I can totally admit when I’m wrong.
Not long ago, I wrote a lighthearted post about mini consoles I’d like to see. The impetus of the post was the upcoming TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine Mini, which I stated, with some measure of certainty, that I probably would not be buying, because I already had most of the dozen or so games announced.
What I did not realize was that Konami had not yet dropped the full list of games to be included on the console. And now that a complete list of 50 games has come out, which will be 98% identical across all three releases of the console (TG16 in the US, PCE in Japan, and Core Grafx in Europe), I fully admit that I have done a 180-degree turnaround and will now totally be buying one. Pre-ordering, even!
Why? Because some extremely desirable titles will be on this machine — desirable enough to me, at least, to make it worth the $100 price tag.
Let’s take a look at some of the games on this thing that changed my mind:
Ginga Fukui Densetsu Sapphire
Are you kidding? A legit copy of this technically impressive, late-release Arcade CD shmup will set you back well over a hundred bucks, making it worth the purchase price of the Mini console all by itself. And I stress “legit” because there are plenty of counterfeits and repros floating around out there. Besides, I don’t have an Arcade Card for my Duo, so that would be an added expense. Anyway, it’s the top reason for my about-face on the Mini, but not the only one…
Dracula X: Rondo of Blood
Really, if there’s ONE title that’s gonna sell this thing to enthusiasts in the US, it’s this one. I do have it for the Duo (and its first official US release on the PSP), but it’s a game that, due to its desirability, you just kinda can’t have too many of.
Of course the Turbo/PCE library is lauded for its selection of STGs, and they will be well-represented on the Mini. Well-loved standbys like Super Star Soldier and R-Type and Air Zonk will be on it, but some other really interesting titles also caught my eye and contributed to my burning desire to make the Mini mine: Star Parodier, the Star Soldier parody; Gradius, Salamander, AND Gradius II, the last of which especially being a criminally under-represented game here in the States with only one official US release (again on PSP), as far as I’m aware; the aforementioned Sapphire; Aldynes, actually a SuperGrafx title; and Soldier Blade, the final of the three Star Soldier games for the console (despite the confusingly-named Final Soldier actually being the second one). So there will be plenty of stuff to blow up on the TG16 Mini.
Here’s the real kicker. The inclusion of Snatcher will mark only the second time EVER that this game will be made available in the US, the first being its mid-1990s release on SegaCD. Now this, along with many of these titles, will allegedly be kept in Japanese and not translated, which would make it somewhat useless to most American users. However, I have a gut feeling — and I may be wrong — that since the TG16 Mini is not coming out until March 2020 (nine months from this writing), that in that time, they’ll localize it. After all, the one game that’s different between the TG16 and PCE versions of the console is Tokimeki Memorial on PCE, which is being replaced by Salamander on the TG16. I can see why they wouldn’t put the effort into localizing TM, since the shmup would probably be more appealing to a US audience than the dating sim. But then why still include a text-heavy adventure like Snatcher if they’re not going to present it in English — especially when an official English script already exists? I predict that we’ll be seeing the second-ever official English release of Snatcher next year on this console. We’ll see how right or wrong I am next March. In the meantime, I’ll be pre-ordering the TurboGrafx-16 Mini, because if I do happen to be right about Snatcher, I am not gonna miss it.
Of course, I’m also excited about many of the other games that will be on the TG16 Mini, but these were the ones that pushed me over the edge and made the decision easy. So we’ll see you back here in March of next year, ready to shoot a LOT of spaceships and hopefully hunt down some Snatchers.