis is a more forgiving and relaxingly enjoyable game to play.

Some great PC Engine games not yet mentioned:

- Y's 1&2. Classic JRPGs on the PC Engine CD with highly-regarded soundtracks composed by Yuzo Koshiro.
- Soldier Blade. An excellent vertical SHMUP that plays almost as well as Gunhed, but looks a lot better.
- Motoroader 1&2. 5-player top-down racing games, which are a must for multitap owners.
- World Beach Volleyball. Very playable cartoonish beach volleyball game with ridiculously powerful and lightning-fast spikes.
- Strider CD. Graphically somewhat inferior to the MD version, but worth playing for the great soundtrack and added cutscenes.
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby KesMonkey » 07 Apr 2013, 14:24

I'd like to recommend Parasol Stars to anyone who enjoyed Bubble Bobble and/or Rainbow Islands. It's not exclusive to the PC Engine, but it is the best version of the game.

@toaplan: You're an archive of knowledge on retro machines. Thanks for sharing. :)
toaplan wrote:Even an Amiga gamer had to take note of those excellent arcade ports on the PC Engine. R-Type, Splatterhouse, Ninja Spirit, Image Fight, Mr. Heli, Vigilante, Tiger Heli, Salamander, Chase HQ, Ghouls&Ghosts (if you had a "Supergfx") etc - they were superior to the Amiga ports, or not available on it.

So true. A school friend of mine had a PC Engine, and as good as the Amiga version of R-Type was, I'll never forget the first time I saw the PC Engine version. That parallax scrolling! ;)
I only learned of the Sharp X68000 a few years ago. There are so many arcade 'perfect' ports available for that machine. I'd love to see CVG do a feature on it.
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby toaplan » 07 Apr 2013, 14:55

^ Thanks. Yeah, the Amiga, PC Engine, MD and SNES are four machines that I was obsessed about, and I've never really stopped playing them. All have fantastic libraries and 16-bit 2D graphics have aged pretty well.

A retro feature on the X68000 would be nice. I wonder if anyone at CVG or on the forums has ever owned one? I haven't - I remember it being really expensive to import back then... and I could afford a Neo Geo AES!
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby Paul Skinback » 07 Apr 2013, 15:02

I had the original PC Engine.
Great little machine but then came along The Megadrive....
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby ricflair » 07 Apr 2013, 15:14

I always wanted one, especially the handheld, but it wasn't to be!

And yeah, Parasol Stars is a cracking game!
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby vectra » 07 Apr 2013, 15:49

I never had one of these, closest I got to Arcade conversions at the time was on my Amstrad CPC 464. In the case of the PC Engine I only read about it in magazines but I have never ever physically seen one in action.
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby Andre Peaface » 07 Apr 2013, 16:13

I remember reading about this insanely powerful sounding machine in C&VG back in the day. It all seemed a bit more magical back then.
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby coldburner » 07 Apr 2013, 16:58

Wow, I remember first seeing a PC Engine in an issue of CVG with a packet of Skips sitting along side it. From then on I always wanted one but alas it was never meant to be. Still seeing screenshots of Vigilante, Parodius, Powerdrift, Atomic Robo-Kid, Darius Plus and Splatterhouse made me foam at the mouth.

Special mention for Kato-chan Ken-chan (google it) :D
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby rhyfel » 07 Apr 2013, 17:05

out of curiosity i just had a nose on e-bay and the pc engine LT are going for up to £1000 WTF.
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby Windowlicker79 » 07 Apr 2013, 17:44

I remember reading PC Engine reviews in Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine and always wanted one. Never got the chance to own one though :(
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby RemzRR » 07 Apr 2013, 19:00

I lived in the US
but owned a TG16 along with the portable
The pic reference for the portable LT/GT is unrecognizable
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TurboExpress
I owned the Turbografix Express US/GT- Japan name
Other notable games not mentioned on the 2nd page are
-Legendary Axe
-Ninja Spirit
-Keiths Courage
-Alien Crush
-Bloody Wolf

Me and my bro got this system in a bargain bin at a mom and pop game shop for $50 plus 5 games i think
We never got systems day 1 and those games were fun.Music for legendary axe was great. It even had a port of Street Fighter 1 but u needed the Add-On to play it. We moved on to Sega/Nintendo but it still got played from time to time.....
There was a great online shop that specializes in repairing the handheld models but I think they went out of business which is why the Ebay prices have gone up. It still holds value only because of the TV Tuner. It also appeared in the movie Enemy of the State, Will Smith uses it to carry secret info or something
Memory Lane...
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby Manjushri » 07 Apr 2013, 19:23

I always wanted one.
Almost brought the handheld - put off by the battery life of 3 hours (on 6 AAs aswell!).

The games looked great though.
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Re: History Lesson: TurboGrafx / PC Engine

Postby steve_2003 » 07 Apr 2013, 19:34

A great article CVG, well done!

I've still got my PC Engine and it still works perfectly.

Gunhed, Splatterhouse, Devils Crush, R-Type, Bonks Adventure and Dungeon Explorer are still classics. :D
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