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Do you think the TG16/PCE has held up over time? (Also lack of follow-up)


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Poll: Do you think the TG16/PCE has held up over time? (Also lack of follow-up) (18 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you think the TG16/PCE has held up?

  1. I has aged flawlessly! Up there with SNES/GEN (9 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. Mixed: It has its ups and downs. Some games hold up. (8 votes [44.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.44%

  3. It has aged horribly! (1 votes [5.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.56%

Do you think the TG16's legacy is damaged by the PC-FX and lack of a proper follow-up?

  1. Yes (5 votes [27.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.78%

  2. No (13 votes [72.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 72.22%

Vote

#1 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:51 AM

The TG16 or PC Engine in Japan, is a very controversial console. Some say that it's one of the most underrated gaming devices of all-time, and some believe it was nothing more than a stop-gap. For those that have owned or at least played several games related to this machine, has the TG16 OVERALL held up for you?

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

I've been around both sides of the argument in real life from back when the TG16 was new, until last year at a local retro gaming convention. Some of my Japanese friends view the TG16 as a fad. They believe that the reason the TG16 took off in Japan was due to finding any developer under a rock and basically stuffing the shelves with games in its earlier years, thus buying them enough time to bring in higher quality games and produce the popular CD attachment to cement their place in the industry there. 

 

On the other end, I've heard people say that NEC was smart, and that they would often fund projects in the background so companies could release games more quickly resulting in some of the most unique titles to ever grace a video game console. Of varying quality of course.

 

My personal opinion? I think the first few years of the TG16 library was the best. I greatly enjoyed games like Bravo-Man, Legendary Axe, Bonk, Cyber-cross/CrossWiber, the fluid boxing games, Aero Blasters and more. I thought Silent Debuggers had many flaws, but was an amazing attempt at a first-person anything on consoles at the time. 

 

For me it was the 2nd half of the library that started turning me away. i played the TGCD at a friends house but had no interest in any of its games due to long load times, questionable gameplay, and an over-reliance on FMV. NEC also released several versions of the TG16, a Super version with games that wouldn't work on the original, and combo SKUs. I was burnt out by then. I did pick up some of the later games including Bomberman 93 and 94 among others. However, I was mostly done with the TG16 around 93'.

 

220px-Bonk%27s_Revenge_cover.jpg

 

When NEC finally stopped playing games and released a follow-up I was completely shocked at how it was nothing like the TG16 from a software standpoint. A friend of mine who imported a console from japan back in the day, had gotten 7 games for it, and I was just completely shocked that NEC was so incompetent that it lost ALL of its previous support and all it they had now were FMV games and Visual novels!!!!

 

I figured the reason for that is the TG16 lost a lot of support to the SNES and across the TG-16, Turboduo, TGCD, and Supergrafx developers were upset with NEC's practices. At least that's the only explanation i can think of for how badly they dropped the ball. The system looked good, in fact, the system was modeled after NEC's Headquarters! But its software was abysmal. Looking at the library now, the PC-FX basically only had Zork as a real game.

 

300px-NEC-PC-FX-wController-R.jpg

 

I personally believe the PC-FX has some blame as to why many gamers look back at the TG16 as a waste. It never had a proper follow-up. I believe it's the ONLY time a console did really well and had no momentum from it at all. Kind of like how Spyro 4 was so bad it almost killed the franchise and making it seem like the other three great games didn't even exist. Nothing carried from the TG16 to the PC-FX, so the TG16 is basically NECs only console in many peoples eyes, even the ones that knew about or owned a the PC-FX.

 

As for whether I think the TG16 holds up? I do kind of agree with both sides. It has some good games, but a lot of the titles are very weird and experimental, aiming more for being impressive "at the time" then long-term. I also notice quite a few TG16 games look very similar to each other despite being by different developers are in different genres, as if there was a template multiple developers used to push out games quickly. A good chunk of TG16 developers also died after the TG16 life ended which does support the argument a lot of games were made by D tier developers. Keith courage in Alpha Zones was graphically impressive for the time compared to the NES, so I get WHY they packed it in with the US TG16, but the gameplay isn't really...good...

 

Overall I'd say the TurboGrafx16 does hold up in parts, but not entirely. I do think that if you are a game collector you should buy the "base" console since there's enough quality software to do so, but keep in mind buying games from its library is like playing the lottery.



#2 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:56 AM

For fun, my top 10 TG16:

 

1. Air Zonk

 

2. Legendary Axe

 

3. Neutopia 1

 

4. Cross Wiber

 

5. Time Cruise

 

6. Jackie Chan Action Kung Fu

 

7. Bomberman 94'

 

8. Samurai Ghost

 

9. Tiger Road

 

10. JJ & Jeff


Edited by JaguarVision, Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:58 AM.


#3 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:05 PM

It emulates well, but the library is lackluster. I don't feel anything about it. 

 

A neighbor gave me a complete in box TG-16 and a bunch of games and I haven't been bothered to test it, that's how little I care about it. Is it worth anything? It would be better off in the hands of someone who cared. 



#4 AMenard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:22 PM

Devil crush and alien crush are great, both are favorite of mine.
It was an intermediary console. Better than a NES but lagging behind what a Gen or a SNES could do.

#5 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:28 PM

Devil crush and alien crush are great, both are favorite of mine.
It was an intermediary console. Better than a NES but lagging behind what a Gen or a SNES could do.

 

So would you say you're more mixed on whether the TG16 held-up overall or do you think that despite it lagging behind GEN/SNES the console+library still stands the test of time in general?



#6 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:40 PM

I thought it sucked at the time, so I'm refraining from voting. I was a Sega-all-the-way kinda high-schooler in the early 90s. 



#7 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:44 PM

Has anybody seen Atari Pogostick and JaguarVision in the same room together?



#8 NE146 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:45 PM

I consider myself a TG16/Turbo fan since I had the console since the North American launch (along with the Genesis) and continued supporting it until it's end of life.. And I will be the FIRST person to tell you that honestly towards the end of it felt somewhat dated with the latest games like Bonk 3, Zonk, Bomberman 93, etc. just seeming to not really measure up to what was coming out for the SNES at the time with games like Actraiser being amazing.. just saying. Even something like Soldier Blade which is a great game.. came off to me as just a repaint of now-old tech, and just being the latest "Blazing Lazers" style shmup, at least that was my feeling as a TG16 consumer. That didn't stop me from buying and enjoying all of them though.. but again, it was definitely my impression at the time. So none of this is looking backwards with retro-glasses knowing what comes later. :P I should add as well that the releases started getting slower and slower while the SNES was ramping up without bounds. 

 

Now today, do I think it holds up? 100% it does.. same as any other console with a dedicated library. Military Madness on the TG16 is still my favorite version of the Nectaris series to this day and I'll play it over any other newer iteration.. even the PSX version which kind of looked the same. 


Edited by NE146, Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:47 PM.


#9 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:47 PM

I consider myself a TG16/Turbo fan since I had the console since the North American launch (along with the Genesis) and continued supporting it until it's end of life.. And I will be the FIRST person to tell you that honestly towards the end of it felt somewhat dated with the latest games like Bonk 3, Zonk, Bomberman 93, etc. just seeming to not really measure up to what was coming out for the SNES at the time.. just saying. Even something like Soldier Blade which is a great game.. came off to me as just a repaint of now-old tech, just being the latest "Blazing Lazers" style shmup, at least that was my feeling as a TG16 consumer. That didn't stop me from buying and enjoying all of them though.. but again, it was definitely my impression at the time. So none of this is looking backwards with retro-glasses knowing what comes later. :P

 

Now today, do I think it holds up? 100% it does.. same as any other console with a dedicated library. Military Madness on the TG16 is still my favorite version of the Nectaris series to this day and I'll play it over any other newer iteration.. even the PSX version which kind of looked the same. 

 

Did soldier blade get an official US release or was that import only?



#10 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:56 PM

PeterGhostbustersBluraysc01.png



#11 digdugnate ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:04 PM

It emulates well, but the library is lackluster. I don't feel anything about it. 
 
A neighbor gave me a complete in box TG-16 and a bunch of games and I haven't been bothered to test it, that's how little I care about it. Is it worth anything? It would be better off in the hands of someone who cared. 


Lemme know if you want rid of it- i always wanted a TG16. We can make a deal. ;-)

#12 DJ Clae OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:10 PM

Right... FMV was the problem with the TGCD. For the four or so games that used it. You mean animated cutscenes, right?

List of Western releases:
http://fmvworld.com/...e_turboduo.html

#13 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:38 PM

I see some people in the poll agree on the PC-FX. Damn shame really how that turned out.

Can you imagine a real 32-bit successor to the TG16? NEC was a huge company back then. Sony vs. NEC would have been interesting.

To bad. It's funny because the PC-FX kept the turbo switches but I've no idea why.

#14 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:26 PM

...

To bad. It's funny because the PC-FX kept the turbo switches but I've no idea why.

Did it?

 

NEC-PC-FX-Controller-FR.jpg

Those are not the turbo buttons you are looking for, a couple of games made me wish they were though.

 

 

Let me guess you mean the PCE Duo RX controller (which obviously does not work on a PC-FX)

pad-pc-engine-duo-rx.jpg



#15 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:36 PM

Did it?
 ]
Those are not the turbo buttons you are looking for, a couple of games made me wish they were though.
 
 
Let me guess you mean the PCE Duo RX controller (which obviously does not work on a PC-FX)


What do you mean? The mode buttons are used like the turbos on the TG16 for select games.

#16 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:48 PM

For the PC-FX the mode buttons triggering autofire in very few selected games was a software feature, on the TG16/PCE afaik the turbo buttons were not SW switchable.

That's what I mean, but I may be wrong.



#17 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:13 PM

back to the op I dont think it was all that great when it was new, its got decent graphics but instantly nickle and diming for av outputs on an already expensive machine that was only a half notch (at launch) than what the NES was doing made by a company who made monitors and integrated circuits was an almost instant pass

 

now I have played plenty of it since then, but the card games seem extremely basic, and the CD games are more or less 8 bit affairs with horrid generic j-pop rock ... there's only a few games  I will sit down and put effort into playing

 

but those few are fantastic, so its hard to vote



#18 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:44 PM

Visually I think the PCE has held up great. I received my DUO back from repair over the weekend, now RGB modded, and it looks amazing. Rondo of Blood looks even better and more detailed than I remembered. I mean, it always looked good via Composite, but now I'm seeing things I never noticed before. Definitely up there with the SNES and Genesis.

Standard HuCard games can look pretty great too (New Adventure Island is a good example), but the big downside with them is the sound hardware. It's a little garish compared to the SNES and even Genesis sound hardware, but that's not to say it's bad--it's just different. CD based games help this issue with their backing music and added sound sampling channel--games that take advantage of both of these, as well as the DUO's added memory (like Rondo or Spriggan Mark 2) hold up especially well.

Edited by Austin, Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:45 PM.


#19 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:32 PM

I've been on both sides of the fence with this one.  I had a US Duo back around 1997-05 roughly, a loss I never recovered, the last system I wish I hadn't lost but the market is crap now.  Back in the day I had access to a local shop in the area, a gamers dream by then and really massively by todays standards, the ultimate honeyhole of anything really from the NES/GB forward in larger numbers but had earlier too up to modern then.  Being coastal in an area wide open to easy imports his shop had a very healthy stack of loose US Hucards, complete in box ones, and then same in the CD and SCD realm for both the US and Japan.  I had it pretty good mixed with the stuff TTi -> TZD put up too as they cleared away things.

 

For starters your Japanese friends aren't very bright.  The TG16/PCE was never a fad, hell it kicked the shit out of Sega in the day and was a good battle for Nintendo well enough too in Japan so they were pretty misinformed.  While if you were to argue just the US market, we got screwed and hard, your next misinformed argument about NEC benig smart picking up nobodies under a rock is fairly wrong is hardly a truth looking at the PCE in particular.  While we got dumped on either direct or through a couple faux company names handing some/most the conversion work or at least the release you had the likes of Namco, Sega, Capcom, Konami, Taito, and others at least of note back in Japan too all placing quality titles from unique things to arcade and console conversions on the system.  We may have got crapped on unless we imported discs, but they didn't as the HuCard spread was impressive.

 

Like any system the quality was a range from crap to fantastic, no console is perfect or even a third perfect with what comes out.  The TG16 library was weak and you did name a few decent things, though Cross Weiber was JP only as far as I remember, but it did get some gems.  The true strength was the HuCard library if you got a converter or just bought any flavor of PC Engine.  And I have to question your sanity and tastes if you really feel the CD load times on the PC CD/Duo were so bad optical was the downfall of the hardware.  Not sure what you're thinking as it's not clear, as I think you'll be hard pressed to find someone whine consistently about bad loads, poorer games, or the rest of it.  I'm sure you'll want to argue or twist facts to talk about how bad it was, and how so many games were flaky, but the optical end of things sane people tend to find was a house of a lot of grade A wonderful titles.  If you were done around 93 you lost out on quite a good many good discs so maybe that's why you're making this nutty argument, misinformed and didn't care to visually (youtube and sites like video game den) really crack into it.

 

The TG16/PCE on either media holds up incredibly well. The system fits in this strange valley where it's not quite 8bit, not quite 16bit either by the books, a nice little hybrid.  A fairly good benchmark for it I guess would be the SF2 release as you can find many fan analysis on that one comparing the SNES, Gen and TG in a bundle.  Typically the TG falls anywhere from in the middle to the top in some ways of rating it.  The system despite its shortcomings could display a lot of sprites, a lot more colors on screen (than Genesis), had some high quality audio from the sound chip to the CD audio as well.  I'd argue it shows its age less than the Genesis does in quite a few ways, but not all, it's a mix in some respects.  The TG16 when you include the PCE better market isn't within question, it holds up very well.  Sure you can find some low grade garbage, but when you sift the drek away it can stand right there with the other two and any owner shouldn't feel less for it like it was some lesser system.



#20 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:44 PM

I've been on both sides of the fence with this one.  I had a US Duo back around 1997-05 roughly, a loss I never recovered, the last system I wish I hadn't lost but the market is crap now.  Back in the day I had access to a local shop in the area, a gamers dream by then and really massively by todays standards, the ultimate honeyhole of anything really from the NES/GB forward in larger numbers but had earlier too up to modern then.  Being coastal in an area wide open to easy imports his shop had a very healthy stack of loose US Hucards, complete in box ones, and then same in the CD and SCD realm for both the US and Japan.  I had it pretty good mixed with the stuff TTi -> TZD put up too as they cleared away things.
 
For starters your Japanese friends aren't very bright.  The TG16/PCE was never a fad, hell it kicked the shit out of Sega in the day and was a good battle for Nintendo well enough too in Japan so they were pretty misinformed.  While if you were to argue just the US market, we got screwed and hard, your next misinformed argument about NEC benig smart picking up nobodies under a rock is fairly wrong is hardly a truth looking at the PCE in particular.  While we got dumped on either direct or through a couple faux company names handing some/most the conversion work or at least the release you had the likes of Namco, Sega, Capcom, Konami, Taito, and others at least of note back in Japan too all placing quality titles from unique things to arcade and console conversions on the system.  We may have got crapped on unless we imported discs, but they didn't as the HuCard spread was impressive.
 
Like any system the quality was a range from crap to fantastic, no console is perfect or even a third perfect with what comes out.  The TG16 library was weak and you did name a few decent things, though Cross Weiber was JP only as far as I remember, but it did get some gems.  The true strength was the HuCard library if you got a converter or just bought any flavor of PC Engine.  And I have to question your sanity and tastes if you really feel the CD load times on the PC CD/Duo were so bad optical was the downfall of the hardware.  Not sure what you're thinking as it's not clear, as I think you'll be hard pressed to find someone whine consistently about bad loads, poorer games, or the rest of it.  I'm sure you'll want to argue or twist facts to talk about how bad it was, and how so many games were flaky, but the optical end of things sane people tend to find was a house of a lot of grade A wonderful titles.  If you were done around 93 you lost out on quite a good many good discs so maybe that's why you're making this nutty argument, misinformed and didn't care to visually (youtube and sites like video game den) really crack into it.
 
The TG16/PCE on either media holds up incredibly well. The system fits in this strange valley where it's not quite 8bit, not quite 16bit either by the books, a nice little hybrid.  A fairly good benchmark for it I guess would be the SF2 release as you can find many fan analysis on that one comparing the SNES, Gen and TG in a bundle.  Typically the TG falls anywhere from in the middle to the top in some ways of rating it.  The system despite its shortcomings could display a lot of sprites, a lot more colors on screen (than Genesis), had some high quality audio from the sound chip to the CD audio as well.  I'd argue it shows its age less than the Genesis does in quite a few ways, but not all, it's a mix in some respects.  The TG16 when you include the PCE better market isn't within question, it holds up very well.  Sure you can find some low grade garbage, but when you sift the drek away it can stand right there with the other two and any owner shouldn't feel less for it like it was some lesser system.


You are aware the first part was my friends opinion not mine right? I wasn't "misinformed" by my friends opinion as I didn't share theirs.

The only argument you brought up to really respond to is the TGCD, which another user in this thread also didn't like. I really have nothing to say here, you liked it and I didn't. Not sure what the insults are for.

We got varying opinions in the polls, and in the thread.

#21 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:46 PM

nah I dont care how many colors it can display on a static screen, the small sprites and the atari 2600 sound effects kill it for me, I dont care how much generic J-ROCK and 4 fps macromeida flash cut scenes the cd rom provides over its 256k-byte card games 

 

I am more forgiving if I forget its a "16 BIT MACHINE", its a really kick ass 8 bit machine (with 16 bit color palette) butttt


Edited by Osgeld, Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:47 PM.


#22 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:47 PM

I own a Duo-R (with Arcade card), a SuperGrafx and a PC-FX .... I love my Duo-R, the SuperGrafx was promising with twice the graphic chips & VRAM and 4 times the work memory but there were too few games to justify it (unclear why it was abandoned, maybe it costed too much to manufacture), the PC-FX is just a novelty.

 

And I agree the sound of the PCE is on the weak side.



#23 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:54 PM

NEC was bigger back then, so I always found it weird the TG16 was so behind in certain categories. Especially areas they specialized in.

I wonder if the TG16 was an experiment that happened to end up being a success? Like NEC seeing if putting out a console a bit above the famicom would produce results.

#24 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:59 PM

I own a Duo-R (with Arcade card), a SuperGrafx and a PC-FX .... I love my Duo-R, the SuperGrafx was promising with twice the graphic chips & VRAM and 4 times the work memory but there were too few games to justify it (unclear why it was abandoned, maybe it costed too much to manufacture), the PC-FX is just a novelty.
 
And I agree the sound of the PCE is on the weak side.


I do sometimes wonder to myself why the Super Grafx wasn't just made the standard PC Engine console after it was released. Too expensive, maybe? Limited foresight on NEC's part? Who knows.

#25 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:04 PM

I do sometimes wonder to myself why the Super Grafx wasn't just made the standard PC Engine console after it was released. Too expensive, maybe? Limited foresight on NEC's part? Who knows.

Yeah we'll never know. The extra gfx prowess and the introduction of HW parallax (2 FG and 2 BG layers [unsure how the mixer chip stacked the dual gfx output]) really would have helped in competing with the Genesis, albeit the CPU and Sound were a weak spot at that point, still ...






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