The Games of the Turbo Grafx-16 Mini: Part 3

And here’s the last of the blogs about the games on the Turbo Grafx-16 Mini’s US releases.  Well, mostly.  I’ll combine a few of them that had both US and Japanese releases on here like I did last time.  So let’s take a look at the rest of them!

Ys Book 1 & 2

The game that started it all.  Although these top down action adventure series started out on PC, I think the Turbo Grafx-16 was one of the few US releases.  The music is awesome in these games, and the intro to Book 2 is especially rockin’!  The reason why is because Yuzo Koshiro did the music!  One bad thing about these first few Ys games is that since they were originally on PC and were more simplistic, you didn’t have a button to swing your sword. You would just ram into enemies and hope for the best.  Usually I prefer the old ways to do things in video games, but this is one case where I prefer more modern controls with a sword button.  But this is still a good game.  You can play the Japanese version of this on the PC Engine menu, but I’m not sure why you’d want to.


And speaking of top-down action adventure games, Neutopia was the TG-16’s answer to Zelda.  It’s so similar that you even use bombs to blow open doors to caves and such.  It’s not as good as Zelda and has poor hit detection.  But it’s still good enough that I probably would’ve had these games if I owned a TG-16 back in the day.

Neutopia II

It’s just more of the same.  You play as the son of the hero from the first game.  You’re out to rescue your dad who has gone missing.  You can also play the Japanese versions of both these titles on the PC Engine menu, but the text is all Japanese.

Parasol Stars

Oh yeah!  This is one of the many sequels to Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands and it rocks!  You use an umbrella to dispatch enemies in single screen mazes, but the way you use the umbrella is so versatile.  I once called this game “Bubble Bobble with technique” because of that.  I’m really glad this is on the collection!


Another Taito game.  It plays like a 2-D side scrolling hack and slash, kind of like another one of their games called Rastan.  Except in this one, there are more RPG elements.  You can talk to people in towns, collect money and experience points, and select from four different characters.  My friend and I first played this game in arcades, and we thought it was neat how it still had RPG elements and two people could play this at the same time.  We hoped they would make a NES version so we could play it together, but sadly it only came out on the TG-16.  It’s still a good game, but very unforgiving sometimes because if you fall into the water, you’ll take knockback damage and will never be able to get out until you die.  Ugh.  What’s interesting is that both this game and Parasol Stars were brought to the US by Working Designs.

Space Harrier

It seems weird to think that some of SEGA’s games came out on the TG-16, but it happened. I think because the TG-16 might’ve come out a little before the Genesis maybe?  I don’t think this one is any better than what it could’ve been on the Genesis, but it still plays all right.  The voices are horrible and so muffled, though.  Did you know this game is set in the same world as Fantasy Zone?


While it may look cheesy now, this horror themed 2-D action game was very controversial back then because of the violence and gore.  It was very shocking that this was on a home console!  Unfortunately, shock value is all it has, because the gameplay is not very good.

Chew Man Fu

I had this game on the Wii Virtual Console and really liked it.  You just push giant marbles around a maze and get them to sit on the same colored squares.  You can also kick marbles to temporality dispatch enemies.  Two can play at the same time, too.  Just a fun little game right up my alley.

J.J. and Jeff

Holy crap this game is awful.  It’s a 2-D platformer and it’s one of those like Super Mario Bros. where you can’t scroll the screen backwards.  Controls are slippery and you have a puny kick attack and it reminds me of Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, another awful game.  Did you know that in Japan, this game was called Kato and Ken, and starred two popular Japanese comedians who had their own comedy variety show back then?  One of their segments was brought to the US and would become America’s Funniest Home Videos!

Military Madness

And last is this strategy game that reminds me of Advance Wars.  But I’m not a big fan of these kinds of games so I couldn’t get into it.

And those are all the US releases on the TG-16 Mini!  For the last two blogs we’ll look at the Japanese PC Engine games on here!  Later!  –Cary

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