Thursday, May 21, 2020

TurboGrafx-16 mini: Original Game Coverage

As I mentioned in the previous TurboGrafx-16 (TG16) post, the console gets a mini system on May 22nd (exclusive to that has both North American and Japanese games built-in. My plan was to find reviews from my old gaming magazines of all 24 North American games so that you can see what the press thought of them at the time of release. Originally there were 25 games though the official website has since changed Alien Crush to the Japanese version but since I had already scanned coverage of that one I'm including it (the official mini website says other than the title screen the two versions are identical). Three games that I could not find reviews of are Blazing Lazers, Chew-Man-Fu, and R-Type. For Blazing Lazers I'll post a preview instead and I do have Electronic Gaming Monthly's (EGM) review scores of it from a buyer's guide (I am missing the issue with the review). R-Type is a very well known shooter series and the TG16 version is an arcade port so it's probably one of the best games on the mini. Actually, that aforementioned EGM buyer's guide has blurbs on each game, including R-Type, so there is some coverage below. Unfortunately, I've got nothing for Chew-Man-Fu. I should add that some reviews, namely early ones from GamePro that are called ProViews, tend to read more like previews or factual statements rather than opinion.

Aside from Alien Crush, there are an additional 32 Japanese games though some of them are repeats of the North American games, such as Dungeon Explorer, Military Madness, Neutopia, Neutopia II, and Ys: Book I & II. One title that stands out in the PC Engine (Japan's TG16) list is Snatcher. I own Snatcher on Sega CD and I've talked about the game before as it's one of my favorites. While Japan can play Snatcher on TurboGrafx-16, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and home computers, North America only got a Sega CD version which makes it somewhat challenging to play today. I'd say that game -- which is heavily influenced by the film Blade Runner -- is worth purchasing the mini for, however, it it is not in English so if you don't read Japanese it wouldn't be much fun. Story is significant for this one as it's an adventure game with much of the gameplay being investigations through conversation, with action primarily limited to some shootouts from a first-person viewpoint (move a cross-hair or use a light gun).

I'll list each game and link the titles to so you can easily find more information about them. Mobygames sometimes has review scores from old magazines and users, and might have box art and screenshots as well, plus a bunch of other data. Before listing each game individually let me start with the article from EGM's 1991 Buyer's Guide. By the way, I'll be abbreviating Video Games & Computer Entertainment as VG&CE.

GamePro - November 1992
VG&CE - November 1992

GamePro - December 1989

Blazing Lazers (Preview Only)
EGM #4 - Part 1
EGM #4 - Part 2

EGM #45

GamePro - September 1991
VG&CE - October 1991

VG&CE - December 91
GamePro - December 1991

Dungeon Explorer (Preview & Reviews)
EGM #3 - Part 1
EGM #3 - Part 2
EGM #3 - Part 3

EGM #4
GamePro - January 1990
Game Player's - February 1990

EGM #10
VG&CE - May 1990

EGM #44

GamePro - March 1990

GamePro - June 1990

EGM #10
VG&CE - June 1990

EGM #38

VG&CE - August 1992

EGM #37
GamePro - December 1992
VG&CE - October 1992

GamePro - November 1990
EGM 1991 Buyer's Guide
GamePro - November 1991

VG&CE - November 1991

GamePro - February 1990

EGM #14
GamePro - November 1990
VG&CE - November 1990

GamePro - October 1992

GamePro - March 1990

GamePro - August 1990

Victory Run
EGM #4

Ys: Book I & II (EGM review appears to only be for "Book I")
EGM 1991 Buyer's Guide
GamePro - December 1990
VG&CE - November 1990

Mobygames links for two more North American releases: Chew-Man-Fu and R-Type. Here are links to all the unique PC Engine releases as well (not sure about title name accuracy but they are exactly as listed on the official mini site): Akumajō Dracula X Chi no Rondo, Aldynes, Appare! Gateball, Bomberman '94, Bomberman Panic Bomber, Chō Aniki, Daimakaimura, Dragon Spirit, Fantasy Zone, Galaga '88, The Genji and the Heike Clans, Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire, Gradius, Gradius II: Gofer no Yabō, Jaseiken Necromancer, The Kung Fu, The Legend of ValkyrieNinja Ryūkenden, PC Genjin, Salamander, Seirei Senshi Spriggan, Snatcher, Spriggan Mark 2, Star Parodier, Super Darius, Super Momotarō Dentetsu II (link is for non-super version as I don't see an entry for the CD release at Mobygames), and Super Star Soldier.

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