Saturday, October 1, 2022

System Review: TurboGrafx-16 Mini/PC Engine Mini

Hudson Soft, the designer of the TurboGrafx-16, became a wholly owned subsidiary of Konami in 2011. Hudson Soft ceased to exist in 2012, but its projects live on. With the success of miniature consoles from Nintendo, Sega, and Sony. Konami gave the TurboGrafx-16 a miniature update with the TurboGrafx-16 mini.

The miniature console is named the TurboGrafx-16 Mini in North America, PC Engine Mini in Japan, and PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini in Europe and Oceania. Konami went with M2 for the emulation, which was the same company that handled the Sega Genesis Mini. The emulator is not just for the TurboGrafx-16 console, but also the Super CD-ROM² and Arcade CD-ROM² add-ons, as well as the short-lived SuperGrafx. The emulation in this console is very accurate, which has always been a major strength of M2. 

The system runs on a Zuiki Z7213 system on a chip with a 1.3 GHz quad-Core Cortex-A7 central processing unit, a 500 megahertz dual-core Mali-400 ARM graphics processing unit, 256 megabytes of random access memory, and 4 gigabytes of flash storage.

The system comes with one two-button controller. The Japanese version contains fifty-eight games, while the international versions contain fifty-seven. This console has some of the best games of the 16-bit generation and is easily the miniature console that packs the best games in its library. It is truly quality over quantity, although the international versions have a lot of games that are still in Japanese.

The fifty-seven games in the international versions include Air Zonk, Aldynes: The Mission Code for Rage Crisis, Alien Crush, Alright! Gateball, Blazing Lazers, Bomberman '93, Bomberman '94, Bomberman: Panic Bomber, Bonk's Adventure, Bonk's Revenge, Cadash, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Chew Man Fu, China Warrior, Cho Aniki, Dragon Spirit, Dungeon Explorer, Evil Sword Necromancer, Fantasy Zone, Galaga '88, The Genji and the Heike Clans, Great Demon World Village, Galaxy Police Legend Sapphire, Gradius, Gradius II: Gofer's Ambition, J.J. & Jeff, The Legend of Valkyrie, Lords of Thunder, Military Madness, Moto Roader, Neutopia, Neutopia II, New Adventure Island, Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Spirit, Parasol Stars, Power Golf, Psychosis, R-Type, Salamander, Spirit Warriors Spriggan, Snatcher, Soldier Blade, Space Harrier, Splatterhouse, Spriggan Mark 2: Re-Terraform Project, Star Parodier, Super Darius, Super MomotarĊ Electric Railway II, Super Star Soldier, Victory Run, and Ys Book I & II.

The Japanese version contains the same game list except for Salamander and with the addition of Far East of Eden II: Manji Maru and Heartthrob Memorial.

As with the other mini consoles, I’ll be looking in-depth at the above games in the future, and the links will be updated accordingly. This console has finally put the TurboGrafx at the top of the heap. The emulation is excellent and the console is packed with great games.  I recommend the Japanese version as the two exclusive games are excellent and the arcade version of Salamander is now available through Hamster's Arcade Archives. If you modify your console to accept other games, you will get the most out of your console because a lot of these Japanese games have unofficial English fan patches.

Note: The USB wall plug is not included. Make sure you use one that is 5 volts, 2 amps (2000 mA). There have been reports of the system bricking itself if the wrong plug is used. 

Final Verdict:
5 out of 5

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