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You Say TurboGrafx, I Say CoreGrafx (Let’s Call The Whole Mini Console Thing Off)

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
So I finally managed to get my hands on one of these Mini CoreGrafx things (TurboGrafx 16 Mini to you, Americans, and PC Engine Mini for you Japanese). The TG16 is the one console I never saw in the wild, so besides a few games in the WiiVC I had never interacted with its library, so I was really curious,

First, I must say I’m impressed with the system menu. The card being inserted when you choose a game feels like a silly detail but that’s how you can tell this thing was made with love. The controller is also not the abomination that was the original NES mini controller, so kudos,

So far I’m liking what I’ve played. In particular Guardian Legend looks like the game my inner child ever wanted to play (melee and air combat, with a stage and vehicle select? Yes, please). Dracula X is still fun even in Japanese. Karate is still a very bad game in a way that makes it good now that it comes free with other 31 games.

The one I’ve spent the most time is, of course, Ninja Gaiden, because it’s me. I like comparing the localization and graphical style with its NES counterpart. And while it does look a lot nicer, it has so much detail it makes it hard to tell sometimes what is climbable and what isn't, so I'm playing mostly by muscle memory (and almost died at the first boss as you can't duck his sword in this version, and the swirl doesn't kill him in one hit). I'm interested in the sordid licensing history of this game, because I wanna know the reason why it doesn't have the amazing NES music, and it suffers a lot for it. Even the act opening jingle is different while attempting to remain familiar without triggering a trademark dispute.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
The PC Engine mini (just to make it even more confusing) is a very good mini console with some cracking games. When I inevitably hack it I think I only have about 5 games I feel it's really missing, which shows what an incredible selection it has.
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)
I really love the TG16 Mini. I will be returning to many of its shooters next month.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
The arms race in mini consoles is a thing to behold. Sega or Nintendo's next mini console has a very high expected level of quality now.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
You never know, it might be brilliant. I'll report back in a month or so, I've ordered two!

The worst thing about the PC Engine mini is where's Bonk 3?
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
With my limited TG16 experience, I remember Galaga '90 being great and wanting to check out Neutopia 1 and 2.
 

Eusis

Obsessive girl
(she/her, they/them)
Yeah, the mini PCE is the mini console I spent the most time on with the games it actually included. A lot of them are new and novel to me, and the controller one I’ve only touched at kiosks.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I really dig my TG-16 mini as well. So far, Soldier Blade is the game that really floored me - I knew the system had good shooters, but this one was spectacular.
 

LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
I could not be more disappointed with how the TurboGrafx-16 mini was handled, release-wise.

Still bums me out.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
So far I’m liking what I’ve played. In particular Guardian Legend looks like the game my inner child ever wanted to play (melee and air combat, with a stage and vehicle select? Yes, please).

I'm trying to figure out what game you actually mean here, because Guardian Legend is an NES game that doesn't fit this description...
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)
Konami is for striking an exclusivity deal with Amazon to release the TG-16 Mini in all its variants, but seemingly skipped over Canada. COVID had an impact on production numbers and it delayed the release a few months, but it's ultimately on the publisher/distributor for ignoring certain markets.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Still the only micro console I've gotten, partly because I love the library and partly because I have a feeling my actual PCE (particularly the CD drive) will eventually crap out, even though it's refurbished. I've been considering which of the shooters I want to sit down and really learn. Soldier Blade is a great option but I'm leaning toward Blazing Lazers.

I think I said this on old TT, but really the only things I wish were on the console are The Legendary Axe and Gate of Thunder. It's just such a great mix of games and genres.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Yes, that's the one. got my wires crossed somehow.

Ah, that makes sense.

Still the only micro console I've gotten, partly because I love the library and partly because I have a feeling my actual PCE (particularly the CD drive) will eventually crap out, even though it's refurbished. I've been considering which of the shooters I want to sit down and really learn. Soldier Blade is a great option but I'm leaning toward Blazing Lazers.

I think I said this on old TT, but really the only things I wish were on the console are The Legendary Axe and Gate of Thunder. It's just such a great mix of games and genres.

FWIW, Lazers is easier, but I think Soldier Blade is probably better.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Let's not call this mini console thing off

we need to go deeper



With a Game Boy Advance for scale
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
My eyesight is fairly impressive! It's not too bad, but the game I have most problem with so far is Gunstar Heroes - the font in that is really skinny so reading your health bar in the heat of battle is incredibly difficult. It's an absolutely astonishing technical feat, the Game Gear port, so it's worth the effort.
 
I highly recommend Dungeon Explorer if you have a local friend to play with. (Aside to Voncaster. Order a second controller so you can play Dungeon Explorer the way it was meant to be played).

Dungeon Explorer is my favorite Gauntlet-like. Also the music is excellent. I think this game is a true hidden gem.

I've only played the TG-16 version. Does the CD version have 4 players!?!
 

LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
My eyesight is fairly impressive! It's not too bad, but the game I have most problem with so far is Gunstar Heroes - the font in that is really skinny so reading your health bar in the heat of battle is incredibly difficult. It's an absolutely astonishing technical feat, the Game Gear port, so it's worth the effort.

Should have gotten all four so you could get the magnifier.

Sega have teased a Dreamcast Mini

I want a Saturn first though 😞


Everyone talking about this lately is ignoring that they also expressed interest in an SG-1000 Mini -- aka a Master System Mini, which I find as appealing as the Dreamcast one.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Everyone talking about this lately is ignoring that they also expressed interest in an SG-1000 Mini -- aka a Master System Mini, which I find as appealing as the Dreamcast one.

An SG-1000 isn't a Master System unfortunately, that was the Mark III. It was however Sega's first console so I think what they were saying was it could be anything from that to Dreamcast. As the Saturn requires some decent beef to emulate and nobody outside of Japan touched a Mark I or II I guess that means Master System or Dreamcast.
 
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