The TurboGrafx-16 was the forgotten middle-child of the the 16-bit era. Nintendo was the older “do-no-wrong” sibling while Sega was the loudmouth “look-at-me” younger sibling. The TG16 quietly offered good graphics and sound, but it wasn’t enough to standout in the North American Market. Prices for games on the TG16 are on the rise, but there are a few titles that can be had in the $50 dollar or less range.
Vigilante was a launch title for the TurboGrafx-16. It mixes elements of Double Dragon and Final Fight to make this one of the best side-scrolling beat em ups available for the system. Check out my previous Versus Mode post to see how it fares against another street brawler, Bad Dudes.
Bloody Wolf is a run and gun shooter published and developed by the legendary Data East. Two player co-op is an option, and I highly recommend it as some levels can get very difficult. One of the highlights of the game is riding what appears to be a machine gun equipped Triumph Thruxton down war-torn city streets.
JJ & Jeff
Based on the Japanese television show Fun TV with Kato-Chan and Ken-Chan, JJ & Jeff is a goofy platformer filled with campy humor and a disturbing amount of bird poop. Sadly, all the best humor was censored from the North American version but it is still a fun romp.
In this sequel to another TG16 launch title Alien Crush, Devil’s Crush is an action orientated pinball game with an Occult Theme. Both titles boast fast and furious pinball action but with one huge exception. In Alien Crush, when the ball moves between the upper and lower levels of the table, the screen blanks for a split second causing the gameplay to pause which can be very disorientating. This problem was solved in Devil’s Crush by implementing a smooth scrolling transition from screen to screen.
If the TurboGrafx did anything right, it was shooters. From 1943: The Battle of Midway to R-Type, the little PC Engine that could did produce several memorable shooter titles. The best of which was Blazing Lazers. Most shooters are brutally hard, but Blazing Lazers starts the player off easy and gradually ups the challenge. The scrolling is smooth, the colors are bright, and the music is arcade perfect.
While the TurboGrafx-16 may be remembered as “that one console”, it leaves a memorable catalog full of fun games. Some of which can be had on the cheap.