Memories of PC Engine Past

18 02 2012

As I’ve said before, I got into video games with the TurboGrafx, known as the PC Engine in Japan.  Because the system wasn’t popular in America it died quickly, leaving gamers high and dry.  Luckily, the PC Engine continued to thrive in Japan and even more luckily American machines could play Japanese games.  I used to go to a little independent game store that carried new and used imported games.  That’s where I got my PC Engine fix; but unless you knew to ask them if they could get a specific title, you selection was regulated to the fancy of the guy who did the ordering.   It was really difficult to get information on what was available for the machine, the internet like we have now didn’t exist back then.  So we had to rely on what little information trickled through magazines, such as GameFan, or we had to import video game magazines from Japan, which is what I did.  There were two different magazines I would read, PC Engine Fan and Dengeki PC Engine.  I didn’t make a distinction between the two, they both gave me the information I craved, and they both cost the same: $16.

Somewhere along the way between then and now, I got rid of all my PC Engine magazines.  That’s something I really regret now because I really do like learning about the history of the system and it’s games; plus, old individual copies of those two $16 magazines now cost $25 each, when you can find them.  Ouch.  That’s why I was so pleased to have won this on Yahoo! Auctions for only ¥500 ($6.30).

 

 

What’s really cool for me is that back in May of 1996, I had this issue.  Bought it brand new for $16.  Fast forward to now to when this magazine arrived in the mail last week, it was like I had just looked at it yesterday.  The gap of 16 years was closed in an instant.  So let’s take a look inside Dengeki PC Engine from May, 1996, and I’ll share some memories with you.  As always, you can click on the individual images to enlarge them.

 

List of most wanted games. Classmates 2 is in the #1 spot, followed by Megami Paradise II, Blue Breaker, Tengai Makyo III Namida, Dragon Knight 4, etc. It's interesting to note that the number 7 game was never released.

Ad for the adult-oriented overhead shooter Steam Heart's for the PC Engine.

Classmates 2 for the PC-FX is the featured game of the month.

Super Real Mahjong Part 5 FX was also heavily featured. I didn't remember the magazine having so much nudity in it, but it's all over this issue. Must be why I liked it.

There's also a feature on Puyo Puyo Tsu CD, one of the last games released for the PC Engine. It's quite expensive now.

There's a lovely 4 page spread for Steam Heart's, a game I bought new when it was released. Fond memories of that one, and although it's considered an adult title, the only really adult thing about it is what's said in-between levels.

I tried to import Virgin Dream when it came out, but no one could get it for me. I had to wait 15 years until I found a copy in Japan. Let me tell you, it was totally worth it- Virgin Dream is one of the best SLG on the PC Engine. I think this was the write up that made me want the game.

This is talking about a recently announced game, Tyoushin Heiki Zeroigar. It was the only shooter released for the PCFX. Note that for all the FX coverage, the pictures show are from the cut scenes, not screenshots of the actual gameplay. That's usually a bad sign.

Here are the first pictures of Minimum Nanonic, a game that ended up being mostly voice and pictures.

Here's the tips and tricks section. I like the fact that they paid readers for new game tricks. There's a heavy emphasis on Tokimeki Card Paradise here, an adult poker game for the PC-FX.

Finally, here's what you could send in to win. The top prize is an electronic dictionary... whee!

 

This issue of Dengeki PC Engine gives a nice window into the end of the PC Engine era and the beginning of the PC-FX era, which was essentially stillborn.  There was so little content being released at this time that half of the magazine focuses on what’s coming out in arcades, as well as what’s hot on the Sega Saturn.  It’s pretty sad when you get to that point that a magazine that focuses on a specific system starts nudging people over to a competing machine.  The reason, of course, was that this issue is the last issue of Dengeki PC Engine.


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