The TurboGrafx-16

This was a real underdog of a system. I remember seeing advertisements for it back in 1989, and what I saw and heard was amazing. The TG to me was always un unattainable goal. It was too expensive for me to afford, and it just seemed more than I could handle. It was in direct competition with the NES and the Genesis at the time, and its fate was sealed by the beginning of 1991. The Genesis had already scored the third-party licenses despite the fact that the PCE (TG) far outsold the Genesis in Japan. The real fault with the demise of the Turbo lay with NEC. They simply were inept at marketing and packaging. Hudson was the primary supplier of games, and the licensees simply didn't want to anger Nintendo by making games for a competing system. To add insult to injury, the Turbo lost a lot of street cred with its "not really a 16-bit system" label.

By 1991, the Turbo's price had dropped enough that I could afford it and a couple of games. It really is a great little system with some fun games. One of the first TG games that I bought was Devil's Crush, a video pinball game unequaled to this day. Even the music was spectacular; the Genesis conversion of Devil's Crush had music which couldn't compare to the Turbo version. In 1992 came my investment in the CD-ROM attachment for the Turbo, and then the Super System Card. These attachments blew the other systems out of the water in terms of music quality and game depth. In 1993, Konami of Japan made a game for the CD system called Dracula (Castlevania) X, now famous even in non-Turbo circles. Dracula X is a showcase of what the Turbo can do. Another showcase game is Street Fighter II for the PC-Engine. Although the music is not as good as other versions, the graphics are almost arcade-perfect, definitely better than the Genesis version, and arguably better than the SNES version.

But the purpose of the TG is not to show it off, it's to play games on it. In my opinion, the TurboGrafx is a step between the NES and 16-bit systems. It has graphics far better than the NES, but it's not like some other 16-bit plaforms that are overrun with arcade conversions and sports games. Although it isn't overall better than the NES in terms of fun games, the TG's games are more involving than Genesis games.