Translation = Love Super Big Brother. This game is one BIZARRE shooter. It's jam-packed full of ambiguously gay muscle men. You control a muscle guy who shoots a ball of energy when he flexes his biceps. His second attack (which is executed by a short button sequence) has him tossing faerie dust at the enemy. As you can see with the screen shots the enemies are made up mostly of muscle men. This game is just so hilarious. The soundtrack is pretty good, too.
This shooter is a spin-off of the Bonk's series. It's another one of those “silly shooters” like Parodius. There's a handful of nifty little weapon upgrades that you pick up. Before each stage, you get to choose a “friend”. These things come to your aid during a stage whenever you touch a giant evil happy face. If you touch another giant evil happy face then you combine with your friend to turn temporarily invincible and be shooting a special weapon (themed to the friend) at the same time. This is the most cartoony TurboGrafx16 game I've played so far! It's pretty good.
This is the best Bomberman game the TurboGrafx16 has to offer! I even did research to verify that. You pick up the usual assortment of Bomberman features such as the bigger flames, multiple bombs, kick bombs, manual detonation, and more. The stages start out simple, then become more elaborate and bigger as you progress into the game.
This is a fun puzzle that plays like Magic Drop and Columns. The difference here is that you occasionally get bombs mixed with your colored heads. When a red bomb comes down you can ignite the bombs and clear out maybe 10-50% of the colored heads. Sometimes a really big bomb comes down, and that baby can clear out nearly everything! It's a cute game with all the funny little characters and bright, colorful graphics. The CD soundtrack is cool.
Bonk is the “Mario” of the TurboGrafx16. You might have remembered him from the advertisements for the TurboGrafx16. Bonk bashes away enemies with his trusty super thick skull. With his teeth he can grab onto walls. He can pick up various meats which grant him stronger attacks and a meaner face. There are little mini games scattered throughout the game. It's a fun, easy game.
This sequel has better graphics and music than its predecessors. And there are some new features! There's a power-up item that makes Bonk a giant or another to shrink him down to the size of a mouse. Sometimes you need to be really big or really small to pass through certain parts of stages. They deter from the prehistoric theme further by having Bonk venture through warehouses and Egyptian temples, and fight robots.
I LOVE CADASH!! It's a very traditional fantasy adventure with swords, sorcery, mythical creatures, and dragons. You get to choose one of four characters: a swordsman (called the fighter), a mage, a priest, or a ninja. The fighter slashes away with his sword and has the highest defense. The mage has a collection of eight attack magic spells (starts out with one but learns the rest as he gains levels). The priest is my favorite! She has healing spells and her mace extends like a whip. The ninja has a long range attack (ninja stars). The game has some elements of an RPG; this could be considered action/RPG. Cadash is actually a port of an arcade game. Another port was released on the Genesis (which is covered in the Genesis section). Although at first glance the Genesis version looks like a more loyal port, the TurboGrafx16 version was put together better so most people tend to prefer it. The brighter Crayola-esk color scheme that they added actually works well for it. Cadash is a very, very good game. I would say this is my most favorite TurboGrafx16 game.
This is considered the best game on the TurboGrafx16! Well, that's probably not a fair statement because this is also the only TurboGrafx16 game many people have cared to play. Dracula X has had an interesting history. It was never officially released outside of Japan. Given that the Castlevania series grew to become so wildly popular, devote fans aggressively sought out this game. It would go for hundreds of dollars on eBay. Fortunately we can play the original via emulation. So what's this game like and why is it so godly? It has incredible graphics and music - so incredible it's close to PlayStation 1 quality. To play a game like this in 1993 was a dream. Not only can your character pick up the usual assortment of special weapons, but he can also execute a super attack. For example if you're holding the crucifix, its super attack summons gigantic crosses that shoot up from the ground. The game gets really fun when you recruit Maria in the second stage. She becomes an optional playable character. She's kind of a cheat character because her weapons and double jump make the game easier. Dracula X set a standard in quality that inspired future Castlevania games to come. It's an excellent game that has been played to death by many. The download of Castlevania Dracula X that I offer here is pre-patched with the fan-made English patch that fully translates the game.
This is a shooter with a cute little witch and her fairy sidekick. Between stages are cute little animated sequences illustrating the witch's quest for candy. The strength of your magical blasts upgrade as you can experience. Your special (limited) super weapons include a giant bolt of lightning and a fire dragon. The stage 1 song is awesome!! It's my favorite song from any TG16-CD game. Anyway, Cotton Fantastic Night Dreams is pretty much your basic TG16-CD shooter; nothing all that spectacular about it. You'll like it if you're into silly shooters like Parodius.
Twinbee is Konami's kid friendly shooter series. It has cute, fun graphics. The music is funky. It has a unique weapon system. When you attack clouds a bell comes out. When you attack the bell as it falls down to you, it changes color. Depending on the color determines what weapon upgrade you obtain. If you like this game you should also check out Pop N' Twinbee on SNES.
This is a very cool pinball game!! Normally I'm not a fan of pinball games, but Devil's Crush is just that cool. You're battling monsters, demons, and even Satanists with your pinball! This game was so good it was ported over to the Genesis as Devil Crash.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE GAMES! I fell in love with the NES version of this game. I never owned a TurboGrafx16 (nor knew someone who did) so I was completely unaware that a version with much better graphics/music was available. Heck, I wasn't even aware Dragon Spirit was actually a port of an arcade game. As a fan of fantasy, to have a vertical shooter with dragons was right up my alley. The weapon system (or 'fire system') of this game offers a fun variety of gameplay. As you obtain upgrades your dragon obtains new heads! The strength of your flame upgrades from red pellets to thick laser-like bursts. The graphics are gorgeous. The stages are very creative, with cool bosses that fit well to the stage's theme. The soundtrack is incredible. Although I think the soundtrack of the NES version is better. I think the reason why is because the simplicity of NES music makes this soundtrack sound 'bolder'. The enhanced sound driver of the TurboGrafx16 makes this soundtrack more elaborate, but it just doesn't stand out as much.
I was amazed enough to stumble upon the TurboGrafx16 version of Dragon Spirit. I nearly fainted to find out it had a SEQUEL! The fire upgrade system had improved and even has a new feature. If you wait a short moment, your fire charges up for a powerful blast when you attack. These charged up attacks are upgraded as you upgrade your fire. The strongest charge attack takes the form of a large dragon made of blue flame! (as shown in the screens) HOW COOL IS THAT?! It's hard to say if this sequel is better since the original is a childhood favorite. It's a very good shooter.
It's like classic Gauntlet but on steroids! Choose from a Fighter, Thief, Warlock, Witch, Bard, Bishop, Elf and Gnome - all of whom have projectile attacks. You adventure through various dungeons, each with a boss at the end. Defeating the boss is the only way to gain a level. I like how the game is dark and murky. That soundtrack ain't too shabby either.
Even better than the first! The intro of this game is a treat with long, awesome cinematic sequences that explain the story in detail. You can choose from a Fighter, Thief, Wizard, Cleric, Bard, Hunter, Dwarf, and Elf. Partway through the game you can also upgrade them to a more powerful class (Fighter becomes a Knight, Thief becomes a Rogue, etc.) There are more hidden playable characters, bringing the total roster to 16. These include a Witch, Monk, Princess, Robot, Engineer, and Beast! The graphics improved big-time. The dungeons, traps, enemies, and bosses are more creative and elaborate. The CD soundtrack is excellent. It's much longer the first game, too. I recommend this game!
If you're a fan of Bionic Commando then this game is right up your alley! This girl has a bionic chain whip thing. She can latch onto anything, swing around, and climb onto higher platforms - just like in Bionic Commando. The difference here (besides controlling a cute female knight in pink armor) is that you pick up special weapons that attack in a variety of magical ways. The CD soundtrack is nice and relaxing. The animated cut scenes between stages are simple enough to understand without knowing Japanese.
This is a port of an arcade game. It's a fun platformer/shooter type game. Your little guy shoots magical blasts. You can pick up special items to upgrade your blasts. Jumping on enemies stun them. It's a fun game if you're in the mood for arcade style action.
Gradius games are really fun. You collect power-ups like any other shooter, but you get to choose the weapons you want. The bottom of the screen shows you all the weapons and weapon upgrades you can power up to. As you upgrade your weapons you obtain up to four glowing orbs that follow you around, shooting with the same weapons and missiles as you are. You should also check out Gradius III on the SNES.
With ports like this you expect a watered down game. What makes this version special is that they remixed the soundtrack for the PC Engine's CD capabilities. So the soundtrack is actually better than the original arcade version! There are also animated between stages. It's all in Japanese, but it's visual enough for you to get an idea what's going on.
This is an FMV game released for the Amiga and PC computers, then later ported over to the TurboGrafx16-CD. The game takes place in the 1950s, in a small town lost somewhere in the most desolate areas of California. Your goal is to fight the giant insects and also to convince the townspeople of the danger they are in. Time is against you - you only have 8 days to achieve this goal! What's cool about this game is that the FMV sequences are pretty extensive. They consist of the townspeople fleshing out the story. Actual gameplay comes in with 3 different types of modes: a side-scrolling shooter through caves, Duck Hunt style target shooting, and battling ants on an overworld map. It can get repetitive, but the FMV movies keep things interesting. This was the only FMV adventure released in NA for the TurboGrafx16-CD. The system didn't have a chance against the Sega CD. Also, It Came From The Desert has a cool but incredibly difficult Genesis game.
I have a weakness for fantasy themed shooters. There are 7 unique (and long) stages, each with a theme such as earth, fire, wind, and water. And you get to choose which one you want to tackle! You get to choose different suites of armor; each have weapons focusing on a specific element (i.e. fire, water, wind). You collect money so you can buy various upgrades and shields between stages. What's incredible about this game are the graphics and the aggressive creativity. Each stage is unique adventure. I can't stress to you enough the amazing amount of detail they put into this game! It's incredibly fun with the surprises and variety they throw at you. For example, some stages scroll in different directions, sometimes backgrounds change, sometimes sub bosses come at you without warning. It's obvious a great deal of love was poured into the creation of this game. It was also released on the Sega CD.
This game is so cute! It's a bite off of Cotton, though. Like Cotton, you control a witch on a flying broom. The only items you pick up are coins. You can use the coins to purchase upgrades at the stores you come across during stages. There are two stars that hover around you wherever you go that act as shields. You can have the stars in a fixed position or have them move around to whatever direction you're going. These stars make a fun gameplay system. The music is good, too. I really enjoyed this game.
Nintendo has “Advance Wars”, and the TurboGrafx16 has Military Madness! I don't know if you've played Advance Wars, but this game is very similar to it. It's more like a puzzle rather than a strategy game. You're given a fixed amount of troops and you need to think of a good strategy to use them to defeat the enemy army. You win when you take the enemy base. In later stages there are factories where you can bring out more troops or restore HP to troops. You can take enemy factories, and the enemy can take yours! Be careful, any troops you left in a factory when an enemy takes it becomes theirs. I find this to be a strangely addicting game.
NINJA SPIRIT IS AWESOME. This is definitely a favorite. Your ninja starts the game with several different types of weapons in his arsenal. Each weapon can be upgraded as you pick up items. My favorite weapon is the sword! The coolest part of Ninja Spirit are the invincible shadow clones that follow you around and do exactly what you're doing. This 'clone system' allows an interesting variety of gameplay because they stick to the previous area you were standing. When using the clones strategically you can really give your enemies a good pounding. The graphics, of course, are amazing. This is an excellent game!
R-Type has a really fun weapon system. You pick up a variety of cool weapons. You obtain this invincible orb that protects the front of your ship. You can send it off to help you attack enemies from a distance. It's a great game. You should also check out Super R-Type for SNES.
Sapphire is probably the most popular shooter on the TurboGrafx16. It goes for hundreds on eBay! Why is it so good? To begin with, the graphics and animation are stunning. Sapphire has THE BEST graphics I've seen on the TurboGrafx16. Like Donkey Kong and Super Mario RPG, it heavily utilizes pre-rendered 3D for the graphics. The soundtrack is awesome! It's so good I still casually listen to a few of its tracks in my gaming playlist on my phone. The weapon system is diverse and fun. You get to choose one of four ships, each equipped with their own unique weapons and cute anime girl as the pilot. Sapphire is an excellent game and I highly recommend it!
Schbibinman 3: Ikai no Princess (“Princess of Another World”) takes place some time after Schbibinman 2 (“ShockMan” in NA, which I cover below). It's not Mega Man-ish like Schbibinman 2/ShockMan. They brought back the sword from Schbibinman 1. A fun new feature is at some points you can ride & control enemy robots. Part 3 is as good as Part 2, just with better graphics and a CD quality soundtrack.
The Splatterhouse series is one of the first games to have lots of blood and gore. It's a good thing that the TurboGrafx16 bombed in North America. Otherwise concerned parents would've noticed this game and sued. Anyway, Splatterhouse is your basic attack/jump game. That's pretty much all you do. It can get repetitive after a while. However what makes Splatterhouse appealing are the dark, creepy stages. The eerie soundtrack adds to the dark mood nicely. This game was good enough to gain two sequels: Splatterhouse 2 and Splatterhouse 3 - both of which were released on the Genesis (which I have covered in the Genesis section).
Another very awesome shooter. It's almost as good as Sapphire. There's tons of different weapons you can pick up, which can be upgraded to even better, cooler weapons through power-ups. The weapons upgrade to some pretty big blasts, which makes Spriggan easier than Sapphire. You even pick up protective orbs that rotate around you and swallow enemy bullets, making the game even easier.
To begin with, why am I listing these games together with “Star Soldier”? I wanted to keep them together because they're a series with each title having a different name. So Blazing lasers is part 1 of the most respected vertical shooter series on the TurboGrafx16/PC Engine. This game is longer than your average shooter. With the simple graphics, stages do get a bit repetitive after a while. Weapon power-ups are constantly being tossed at you by enemies. It's a unique weapon system. There are several different types of power-ups and several different weapon upgrades, creating many possible weapon combinations. You can get weapons such as electricity blasts, lasers that spin around in crazy directions, missiles, rotating spheres, assisting orbs that help you shoot the enemy, and more. My only complaint is the tacky music. Fortunately the music gets (much) better in the sequels.
This game isn't very different from Super Star Soldier. I think Super Star Soldier has slightly better graphics. What makes Final Soldier stand out are two significant features, offered at the title screen. The first feature is a weapons setup screen where you can customize the style of your weapons (when you pick them up during stages). The second feature is the ability to choose quick (and hard) games. There's a 2 minute game and 5 minute game.
SOLDIER BLADE IS AMAZING!! This is my favorite TurboGrafx16 shooter! The graphics push the TurboGrafx16 to its limit! After making 3 predecessors, the weapon system has been refined to perfection. There are three types of weapons: a green wave, red bullets, and electricity. Each have a couple upgrades and each have their own super attack. If you use the super attack then you loose that weapon. You can hold up to 2 back-up weapons which automatically activate when you lose your main weapon. Getting hit also results in losing your main weapon. This system works very well to make a smooth and entertaining gaming experience. Plus there's a little mecha that follows you around and helps you fight.
The Strider arcade game had been ported to many systems (I have Strider on Genesis covered). In terms of the 8-bit/16-bit era, probably the best port was this one. They added cool animated sequences and voice dialogue. It's all in Japanese but at least you have a general idea of what's going on. Strider is a very awesome game! It's up there with Dracula X as one of the best platformers on the system. For the time it was quite innovative. The bosses are large and fully animated. Strider's movement feels so fluid since he can move in any direction, even run up hills in diagonal angles. For this release they added an exclusive second stage (a desert camp level). Plus the CD soundtrack is awesome.
I have a weakness for 'magical' shooters that are like Cotton. As the name suggests, in Sylphia you control a sylph. It actually plays a lot like Cotton, just with better graphics and more effective weapons. And what's cool about the weapons (or rather, your magic) is that they follow nature by offering 4 different types: earth, fire, wind and water. The CD soundtrack is ok; they could've done better.
I don't remember where but I remember back in the day seeing the Legendary Axe games being advertised a lot. This is a fun arcade style platformer. Your axe charges up for a stronger attack when you're idle. As you progress into the game your axe levels up to be able to charge longer for stronger attacks.
Valis is one of those hidden gem type games. It's not for everyone, but the people who do like it love it. It has a charm to it. The art style is traditional of the late 80s anime style. You control a female swordsman wearing a school uniform - the stereotype of a popular anime heroine. You gain various special weapons during stages. Between stages are cool anime cut scenes.
This sequel offers better graphics and a more in-depth story. Your weapon charges when idle for a stronger attack. The best new feature is the ability to choose between two other playable characters. The second playable character has a whip and she can temporary stun enemies. You can even jump on a stunned enemy as a platform! The third playable character is a sorceress type with a magic staff. The soundtrack is good, but devote Valis fans say Valis 2's soundtrack is better.
What a bummer that Valis 4 never left Japan. The graphics are close to SNES quality since it was made for the Super CD2. This time you have super attacks that damage all enemies on the screen. You have two new playable characters: a girl that shooters a boomerang type weapon and a demon overlord that shoots blue fire dragon heads. The stages are more elaborate and not so strictly linear. It's a cool game.
Sandwiched between each battle map are animated sequences illustrating the developing story of the war. You start each map with a handful of mechs and a salary. Use your funds wisely to build up your army. There's a variety of mech models you can choose from. Each one has their strengths and weaknesses. When you encounter an enemy unit on the map you enter a real-time battle sequence. These real-time battles can be difficult; they're easier if you make use of hiding behind objects on the battlefield. Your main goal of the map is to capture all of the enemy factories (there's no main base). The only thing I hate about Vasteel is the background song. It's like elevator music. At least, the music during an enemy encounter is cool.