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The A-Z of PC Engine & TurboGrafx Games: Volume 1

The A-Z of PC Engine & TurboGrafx Games: Volume 1

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The A-Z of PC Engine & TurboGrafx Games: Volume 1

Lunghezza:
186 pagine
1 ora
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 18, 2018
ISBN:
9781785389139
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The A-Z of PC Engine & TurboGrafx: Volume 1 features reviews of three different games for each letter of the alphabet. The games range from the very earliest releases in 1987 to the modern homebrew games of today. This book shows you just how diverse the library of titles is for the PC Engine and TurboGrafx and how they became so popular with retro gaming collectors.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 18, 2018
ISBN:
9781785389139
Formato:
Libro

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Anteprima del libro

The A-Z of PC Engine & TurboGrafx Games - Kieren Hawken

A

Alien Crush

Hudson Soft - 1988

This series of pinball games became synonymous with the PC Engine before translating very well to the rival Sega Mega Drive too, and it’s very easy to see why. Mix a traditional pinball simulation with a seedy horror movie and you basically have this game. Alongside the usual flippers and bumpers are monsters that roam the tables, affect the movement of the ball and can also be destroyed for extra bonus points. The best, and at the time, most unique feature of this game are the various bonus stages that transport you to a whole new screen and often require you to beat a particularly nasty alien beast in a sort of boss battle. From the gruesome graphics right down to the raging sounds Alien Crush just oozes with class. There is only one thing that really lets this game down however, and that’s the scrolling. For some reason the programmers chose to use flip screen scrolling, which incredibly annoying as it constantly jumps from one to the other. This is absolutely criminal on a 16-bit console and I really can’t see any excuse for it. Thankfully, once you get used to it, you will find it doesn’t detract too much from what is essentially a very good game. It’s also good to know that they fixed this for the sequels. Audio wise the game really excels with excellent music throughout and really sounds effects too. Despite some issues, Alien Crush is still a must have title for the PCE.

8/10

Aero Blasters

Kaneko - 1990

I would be surprised if anyone reading this remembers the original coin-op, but the Mega Drive and PC Engine versions of this game really are hidden gems in each system’s respective catalogue. Also known under the title Air Buster, Kaneko’s Aero Blasters is a fairly standard horizontal shooter for the most part, but its well designed levels, nice looking visuals and simultaneous two-player gameplay help ensure this shoot ‘em up more than holds its own. One particularly stand-out part of the game are the speed stages, where you need to fly at high speed through a narrow cavern without crashing into the walls or any obstacles. This requires some super quick reflexes and ends up being almost like a race when you are playing with a friend. Another thing I love about Aero Blasters is its nice clean graphics. It’s hard to define what I mean exactly, but the way they are drawn they seem to really stand out and are much more bright and colourful than many other shooters of this type. A very impressive soundtrack also helps keep things moving along and adds more polish to an already high quality experience. The PC Engine might have more horizontal shoot ‘em ups than you can shake a stick at, but Aero Blasters is still a very good indeed and one of the few out there than can be played by two players at once. That alone makes it worth buying, even when put up against more illustrious titles.

8/10

After Burner II

NEC Avenue - 1990

After Burner is one of Sega’s most popular ever franchises and is one of several games by Sega to appear on the PCE. After Burner II is actually just a slight enhancement of the first game adding a throttle, new enemies and three extra levels among other minor enhancements. In the arcades this game relied heavily on its custom super-scaler hardware, which was also seen in games like Galaxy Force and Space Harrier, and I am sure I don’t need to tell you that the PC Engine lacks this technique. All you do in After Burner is fly your F14 Tomcat over the different landscapes through night and day taking out enemy planes with your guns and lock-on missiles and occasionally take part in the now famous mid-air refuelling sequence. There really isn’t that much too it and this is made even more obvious in the many home versions of the game that really lack the wow factor of the arcade original. The PCE does a fairly good job at recreating those stunning visuals but is a little choppy at times. The iconic music has been created very well though and that is without doubt the best part of this title. The gameplay is fun at first but does become a bit tiresome after a while due to the repetitiveness. Top marks for trying here NEC but After Burner II has always been a case of style over substance. If you loved the original arcade game then you might want to give it a closer look.

7/10

B

Bonk’s Adventure

Hudson Soft - 1989

Back in the days of the 8-bit and 16-bit console wars, mascot characters were very important indeed. Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic and NEC had this little guy - amusingly called Bonk. He was also known as PC Genjin in Japan (a play on the system’s name) and although he later appeared on a few other platforms all his early games were exclusive to the PCE. Bonk is a caveman with a giant cranium who runs around a prehistoric world head butting dinosaurs! The other unique ability that he has is using his super sharp gnashers to grab onto platforms and pull himself up. Rather than collecting coins in Bonk you collect smiley faces and fruit as well as big joints of meat. The first two just give you points but as you eat the meat you become more and more angry, until you literally blow your top and go crazy, giving you limited invincibility. The levels are really varied with very standard platform stages as well as parts where you have to move quickly and even swim underwater. Bonk seems to combine lots of elements from other platformers and mould them together, thankfully it does this very well indeed. The graphics are great with superb animation and some really

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