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TurboGrafx 16

What if Bonk were cool?

Aug 16 // Jonathan Holmes
In the meantime, we're left to wonder what could have been had Bonk managed to stay alive into 2015. John-Charles Holmes, producer of the new Rhythm Heaven fan magazine Rhythm Zinegoku (featuring art from yours truly and former Dtoid writers Colette Bennett and Ashley Davis), has one possible answer to this question. While this might not be the evolution that many would hope to see for our top heavy caveman hero, I wouldn't be too surprised to see today's Konami take him in this direction. 
Bonk photo
Would he be Zonk?
Out of all the frustrating decisions Konami's made in the past few years, its shelving of the Bonk series hurt me the most. For those who don't know, Bonk was the first "radical" console wars rival to Mario, pre-dating Sonic ...

Samus and Sagat photo
'Ah-merr-ica you're gettin' burger hungry'
[Samus and the burger by Evazhou] If you live in the Northeastern United States, you are well aware of the historical snowfall we endured this winter. Everyday existence in Boston this past February was like living inside of...

Bravoman photo

Episode 2 of Bravoman is about crazy ninja love

Mentally unstable love interest? Check!
May 28
// Tony Ponce
The adventures of Bravoman, Super-Unequaled Hero of Excellence, continues with the second episode of his new web cartoon. As before, voice actor legend Rob Paulsen is the number one reason to tune in, lending his talents to ...
Bravoman photo

Yakko Warner is Bravoman in new Namco cartoon

First episode is go
May 22
// Tony Ponce
The cartoon adaptation of ShiftyLook's Bravoman: Super-Unequaled Hero of Excellence went live on May 20, exactly 25 years to the day since the launch of the obscure TurboGrafx-16 game Bravoman upon which it was based. Geeze,...

Console chimera photo
Console chimera

18 different gaming consoles combined into one system

The ultimate mod
Apr 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Modder Bacteria spent over three years and over $1,000 to merge 18 different consoles into one giant box. It contains circuitry from 15 different systems, works with one master controller, a single power supply, and a single...
Classic game music photo
Classic game music

Magical Chase soundtrack is finally something you can own

Early music by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata
Mar 20
// Jayson Napolitano
Are you a fan of Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata's collaborations on Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics, Opoona, and more? Perhaps you dig Sakimoto's more recent works that include Final Fantasy XII and the Valk...
Bravoman cartoon photo
Bravoman cartoon

Osbcure Namco game Bravoman gets a cartoon

And it stars Rob Paulsen of Animaniacs and TMNT fame!
Mar 08
// Tony Ponce
I know you're looking at that headline and saying to yourself, "What the hell is Bravoman?" It's a fairly unknown Namco arcade game from the 80s that was later ported to the TurboGrafx-16 -- and incidentally is also available...
Lords of Thunder photo
Lords of Thunder

New VGM supergroup Lords of Thunder to debut at MAGFest

Inspired the face-melting shmup on TurboGrafx-CD
Dec 21
// Tony Ponce
You won't just find old faves performing at MAGFest. Sometimes, new bands will take to the stage! Lords of Thunder is a supergroup that consists of Mike Villalobos and John Pike from Descendants of Erdrick, Mateo Marshall fr...

Live show: Bonk's Adventure on Mash Tactics

Feb 02
// Bill Zoeker
Thursdays on Mash Tactics are now 'Throwback Thursdays'. Each week, King Foom will choose one retro game to play through, starting with Bonk's Adventure for the TurboGrafx-16. This journey will pit Foom against the evil King ...

NA PlayStation Store getting TurboGrafx-16 games

Jan 05
// Jordan Devore
Starting this month, Hudson will gleefully begin pumping out TurboGrafx-16 games for the North American PlayStation Store. They'll be offered as individual downloads for PlayStation 3 and PSP should you feel the need to reliv...

TurboGrafx-16 games coming to PlayStation Store in Europe

Nov 19
// Conrad Zimmerman
There has been some talk in the past about getting TurboGrafx-16 titles on to the PlayStation Store in the west. Japan has had access to them for years now. It seems that they will finally materialize, as the German software ...

TurboGrafx 16 and Neo Geo games for PSP on the way?

Jun 29
// Jordan Devore
Those who update their PlayStation Portable to the newest firmware are in for a surprise. Wait, wait -- I might be overselling this. The update adds two new game folders to the handheld: "NEOGEO" and "PCEngine" (aka TurboGraf...

Off-Brand Games: Neutopia

May 29 // Tony Ponce
Offender: Neutopia Developed by: Hudson Soft Published by: NEC Released on: TG-16, 1990 Tastes like: The Legend of Zelda Joining Alundra and Crusader of Centy in the wannabe-Zelda camp is Neutopia, the most faithful "adaptation" yet. In fact, it's too faithful. The other titles did a much better job of distinguishing themselves from the source. Neutopia doesn't try to cover its tracks, and I do not mean that in a nice way. I can sense some of you pulling away from me. You might have played this on the Wii not that long ago with a smile on your face and a lilt in your step. C'mon, Tony! It's a great game! Don't be a hater! What's the matter, guys? Are you afraid that I might have some unkind words for Neutopia? Afraid that I may have ... *gasp*... legitimate criticisms? So some dork named Dirth, lead singer of a douchey Brit alt metal band, invades the land of Hyrule ... excuse me ... Neutopia, kidnaps Princess Zelda ... sorry ... Princess Aurora, and plunges the world into darkness and shit. As the hero Link ... pardon me ... Jazeta, you must conquer the eight dungeons ... hold on ... labyrinths, recover the eight Triforce shards ... there I go again, mind in the gutter ... Medallions, and restore peace to the people. Oh yeah. Magic everywhere in this bitch. HOW SHAMELESS IS IT? Everything you needed to know in the original Zelda was right there in the opening scroll. Neutopia adds nothing to that. You hear me? Nothing. Here was an opportunity to one-up Nintendo at their own game, however foolish such action was and always will be, and Hudson didn't bother to step up to the plate. No, Hudson called in a pinch hitter while it had "private time" in a dark corner of the dugout. Glad to see you taking the competition seriously. It's not that the game was bad -- I've always insisted that it's not possible to make a "bad" Zelda clone -- it just wasn't necessary. Was there a gap in the software lineup that needed plugging? What happened? Were your fifteen billion shoot-'em-ups not selling anymore? The TurboGrafx-16, purported to be a whopping four times faster (oooh!) than the NES, could only yield a Zelda-too that was nothing more than a simple palette swap? Aside from what I mentioned above, you've got bats and mutant dogs with identical attack patterns to Keese and Moblins. You get a dungeon map by finding crystal balls, collect crypt keys to get into boss chambers, pick up cherries instead of hearts, score coins instead of Rupees, and snatch an hourglass that freezes enemies on screen momentarily like the watch that you probably don't even remember was in the first Zelda. Just the tip of the iceberg. You know the ladder from Zelda? The thing that wasn't so much a ladder as it was a makeshift bridge? Stupid crap that no one would care to ever see in a Zelda game again, right? Lo and behold, it makes a grand appearance in Neutopia as the Rainbow Drop, a magical artifact that creates bridges out of bright rainbows and the joy and laughter of innocent children frolicking in the fields and oh my God, I think I'm gonna puke. Really? This couldn't hit the chopping block? It just had to be in there, right? And those eight Medallions? They represent wisdom, power, and virtue. Isn't that last one supposed to be "courage"? I bet they thought they were being clever! Shame that "clever" wasn't one of the three almighty virtues! That's another thing... the third virtue is called "virtue." You can't do that! You can't name a subset of a set after the set itself! Wisdom and power are types of virtues, so you have to name the third one something other than "virtue," you asshats! That's like naming your hockey team the Vancouver Canucks or the Montreal Canadians! You live in fucking Canada! The redundancy is melting my brain! The nomenclature throughout is phenomenal. The hero is "Jazeta." Woo! How manly! It's the perfect name if you were answering a casting call for To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. To return to the last save point, you use an item called the "Wings of Return." The bombs you carry are not regular bombs but "Boom Bombs," as opposed to the kind that file your God damn tax returns. And the nefarious Dirth (I've already covered him) awaits your arrival in the sinister "Climactic Castle." The Climactic Castle? Tell me that didn't just happen. Did that just happen? Oh my God! Ha ha ha ha ha! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! No. So I'm walking around, blowing up walls with bombs to uncover hidden doors or burning bushes to uncover secret stairwells, when I feel a strange chill down my spine. This is exactly like the original Zelda only... off. In every respect, Neutopia is The Legend of Zelda, but the graphical boost implies an exploration of new concepts that never materialize. The power of the hardware doesn't yield a richer, more robust game, and that leaves me feeling disconnected. The original Zelda is extremely dated by today's standards, but at least I understand that it was a product of an earlier age. Neutopia did nothing to build upon that. This is all disappointing enough, but then the game starts pulling shenanigans on me. Item drops, for starters, never happen! You can play the game for half an hour without seeing a single restorative cherry, leaving you to suffer the grating low-health warning chime until you kill yourself in game or out. Bomb drops are just as infrequent, and since you can only carry sixteen by game's end and you have to bomb all the time on every screen, you wind up bomb-less and paying a visit to the bloodsucking salesman in a store located God knows where. For all the equipment lifted from Zelda, you don't have many offensive options. Take a look at your status bar: Assigned are the fire wand and your sword. That's what you'll be using in every battle. There are no boomerangs or bows and arrows; as I've established, it would be foolish and impractical to waste bombs on combat. The fire wand is a distance weapon and its power and range are directly proportional to amount of health you posses. That's a big "up yours" when you are on the brink of death, six or seven monsters closing in on you, and the flames spewing from the tip couldn't light a birthday candle. That's when I need the thing to be at its most powerful! Not cool, dude! Using the sword is deceptively tricky, especially against enemies that jump. Imagine you are playing catch with yourself. The ball travels skyward before gravity brings it down. Applying 2D overhead physics to the ball, instead of traveling perpendicular to the ground, it will be as if you are throwing it to the left or the right, parallel to the ground, before some magical force reverses its direction without gravity ever stopping by to say hello. In game, it would look like the ball is shifting one panel north; that's the panel you attack despite science telling you otherwise. And what's up with the password function? You can enter a password to jump ahead in the game or you can store passwords you receive at save points to automatically be entered for you whenever you turn the game back on. The hag who saves your progress doesn't restore your health, and should you die, you will return to her with half your gold and only half your health refilled. However, if you reset the game and load your most recent password, you jump back in at full stamina! Why the inconvenience? As if that wasn't backwards enough, in order to use the save function, you have to acquire the "Book of Revival" literally one screen below your starting point. Without it, death sends you back to the beginning of the game. It's not like it's difficult to find! It's right there! Why do I have to manually pick it up? Why can't I simply have the ability to save my game? Who benefits from this? Is the game encouraging me to attempt a no-death run? None of that matters, though. What matters is visiting all the townspeople and listening to their sob stories. Almost every square on the overworld map has a hidden room, but all you'll find are NPCs who won't stop sucking up to you, and all you wanna do is punch them square in the sternum. It's room after room after room of repeated character sprites. The game feels less like a grand adventure and more like making house calls. The game is one giant gated community and I'm supposed to be the security patrol that drives off the riff-raff for breaking the homeowners' association conduct code. At least the payoff is decent! All Zelda ever did for Link was give him a pat on the shoulder and a half-hearted thumbs up for a job well done. Princess Aurora? She literally throws herself at you and commands you to take her right then and there: Now that's what I'm talkin' about! I think this just might be the only game in the history of gaming where you get to bang the princess in the end! Okay, it's not stated outright, but the implication is clear as day! Makes the whole ordeal worthwhile, doesn't it? Seriously though, the game isn't that bad. I'm just a jerk. THE BRUCEPLOITATION SCALE OF RESPECT FOR A CULTURAL ICON: PREVIOUSLY, ON OFF-BRAND GAMES: 00 Introduction 01 Power Blazer 02 Commando: Steel Disaster 03 Snood 04 Midnight Resistance 05 8 Eyes 06 Onimusha Blade Warriors 07 The Krion Conquest 08 Scurge: Hive 09 3-D WorldRunner 10 Alundra 11 Chex Quest 12 Giana Sisters DS 13 Run Saber 14 Crusader of Centy 15 DuLuDuBi Star 16 Fighter's History 17 Robopon 18 The Simpsons Road Rage

[Many video games build upon the concepts and mechanics of their forerunners. Off-Brand Games examines those that draw just a little too much... inspiration.] Take a look at this. Now, take a look at this. Does anyone re...


This Splatterhouse custom is the definition of badass

Nov 02
// Jordan Devore
Reliving painful gaming memories we've repressed is the norm for this gig. Upon seeing Splatterhouse's Rick in glorious custom toy form over at Tomopop, I was reminded how I never did beat Splatterhouse 2, and was forced to s...

MEAT! Bonk: Brink of Extinction to hit WiiWare/XBLA/PSN

Sep 02
// Jonathan Holmes
Hudson is really mining the hell out of its TurboGrafx-16 library these days, and I for one couldn't be happier about it. Before the SNES was released, the TG-16 was my 16-bit system of choice, despite the fact that it was re...

Rondo comes home: Dracula X Rondo of Blood to hit the Japanese Virtual Console

Mar 28
// Jonathan Holmes
When the Wii's Virtual Console was first announced, the collective "meh" uttered by fans of illegal video game emulation was so massive, it could be heard around the world. Pirates had been playing NES, SNES, Turbo-...

Boner alert! Hudson to release a new Alien Crush for WiiWare

Mar 28
// Chad Concelmo
I think I need to sit down. You see, I am absolutely obsessed with the pinball “Crush” games on the TurboGrafx-16. In fact, I play them each and every night before I go to bed. They are kind ...

This week's VC releases: Harvest Moon, Lords of Thunder

Feb 11
// Nick Chester
Nintendo continues its streak of delivering the "one less than we've come to expected" two Virtual Console titles this week. But with goodies like these, I'm finding it hard to be mad at them. Natsume's Harvest Moo...

RetroforceGO! Episode 34: TurboGrafx-16!

Jan 28
// Dyson
Well everybody, another Monday is upon and with that, another RetroforceGO! Can you feel the excitement? Me too. Or maybe I'm just over-caffeinated from the gigantic glass of Diet Pepsi that I just pounded. Either way, I'm wi...

RetroforceGO! recording episode 34 tonight: TurboGrafx 16 and PC Engine

Jan 27
// Topher Cantler
Tonight we take a look at the TurboGrafx 16 and all the shooters games that made it great. From shoot-em-ups to cute-em-ups, Bonk to Zonk, to its weird controller and everything in between, we think it deserves its own episod...

This week's VC releases: Greatest game ever, Power Golf, comes home

Nov 05
// Nick Chester
Best Virtual Console week ever? You bet! Nintendo has announced that the "greatest game ever" will be coming to the Wii Shop Channel today. That's right, we're talking about Virtual Golf (TurboGrafx16, 1-3 players, ...

This week's VC releases: prove you're tough edition

Oct 15
// Tristero
 A new challenger, Gate of Thunder, has entered the Virtual Console's already formidable shmup cage match.  One of the pack-in release games for the TurboDuo, Gate of Thunder is an excellent, albeit unoriginal game ...

Hudson drops vintage TG-16 CD goodness on Wii's Virtual Console

Sep 29
// Dale North
Sometimes I feel alone in my dislike for most of the Wii's Virtual Console releases. Most titles are ones that I already have multiple versions of, and I feel that many of the titles are a tad bit overpriced. The only titles ...

This week's VC releases: What is this learning nonsense?

Sep 03
// Nick Chester
In honor of "back to school season," Nintendo has released Donkey Kong Jr. Math (NES, 1-2 players, 500 Wii Points) on the Wii Shop Channel today. The irony of this is that today is Labor Day, and kids have the day o...

This week's VC releases: Super Metroid, Shinobi III, Neutopia

Aug 20
// Nick Chester
As reported, this Monday sees the release of Super Metroid (Super NES, 1 player, 800 Wii Points) for Nintendo's virtual console. Easily one of the greats among a solid Super NES library, the game is worth at least double the ...

This week's VC releases: Dolphin Park is in the house

Aug 06
// Nick Chester
Nintendo must have heard my cries last week, when I whined about receiving the "Wii-kly Update" e-mails late, or not even getting them at all. I woke up this morning to an e-mail that was sent at 8:01 a.m., which wa...

This week's VC releases: Paper Mario and some games that aren't Paper Mario

Jul 16
// Nick Chester
Now you can stop whining -- after an excruciatingly long wait, the North American Virtual Console is finally getting Paper Mario (Nintendo 64, 1 player, 1,000 Wii Points). It will be joined by two games that it completely ove...

This week's VC releases: Mach Rider, Yoshi, and Air Zonk

Jul 09
// Nick Chester
Nintendo brings fans another rousing round of classics with this week's Virtual Console releases. Mach Rider (NES, 1 player, 500 Wii Points), Yoshi (NES, 1-2 players, 500 Wii Points), and Air "Zonk" (TurboGrafx-...

This week's VC releases: show Wart some respect, damn it

Jul 02
// Nick Chester
Let's get this out of the way first -- Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES, 1 player, 500 Wii Points), Ecco: The Tides of Time (Sega Genesis, 1 player, 800 Wii Points), and DRAGON SPIRIT (TurboGrafx-16, 1 player, 600 Wii Points) are...

This week's VC releases: fast-driving, high-flying, hard-hitting

Jun 25
// Nick Chester
Maybe I'm dating myself here, but does anyone remember what it was like in 1992 when the arcade break-out hit, Street Fighter II, was about to hit the Super Nintendo? The hype could have made your ears bleed, and the thou...

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