|The classic white Engine is the most appealing one...|
|Puts my £40 into perspective!|
I could only afford to take a single game with my shiny new machine at the time of purchase but I still had my list, and I was immensely satisfied to be able to tick some of the titles off over the next few years, albeit rather slowly! For the first time since the early 90's, however, I've returned to the first few titles I experienced for NEC's magnificent little white box to relive some great gaming memories...
Twin Cobra (1989)
Fantasy Zone (1988)
Chan & Chan (1987)
Dragon Spirit (1989)
The PC Engine was a hugely desirable console when it was launched but the reality was a little different. Owning it was great and made me feel like a genuine 'hardcore gamer' but it wasn't easy to build my library of games. It was actually to me what being a Neo Geo collector is like today - some of the earliest/most popular games are easy and cheap to get hold of but most of the titles worth having were either uncommon, expensive, or both. It's no longer the case with the Engine of course - it's a reasonably affordable machine to collect for these days but back then I had little choice but to stick to the five games listed above.
I did manage to add a few titles such as Dungeon Explorer (a game C&VG raved about and called a superb Gauntlet clone, although it actually turned out to be an action RPG with tonnes of Japanese text - thanks for that, C&VG!) and my good friend Luke donated a handful of loose HuCards as well, including the spiffing Galaga '88, and my Engine gaming days were happy ones. How could they not be? It was a technical marvel really - one of the first pictures of it we saw in the UK was in C&VG which showed it next to a packet of Skips crisps which made it very small (less than a foot square in fact) but it sure packed a whallop! Many games on it matched their MegaDrive counterparts despite Sega's machine packing a 16-bit CPU next to the Engine's 8-bit one, and it also had the benefit of some of Japan's finest developers working on it, sometimes exclusively (such as its designer, Hudson Soft).
I don't really know how the Engine was viewed in other countries but I'm confident that if you speak to any gamers who grew up around the time I did here in the UK, no console would've captured their imagination quite like the PC Engine.