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The launch of the TurboGrafx-16 [YouTube]


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Great stuff man! This puts a good perspective on the Turbo Grafx launch. While I am very familiar with the game library, I never did really know much about the launch. All I could tell you is Keith Courage was indeed a crummy game to include as a pack-in.

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I got mine some months after the launch.

 

I can honestly say Keith Courage had to be the absolute worst choice for a pack in game. Great graphic, lousy gameplay. If it wasn't for the built in cheat, I would have used them as target practice long ago.

Right? I was thinking about this a lot today, because I would like to have spoken more about it in the episode but didn't in order to keep things moving. But the thing with that game is that you would almost immediately want to go get another one. Of the 3 games that were actually ready when the system test-launched, The Legendary Axe was the no-brainer. Even if you weren't super into action platformers, the game had enough meat on it to keep you occupied for a while, and certainly had enough audio-visual candy to wow you if you were used to the NES. When I think about pack-in games, I think about being a kid and getting that system, and popping that pack-in game in and turning the console on for the first time. Keith Courage isn't nearly as good as a myriad of games that were out on the NES. What about that game makes you glad you got a TG-16?

 

That was a great review. Informative and about 3 minutes per game. Lots of people doing video reviews could take lessons from you.

Hey, thanks man. Sometimes I'd like to spend more time on games, but ultimately I'm just trying to showcase them and give a brief overview with some subjective commentary, so that if the viewer is interested they can go check the game out for themselves rather than just having me spoil everything. Plus I like to keep the show moving so that people don't get bored and quit watching mid-episode. Even with my attempts to keep things short the episode was still almost 30 minutes long, so if I don't spit it out and move along, the total time could get out of hand.

 

Thanks for watching, guys!

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What about that game makes you glad you got a TG-16?

 

Alien Crush. There was a playable setup at one Kmart (back before they turned shit) where anyone could play. The card had hole drilled through the back end and secured by cables so I had a choice of a few games (none that I could keep for free wink wink) and Alien Crush sounded like something of sci-fi game but it was a pinball game and dang great for the time. Neutopia was the second reason, Zelda-esque game.

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Got the TG-16CD around Christmas 1990, I think. We were the only ones who had a TG-16CD at our school. My older brother loved to play Aero Blasters, Final Lap Twin, and the Bonk games. I, too, thought "WTF" when I played Keith Courage. Weird game.

It was an expensive system; especially with the CD-Rom attachment and Turbo Tap. A couple CD-Rom games we had were Sherlock Holmes and Addams Family. At the time (early 90s), those games were really amazing.

Still have it, but the CD-Rom attachment has long since crapped out. I have another TG-16CD that works, but rarely use it. Great system; I just have more fun playing NES games.

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Got the TG-16CD around Christmas 1990, I think. We were the only ones who had a TG-16CD at our school. My older brother loved to play Aero Blasters, Final Lap Twin, and the Bonk games. I, too, thought "WTF" when I played Keith Courage. Weird game.

It was an expensive system; especially with the CD-Rom attachment and Turbo Tap. A couple CD-Rom games we had were Sherlock Holmes and Addams Family. At the time (early 90s), those games were really amazing.

Still have it, but the CD-Rom attachment has long since crapped out. I have another TG-16CD that works, but rarely use it. Great system; I just have more fun playing NES games.

 

Those TGCD units are quite fixable. If you're ever interested in getting it repaired, talk to a guy called "Keith Courage" on the PCEngineFX forums.

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Very informative review!

Short but very informative game reviews, same for the console. Great job.

 

I can't say much about the game launch line up as I wasn't much aware of video games at the time.

Plus here, it was gray-marketed by Sodipeng (SOciété D'Importation de la pc-ENGine) in 1991.

 

Retroblog-SODIPENG.jpg

 

The consoles were modified to output RGB through the AV connector on the side of the Coregrafx models (probably to keep a RGB output even on the Interface Unit) as they were NTSc and only a handful of French TV at the time would display NTSC video. The games were Japanese ones, with a inkjet printed leaf of instruction in French.

Despite this cumbersome process, you can see that the console was sold with one game, a multitap and two pads, for 1290 French Francs. For comparison, the Super nintendo was sold for 1490 FF, and the Megadrive for 1790FF...

 

Anyway, keep that good work up ;)

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Awesome review!! I never bought my TG-16 at launch. I stuck with the NES, Genesis, and SNES during that time. In late 1991 I got into trying out the TG-16 overat one of my friends place. First game I played was Bonk's Revenge. I was totally hooked and addicted playing the prehistoric dude with the huge head headbutting, gobbling meat for invincibility and spitting fire, and the fun bonus games. I also played Splatterhouse which I was impressed how identical it was to the arcade as well as Pac-Land. Then years came and went and I never got into getting one til 2009. And I don't regret it. Got some of my favorites plus the ultra rare Bonk 3. The graphics and sound was awesome and reminded me of a poor man's NEO GEO AES.

 

post-32978-0-09416200-1436902463_thumb.jpg

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This was solved with the CD attachment, and more importantly the Arcade card that added mass RAM to the system, and of course, CD music :

 

might not be arcade perfect, but... This is still at core the little 8/16 bits hybrid PC Engine!

 

But that's waay late in the PC Engine life. It might not even have been released in the US?

Edited by CatPix
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I was in college at the time and happened to have money to burn, so I bought the TG-16, all the accessories, all the launch games AND the Genesis. (Yeah, that was one expensive Toys 'R' Us trip.)

 

My impressions of the games at the time, as best I can recall:

Keith Courage - Boring!

Legendary Axe - Nice.

Victory Run - The first driving game I'd liked since Pole Position was released. I liked the fact that you had to choose how many of each type of replacement part to bring with you.

Alien Crush - Neat pinball! Wish it didn't blink when going between screens, though.

China Warrior - Wow, those sprites are huge! But, uh, the game's kind of boring and repetitive.

Power Golf - Woah, I didn't know I liked golf video games! This is awesome, especially with three players.

Vigilante - All I remember about this one is "Awkaban", which is how the one boss character's "Aw, come on!" sounded to my friends and I.

Blazing Lazers - Holy crap! This is the best game ever!

Dungeon Explorers - Woah...turbo tap + 4 friends = lots of fun!

 

Later on, I got Galaga '90, which remains my favorite TG-16 game to this day.

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Common problem with CD systems are the crap capacitors, bad middle gear, and dried lube.

 

For some reason the main systems TG16 and PCE are fine but the CD base and CD drive has shit caps that needs to be recapped and soon if you don't want leaks and broken traces that makes repairing it a bitch. (recapping the base unit is still a bitch, 3 boards stacked tightly together with non-removable cables) The CD drive is also tiny and hard to work in so I am not going to bother recapping and pay someone to recap mine.

 

Gear fix is somewhat easy. If the gear is not cracked, and you have a tiny drill, you can drill (hand turn only) through the center to shave less than a mm to make it just a tad wider and less likely to crack. If it's cracked, replacement gear is available from places like console5. The hardest part is the tiny retaining clip used to hold the gear in place. If you're not careful when removing it, it may fly off and it's the size of a pinhead, it will be lost forever. Putting it back on without having it pop and fly off is also harder.

 

Relubing is easy, just remove the worm gear the laser runs on, wipe all the old grease away, use white lithium grease ($3 for one big ass tube at some hardware store), and that's all.

 

(FWIW black Duo, both USA and Japanese also needs recapping while later white R and RX's are fine)

 

PS I do highly recommend Keith Courage on PCEngingfx forum.

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Common problem with CD systems are the crap capacitors, bad middle gear, and dried lube.

 

For some reason the main systems TG16 and PCE are fine but the CD base and CD drive has shit caps that needs to be recapped

(FWIW black Duo, both USA and Japanese also needs recapping while later white R and RX's are fine)

 

PS I do highly recommend Keith Courage on PCEngingfx forum.

It's likely that NEC (just noticed, people in youtube videos seems to say N-E-C. Here people always say NEC like "Neck" is there a debate about it? :D ) outsourced the production of their CD units. When I'll receive mine, I'll check out and in and I'll more than likely see that the units were made in China while the PC Engine was made in Japan, or something like that.

Edited by CatPix
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I haven't got a chance to watch the whole thing yet, but nice video so far from what I watched. The early 16-bit console days are some of the best gaming memories I have.. since I was in college, and could finally make my own decisions as to what consoles and games to get.. i.e. "all that I could afford" :lol:. I still remember coming back from summer vacation back to the states, and the market had changed from NES/SMS only since the Genesis and the TG16 were out. I felt like Rip Van Winkle and bought the Genesis right off the bat. A week later I just couldn't stand it and went and got the TG16 (which is another story), but anyway. I totally passed on China Warrior, and honestly me and my roommates had a great time with Keith Courage. But it was BLAZING LAZERS that really sealed the deal that this was "next gen" console. The graphics and sound were sharp, the gameplay was fast. To be fair though, we also thought the same about Altered Beast. :P

 

To me the best thing about it was when you went to a store, and you had a library of NES, TG16, and Genesis titles on display, unlike today there was truly a huge and marked difference in the game selection between the consoles. I was just lucky to be in college and thus could make it so I could pick and choose from the best of each library... This was very different from the 5200 vs. Colecovision days where as a child under my parents, I had to pick a side, and hope for the best. :lol: and then end up kind of sad from seeing titles (like Colecovision Time Pilot) on the "other side" you didn't have access to. :P

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I sold telephones, answering machines, computers, vacuum cleaners, fax machines, typewriters/word processors and game systems (even the Atari Portfolio, Lynx and 7800) at Montgomery Ward when the TG-16 was released. Remember the promo video tape we had running during launch too. Took that stuff home when it was no longer needed, but wish I would have kept it. Anyway, NEC consumer electronics were excellent back then. Their VCR's, CD players and TV's especially - but the TG-16 forever holds a special place in my heart for classic gaming. Alien Crush was *the* game that sold me on it back then but the pack-in Keith Courage was and will forever always be, umm underwhelming. haha

 

The boxes the CD unit came in were hilariously humongous! We set aside a two tier shelf system where the TG-16 console sat above, with the CD unit below. I remember dusting the shelves the $400 CD player sat on. And yeah, there was very little movement in product that way. ;)

 

post-13896-0-73747500-1436925012_thumb.jpg

 

 

Needless to say, I had a TG-16 pretty much at launch. And years later, when Toys 'r Us, Electronics Boutique, etc. were closing them out, bought all the systems, joysticks and controllers I could afford (or wanted) at the time. Even a TurboDuo brand new from TRU for $100. This was around '94-'94. Little after that, when TZD was formed, bought all the remaining HuCards I didn't have to complete my U.S. release collection and ventured into some of the Japanese releases, like Street Fighter II and Power League Baseball.

 

Always felt the TG-16 got the shaft here in America. Goofy decisions to port some Japanese titles, while ignoring 75% or more of the really good stuff were the tip of the iceberg. Games like Altered Beast, Out Run (we got Victory Run - yay), Castlevania, Populous, Gradius (we got Deep Blue and another lame shooter or three instead), Batman and any other game that was released for the Genesis *should* have been released for the U.S. market. Gaming mags at the time even complained about that brand of idiocy. The games were already made. Convert or translate them for English if needed and release already!

 

But no. Instead, they wasted time and effort porting crap (pun intended) like Ken and Kato over. J.J. and Jeff not only an English translation, but went so far as to change the in-game graphics from blasting farts, to spraying cans of bug spray?! Wow. NEC Avenue, HudsonSoft or whomever couldn't be bothered to bring the likes of Darius, 1941/1943, Atomic Robo Kid, Xevious, Lode Runner, Operation Wolf, After Burner, Tnunderblade, Street Fighter II or Castlevania over, but we got J.J. and Jeff? WTF?!?! :lol:

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