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Bought a Turbografx 16. What's next?

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Over the weekend, I took a little overnight trip. Did a little retro shopping at a game store in the area, and came away with a Turbografx 16 and 10 games (5 of them in their case and 5 card only, but none boxed). Here's what I got:


  • Bonk's Adventure (card)
  • Bonk's Revenge (card)
  • Dungeon Explorers (card)
  • Final Lap Twin (case + card)
  • Galaga '90 (card)
  • Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (case + card)
  • Takin' It To the Hoop (case + card)
  • Tricky Kick (case + card)
  • Vigilante (card)
  • World Class Baseball (case + card)

After having played it for a few days, I have a few initial thoughts on the system.


First, I was surprised to learn that the Turbografx 16 has only one controller port on the base console, and that you have to buy a TurboTap to add players 2-5 to it. I can understand packing only one controller in the box, but one controller port on the machine period is a bit odd to say the very least. I like the graphical capability of the machine, and I can imagine in the very late 80s/early 90s, this thing would've looked great compared to the NES, and about on par with the Sega Genesis. I also find the sound and music coming out of it have a certain charm that none of the other 8-bit or 16-bit systems of the day had (and to me, most closely evoke the style of music that the Commodore Amiga had at the time).


The box art is a bit hit or miss on the five games for which I have cases, with Final Lap Twin being about the best looking of the five. The HuCard labels themselves are a bit spartan, to put it charitably, but I suppose when you have such small label space, it's probably best to dedicate the space to the title of the game you're playing more than fancy artwork (although I understand that the Japanese PC Engine HuCards do have nice artwork, so that's a bit of a shame that we didn't get that). Overall, I'm enjoying the system, and I'm finding all the games ranging from very enjoyable to at least decently tolerable. Galaga '90 has by far seen the most playtime, along with Bonk's Adventure (I'm saving Revenge for after I've beaten that game).


I've played a bit of Final Lap Twin, and was surprised that the "Quest Mode" in that game wasn't referring to the traditional career mode of most racing games, but was in fact a sort of pseudo-RPG, complete with maps to walk around in, people to talk to, shops to visit, and random battle encounters where you take the action to the track as opposed to physically attacking your opponent (and what would you attack them with anyways? An impact drill?)


Special mention goes to Tricky Kick, which wins the gold medal for weirdest game I've seen on the platform. Something about puzzles where you kick animals around and join them together and... well, I'll figure it out someday. The graphics look good, though.


I know that a majority of the very excellent games came out only in Japan on the PC Engine, and especially on the CD-ROM add-on. I further know that the HuCards are region locked, while the CD-ROMs generally are not (though I'm guessing that the system cards that allow the CD-ROM add-on to work are region-locked). Perusing through eBay, I'm finding that even if you're just wanting to collect US-released games, this is quite an expensive little machine to get games for. To that end, since I mostly just want the system for enjoyment and gaming, I'm looking into the possibility of some sort of multicart that can run games from all regions, and that may additionally enable the CD-ROM add-on to work if I should decide to pick up one of those a little later on.


On my list to pick up next, though, are the two Crush pinball games, Blazing Lazers, and R-Type, for certain, since the only good shooter I have right now is Galaga '90, and I know this system's expertise is that genre. But if anyone else has recommendations, I'm happy to hear them.

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A must own for the TurboGrafx 16 is Splatterhouse!! Anybody that owns one of these puppies MUST have it in their library. It is an excellent arcade port and overall a fun game to play. I also reccommend Pac-Land. Another port that is exactly true to it's arcade counterpart. It's a side scrolling adventure game you will enjoy. It starts out easy but the difficulty cranks up in the later levels. Those are my suggestions.

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The Turbo Everdrive seems the way to go for multicart. I don't think it support CD games, but it dosw allow you to play US and JP releases (the region locking is nothing but two data lines electrically inverted, nothing related to a lock-out chip... It's why CD-ROM aren't region locked, because there isn't any tech allowing for it into the console).


There is lots of good games on the Turbografx, but... I can hardly name one :D Like most European colelctors, the PC-Engine was and is the way to go for collecting it (only England gray-marketed the Turbografx-16; France, Germany, Spain and probably other European countries had PC-Engine more or less gray marketed. Nothing official from NEC tho).


that's just my opinion, but I do find the one controller port a clever idea. I mean, one port is enoguh for one player. and if you wanna play with more people, well the most common multitap is 5 players, and some are 3 players. Cover enough needs I bet. Much like the 3DO had, I'll never understand the rant about the one controller port, since uniike the PC engine, for each pad you buy, you get another controoler port so... what's the issue?


Anyway; Turbo Everdrive for your flash cart needs, and arcade and shooters are the forte of the Turbografx. There are decent platformers as well, and also puzzles games, if you like them.

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i've had my Turbo since the early 90's. It's a great machine with excellent graphics and sound. Congrats on getting one!


You've already got some good titles. The Bonk games, Galaga '90, and World Class Baseball are all pretty fun. I have the four games you mentioned as your next targets (Alien and Devils Crush, R-Type, and Blazing Lazers) and they will be four great additions. If you're looking for more shooters, I'd also suggest Raiden and Psychosis.


Personally, I never saw the attraction of Splatterhouse, but eeryone else seems to love it. I rented it back in the day and I don't think I've played it since. Maybe I should give it another whirl, but, as you said, games are getting expensive and I'm not sure I'm willing to pay that mich for a game that I remember not liking that much.


The one controller port thing never really bothered me much. Most games are one player only anyway and the few that are are mostly sports games (which are mostly meh) or two player alternating so a second controller isn't necessary. One big exception is the Bomberman games which are superb multiplayer games. I do have a multitap and a second controller, but they rarely get used (the tap probably hasn't been used since the 90's, but I trade out the controllers occasionally.) I think it was mainly because of the Japanese market and the tendency for the gamer to be playing alone. Also, the PC Engine is super small, so it could have been a space/cost saving measure. Not sure.


At any rate, welcome to the Turbo family!

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Oh yeah, and there's a tennis game called World Court Tennis which also has an RPG type quest mode. You have an overhead map and towns and the random battles are tennis matches. You gain money for better shoes and rackets. It's pretty interesting and unique take on a tennis game. (The tennis playing itself is okay, nothing too special.)

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Love Turbo Grafx. I highly recommend Alien Crush and Cadash.


Anyways has anyone ever tried the PC Engine Super Mario Bros. port from the 6 in 1 Fami collection??? Just like the original but feels a little bit faster. I might have another go at it tonight :love:

I didn't know there was a Super Mario Bros. On the Turbo Grafx 16. I'm checking it out right now and playing it on my modded xbox. Feels like I am playing the PAL version. The color looks a little brighter and highly tinted.



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