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Also known as Air Buster (Genesis). This is a side-scrolling shooter game which I truly like because of the simultaneous two player gameplay.
GRAPHICS : A (Very nice... especially in the later stages) SOUND : B (Could be better) MUSIC : B (Very nice... above average) GAMEPLAY : A (Needs a joystick) LONGEVITY: B (Grade A if play with two players. Keeps you coming back for more) OVERALL : 3.40 PLAYERS : 1 or 2
This rendition of the arcade hit, in my book, is the best conversion yet. I have played both the Sega Master System, the Sega Genesis versions of After Burner II, as well as two different versions for the Commodore Amiga, and I none of the forementioned even come close to the playability as the PC-Engine conversion. Graphics are sharp with detail, playability is supurb without any hint of graphics slow-down, the music and sound effects are very impressive. Here is a quick synopsis of After Burner II if you have never seen or played it in the arcade. The scrolling is in a 3rd person perspective behind your F-14 fighter. The scrolling is similar to that of Sega's Space Harrier. I believe that Sega used the same graphics engine to produce both games. The object of the game is to shoot down as many enemy fighters as possible with the use of a falcon cannon and a batch of missles that will automatically lock-on to its target. At the same time, the player must dodge and outfly the enemy's missles. A boost of acceleration is at the player's command as he can hit the afterburners for a quick boost. Also contained in the options menu is a graphics demonstration mode where the player can mess around with some of the game's sprites (vector balls).
I believe that this HuCard is hard to find, but if you have the opportunity to grab a copy, buy it. It's a great game...
GRAPHICS : A (Better than average, extremely well rendered graphics) SOUND : A (Clear sound) MUSIC : B+ (Above average, catchy tunes) GAMEPLAY : A+ (Fun to play, excellent response and control) LONGEVITY : A- (Play it again and again) OVERALL : 3.91 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : A+ (much improved over the original Bonk series and with more detailed graphics and use of colors... you will recognize many of the same characters here as in the original Bonk adventures and the way the game designers updated them to a more futuristic level is awesome) SOUND : A (nice explosions and shooting sounds) MUSIC : A- (cool music... not annoying) GAMEPLAY : B+ (as with all shooters, this game would be much better with a joystick) LONGEVITY: B+ (there are 3 modes of play with 1, 3, or 5 lives... level 4 is an interesting horizontal, then vertical scrolling stage... you'll want to play again to find out what some of the other powerups do or try to beat the game with 1 life!) OVERALL : 3.65 PLAYERS : 1
Early attempt at Pinball for the TG-16 (etc).
GRAPHICS : B (can't complain, but no praise here either) SOUND : A- (it's a pinball machine, whatcha expecting?) MUSIC : C (gets annoying rather quickly) GAMEPLAY : B (Looks like pinball, sounds like pinball, plays like pinball) LONGEVITY: B- (see improvements and comments, below) NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1 OVERALL: 2.85
GRAPHICS : A+ (The boxers are surprisingly detailed and realistic, but the characters are two-dimensional, reminiscent of earlier sports games for other systems) SOUND : A (Realistic hits, grunts, and digitized referee voice) MUSIC : B (Only a title screen tune) GAMEPLAY : A (This game plays better with a Turbopad than a joystick, especially when you have to make a diagonal move. The feel is still a little sticky in the beginning, though, especially since your boxer is pretty cruddy at first) LONGEVITY: B+ (If your reflexes are pretty good, you can probably beat Andre Panza, the top guy, in one long night of playing. All you have to do is stay in the gym and build up your abilities. The game is good for relieving frustrations) PLAYERS : 1 or 2 OVERALL : 3.48
A Shooter/Platform game.
GRAPHICS : A- (Better than average, extremely well rendered graphics) SOUND : B (Decent sound, good heavy bass explosions) MUSIC : B (Above average, nothing spectacular) GAMEPLAY : A (Fun to play, excellent response and control) LONGEVITY : A (Play it again and again) OVERALL : 3.62 PLAYERS : 1 [?]
For those of you who haven't played the game, a little background info is needed. You play a gunner firing little balls at a target ball trying to get the ball to the goal on the other side of the field. Sounds easy, right? Wrong!! It's not that easy to direct the ball once it starts moving, and it does move fast at times (I've not been able to follow it at times). Also, various power-ups and obstacles are on the playfield causing havoc: all firing balls to player one, all to player two, opponent can't fire, gate (blocks your goal so your opponent can't score) 4-, 8- and 16-way split of the firing ball, etc. Obstacles including bumpers, warp gates (moves ball "underground" to the other gate, arrows that redirect the balls (target and firing).
Players start with 15 firing balls. When those are gone you have to wait for them to slowly regenerate. To make things worse, about every 5 seconds, the firing balls for both players are swapped (ex: you have 8 opponent has 0, balls swap, now you have 0 and opponent has 8; annoying and frustrating if you're about to score).
There are 100 levels in the game; when you play level 100 it starts back at level 1. You can set various options such as ball speed, CPU difficulty, length of match, number of goals to win a game, starting level (2-player only), and gravity (primarily used on the 1-player solo game).
GRAPHICS : A (Very smooth and VERY fast) SOUND : B- (Decent sound of your shots and ball bouncing) MUSIC : B (Not a bad tune, not a great tune; mildly annoying after a while) GAMEPLAY : A (Solo game very addictive; see comments for 2-player game) LONGEVITY: B+ (You'll want to play again, but extended playing will make you very frustrated; I have a hole in the wall and a busted controller as proof) PLAYERS : 1 or 2 OVERALL : 3.38
Overhead Adventure/Puzzle game
GRAPHICS: A- (Very detailed, even though characters are about 1" tall) SOUNDS : B (Average) MUSIC : B+ (Cool music, though repetitive) GAMEPLAY : A (Very responsive, excellent) LONGEVITY : A (Passwords are helpful, about 64 stages) OVERALL : 3.67
An updated version of this computer classic, very addicting. If you like Bomberman you will like this game, even if you have never seen/played any prior versions. There is a Puzzle Mode and a Battle Mode. Battle mode supports up to 5 players with a TAP. With 1 player the other 4 players default as COM players. Puzzle mode is for 1 player only, you can enter passwords, start a new game or Select any of the 50 stages to play. The 50 Puzzle Stages are completely different from the Battle Screens as far as I can tell.
GRAPHICS : A (Nice Improvement over LodeRunner) SOUND : B (Good..) MUSIC : B (Very nice...) GAMEPLAY : B (Game play is like to Bomberman'93 in BATTLE MODE and the Original LodeRunner in PUZZLE MODE) LONGEVITY: A (Excellent.. if you finish the 50 Stages you can create your own.) OVERALL : 3.5 PLAYERS : 1-5
Wrestling game in which you and couple of your buddies can unleash angers and frustrations by kicking and punching each other. You have to throw them outside of the ring in order to be the champ.
GRAPHICS : C+ (So-so graphics, but nothing ground-breaking) SOUNDS : C (Too many pings and pangs) MUSIC : C (Could be better) GAMEPLAY : B (Needs a joystick!) LONGEVITY: C (Very repetitive) PLAYERS : 1 to 5 OVERALL : 2.22
Title says all, it is a game about Beach Volley. You can choose 2 out of 4 players from one of the many country, and match against your friend or the computer.
Graphics : B Sound : B- Music : C+ Gameplay : B- Longevity : B Overall : 2.78 PLAYERS: 1 or 2
GRAPHICS : A (Very detailed backgrounds) SOUND : A (Nice explosions and computer voice) MUSIC : B+ (Catchy theme tunes) GAMEPLAY : B+ (Use a joystick!) LONGEVITY: A- (You will want to play again and again!) OVERALL : 3.67 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : C- (Looks like a Nintendo game... spotty graphics) SOUND : B (Nice intro theme, but nothing spectacular throughout) MUSIC : B- (Music is annoying) GAMEPLAY : B (Better with a joystick... especially when fighting the bosses) LONGEVITY: B- (A challenging game marred by bad programming) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 2.63
Blue Blink is a Mario-ish jump'n'run game which is probably aimed at the younger players. Published by NHK as a "Visual Book", it features short intermission scenes in which a character in the game tells you something in japanese. From my point of view, it seems that you do not miss any vital clues when you aren't able to understand a word of it.
Just as in Mario, levels are accessed via a "world" map where you navigate from location to location. Each of those location is then a level in the real game. Some levels have several exits, so that you can reach different other locations by using a particular exit. Each of the five worlds in the game has a boss level where you have to defeat a particularly nasty creature.
One peculiarity of the game is that in most levels, you control a group of three characters at once. Actually, you only control the leading character, while the other two follow its lead and copy every move just like the two shadows of your Ninja in Ninja Spirit. By pressing the select button on the pad, you can cycle through the available characters, and thus choose between the different abilities these characters posess. The selection of your three characters for each level out of the five characters available in total is done by the game for you.
As implied above, the jump'n'run part of the game is very similar to the games of the Mario series: You navigate a more or less difficult obstacle course by moving from left to right on a horizontally scrolling playfield. Enemies are either avoided, or dispatched with a few well-placed shots. From time to time, you'll stumble about collectibles like coins, freeze or shatter bonuses, or a key that will open a door for you. Sending a few blasts out into the blue is recommended from time to time to discover hidden artifacts.
GRAPHICS : B+ (Neat comic style graphics) SOUND : B- (Some jump'n'run noises) MUSIC : B+ (A number of neat tunes, some actually quite good) GAMEPLAY : B- (Lacks a challenge, somehow) LONGEVITY: C (Probably too short to have much replay value) OVERALL : 2.67 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : A- (Nice cartoon-like graphics) SOUND : B (Nothing more than nice explosions and bleep sounds) MUSIC : B+ (Catchy tune, but annoying after extended play) GAMEPLAY : B- (Controls are a little too sensitive and the character has a tendency to move more than expected) LONGEVITY: A (This game is Fun with a capital "F"... a winner!) OVERALL : 3.50 PLAYERS : up to 5
Bomberman cop to the rescue! The evil Bomberman clone has dispatched 6 really bad, evil and *BIG* bosses to the 6 planets in the Magellen system, each one stealing a component of the systems' computer. It's up to you (as Bomberman cop) to regain the 6 missing computer chips, and then face your ultimate nemesis Bomberman clone (well, your ultimate nemesis until the next instalment, that is). Conveyer belts can move you (and your bombs) along more rapidly (or slowly, depending on the direction that you want to go)
GRAPHICS: A (wonderful) SOUND: B (standard bomb noises...) MUSIC: A (more great tunes) GAMEPLAY: A (The turbo pad works well) LONGEVITY: B+ (some of the levels are pretty easy [bosses included], but then others are real tough [D, F and G come to mind]). OVERALL : 3.55 PLAYERS : 1 to 5
The little guy is back, and he's got more tricks up his sleeves then he knows what to do with. This is the latest in the continuing Bomberman saga, pretty much like the others (destroy all the baddies as you make your way to the level exit, then finally destroy a stage boss). But that's where the similarities end. The graphics are improved, the stage layouts are intriging (not just rectangles) - and you can call on a few friends to help when you need it (kangaroos [5 different ones], or an occasional rail-car - hopping in a rail car first thing is a good move since it eliminates all of the blocks that are on the tracks, and also kills any goons on the tracks also!).
GRAPHICS: A (beautiful, the 6 different levels all have different backgrounds and different enemies to blow up as well) SOUND: B (nothing special, typical bomb noises, hmmm...) MUSIC: A (some of the finest ever on a HuCard, really) GAMEPLAY: A (The turbo pad works well) LONGEVITY: B (The game is easier than previous outings [well, maybe not on the later levels], but it is still fun to play, and of course, there's always head to head mode) OVERALL: 3.50 PLAYERS: 1 through 5
GRAPHICS : B+ (The cartoon-like graphics could be improved) SOUND : B+ (Lots of bleeps and bloops in the right places) MUSIC : A- (Catchy tune which is sparse and unannoying) GAMEPLAY : A- (The Turbopad is adequate here, but a joystick would be better) LONGEVITY: A (You will want to play again and again) PLAYERS : 1
Sequel to Bonk's Adventure. You're Bonk trying to save Princess Za's planet once again.
GRAPHICS : A (Much better and faster than its predecessor... Bonk's Adventure was basically a linear game... Bonk's Revenge has you climbing vertically as well as horizontally... check out how Bonk climbs vines!) SOUNDS : A (A bit more complex than the simplistic sounds of Bonk's Adventure) MUSIC : A (Very nice music) GAMEPLAY : B (I like the multiple spins in Bonk's Adventure than the single spin here) LONGEVITY: A (Extremely long game to master... lots of tricks you need to learn... two practice modes get you in gear for the challenge!) OVERALL : 3.83 PLAYERS : 1
Everyone's favorite head-banger is back in this triquel (Tri + Sequel) to The TG's favorite mascot (I know, but I don't count Air Zonk, OK?)
8 stages adorn this latest attempt, as you (and a friend, if so desired) attempt to conquer King Drool the Third. Do not be fooled into complacency, however, this game starts off relatively easy, but gets much more difficult by the middle of the third stage.
Another new feature is the ability for Bonk to grow to a huge character, or shrink to an itsy-bitsy character. In order to get to some areas, you will need to do one or the other.
GRAPHICS: B (same old, same old...) SOUND: B+ (the same...) MUSIC: B (could use some improvement, very monotonous) GAMEPLAY: A- (a little better than BR, but not as good as BA) LONGEVITY: A (New levels, plus 2P Co-op mode saves it). OVERALL: 3.50 PLAYERS: 1 or 2
GRAPHICS : A- (Spitting image of Bomberman in terms of graphics) SOUND : C (Nothing spectacular here) MUSIC : B (Good tune, but gets annoying after awhile) GAMEPLAY : A (This game is so simple to play that a Turbopad is perfect) LONGEVITY: A (A first-rate puzzle) OVERALL : 3.45 PLAYERS : 1
Same old punching and kicking game with the only exception that your arms and legs extend.
GRAPHICS : A (Nicely done in the underwater scene) SOUNDS : C+ (Pings and pangs) MUSIC : C (Repeats itself every stage) GAMEPLAY : B (Pad is sufficient for this game) LONGEVITY: C (Same old things except different stages... punch... kick... punch) OVERALL : 2.55 PLAYERS : 1
Menu driven adventure game with some arcade sequences mixed in. Based on the popular Anime series of the same name.
GRAPHICS : B (Has nice pictures of the Knight Sabers) SOUND : C MUSIC : C GAMEPLAY : C (Boring and repetitive) LONGEVITY: C+ (Pretty long and difficult, but not worth playing over) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 2.27
Cadash is a 1 or 2 player side-scroller a la The Legendary Axe, with more of a storyline and D&D feel. You initially get to select to play 1 of 4 characters. The story begins in a king's castle and you quickly move to the underground caverns. Between levels, there are cities where you can purchase armor, get rest, etc.
GRAPHICS : B+ (Some pretty nice screens and characters.) SOUND : A- MUSIC : B- (Could have been better.) GAMEPLAY : A- (Plays as expected.) LONGEVITY: B+ (Lots of stuff to do, as with Axe, it's a pain having to continue from the start everytime though.) OVERALL : 3.33 PLAYERS : 1 or 2
Good ol' Boxing brought to the Turbo, featuring Muhammed Ali, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Joe Frazier, and Ken Norton.
GRAPHICS : B (digitized photos are good, the profile only fighters need work) SOUND : B (good punch noises, the crowd gets annoying) MUSIC : B+ (Nice hip-hop, house sample music, needs some during the match) GAMEPLAY : B (Alright, but your hands can go numb after 12 rounds) LONGEVITY: A (keeps you coming, especially in 15 year mode) OVERALL: 3.38 PLAYERS: 1 or 2
Nice effects include the boxers' faces getting bloodier as the match goes on, and sweat flying off after a particularly good puch.
Taito's arcade (?) game brought to the home screen. You control a car and must first chase after an evil suspects (ranging anywhere from terrorists to drug dealers -- heaven forfend!). When you catch up to them, you need to repeatedly ram them with your own vehicle until their car becomes disabled and you can arrest them!
GRAPHICS: B- (non descript, at best) SOUND: B+ (ok - get the jobs done...) MUSIC: C (gets real old, real quick) GAMEPLAY: D (very difficult with a turbopad, why are the controls on the express a little easier to use?) LONGEVITY: C (aside from Gameplay problems, it is a very difficult game to play). OVERALL: 2.17 PLAYERS: 1
If you like to play two-player games with your roommate/spouse/friend- who-hangs-around-too-much-because-*you*-have-a-TurboGrafx, then this is the game for you (unless you want to get rid of the aforementioned friend =).
Basic gameplay is pretty simple. You control a fatally cute little girl who can latch onto the four big balls that are scattered about the screen and push/pull/kick them about. The objective is to place the four balls (each a different colour) on four similarly coloured tiles. And do it while beating bad guys, saving your buddy's butt, and before the timer runs out. Each colour of ball has a different power. Blue is fastest, red kills bad guys best, black breaks down walls best, and green has no special power. Out to stop you are a handful on nasties sent by the evil Chew-Man-Fu. There are lots of goodies you can pick up that will assist you in your task - too many to detail here.
This game is BIG. The blurb on the back boasts 550 levels. This is only partially true. The 550 levels are broken up into 10 "games" each composed of 5 "areas" and 5 "extra rounds". Each "area" has 10 "rounds" to complete. If you play through a single "game" you will see just about all the different screen layouts there are. If you continue to play the next 9 "games" you will see these same layouts again (and a few new ones) but they may be in a different "area" this time. Since different "areas" have different bad guys in them you will probably need to use a different strategy to complete it. After you complete the 5 "areas" in a "game" there are 5 "extra rounds" that you must complete which consist purely of killing off a couple of bad guys. For these levels, each player gets a special gold ball which has all the best attributes of the four coloured balls.
Chew-Man-Fu also has a Kick-Ball option, where you can play two-man soccer, and an "Edit Mode" where you can design your own levels and save them (if you have backup RAM).
GRAPHICS : A- (Cute, colourful, well-animated) SOUND : B (Nice variety, but nothing special) MUSIC : B (Non-instrustive, speeds up when timer runs out just to help get the adrenaline flowing!) GAMEPLAY : A (Controls seem a little funny when you are pushing a ball, but after a while it makes sense) LONGEVITY: A+ (Mixing different bad guys with different screens keeps things interesting, and there is a way to make it even more "interesting"!) OVERALL : 3.70 PLAYERS : 1 or 2
I love some of the weird things your Wizard pal says to you: "you are a model of courage and charisma" and "now it is time to relax and eat rice" are two of the more humourous things he says.
When you are pushing a ball, the controls seem to work as if you are actually controlling the ball and dragging the little girl behind.
GRAPHICS : A- (Absolutely HUGE graphic characters with no flicker) SOUND : B- (Adequate punching and kicking sounds) MUSIC : B (Music is annoying after awhile) GAMEPLAY : B- (A little awkward with the Turbopad) LONGEVITY: D (Despite its awesome visual and good audio effects, the game is weak in its ability to capture the interest of the player) OVERALL : 2.35 PLAYERS : 1
Rather old PCE title based on the anime of the same name. You assume the role of Ryou Saeba, "City Hunter." A Private Investigator who really knows how to take care of business. Unless there's a good looking woman around. Then he's a pervert. Who would have guessed?
Anyhow, you control Ryou around 4 different stages: an office building, another building, a warehouse and a cruise liner. As you advance, you will collect different weapons (you start of with a pistol, and can get a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher and a laser gun). After you have completed the first three scenes (in any order), you move onto the last one.
What is a stage, well, you run around (back and forth), killing bad guys, climb and descend stairs (and occasionally jump over something). Doors are peppered everywhere, some lead to other parts of the "scene," others have people behind them who can help you (either with information, items, health, or guns), and each stage has a "SEXY GIRL" who will "heal" Ryou (hey, that's how they're listed in the game credits!).
GRAPHICS: B- (same old thing over and over again, and some slow down). SOUNDS: A- (guns shots, screams, doors, etc. . .) MUSIC: A (good for a Hucard of this age. .. ) GAMEPLAY: B (all works as expected). LONGEVITY: B (pretty easy once you figure out the layout of the scenes) OVERALL: 3.23 PLAYERS: 1
It's Columns - what were you expecting?
Columns of 3 jewels fall from the top of the screen, use the keys to rotate them (I rotates them downward, II rotates them upward), and use the direction key to move the entire column left and righ (or down, for a speedy drop). Your goal is to line up as many similar jewels as possible -- if you get three or more, the disappear from the screen, giving you some breathing space for the next column which is coming down.
GRAPHICS: B (not great, but nice for such an early PCE game) SOUND: A (minimal, but not much is needed) MUSIC: A (at times I was looking for the CD, but you won't have too much time to "enjoy" the tunes) GAMEPLAY: B (the control pad lay out takes a little getting used to) LONGEVITY: B (things move *very* fast, and will present themselves as a challenge at the later levels). OVERALL: 3.33 PLAYERS: 1 or 2
A cute, colorful side-scrolling shooter where you control a little dragon with a big head, who's out to... I dunno, it's Japanese. The opening cinema shows your standard beautiful princess smiling at you from a balcony as you hover nearby, and then a goofy floating wizard cloud thing shows up and turns her into a little girl (oh, the horror!), so you take off chasing it.
This game has the prettiest, deepest parallax scrolling I've ever seen. The colors are bright, but not garish and disgusting like in Fantasy Zone. But you have no time to admire the scenery, because the screen quickly becomes packed with moving objects!
Everything you shoot, turns into fruit (I feel a jingle coming on!), which arcs into the air and falls realistically. You can catch the fruit for major point accumulation, and earn tons of free lives. But the fruit is everywhere. Bananas, grapes, watermelon slices, you name it. The larger enemies produce large fruits. The whole screen looks like "Ms.PacMan discovers bulimia", but slowdown never becomes bad enough to be distracting.
GRAPHICS : A+ (as good as Lords of Thunder, but a whole different genre) SOUND : B+ (kiddie voice yells "taxi!", "Klingon", or "thighmaster" when you grab powerups. Well, it SOUNDS LIKE that in English!) MUSIC : A (this is as good as a HuCard gets. up-tempo and catchy, too) GAMEPLAY : C (just way, way too much crap flying around; can't see bullets) LONGEVITY: B OVERALL : 3.27 PLAYERS : 1
Your basic overhead vertical shooter with a bug theme. You can blast and bomb your way to save the world (this game is quite similar in game play to Dragon Spirit, Xevious, 1943, etc...)
GRAPHICS: B (good for their time, I'm sure) SOUND: B+ (not too annoying, which is good) MUSIC: B (good variety, not overpowering) GAMEPLAY: B- (a little choppy, but it all works as a package, so. ..) LONGEVITY: B (tough, and enough variation to make you want to finish) OVERALL: 3.00 PLAYERS: 1
GRAPHICS : C+ (A slightly earlier game, but no excuse for bad gaphics) SOUNDS : C (Very cheesy sound effects) MUSIC : C (Tacky, repetitive, ultimately, annoying) GAMEPLAY : C+ (Stiff and nearly impossible to avoid enemies) LONGEVITY : D (Hard, lousy game plus no continues) OVERALL: 1.77 PLAYERS: 1
You're Darkwing Duck your mission is to get back the painting pieces and reassemble them. To do this, you must get past the bad guys and their bosses.
GRAPHICS : A (This game has the best character animation's that I have seen on a Turbochip game, the backgrounds are nice) SOUND : C+ (Sounds are plain and irritating.) MUSIC : B- (I've heard worse see Double Dungeons) GAMEPLAY : B (Controls suck) LONGEVITY: C (Not much action or plot to keep you interested.) OVERALL : 2.72 PLAYERS : 1
This tennis game lets you and four of your friends compete to see which team can win the prestigous Davis Cup.
GRAPHICS : B (Nicely done on the animation) SOUNDS : A (The sounds are great!) MUSIC : C (Could be better) GAMEPLAY : B (The split screen is hard when I first played, but after a while, I got used to it) LONGEVITY: B (Really fun when all four players play at the same time) OVERALL : 3.00 PLAYERS : 1 to 4
A new comet is spotted in the outer reaches of the galaxy, the world's scientists have determined that the comet will safely miss the earth by several hundred thousand kilometers, so a couple of probes are sent out to gather information. As the probes get close enough to the comet to start sending back data, the comet quickly changes its path and destroys the probes. Its new course has it heading directly for earth.
The UN decides that sending some missiles toward the comet to knock it off of its course is the best option. This is done so that, instead of the earth, the comet crashes into the moon, leaving, hopefully, nothing more than another crater on the lunar surface (but that wouldn't be much of a game, now would it?). More probes are sent to the moon, to check out the impact site, and hordes of (hostile) alien spacecraft are found...
Short of the fancy description, this is basically just your slightly above average horizontal, side-scrolling shooter. Powerups come in several varieties, collecting similarly colored powerups increase the fire power of that weapon, where as switching colors keeps you at the same level, but just changes your primary weapon.
GRAPHICS: A- (nice, no flickering, large enemies) SOUNDS: B+ (OK, but monotonous) MUSIC: B+ GAMEPLAY: A- (the pad works well, and the game is challenging) LONGEVITY: B+ OVERALL: 3.43 PLAYERS: 1
Side-scrolling shooter underwater style.
GRAPHICS : B (I like the background of this game) SOUNDS : C (So-so sounds... pings and pangs) MUSIC : C+ (Decent) GAMEPLAY : D (Horrible... would have been a B if the gameplay improved) LONGEVITY: D (You die too easily in this game, so I hardly play it) OVERALL : 1.72 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : A (Excellent detail... one of the best in this area) SOUND : A (Good sound made great via Turbobooster) MUSIC : A- (See previous line) GAMEPLAY : A (The Turbopad is more than adequate for this game) LONGEVITY: B+ (The game is fun for short durations) OVERALL : 3.72 PLAYERS : 1
A 1 or 2 player game where you wade your way through 22 levels of a dungeon. You kill things, you collect gold, you buy things. Then you kill the person you're playing against. Each level is increasingly larger, and thusly, more difficult.
GRAPHICS : B (OK - but nothing special) SOUND : B (see "GRAPHICS") MUSIC : D (one song, throughout all the dungeons, Yeow...) GAMEPLAY : B (plays well enough) LONGEVITY: C- (you'll want to play through once. maybe) OVERALL : 2.23 PLAYERS : 1 or 2
You have a loaded ship and must fend off the enemy in this side scrolling shooter.
GRAPHICS : B (pretty good, plenty of detail) SOUND : B+ (above average, gets the jobs done) MUSIC : B+ (OK, but will get on your nerves after a while) GAMEPLAY : B+ (no problem) LONGEVITY: B (hard, at least there's a level password feature) OVERALL : 3.17 PLAYERS : 1
A decent platform game. If you like these runny-jumpy affairs, this is a pretty good one. You're a teenage girl, and your grandpa (? some old guy) puts a dragon egg in your backpack and sends you on your way.
As you acquire powerups, the egg starts to develop into a dragon. Instead of clubbing enemies with your silly mushroom stick, the fire button will make you swing the backpack with the now-hatched egg in it, and the baby dragon will breathe a little flame at the enemies. Eventually the dragon gets big enough where YOU ride IT, instead of you lugging it around. Fully powered-up, the dragon even has limited flying ability.
You can buy health and items to make the flame breath longer and other junk, at shops along the way.
GRAPHICS : B SOUND : B MUSIC : C (yuck, synthesized harpsichord! it fits tho, I s'pose) GAMEPLAY : B+ (responsive controls, backtrack as far as you want) LONGEVITY: B+ OVERALL : 2.98 PLAYERS : 1
Vertical-scrolling shooter that is the Japanese follow-up to Dragon Spirit.
GRAPHICS : A (Excellent Scrolling backgrounds and cool-looking bosses.) SOUND : B+ (Good sounds) MUSIC : B+ (Good music) GAMEPLAY : A (Feels good with a tap. Nice movement.) LONGEVITY: A (Great game that you will keep coming back to.) OVERALL : 3.80 PLAYERS : 1 or 2
GRAPHICS : A- (Nice scrolling backgrounds... nice detail in dragon) SOUND : A- (Nice explosions and bleeps reminiscent of Bomberman) MUSIC : A (Cool soundtrack) GAMEPLAY : B+ (Use a joystick!) LONGEVITY: A- (A fun shooter!) OVERALL : 3.68 PLAYERS : 1
O.K. Here's the story: You're handsome and all powerful Hu-Man going to fight the mean old Mecha-Dragon. First you go through a series of little bad guys that you stab with your sword. Then you get to the Dragon. What a wimp he turns out to be...He can barely do damage to you. But uh-oh, what's that? As you destroy the dragon, his "essence" seeks you out. When it catches you, you become what the dragon was (hence Dragon's Curse.) Now you have to find Mecha Dragon again to obtain the salamander cross which will restore your handsomeness.
Your curses are as follows: Lizard Man, Mouse Man, Piranha Man, Tiger Man, and Hawk Man. Each has a different ability, and you will need to use each of them to get to the final dragon. There are five worlds : Desert, Sea, Jungle, Cave, and Sky, and various shops along the way. Each world has its own impressive soundtrack. You can find life hearts and healing potions, charisma stones, and special weapons. You can buy different swords, shields, and armor from the shops each of which has a different effect on each of your characters, and some can be use to uncover special blocks or break them. The special weapons are fireball, tornado, arrow, boomerang, and thunder each of which has its own use.
GRAPHICS : A (Incredible color and fun animations. See below.) SOUND : B (Simple Poke and Mario type sounds.) MUSIC : A (Really fun Turbochip music.) GAMEPLAY : A (Simple, but some strategy involved.) LONGEVITY : A+ (I love it. It's much better than CATS. I'm going to play it again and again.) PLAYERS: 1 OVERALL: 3.93
This is break-out for the TG-16, you make you way through various levels of items (things that need to be destroyed with your ball), and collect a few interesting power-ups along the way (like the ability to scroll back the ever falling fields which you are trying to destroy).
GRAPHICS : C (Decent) SOUND : C- (All you hear is the ball bounces... ping... ping) MUSIC : C (Needs a better tune) GAMEPLAY : B (Turbopad is sufficient... very easy to use) LONGEVITY: B (Very addictive if you're in Arkanoid freak) OVERALL : 2.45 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : A- (Makes excellent use of available colors) SOUND : B+ (Appropriate sound effects) MUSIC : A- (Nice theme song) GAMEPLAY : B (Needs a joystick to move diagonally) LONGEVITY: B (A little too frustrating in one-player mode) OVERALL : 3.28 PLAYERS : up to 5
GRAPHICS : B+ (Very colorful cartoon-like graphics) SOUND : B (Sounds only come from missiles and picking up coins) MUSIC : B- (Annoying theme song) GAMEPLAY : B- (Awkward without a joystick. Movement of your ship and enemy characters are too slow) LONGEVITY: C+ (An average shooter with nice touches) OVERALL : 2.72 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : B (Very nice... pretty details in the artwork) SOUND : B (Average to good) MUSIC : B (Nicely done) GAMEPLAY : C (After racing for awhile, fingers and hand start to hurt) LONGEVITY: B (In "quest mode," the game lasts awhile) OVERALL : 2.83 PLAYERS : 1 or 2
GRAPHICS : B+ (As good as Galaga can get on a home system!) SOUND : A- (an almost exact duplication of the arcade game) MUSIC : A- (See previous line) GAMEPLAY : A (The Turbopad is more than adequate for this game... simple left/right movement with fire) LONGEVITY: A- (A top-notch shooter that will keep you coming back for more) OVERALL : 3.68 PLAYERS : 1
The Japanese predecessor to Samurai Ghost. This game, however is a little different that the later version (also known as "Genpei Toramaden - Volume 2"). There are three different types of screens to play, there is the normal kind (which is your basic "platform" type run/jump/slash game). There is also a larger version of this (which is used through out SG), and then there is also an overhead version of the first. As you make your way through each stage, you may find yourself falling down a pit to an overhead "area," and often times, these will have several stage endings, so that your path doesn't always follow the same way.
GRAPHICS: B (not bad, but not the greatest, either [shows its age]) SOUND: B+ (digitized voice, and a bunch od slash and bleep sounds) MUSIC: B (ok, but can get on your nerves after a while) GAMEPLAY: A- (not bad, the turbo pad works well) LONGEVITY: B- (pretty tough, but there seems to be unlimited continues). OVERALL: 3.06 PLAYERS: 1
You play the role of Arthur who is sent on a mission to save the town of Anoraff from the evil clutches of Orb Gamut. Arthur has to find his way into Orb's house (Ghost Manor), locate and defeat Orb to restore peace to the town. Arthur must go through 7 levels while avoiding and/or destroying Orb's army of evil monsters. Arthur must find the key to escape to each next level, then finally find and defeat Orb. Each stage contains different items which Arthur should find to aid him through his quest.
GRAPHICS : B+ (Nicely done, Arthur has some interesting movements & facial expressions) SOUND : B- (Fair variety of sounds, nothing spectacular) MUSIC : C+ (Theme tunes are appropriate, but can get annoying after a while) GAMEPLAY : A (Turbo Pad works very well, controls are responsive) LONGEVITY: A- (Game is not easy to finish, and you will want to keep trying) OVERALL : 3.28 NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1
If asked to describe Gomola Speed in a single phrase, I'd sum it up as "eat food, find exit", which is the basic formula of the game. The setting is a dungeon seen from above, drawn in the typical Gauntlet style. But this time, you're not a warrior, but a mere worm on the run from mean metal bugs of all sizes.
Being a worm means that you consist of a head and a number of tail segments. At the beginning of each level, most of your tail-segments are floating around and must be collected so that you are able to eat food by encircling it with your body. The fact that the food drifts around just like unlinked body segments means that having fewer segments in the tail makes the encircling harder, which results in a bigger score. Contact with the enemy, explosions or shots will cut the tail and scatter the cut off segments so that you have to collect them again, while only hit on the head of the worm is fatal.
Your only weapons are timebombs which can be left behind on your trail in the hope that some of your enemies will be near when they go off. Being in the blast range will stun them for a while and make them vulnerable, so that they can be encircled and digested just as food. But beware, they'll be back after a while, and more aggressive than before. If bombing doesn't help, you can still try to maneuver out of the danger zone by pressing your speedup button. Other elements of the game include keys which match color-coded doors, crumbling walls which can be blasted away, and all the usual bonuses like treasures, limited invulnerability or extra lives. While some of those extras are in fact stationary, others float around like food, so that you have to be careful not to loose a life by bumping into an enemy when chasing an extra life blob. It's a nice touch of the designers that you can get an extra continue by herding a 1up to the exit, though.
To complete a level, you have to eat all of the food, and then reach the exit with all segments of your body attached. Every six levels or so, there's also a boss character in your way. Defeat him, and you'll get to see a short intermission scene. Some levels have several exits which lead to different levels.
GRAPHICS : B (Nice Gauntlet-style graphics of about average quality) SOUND : C+ (Nothing spectacular) MUSIC : C (A selection of repetitive and rather short jingles) GAMEPLAY : A- (Easy to understand, hard to master and potentially addicitive) LONGEVITY: B+ (Level selection codes allow you to skip the "easy" levels) OVERALL : 2.93 PLAYERS : 1
Taito's Hana Taka Daka is undoubtedly one of the better horizontally scrolling shoot'em ups for the PC-Engine. An introductory cinema outlines the reason for your upcoming battle, but since there's virtually no description on screen, we'll never know for sure what it's all about - unless a kind soul supplies a translation of the japanese manual, of course.
Anyways, you play the part of a flying bird-thing (probably a kami) which has to blast its way through hordes of enemies without getting hit by them or their shots. Occasionally, you'll find magic parcels which will give you different kinds of shots and bombs, up to three drones to follow you, or orbiting shields. If you get hit, you lose some of those extras, and you get shrunk in the bargain. Of course, there are also some magic scroll extras to be found, which will increase your size again, up to one size above the starting point. Some of the parcels are placed in traps, which will cost you a life if you are not careful enough.
Your objective in each level is to find two parts of a stolen seal. One of those can be obtained by beating the boss of the level, while the other is stowed away in a hidden sub-level. This sub-level is accessed by blasting one particular innocent object. To make things a bit more interesting, the playfield is higher than the screen, so that it can scroll vertically, too. Since there are several possible routes through a level, finding that object can take a few tries. In between the levels there is a short cinema where you can see your newly recovered parts added to the seal.
Hana Taka Daka is a clever mix that borrows freely from other games of the same genre: The drones and general graphic style are reminiscent of Konami's classic Parodius, while the weapon expansion system and the fact that you can power up your main gun by keeping the firing button pressed are rather in the vein of IREM's R-Type. Still, it's clearly distinct from those two in with diagonally scrolling sections, and the general zany atmosphere.
Talking about features, there's a passcode system which lets you start over at the beginning of the last stage you reached. On the option screen, you can play all the sound effects and songs in the game as well as adjust the difficulty level from easy over normal to hard. But even on easy the game is still a challenge.
GRAPHICS : B+ (Cute comic graphics with a twist, just a bit of flicker in when tackling the boss.) SOUND : B- (Lots of different sound effects, but nothing spectacular. Features some scratchy japanese speech samples. Ugh.) MUSIC : B+ (Friendly, groovy tunes.) GAMEPLAY : A- (Handles quite well. Three selectable levels of difficulty.) LONGEVITY: B (Will probably take you a while to complete.) OVERALL : 3.33 PLAYERS : 1
A basic shooter...
GRAPHICS : B (A little bit on the grainy side, overall, decent) SOUNDS : C (Stinks) MUSIC : C (Resembles sound effects, it stinks) GAMEPLAY : D+ (Very slow response, close to zero mobility) LONGEVITY : D (I sure as hell don't want to play it any more) OVERALL: 1.56
GRAPHICS : A- SOUND : B+ (I shouldn't really judge cause I don't care) MUSIC : B+ GAMEPLAY : B LONGEVITY: B+ (too early too tell really) OVERALL : 3.33 PLAYERS : 1-4
You assume the role of Monty Mole - and must protect an alien race from a group of other aliens? Who came up with that storyline?
GRAPHICS : B (Adequate, but not really nice) SOUND : B- (A touch less than adequate) MUSIC : C (Gets real old, real quick) GAMEPLAY : D (Not easy, see below) LONGEVITY: D (No strong desire to play on a regular basis) OVERALL : 1.78 PLAYERS : 1
This golf game is a really bad copy of Mean 18 for the PC. Mean 18 had its limitations, but this game only has one course that is too painful to finish.
GRAPHICS : D (Worse than EGA, it's painful) SOUND : F (Pong had better sound effects.) MUSIC : D (Only at intro.) GAMEPLAY : B (Not hard at all to play) LONGEVITY : F (Who wants to play it?) OVERALL : 0.83 PLAYERS : 1 to 5 tolerant people
This game is a 3D 'chopping' game. You control your samurai and run towards your enemies and kill them. This game is exactly like playing Space Harrier, except that you are using a sword, not laser. BTW, you can power up your sword and cast the fireball to your foes.
Graphics : B+ Sound : B Music : B+ Gameplay : B+ Longevity: B+ Overall: 3.25
You play the role of either JJ or Jeff, two bumbling detectives trying to solve a kiddnapping mystery. However, don't let the premise fool you. This is pretty much your typical run and attack platform game (for attacking, you get to kick things).
GRAPHICS : B (a little above average) SOUND : C (not so hot, especially the "simulated" voices ..) MUSIC : B- (annoying) GAMEPLAY : B- (quite difficult, considering) LONGEVITY: B- (the game can be very frustrating since it boils down to memorizing the patterns that your foes use) OVERALL : 2.63 PLAYERS : 1
Klax is a strategy game where you attempt to catch colored tiles as they come down a conveyor belt, and place them into patterns of rows, columns or diagonals. Each wave (ie. level) has a different objective, such as forming a given number of diagonals, or getting a certain number of points. If this sounds easy or boring, you're in for a shock when you play it. Klax is one of the most impossible games to master, and as addictive as Tetris.
While Klax can be found on most game systems, not to mention your local arcade, the TG-16 version of Klax has several outstanding features. First and foremost is the price. At $15.00, this game's a steal. Another very good feature is the extent to which you can customize the game. You can change everything from the difficulty level to the background brightness, but my personal favorite option is widening the playfield size: perfect for less eyestrain on your TurboExpress!
Klax's graphics look sharp, although some of the tile colors tend to look the same when things start moving fast. The sound is quite amusing, with applause when you finish a wave, and musical serenades when you make an especially good move, among others. All of the sounds and voices are digitized, and add to the game, rather than detract from it. Unfortunately, all of the sounds and voices were digitized at too low a sample rate, as they are fuzzy-sounding (a minor point, I know!).
GRAPHICS : B SOUND : B MUSIC : B GAMEPLAY : A LONGEVITY: A OVERALL : 3.50 PLAYERS : 1
Playing the role of Tonma, you must use your skill and cunning to rescue the princess. Your basic platform (run, jump and shoot) type of game with 7 levels. Some of them are tough!
GRAPHICS : B+ (Pretty impressive) SOUND : B+ (Not bad, but not the greatest either) MUSIC : A (Cool music) GAMEPLAY : B (tough, gets very hard with the turbopad) LONGEVITY: B+ (leaves you with that, "I know I can do it *this* time" feeling). OVERALL : 3.36 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : B+ (Good use of the available colors) SOUND : A (Cool sound effects) MUSIC : A (Catchy them tune) GAMEPLAY : B+ (Turbopad adequate, but a joystick would help) LONGEVITY: B (There's enough to do in this game to keep you coming back for more... but starting back at the beginning of the game can be a drag!) OVERALL : 3.43 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : A (Much improved graphics over its predecessor!) SOUND : A (Cool sound effects) MUSIC : A (Cool music) GAMEPLAY : B+ (Like its predecessor, this game would be more playable with a joystick) LONGEVITY: B+ (Because the game is more visually appealing, I would play it over its predecessor) OVERALL : 3.65 PLAYERS : 1
Liquid Kids by Taito is a typically japanese cuddly-type jump'n run game which might be named as one of the successors of the classic Bubble Bobble game: this time, you're an ugly duckling armed with watery bubbles which will quench fire, or stun your enemies. The game is organized in worlds which feature a set of levels all done in the same graphical style, and of course an extra-nasty boss creature. Unlike Bubble Bobble, the levels scroll vertically and/or horizontally, and you have to face off hordes of enemies as well as spikes and other static hazards to make it alive through to your family's nest. Collectible bonuses like extra lives, invincibility pills or water taps which give you bigger water bubbles or a faster firing rate even out your odds agains your enemies. The experienced player can also find any number of shortcuts, which will warp him through the levels.
GRAPHICS : B (Up to par for the genre of the game. Just a bit of flicker when there are many enemies of the screen) SOUND : B (Typical jump'n'run noises) MUSIC : B+ (Nice but short tunes for each world) GAMEPLAY : A- (Quite a lot of fun, but has a steep learning curve) LONGEVITY: B (Still fun to tackle once in a while after some time) OVERALL : 3.33 PLAYERS : 1
Not to be confused with the 1993 release of Battle Lode Runner, this is the PCE version of the original Apple/C-64 "Lode Runner."
The premise of the game is this, you run around a bunch of mazes (56 of them), and have some bad guys chasing you. The object of each round is to collect all of the gold, note that the bad guys can pick up and carry gold too, but only one ore at a time. In order to release the gold, the guy must fall into a hole, which you dig (the I button digs to the right, the II button digs to the left). In time, these holes will fill (and if an bad guy is in them when the hole fills, he is killed, but soon replaced).
Mazes consist of blocks (some destroyable, some not), ladders, ropes and even fake blocks (which you may fall right through).
GRAPHICS: B (virtually identical to the C64 graphics, not great, but they're not needed). SOUND: C (see "graphics.") MUSIC: C (annoying, glad that it only plays for a limited time) GAMEPLAY: A- (very close to the original, but *much* better with 2 buttons!) LONGEVITY: B (Fun, and fairy close to the original) OVERALL: 2.62 PLAYERS: 1
Copyright 1993 from Quest. You get to play the role of Ripple, a witch's apprentice who has done the unthinkable! She opened up the magical book of her teacher [an evil witch], and released 6 demons. Now, she must fight (well, "shoot") her way through 6 levels in order to capture the demons and return them to the book, else the witch will turn her into a toad!
Okay, that's the premise, what you actually have here is your basic 6 stage shooter. Each stage has a mid-boss and a regular boss. After you shoot creatures, they will elave either gems or candy (or other treats) behind. Collect the gems to purchase better weaponry and more life, collect the candy to regenerate your life meter (the shop where you purchase these is run by Halloween Jack, a pumpkin headed guy. ...) You also have two stars that rotate around you and act like satelittes for you (Topsy and Turvy are their names). The I button acts as a lock toggle, so that if you get them where you want them, you can lock them there. Pressing it again, frees them.
The stages are well drawn (very bright and colorful), and there is very little flickering. The game provides three levels of play, on the easiest, you can only go through the first 3 stages, so you are encouraged to complete the game on either the normal of difficult level.
GRAPHICS: A- (nice, very entertaining.. if you can take time to view them) SOUND: A- (nothing too exciting, but more than adequate) MUSIC: B+ (good, but monotonous) GAMEPLAY: B- (controlling the stars is "difficult") LONGEVITY: B+ (things start off easy, but get very hard by the time you reach the 4th stage) OVERALL: 3.33 PLAYERS: 1
GRAPHICS : A (Finely-detailed graphic pieces and gameboard) SOUND : B+ (Only cheap booms and bleeps) MUSIC : A- (Theme tune gets annoying after awhile!) GAMEPLAY : A (Turbopad is more than adequate) LONGEVITY: A OVERALL : 3.83 PLAYERS : 1 or 2
The year is 2015, and violence has been eliminated from the city streets. And instead, has been placed on the race track. In this futuristic racing, shoot em up game you (and up to 4 of your closest friends, er, enemies) compete for points and cash. The cash can be used to upgrade your car for faster racing, and more firepower (bombs & grenades).
GRAPHICS: C+ (unremarkable) SOUND: C (vroom, vroom, boink, vroom...) MUSIC: B+ (pleasently surprising) GAMEPLAY: B (avoid stering option "B") LONGEVITY: B+ (great fun at parties!) OVERALL: 2.87 PLAYERS: 1 to 5
A Zelda-type game for the Duo. You assume the role of Jazeta, and must save a troubled land from a beast invasion. What is your reward? Well, a princess, of course. You make your way through 4 worlds, and each of these has 2 shrines (mazes) where your goal is to rescue a gem (which is the embodied soul of one of the former leaders of the land). Once the 2 gems for a "world" are retrieved, the gateway to the next land opens up.
GRAPHICS : A- (not the most elegant, but better than most) SOUND : A (wonderful, the sound of the flame is hot!) MUSIC : A (beautiful for a card, very appropriate and eerie tunes) GAMEPLAY : A- (very few mistakes are made with the pad) LONGEVITY: B+ (game gets very tough in the last world) OVERALL: 3.50 PLAYERS: 1
After Jazeta battled Dirth for control of the land (and won, oddly enough), peace had returned to the land, but soon afterward, hordes of evil beasts started showing up on the land - rumor was the Dirth was planning his comeback.
In this sequel, you assume the role of Jazeta's son, and must free the trapped soles of Neutopia -- including your father, who has been lost. Gameplay in this Zelda-esque tale plays just like the first, you must solve a crypt (maze) and beat the level boss before capturing some item that will permit you to go onto the next level.
GRAPHICS: A- (not much improvment here -- not that it was needed) SOUND: A (again, well done - especially the flame [stop the flame puns garner!]) MUSIC: A- (Same old Stuff -- strangely familiar...) GAMEPLAY: A (8-way direction is possible now! yeah!) LONGEVITY: A (another difficult quest) OVERALL: 3.90 PLAYERS: 1
GRAPHICS : A+ (very colorful and detailed graphics... just take a look at the many expressions on your character's face!) SOUND : B+ (the sound and music are a little tinny... there is an annoying ringing sound through several parts of the music, although the panning effect in the beginning is pretty cool) MUSIC : B+ GAMEPLAY : A- (good control with or without a joystick) LONGEVITY: A- (a lot of challenge here... the seven levels will take quite a while to master) OVERALL : 3.67 PLAYERS : 1
You've been bitten by a bat! But the bat was Hecate, the Queen of Darkness. You are doomed to live as a Creature of the Night - unless you can break the spell. In order to break the spell, you must destroy Hecate. Also, you are slowly changing, metamorphosing into some hideous creature. By dawn your transformation will be over; if you do not destroy Hecate by then, you will become a Night Creature forever and the game will end.
You must fight your way through 9 stages of the game to reach Hecate's Den and destroy her. Be careful, if you see your girlfriend, she might be Hecate trying to trick you. You will gain special powers that allow you to change your shape into that of a Bear, Badger, Owl, or Wolf to help defeat your enemies. You collect special items and weapons along the way which help you on your journey. Each item and weapon can and should be used to destroy certain creatures and bosses.
GRAPHICS : B- (Not terrible, but not great) SOUND : C (Sparse variety of sounds) MUSIC : C+ (At least there is music) GAMEPLAY : B- (Turbo Pad is okay, good variety of items and monsters) LONGEVITY: C+ (Challenging? Good thing it has a save feature) OVERALL: 2.38 PLAYERS: 1
GRAPHICS : A (One of the best in this area) SOUND : A (Everything is RIGHT here, too) MUSIC : A (A funky Japanese tune is carried out in each level) GAMEPLAY : B+ (A joystick would improve gameplay considerably) LONGEVITY: A- (You will want to play again and again) OVERALL : 3.78 PLAYERS : 1
This is a port of the arcade game with the same name. Personally, one of my favorite arcade games, so I was google eyes over it, but very disappointed. The graphics and sound are not up to par with the HuCards nowadays, but I attribute that to the lack of knowledge then. I think this card was released in either '88 or '89.
As far as the story is concerned, you are a robotic ninja sent on a mission to regain the government from a dictator. Walk and jump while slashing away at soldiers, dogs, cyborgs and other robotic ninjas.
GRAPHICS : B- (The streaks of blood are there :-)) SOUND : B- (The "swish" that occurs when you press the button to slash with your knife is present. There are a lot of other nifty sounds missing though.) MUSIC : B- (Not as great as the arcade. I think it's only two or three voices which is constantly interrupted by the sound effects...or what little sound there is.) GAMEPLAY : B (Joystick would prevent thumb sore after prolonged playing.) LONGEVITY: B (It's nice to turn it on and rampage for a couple of minutes. There are limited continues, so it gets frustrating if you get far and then lose all of your continues...ack. PLAYERS : 1 or 2 OVERALL : 2.85
And, speaking of CD games, I think I saw this title as a CD release for the Mega Drive CD system. It's worth checking out when it's released (if you liked the arcade game as much as I did).
Excellent adapation of the arcade game by the same name. This is a first- person perspective shooting game, you have a limited number of grenades and magazines for your semi-automatic weapon, as the scene moves slowly (left to right, and sometimes vice versa) you must shoot all the enemies who pop up in front of you - some are in tanks and helicopters (needs to be shot more than once, or you must use a grenade). Some enemies have bullet-proof vests (hint: shoot their heads). And of course, there are some who you don't want to shoot (nurses). You have 4 levels to make it through (and sometimes a fifth if you get spotted while parachuting in).
GRAPHICS : A (Beautiful. Looks exactly like the arcade version). SOUND : A (Ditto - see above for graphics) MUSIC : NA (not applicable - there is none) GAMEPLAY : A- (The turopad is a bit difficult to aim, not that a stick would improve the situation any, mind you) LONGEVITY: B+ (If you like shooting people, this is for you...) PLAYERS : 1 or 2 (sim). OVERALL : 3.66
Griffon is less action-packed than Dungeon Explorer, but there are definitely a greater variety of objects to use and player statistics play a large role in party development. There is a save game/password feature (your choice) to keep you continuing your adventure for days. The game is fairly difficult at first mainly because you have to get over the controls, but once you know them well, gameplay is rather intuitive (watch out for hitting the RUN key too many times!). Be sure you choose a well-rounded party before you begin the game!
GRAPHICS : A- (very nice detail here and there... some full-screen displays would've done the trick... this game should've been a CD title!) SOUND : B+ (sound effects aren't very complex, but do the job when used) MUSIC : A- (a little annoying after awhile, but very high quality) GAMEPLAY : A- (takes a little getting used to at first, but works out quite nicely afterwards... since there aren't any fast action arcade- like sequences, the Turbopad works just fine) LONGEVITY: A (you're gonna' like this one!) OVERALL : 3.73 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : B+ (cute graphics... very, very little flicker) SOUND : B+ (better sounds than Fantasy Zone, not as good as R-Type) MUSIC : B (opening credit screen is silent) GAMEPLAY : B+ (definitely needs a joystick) LONGEVITY: B+ (a fun side-scrolling game... but lacks a certain something... allows for two-player play, which is definitely a plus) OVERALL : 3.25 PLAYERS : 1 or 2
Pac Man in your standard run and jump type game - based on the arcade game.
GRAPHICS : B+ (Not great, but they're supposed to look silly) SOUND : A- (sounds like the arcade to me) MUSIC : C (gets real annoying, real quick) GAMEPLAY : A- (You have your choice of play modes, making it feel the way that you want it to) LONGEVITY: B- (once you finish the frist 32 rounds, it then becomes near impossible) OVERALL : 3.02 PLAYERS : 1
This is the japanese release of the game Psychosis.
Ths Story of Bubble Bobble 3...this is Working Design's implementation of the arcade game BB3. In this game, you play Bubby (or if in two player mode, Bubby *and* Billy), and you need to clear each level of the nasties who, for some unknown reason, are trying to stop you. Your weapon? A bumbershoot (yes, I'm being serious). When you first hit a beastie with your trusty umbrella, he will ball up (like a potato bug), then you may use your weapon of mass destruction to pick up the nasty and send him flying acrosss the screen to his imminent demise. If he encounters any of his cohorts while being thrusted across the pixels, he will give you some assistance in wiping them out as well. Some enemies take several hits to be fully stunned, before you can do the toss thing.
Sound corny? It is, but it is also very fun, the graphics aren't the best thing that we've ever seen on the Duo, but they are still detailed enough to make the screen quite appealing.
GRAPHICS: B+ (a bit grainy, but more than adequate) SOUND: A- (good stuff -- though somewhat limited) MUSIC: A- (a wide variety of melodies, good for it's day). GAMEPLAY: A (wonderful - and the 2 player mode is great) LONGEVITY: A (fun fun fun) OVERALL: 3.77 PLAYERS: 1 or 2
8-meg HuCard of the very original and funny shooter from Konami.
Parodius is a "Parody" shooter (hence the name). You select one of 4 different ships (including the Viper from Gradius and the Twin Bee ship, along with a flying octapus or a flying penguin). Each ship has their own power up scheme (ala gradius). I believe this was the first 8meg HuCard. It has great music, and lots of samples. The grahics are well done. There is only a bit of flickering when you go up against the 500ft belly dancer. The game is full of hilarous (but deadly) opponents, large boats with cat heads attached to them; a large US eagle (the rumored reason that Sony won't relase Parodius for the PSX here in the US, by the way); penguins; lips (ala the Rolling Stones logo); etc. .. This is my all time favorite "silly" shooter for the PCE. Too bad konami never relased it in the US for the Duo.
GRAPHICS : A- (Graphics almost rival that of the SNES version) SOUND : A- (wonderful - the cat's meows are fantastic!) MUSIC : A- (good for a HuCard) GAMEPLAY : A- (Missing 2 levels from the SNES version) LONGEVITY: A- (very entertaining) OVERALL : 3.75 PLAYERS : 1 or 2 (non-sim play)
[Bt: There are a few points in the game where flickering and slowdown are present - for instance shooting at the 500 ft woman while having your ship fully loaded will produce some pretty nasty blocks to flicker]
This is the japanese release of the game Bonk's Revenge.
Remake of the arcade driving equivalent.
GRAPHICS : B+ (Pretty true to the original.) SOUND : B (The voice effect is pretty good for a HuCard.) MUSIC : B (Its there like the original.) GAMEPLAY : C+ (Very difficult to drive.) LONGEVITY: B+ (Get's frustrating after a while.) OVERALL : 2.83 PLAYERS : 1
This is the golf game that Turbo Golf could never hope to be. One course really limits your play though.
GRAPHICS : B (Simply yet sufficient) SOUND : A (Sounds like the ball going in the cup.) MUSIC : A+ (Who'd have thought a golf game with cool music.) GAMEPLAY : A (Really simple to master.) LONGEVITY : B (This is a fun game, but there is too little to do.) PLAYERS : 1 or 2 OVERALL : 3.55
Strange and (at times) very surreal shooter. Five stages of nasties that are in *your* mind. Several power ups available after you shoot certain enemies. The key to winning is learning how to control the satellites that are around your ship (they can be rotated to protect you from various things).
GRAPHICS : B+ (Not bad, a little bit of flicker on the "heavy" levels) SOUND : B (enough to get by, but nothing really special) MUSIC : B+ (for a card, this is very good, there are different songs for each level , so you don't get too bored with them) GAMEPLAY : B+ (probably nothing that a joystick couldn't solve...) LONGEVITY: B+ (a very tough shooter, but one that you want to play again) OVERALL : 3.25 PLAYERS : 1
Psycho Chaser by Naxat is another entry from the popular vertically scrolling shooter genre. Since the game manual is completely in japanese, we can only speculate about the setting, but in the game itself, you're a playing heavily armed cybord jogging up a surrealistic corridor full of evil aliens. The game comprises at least five long levels - I've played the first three, and seen two others in the attract display of the game.
To defend youself, you have four weapon systems at your disposal: a flame thrower that shoots straight ahead, a multiway shooter that fires straight ahead aswell as diagonally backwards, a side-blaster, and a smart self-guiding energy vortex. Pressing the I button cycles through those choices in turn, while the II button fires the weapon. Additionally, you can acquire up to three missile launchers whose fire cover your forward diagonals a bit.
Your enemies are out to get you by all means - get rammed or hit by their fire, and you'll lose one of your five lives. Besides that, there are obstacles in the scrolling background that will block your progress. If you get drawn below the bottom of the screen, you'll lose a life, too. To even out the odds a bit, there are all sorts of collectible extras that can be set free by shooting your enemies - extra firepower, speedup, invincibility and extra lives are all there.
Each level in the game has several several restart points, so you don't have to start all over once you've reached a certain point. However, most of those restart points as well as the end of the level can only be reached once you've defeated the boss guarding them. With the completion of each level, you get a number of powerup points, which can then be used to upgrade your weapon systems.
There are many different enemy units in the game, and each class has it's own distinctive behaviour. The general rule of survival is to blast them as soon as they enter the display, before they get a chance to fire at you. If you get too involved in dodging them, you'll end up in a cloud of enemy crossfire. Being too trigger-happy down't help either, because your own fire tends to obscure enemy shots floating towards you.
GRAPHICS : B (Colorful but a bit minimalistic) SOUND : B (Some explosions and shooting noises) MUSIC : B- (Neat and varied tunes - a bit short, though) GAMEPLAY : A- (Fast paced shooting action) LONGEVITY: B+ (Should take you some time to master) OVERALL : 3.17 PLAYERS : 1
The PCE version of the puzzle game "Blocks" (and "Brix"). You start off by selecting a level on a particular stage (stage 1 would be a good place to start), there you can choose from one of 8 levels (each is different). On each level you need to clear 5 (give or take a couple) screens of blocks, by matching up similar blocks. Easy you say, right? Wrong. Varying playfields make it quite challenging (and, at times, seemingly impossible). After all, if you have 7 blocks of one type on the screen, and for every 2 that you line up, they dissappear, whatcha gonna do with the extra one?
After you've completed all of the screens for a particular level, you can then proced to the next stage. The game also features a password option so that you can return at a later time (and the password screens all have very nice anime-type pictures on them).
GRAPHICS: B+ (simple, but effective. think "Tetris") SOUND: A- (nice) MUSIC: A- (quite pleasent for a HuCard) GAMEPLAY: B- (pretty simple, with one slight flaw -- see "COMMENTS") LONGEVITY: A- (lots of different screens to conquer) OVERALL: 3.47 PLAYERS: 1
Shooter, Side Scroller
GRAPHICS : A- (Grainy, but colorful, well above average) SOUND : B (Your generic video game sound effects) MUSIC : B (Your generic video game music ie, sounds computer generated) GAMEPLAY : A- (Fine tuned and very responsive) LONGEVITY : A- (Keeps you busy, moderate difficulty) OVERALL: 3.43
You can't get much closer the the original than this one. A classic shooter.
GRAPHICS : B+ (This is Raiden Trad) SOUND : A (This is Raiden Trad) MUSIC : A (Good Music) GAMEPLAY : A- (You'll Be hooked) LONGEVITY : A (You come back to this one.) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.83
GRAPHICS : B+ (Take away the flicker and slowdown and this would be a clear A) SOUND : A (Some of the best sound effects on the TG-16... the sound effects were duplicated EXACTLY) MUSIC : A (Same for music) GAMEPLAY : B+ (Definitely needs a joystick) LONGEVITY: A- (The TG-16 is THE machine to play this game, folks!) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.67
Side-scrolling shooter. Conversion of an old Jaleco arcade shooter.
GRAPHICS : C+ (A lot of flicker) SOUND : D+ MUSIC : D (Horrible annoying music) GAMEPLAY : D- LONGEVITY: F (I didn't even bother trying to finish it) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 0.88
An early shooter from the collective PCE gods known as Konami. Unlike other Konami shooters, this game has specific power-ups (some drop options, some drop shields, etc). Also, another nice feature of this game is it's 2P mode. Yes, you read that right. Two people can play at the same time. The game is quite difficult to master, and there appears to be a large variety in the different kinds of enemies that will attack you.
GRAPHICS: B+ (right up there with the Gradius series) SOUND: A- (shoot, bang, shoot, bang. .crash, ouch!) MUSIC: A- (decent) GAMEPLAY: B (control is a bit sluggish, but excusable) LONGEVITY: B- (may be too tough for it's own good, although it's not as bad as a 2P nightmare we know as Legion) OVERALL: 3.18 PLAYERS: 1 or 2 (simu)
Side scrolling run/slash/jump and hack 'em up game. Your land has been run over by dark ones, and only you can save it. One problem, you're already dead. The old hag of the Styx will bring you back to life as you battle your way through 6 > levels, each one with (surprise, surprise) a boss at the end of it.
GRAPHICS : A+ (very nicely done, your character is huge and has very fluent motion). SOUND : A+ (plenty of voice samples and sound effects, again, very nice...) MUSIC : A- (Not bad for a 4Meg card, although in some of the tougher levels, it can get annoying as you hear it over and over, and over, and...) GAMEPLAY : B+ (Joystick, please...) LONGEVITY: B+ (Although appealing for the senses, some parts of the game are way too tough). PLAYERS: 1 OVERALL: 3.70
GRAPHICS : B+ (Not bad, it has its ups and downs) SOUND : B+ (Sound effects are top notch, except for the voices) MUSIC : B (Average background music) GAMEPLAY : A- (After reconfiguring the controller, gameplay is excellent) LONGEVITY : A- (You can play it over again, loads of fun) OVERALL: 3.45
Not sure exactly what the storyline is, but this game offers variety which is a plus for me (i.e. In stage one, you play the character and run, jump, and shoot while. In stage two, you're piloting a submarine, and in stage three, you're piloting a plane. In each stage, the visual gameplay changes). Additionally, there is an intermission in between stages. I can't read Japanese, so I couldn't tell what was going on, but the action is hot and heavy.
GRAPHICS : A (Impressive for a card. Explosions in the latter stage when piloting the plane are very good.) SOUND : A- (It really uses the sound chip well.) MUSIC : A (Again good use of the sound chip.) GAMEPLAY : A LONGEVITY: B+ (Good for a few romps, but once you're done, it's basically over unless you like the game enough to play it again.) PLAYERS : 1 or 2 OVERALL : 3.72
GRAPHICS : A- (Nice visuals) SOUND : A (R-Type-quality sound effects) MUSIC : A (Catchy theme song) GAMEPLAY : B (Turbopad play suffers; a joystick is needed) LONGEVITY: B (With a joystick, this game would be an A- here) OVERALL : 3.45 PLAYERS : 1
Bring back the two player option that was in the arcade. When you played with two characters in the arcade, and they merged you had better control over your firepower.
Chase and destroy monsters in a 3-D maze.
GRAPHICS : B (Blocky motion, aliens don't look good) SOUND : B+ (The game's proximity sensor gets faster and louder when aliens approach, and the effect is really good) GAMEPLAY : A- (You really get into this! It's like Aliens!) MUSIC : B- (There is only music during the intermissions, a decision I think works well, but you can't skip the intermissions. Annoying!) LONGEVITY: B- (The first few games are fun, but it loses its novelty) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.01
GRAPHICS : A- (Folks, this game has parallax scrolling, which Genesis owners have been bragging about for the longest time... check out the scenes which look like clones of T-Force III for the Genesis!) SOUND : A- (Nice explosions, missile firing) MUSIC : B+ (Music starts annoying you after awhile) GAMEPLAY : B+ (This game needs a joystick for top scores) LONGEVITY: B+ (It's addicting, but also frustrating... luckily, the game allows you to continue at either the beginning of a stage or a special checkpoint... if you've reached it) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.43
Latest entry in the Star Soldier series. Vertical scrolling shooter with 7 levels.
GRAPHICS : A (Great backgrounds, has a special graphics mode) SOUND : A (Has some digitized voices, great sounding explosions) MUSIC : A (Great adrenalin-pumping tunes) GAMEPLAY : A (Very intense and interesting levels) LONGEVITY: A- (Hard to finish on normal setting; impossible(?) on hard) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.90
The bosses and enemies are some of the most spectacular ever seen in a shooter. A lot of the bosses have very original weapons and nasty surprises in store. The bosses are very hard to kill, since they keep changing forms and attack patterns as you damage them. Most of the enemies are also HUGE compared to those found in other TG-16 shooters. The overall impression you get when you play this game is that you feel like you are playing a real arcade shooter, not a TG-16 game.
My complaints are that you only have 3 different weapons to choose from, and the weapons don't look as good as they did in Super Star Soldier. Also the game doesn't seem to use that many colors, thus it doesn't look as bright or colorful as some other games. You also only have 2 different speed settings, fast and slow. I wish there was a medium setting for easier control.
It would be hard for me to compare Soldier Blade to Super Star Soldier, one of my favorite TG-16 shooters. They're both great games in their own respects. Super Star Soldier has brighter colors and more interesting weapons, but Soldier Blade is more graphically impressive.
What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs? It's Somer Assault - you control a Slinky(tm) type character on your way through 12 levels rooted in astrology. You can even enter your birthday for an, "unexpected surprise" when you reach the level which corresponds to your zodiac sign.
GRAPHICS : A (top notch - the detail is wonderful) SOUND : B (not great, but definitely enough to get the job done) MUSIC : A- (good choice for the background music [in mono or stereo!]) GAMEPLAY : A- (starts off easy, but gets very tough real quickly) LONGEVITY: A- (plenty of areas to check out) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.63
This is a one player (bummer) volleyball game. You get to pick and modify the player's stats (stamina, strength, speed, etc.) and the type of game to be played (standard, or points for side outs)
GRAPHICS : B (Looks like the dodge ball arcade game.) SOUND : A (Grunts and slams) MUSIC : B- (Gets a bit irritating.) GAMEPLAY : B- (You'll need some practice to beat the computer.) LONGEVITY : B (It's fun to beat the computer, but that's your only option.) PLAYERS: 1 through 4 OVERALL: 3.07
What would you get if you crossed your basic run of the mill platform game with something semi-related to Donkey Kong Jr (and throwing in a touch of Ys, just for the heck of it)? Well, it might resemble Son Son II. But then again maybe it wouldn't.
You assume the role of some guy (who looks suspiciously like a little monkey) whose three friends have been killed, er, kidnapped (why our hero wasn't taken I will never know -- maybe the bad guy doesn't like monkey-men, or perhaps he knows that it just wouldn't make a good game) by an evil being. MST fodder? You betcha.
GRAPHICS: B (so-so, so what? - this *is* and older PCE title...) SOUND: C (Cheezy) MUSIC: C- (Cheezier) GAMEPLAY: B+ (no complaints, I guess) LONGEVITY: B- (I may want to find out what happens to monkey-man). OVERALL: 2.57 PLAYERS: 1
Space Harrier is, well, uh, Space Harrier from the arcades, of course. You are a hero type person with a jet pack and a laser blasting anything that moves (or doesn't move) in various 3D landscapes, with a behind-the-first- person view. There are 16 levels, plus 2 bonus rounds to gain mucho extra points. As far as I can tell, the levels are identical to the arcade version. Each level features a variety of nasties and plant life to blow apart, and on most levels, there are obstacles which cannot be destroyed. There is a boss to destroy at the end of each level. There isn't much else to the gameplay - no powerups or special weapons - just keep that thumb on the fire button and blast away.
Space Harrier is one of my all-time favorite arcade games next to OutRun, so this part of the review is probably rather biased (apologies). The fascination I've always found with Space Harrier in the arcades, was not with the gameplay, but the move and shoot aspect. The true joy of this game is in the 3D graphics. The feeling of real motion over and through the land features adds a huge amount to its excitement. The TG-16 game is very true to the original arcade game, and none of this excitement is lost. The graphics are quite well done. The land rolls by very quickly and the 3D effect with bitmap scaling is extremely convincing. This is a far better game than the so-called Space Harrier II for the Genesis (which seems rather strange to me since both games were created by Sega!). There is some minor flickering with some of the larger boss critters, but in no way does it interfere with the game. Each level is relatively short, which makes repeated play not as tedious as other shooters I've played. Some nice features are, (very) rapid fire (saves wear and tear on the thumb), a continue mode, and the ability to change the effect of the up and down directions on the Turbopad. The sound, however, is marginal. The music and voices ("Get ready!", "You're doing great!") are very fuzzy, and the voices, in particular, are hard to make out. The game is pretty damn difficult (although the boss critters are pretty easy if you can get to them), and I've yet to pass level 11. All in all, this was worth every penny of the $20 I spent on it.
GRAPHICS : B SOUND : B MUSIC : B GAMEPLAY : A LONGEVITY: A OVERALL : 3.50 PLAYERS : 1
The PCEngine version of the classic arcade game, with a few extra twists. In addition to the normal "arcade" version of the game - there is also a "Super Space Invaders" included - this version features shields, time stop, etc, plus such added difficulties as zigzagging bombs and multiple direction bombs.
GRAPHICS : A- (an exact duplication on the arcade version, the super version is ok, but not great) SOUND : A (duplicated as well) MUSIC : B (see comment for "Graphics"...) GAMEPLAY : A (plays like the arcade, execpt for the button controls) LONGEVITY: B (I'd rather waste time with Galaga '90...but uh...) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.45
GRAPHICS : A (Nice cartoon-like graphics... some gross things included) SOUND : A (Nice job on sound effects and monster wails) MUSIC : A (Nice theme tunes) GAMEPLAY : B+ (Needs a joystick) LONGEVITY: B+ (I find myself playing for short spurts at a time) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.65
SF2 CE for the PCE is (IMHO) the most faithful port of this game to any home system (N.B. this opinion is pre-SSF2 days. I have since played SSF2 on the SNES and like that a lot although I've spent all of 15mins playing it only and only in Versus mode. Not really playing the computer so no in-depth review here! Sorry! Anyways, that's SNES! However, just another note, I've also "sampled" SSF2 for Genesis at a store and it doesn't look as good IMO. The 12 original characters look like that haven't changed at all.) Anyways, back to the the SF2 CE for PCE!
The characters are very fluid and IMO, accurate to the arcade CE. The background art is not bad and features the typical moving characters cheering you on. The screen is not cropped. However the health bar is superimposed on the top of the screen. That, however does not bother me at all.
I feel the different skill levels are implemented quite well. There are 8 in all and the first 3 are guaranteed wins for any SF2 veteran (don't even have to be that skilled. Just be able to pull off a few special moves and you got it made). However the last 3 levels (6-8) are quite challenging. And I noticed that the computer characters play differently for different levels so things aren't just "faster".
Playability is faithful too. The characters all have their "CE" moves. Ryu's fireball is just a touch faster than Ken's. Ken's dragon punch flies further (laterally speaking) etc... You get to play all 4 bosses as well without having to enter any special codes. All combinations I've seen in the arcade can be performed on this game. [just to brag a little, I've pulled off a 4-hit Dragon Punch combo on Dhalsim ONCE! Never been able to repeat on any character ever again. 3 is the max for me! Also pulled off a 4-hit Sweep/hurricane kick combo too!]
All in all (enough ranting! ^_^;) I say this game is a must for SF2 fans who own the PCE/TG16. If you like fighting games, this one is the best that I've seen for the PCE. I still have yet to try Ranma 1/2 Fighting SCD. And since the price from Buy-Rite is pretty low ($39?) I say, why not?
[Actually, another side note: I don't own the arcade card so I haven't tried any of the AC fighting games so the above statement may not be very fair. However, in the arcade, MY favorite is still SF2 so it probably wouldn't matter anyways! ^_^]
GRAPHICS : A (A little less detailed than Blazing Lazers in some areas, for example, the ring weapon... a little more detailed in other areas, such as enemy motherships) SOUND : B+ (The sound effects are of similar quality to Blazing Lazers, except there's no voice!) MUSIC : B+ (A good effort here) GAMEPLAY : B+ (As in most TG-16 games, a joystick would definitely help) LONGEVITY: A- (A very fun game... much more intense than Blazing Lazers... frustrating at times, esp when you're near the end of a stage and you must start over again when you die) OVERALL : 3.55 PLAYERS : 1
Same as the television show, Talespin.
GRAPHICS : A (I love the artwork on the plane scene) SOUND : B (Could be better) MUSIC : A- (Theme tune included) GAMEPLAY : B (Joystick is recommend) LONGEVITY: B (Keeps you busy on a rainy day) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.28
While out meditating in the country side, your eveil nemesis broke into the shrine and stole the 4 scrolls that tell of the "Tiger" attack. With revenge on your mind, you set out to conquer the 5 levels of Tiger Road in order to get back the scrolls, and beat the cause of all these problems (whatever his name is).
Side scrolling platform game, where you jump and attack your way to victory. Well, that's the goal, anyway.
GRAPHICS: B+ (pretty nice) SOUND: C- (boring) MUSIC: B- (annoying) GAMEPLAY: B- (your high jumping ability may allow you to jump right into an enemy who is off-screen, spiffy guys...) LONGEVITY: B (not easy) OVERALL: 2.73 PLAYERS: 1
The premise of this game is very simple. On the screen are a bunch of tiles, many of which have a piece of "pipe" on them. One tile space is empty so that you may slide tiles in that row or column. There is a small ball that starts moving through the pipes - you must arrange the pipes in such a way that the ball travels through every piece of pipe on the screen. There are 100 puzzles built into the game and a construction kit so you can make your own. To increase the difficulty, you can select from four speeds at which the ball will move.
After successfully completing a round, you will be awarded bonus points for the number of shifts you had to make and for speed. The speed bonus comes from using button II to temporarily increase the speed of the ball - the longer the ball moves faster, the greater your bonus.
GRAPHICS : C (The plainest graphics I have ever seen - there are about 8 colours used in total) SOUND : C (There are three sounds - the beep when your cursor moves, the tinkle when the ball breaks, and the click when you move tiles) MUSIC : B (Two okay tunes, and blissful silence) GAMEPLAY : A (Controls are simple in the extreme, no surprises or problems here) LONGEVITY: B (Once you're done, you're done. This would be a C if there was no construction set) OVERALL : 2.8 PLAYERS : 1
The music is not bad for computer-generated stuff, but it repeats too quickly - a common malady - surely there must have been room on this HuCard to squeeze in longer tunes...
Make this game more visually stimulating. My wife was interested in this game because it reminded her of an arcade game with the same basic gameplay (called "Locomotion" I believe). This game had a little train (instead of the ball), tracks (instead of pipe) and little stations along the way where you picked up passengers (you got points for picking them up on-time or early - a motivation for using the "speed up" button). I am sure that Locomotion was a treat to watch; Timeball is not. Sliding tiles are grey, non-sliding tiles are white. The pipes are all the same colour and your (*very small) ball is silver. Maybe if they had made the game more interesting visually they would have had an excuse to add some more sound effects. This game looks bland, which is really too bad because there is a pretty good puzzle game hiding in here.
Turn down the sound (so you can get rid of the beeps and clinks) and put on a CD.
Build sadistically hard puzzles (or impossible ones =) to torment your puzzle-game-addicted friends!
Video Pinball just keeps getting better! Time Cruise is the latest (and I think greatest) video pinball game for the TG-16. It is very reminiscent of Devil's Crush, but it is definitely not a sequel to it. Time Cruise has expanded the main playing field to seven screens. Scrolling both vertically and horizontally. There are also six bonus stages that are reached by entering time warps (hence the games name). The bonus stages consist of both pinball action and puzzle action. For instance, you can warp back millions of years and try to kill amoeba-like creatures in standard pinball fashion, or you can be warped to the future and try to manipulate the ball through a puzzle by tilting the board (like the ball in the maze game that has the knobs on the sides that tilt the playing field). All in all, a very fine game.
GRAPHICS : B (Adequate, but nothing spectacular) SOUND : C+ (Nice and subdued; nothing overwhelming) MUSIC : C+ (Good music but, as always, gets repetitious) GAMEPLAY : A (FUN!!) LONGEVITY: A (I can see playing this off and on for years) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.27
A puzzle game where you have 60 levels. Each level is a board consisting of obstacles and objects, the objects can be kicked, the obstacles cannot. Your goal is to line up like objects by kicking them into each other, when you do this they dissapear and once all of the objects are gone, you can advance to the next level.
GRAPHICS : B+ (Fair) SOUND : A- (Not too much to do here, kick and destroy...) MUSIC : B+ (6 different songs, but they still can get annoying...) GAMEPLAY : A (Turbopad works well, your only enemy is the clock) LONGEVITY: A- (enough to keep active minds off the streat for a while) OVERALL : 3.00 PLAYERS : 1
GRAPHICS : A- (Nice job on graphics... excellent opening screen) SOUND : A- (Very good sound) MUSIC : A (Nice theme tunes) GAMEPLAY : B+ (Needs a joystick) LONGEVITY: B+ (Frustrating at times... need long rest periods between games) PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.55
TV Sports Basketball is a mediocre rendition of basketball for the TG-16. As a 1-player game, it holds little excitement and doesn't leave one wanting to play more and more. Its only saving grace is its multi-player capacity. If you have several players, all of you can take on a computer team, which is fairly fun.
TV Sports Basketball includes 8 teams, each with 12 players. The players will tire during the course of the game and need to be replaced. Also, each player on each team has different abilities for passing, shooting, etc. Some people might like this, but I find it annoying to have to be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of fictional players. Also, the players' numbers are only seen during passing, so it's hard to get the ball to your best shooter regularly.
While the ball is being brought up court, both the offense and defense can choose a play to be run when the players reach the frontcourt. This is done by moving the joystick in one of four directions and pushing a button. The play is then executed by pressing "Select". This allows some control of the computer teammates, which is a nice feature.
The play action of the game is OK, nothing more. All one can really do is move around and shoot on offense or attack on defense by pressing a button. With several players, all on one team, this is more fun, as the real players can shake the computer defenders and open themselves up for shots.
The graphics of this game leave a lot to be desired. They consist of
Good points: No annoying music during gameplay, fairly good sound effects, secret play-calling allowed.
Bad points: Only 4 play choices to control your computer teammates, poor graphics, no close-up action, pointless "league-play" option.
GRAPHICS: C SOUND: B+ MUSIC: B (Lack of music gets at least a "B" in my book.) GAMEPLAY: C+ LONGEVITY: B- OVERALL: 2.67 PLAYERS: 1-5
One of the original games out for the TG-16, this is still quite a reasonable facsimile of hockey for the machine. It has a good sense of humor, relatively simple controls and reasonable graphics. It has a pretty good amount of options in the way of team variety, and different lines. The writers did not go to the trouble of buying professional rights or anything, so they just banked on good old nationalism to stir up rivalries. There are about ten teams each with three lines which you can switch between during a game. The lines are composed of homogeneous players with identical stats in a line. Granted, this shows something of a lack of sophistication, but when you switch between control of different players in a line it is comforting. The game allows options of a tournament or individual games, given that the games last as long as a real hockey game (three 20 minute periods) I doubt anyone will play many tournaments. Up to 5 players can play, on separate sides or on the same side. This is one feature that I have found to be quite entertaining, since it can be more fun (and less aggravating) to cooperate with a friend than compete. This also allows a group of friends to staff a full line, which I have yet to try due to a lack of controllers. The other big plus to the game is the way in which it simulates fighting and penalties. If you check someone real hard, you go to a fight screen in which the two players slug it out, and whoever gets decked gets the penalty. Also the probability of fights breaking out is determined by which set of rules is chosen. All in all it is a pretty good hockey game, not stellar, but a worthwhile purchase for $25 or under.
GRAPHICS : B+ (smooth animation, decent color, but nothing really exciting) SOUND : B (pretty good... grunts when you check people, noise from skates, etc) MUSIC : C+ (occasional bursts of charge music, but no national anthems or such) GAMEPLAY : B+ (controlls are good enough, except for the problem of controlling the goalie at the wrong time by accident) LONGEVITY: A- (this is an arbitrary ruling because if you play it by yourself it is B or B-, but with the variety of multi-player options it is an A. Also, I really don't play sports games by myself much so this is subjective) PLAYERS : 1 to 5 OVERALL : 3.22
GRAPHICS : A- (Well rendered although at times choppy) SOUND : B (Average) MUSIC : A (Excellent even though it's a HuCard) GAMEPLAY : C+ (Kind of stiff) LONGEVITY : C+ (The game had potential, failed due to lousy control) OVERALL: 2.93 PLAYERS: 1
In Victory Run, you are the driver of a rally car, trying to complete the Paris to Dakar road rally. There are eight stages each of which you must complete within the allotted time, or you're out of the race. In addition, you must dodge the traffic, avoid slick road patches, and handle various road conditions. A 4-gear manual shift transmission is your only choice, but that little roadster can really haul (230 km/h-140 mi/h). And if this weren't enough, you also have to deal with failing car parts; after all, 8000 miles on crumby roads is a long ways.
While I normally love driving games, this one left me a bit disappointed. First, the good things. The controls in the game work well, with button I as the accelerator, button II the brake, up and down operate the gear shift, and left and right move the car left and right. I was a little worried that with the gear shift on the thumb pad, I might accidentally shift when I didn't want to, but this doesn't seem to be the case, and works quite well (unlike the default control setting in Sega's Monaco GP!).
The music is pleasant and sounds like good driving music. That is, it won't put you to sleep, nor does it detract from the task at hand. Each level has a different soundtrack (actually, I think there are only 4 BGMs in the 8 stages), but the music sounds very similar for each stage, so that you know it's different, but it's hard to tell what is different about it. That's a nice design effort, I think! The sound effects are ordinary car sounds, with tires skidding, and engine noise, but really track well with engine RPM and road conditions. Another good thing is the level variation in the road. Bumps are really bumps, and can send you airborne.
Now for some of the more unfortunate game features. While the game controls work well, the car you're driving steers like a tank. Going around sharper corners is tough, and the graphics make it look like you're always facing forwards. Weird sensation. And speaking of graphics, they are not that well done. The scaling of oncoming objects is very jerky, and the road direction signs are so small as to be unnoticable. There isn't really anything above average in the backgrounds or landscape. I think what I find most attractive about driving games (and driving in real life) is the sensation you feel for going very fast over land on windy roads in a low-to- the-ground sports car (although racing around traffic is attractive in games, it's not what I do in real life!). Because of this, I think that driving games really require good graphics to be successful games. And in this case, Victory Run's average graphics don't excite me enough to come back for more.
GRAPHICS : C SOUND : B MUSIC : B+ GAMEPLAY : B LONGEVITY: C PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 2.55
Although an older title, this is still a great game to get a hold of (you may know it better as "Qix Plus" released for the Genesis).
As you've probably already guessed, the premise is Qix-like, you control a marker (uh, a ship), and must draw rectangular areas. As you draw, enemies will try to run into you (or your line) - either will cost you one ship. If you completely enclose an area, the playing field decreases by that amount of space and you continue - attempting to control 75% (or more!) of the playing field.
But it's not that easy. You have objects bouncing around trying to touch you and your line. You have enemies shooting at you (and your line). Stall for too long and the sparks will come out and hunt you down (destroying you -- and your little line too!). Unlike the original, you do have some firepower to play with - if you enclose a region that has a special flashing marker, you can collect a power up - lasers, speed, or time stop. Lasers allow you to shoo minor enemies, and time stop make all enemies on screen freeze for a moment (actually 15 seconds) -- a perfect opportunity to encircle the main enemy of the level and reap a huge bonus for going over 95%.
GRAPHICS: B (not much, but compared to the original arcade game, how could you get any worse?) SOUND: B (not a lot, but again, not a lot needed) MUSIC: C (nothing worth commenting on). GAMEPLAY: A++ (wonderful) LONGEVITY: A++ (I know I can beat this level, I know I can) OVERALL: 3.63 PLAYERS: 1
Cute Anime girl beats up bad guys game.
GRAPHICS : B- (Some nice Anime-style cinema displays) SOUND : B- MUSIC : B- GAMEPLAY : C LONGEVITY: B- PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 2.58
A 2-player look into America's favorite [sic] pasttime. There are several modes of play - oddly enough, the most interesting is letting the computer play a game against itself. Well, maybe not. There is the obligatory 2-player mode, and also the challenge mode where you battle progressively harder teams in an attempt to win the pennant.
GRAPHICS: B- (nothing special, but it does get the job done) SOUND: A- (pretty good...The crack of the bat, eh?) MUSIC: B- (ok, but gets annoying after a while [whay does that happen?]) GAMEPLAY: C+ (takes a little getting used to) LONGEVITY: C+ (maybe someone who is more of a baseball fan would...) OVERALL: 2.67 PLAYERS: 0, 1 or 2
The PCEngine version of the classic arcade game, with a few extra twists. In addition to the "arcade" version of the game - there is also a souped up version featuring harder end bosses, power ups, and even a story line (that is, unfortunately in Japanese).
GRAPHICS : A (an almost exact duplicate of the arcade) SOUND : A (duplicated as well) MUSIC : B+ (gets an "A" for the arcade part, the down grade is the annoying music on the souped up version). GAMEPLAY : A+ (if you loved the arcade, you'll love this...) LONGEVITY: A+ (see comments for "Gameplay") PLAYERS : 1 OVERALL : 3.98
Maybe I'm not familiar enough with the California scene, but this game sounds like a pre-quel to Camp California. They're both set in California, they both feature "Beach Boys" music, and they both have a little bear-cub with a skateboard in them (although I don't know how much of a part he has in Camp California).
Like I said, the game is set in California - the home of weirdness - so of course some strange...stuff is going on. Some mad scientist has released his mutants and machines on the state and of course you ("Little Bro") have to clean up.
I could not believe the number of options I was presented with when I started this game. Music and sound effects can be disabled independently. For each player (1 or 2) you can set, how quickly LB turns on his skateboard, the fashion in which he is controlled, the difficulty of the game, the number of lives you start with and how often you get extra lives.
Gameplay is pretty simple. Skate around picking up wandering kids, blasting roving baddies, and destroying their bases. These bases are stationary and occassionally emit a roving baddie. To complete the level you must destroy all the bases. To complete his mission, LB has a stunning array of weaponry: 4 types of slingshot, a freeze gun, 3 types of rocket launchers, and 3 types of grenades. There is an equally wide variety of nasty types to kill off.
GRAPHICS : A (City buildings are plain, but LB, kids, and bad guys are colourful and well-animated) SOUND : B- (There are not enough sound effects, see Improvements) MUSIC : A (4 Beach Boys tunes, quite well done. If they're not your cup of tea, they are easily turned off) GAMEPLAY : A+ (turning speed, control type, and game difficulty allow you to tune the game exactly to your skill level) LONGEVITY: B (There are only 30 levels, but there are plenty of secret rooms to find) OVERALL : 3.50 PLAYERS : 1 or 2 (alternating)
A simultaneous two-player mode would be interesting.
Add more levels. I'm not that interested in playing the same levels over and over at higher difficulties.
Fix the saved-game. This is not mentioned at all in the instructions, but if you have some kind of backup RAM you can continue a game at the beginning of the level you were on - but only if you RESET the game to quit! If you lose all your lives and decide not to continue you can not continue later.