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When you think of classic consoles, the NES, Genesis, and SNES are probably the first three that you think of, but there’s another device that had some fantastic games. That other console, NEC’s Turbografx 16 actually had some games that not enough gamers enjoyed. It’s too bad really, because there are games on the console that span a range of genres, from platformers to shooters. No matter what you like to play, the system has games for you.
Back in the late eighties and early nineties, top-down space shooters were all the rage. Sure, plenty of these games existed early in the life of video games, but with the introduction of 16 bit consoles, the genre was able to really find its footing. On Turbografx 16, Blazing Lasers is one of the games that truly defined the console, both from a graphical and gameplay standpoint.
In spite of its age, Blazing Lazers is still fun to play today. The challenge of making your way through the action-packed levels is still there, and the art style actually holds up quite well. It’s vibrant, colorful, and just a fantastic game that any fan of the genre should play. Original copies sell for a little over $20 on eBay, and it’s also on Nintendo’s Virtual Console for $6.
I actually mentioned this game in an article about the best pinball games, and not only does it receive that distinction, but it’s also just a fantastic Turbografx 16 game overall. It takes a basic premise, which is pinball, and expands it into something so much greater. It does things that can’t be done on a real pinball machine, which is always cool. A true pinball sim is fun, but using the fact that it’s a video game to do some interesting things makes it even better.
Everything from the core gameplay to the visuals of this game are fantastic. Because it’s such a simple premise, it holds up very well even all these years later. Just like you can go back to a really old physical pinball machine, you can do the same with Devil’s Crush. Like many Turbografx 16 games, this one is on Virtual Console for $6, and copies on eBay usually go for $30.
Bonk is one of the main franchises on Turbografx 16. It’s a lot like Mario and Sonic are to Nintendo and Sega respectively. Like those games, it’s a platform game, but it features its own twists and innovations. Namely, the way in which you use Bonk’s giant caveman head to attack and jump. It’s a cool twist to the typical platforming genre, and it’s just a lot of fun.
Platformers are completely timeless. Bonk’s Adventure, and the rest of the games in the series, are all about the mechanics, so the fact that it looks a little dated does not hurt the enjoyment you can have with it. Couple that with the tweaks that it brings to the genre, and this series is certainly one that everyone should check out, especially if you are a fan of the genre. On Nintendo’s Virtual Console, you can snag this for $6, and the actual game sells for about $20.
This is an awesome side-scrolling beat ’em up that features some pretty over-the-top violence. Sadly, the Turbografx 16 version is toned down a bit from the arcade and Japanese release, but it’s still a ton of fun. The game sees the player attempting to rescue his girlfriend while smashing through various enemies that get in the way.
This is one of those games that was not overly popular when it came out, which is a shame, because it’s so good. The art style is beautiful, the game has silky-smooth mechanics, and it’s much more violent than most other games at the time, so it makes for a cool trip down memory lane to see what kinds of things people found shocking in the earlier days of gaming. Copies can be had from Nintendo’s Virtual Console for $6, and originals can be found on eBay for about $30.
The Turbografx 16 is a system that’s literally filled with hidden gems because, quite frankly, no one really bought the system when it released. As such, most of the great games that were released never actually got the respect and praise they deserved. With many of the games available through Nintendo’s Virtual Console for cheap, there’s plenty of fun to be had!
What Turbografx 16 games do you enjoy playing still? Hit the comments section below and let us know!
Image Credits: moparx Via Flickr