Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Here It Is: Chronturbo 5

As many of you have already noticed, the new Chronturbo is now up on Youtube and Archive. Youtube now has the ability to stream 60 fps for 720p videos, though if you want to download the original, not-reprocessed-by-Youtube, file, then Archive is still the place to go.

We have a big fat three CD-ROM games this time: two arcade ports and one original title from the folks who gave us Valis II.  As I mentioned earlier, Super Albatross, despite being a golf game, has a lot of similarities to Valis II. The other two CD games are Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, which is pretty straightforward port of the arcade game, and Juuouki AKA Altered Beast. This port of Altered Beast is pretty terrible -- the graphics are ugly and it controls are sluggish. However Hudson did add a semi-animated intro with sound and music. By semi-animated I mean that it simply uses pans and zooms of static artwork.

Wonder Boy

Tacking on a PC-Engine exclusive intro onto a port would be a pretty common tactic throughout the console's lifespan.  The unusual thing about the PC-Engine Altered Beast is that it was released on both CD-ROM and HuCard a week apart. The two versions are almost identical, except for the HuCard missing the intro and some voice/music samples. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another game that got released in both formats simultaneously.

Side Arms

We have several arcade ports this time, of games originally from Capcom, Namco, Jaleco and Data East. Side Arms and Ordyne are both horizontal shoot-em-ups. Bloody Wolf, probably the best game this episode, is a radically altered version of Data East's Mercs clone. F-1 Dream is an archaic-looking racing game which has been altered quite a bit as well. The biggest weaknesses of Side Arms and Bloody Wolf is that, despite having been originally designed for two players, only a single player mode is available on the PC Engine ports. Takeda Shingen is not the same game as Shingen the Ruler for the FC/NES, but is a horribly botched port of a beat-em-up from Jaleco.

Rock On

The rest are all original titles, most of which aren't very good. The most offensively terrible is Rock On, a bizarre and amateurishly made horizontal shooter from Big Club/Manjyudo. The last game we saw from these guys which a weird Space Harrier clone. Aside from being extremely dull, stealing one boss directly from R-Type, and having waaayy too many power-ups floating around, Rock On is notable for its utterly insane Engrish-y opening text scroll.

Deep Dungeons
Boring, pointless dungeon crawler. Only of interest to those to love to draw huge maps on graph paper. Excellent graphics/animation of moving through the dungeon, however.

Power League II

 Power League II
Sequel to Power League/World Class Baseball. Neither this nor any of the other Power League sequels got a US release. Standard baseball game.

Break In
This is actually a good billiards game with lots of game options, modes, etc.  It's from Naxat, so the graphics and music are pretty darned solid.

Maison Ikokku
A port of a MSX/FM7 adventure game based on the popular Rumiko Takahashi manga.  We encountered the Famicom version in an earlier episode of Chrontendo. Luckily the PC Engine port has a quality English translation available, so if you're interested in adventure games for this console, this is one of the very few English options.

Momotaro Dentetsu

Super Momotaro Dentetsu
A big game in Japan, I'm sure. Hudson moves it's popular railway board game to the PC Engine for the second entry in the series. Though in 2015 Nintendo got the last laugh, as it appears future entries the series will be published by them, due to the collapse of Konami.

Artist Tool
Not a real game, but instead an extremely basic drawing program. Three hardware accessories were available - a drawing tablet/stylus, a printer, and a scanner of some sort. The game and the accessories are somewhat rare and expensive now.

We are going to switch over to the Famicom/NES next, but when we do return to the PC Engine,  we'll reach up to early December 1989, and get to see some mahjong games, a golf game, and one of the ever-popular business simulation games.

In the very near future, though, we'll have a small update to the Video Nasties series on the Dr. Sparkle After Dark channel.


nitro322 said...

Thanks, Dr. S. Always look forward to the chron* videos. Glad you're still able to find time to produce them.

Zeloz Mk.II said...

Not sure if you've picked this up during your research, but apparently Super Albatross might be a "sequel" of sorts to their 1986 Albatross game on Japanese PCs:

The game looks to be a bog-standard golf sim, but it's interesting that they'd even revisit such an old game, a golf game no less, for the Turbo-CD.

Raffa said...

Thanks Doctor, been looking forward to the descending of the next Chron.* ^_^

Chris Sobieniak said...

What makes "Ordyne" also interesting is that the west never saw the arcade game at all, leaving this to be the only port of the game America ever saw until the later Namco Museum release for the Playstation 1. It certainly would've been nice had the arcade original found it's way here anyway. Of some note, the US cover was modified to remove a bit of non-PC trappings. The red-haired protagonist is given brown hair and his Chinese assistant is drawn like some Macaulay Culkin lookalike.

In "Maison Ikkoku", I'm sure the photograph you were trying to look for was of Kyoko's dead husband, who's first name was also given to her white dog (Mr. Soichiro). Also, it's pronounced "LAM" not "LOOM", just so you know, a little nitpick but I've followed up on Rumiko Takahashi's works for too long.

Unknown said...


Seth said...

"Plays like Metroid on codeine cough syrup" from episode 23. Really enjoying your series im working my way through the entire collection. Thanks for the good work.

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