Sunday, 1 December 2013

Top Five Systems I Want

I've been rather fortunate over the years as far as gaming is concerned. I've always had my preferences and allegiances but I've still owned most systems at one time or another, and still do in many cases. However, there were always going to be a few exceptions - in some cases simply because I didn't want the systems in question, but in other cases because of other reasons, usually money (bah!). Some of my most desired systems remains realistically out of reach (short of winning the lottery or something equally unlikely) but here they are anyway:

5. Fujitsu FM Towns

This was one of the numerous new system introduced to me by C&VG, although for some reason it earned far less space than the others. Perhaps that was because if was released in Japan only but it was real! Anyway, for many years all I knew of it was its name, the fact that it looked cool, and that it had the first CD-ROM I'd ever seen. Years later, however, I learned that it was a PC-based system but that it also played host to some pretty sweet games of its own too, including a lot of splendid arcade conversions, ports from other systems, and even a few titles unavailable elsewhere including the almost mythical Rayxanber and probably numerous other hidden gems I don't even know about. Sadly, however, I think this is one dream that will never be realised - most of the games cost a fortune, never mind the actual system. Boo hoo! :(

4. Sharp X68000

As time rolls on, the reputation of this system is gradually creeping closer and closer to legendary status. I hadn't even heard of it until years after production on it had stopped, and I don't think I was alone either - for some reason it got hardly any press over here in the UK, possibly the entire western hemisphere! We'd missed out on a gaming powerhouse as it turned out, too - its games were roughly comparable to the MegaDrive's, both in style as well as technical splendour, but Sharp's machine was released two years earlier than Sega's console and many still maintain that it was superior too. It has more titles available than the FM Towns, including its speciality - some fantastic arcade conversions, and it has more exclusives too, but it's just as expensive to buy and collect for which means it's just as unlikely that I'll actually own one. I've certainly pictured it sitting on my shelf often enough!

3. NEC PC Engine CD

I've owned a PC Engine for many years - it's long been one of my favourite consoles - but despite finding its CD-ROM add-on enticing from the moment it appeared, I've never gotten around to buying one. At first it was super-hyper-expensive (look at the advert in this post!) and by the time it had gone down to a realistic (but still pricey) level I'd been distracted by even newer systems like the MegaDrive. I still remember being impressed by the graphics in screenshots of early titles like Street Fighter and Wonder Boy 3 though, and contrary to several later CD-based systems or add-ons which quickly went under due to a lack of software, there's not only quite a decent number of Engine CD games but they also include some exclusives that I've been desperate to play for years such as Pop'n Magic, Star Parodier, Popful Mail, and of course the other Rayxanber games. Grrr, someone buy me a Duo at least!

2. SNK Neo Geo (AES)

Some of the snobbier, more elitist gamers around might say I can't really consider myself a 'hardcore gamer' until I've owned an AES (not that I do anyway). Would they be right? No, of course not - there are many things to consider before buying a console, and availability of funds is the main one for non-gifted/lucky people like me. The console itself doesn't cost a great deal but those games... arrgghh! As ruling as it would be to have one of these monsters, having a decent collection of games for it would take dedication beyond that which my budget would allow. Some publishers have clearly realised this over the years and helpfully released collections of the earlier games for more affordable systems as well as porting some of the later (and larger) games individually but still... I can't help but wonder how awesome it might've been to have owned one of these along with a load of its enormous cartridges.

1. Microsoft Xbox

Indeed, a (fairly) modern system gets the top spot, not necessarily due to how desperately I want to own one, but more because of the ease of obtaining one, the large number of decent games available on it (including some exclusives), and more strangely of all, because I've never played a single game on it. That's right, somehow I've not once even touched an Xbox never mind spent much time gaming on one. One reason is because I was adamant that, if I bothered getting one at all, I wanted the green one pictured (I think it's called the 'Emerald' edition) but the main, and probably more obvious reason was the abrupt decline of my interest in new systems after the Dreamcast went down. My festering mild interest in Microsoft's debut console has gradually built up though, and if circumstances permit it I may actually get one. Eeek!

**Special Bonus Want!**

0. Konix Multi System

Okay, I guess it's a bit of a cheat to include a system that wasn't actually released but few captured my imagination like the legend that is the Konix Multisystem! It gained much coverage in magazines of the late 80's such as C&VG and many of their writers seemed as excited as us potential buyers by the idea. It was to be a 16-bit console and it came with a variety of built-in control options (Konix were after all a joystick company originally). Numerous developers were apparently on board and lots of arcade-quality games were promised by Konix but production on most of them was stopped when it became clear Konix were struggling financially. Indeed, sadly, their fascinating venture didn't reach the market but it did make many of us magazine readers long for its success. There was even a much-vaunted hydraulic chair proposed!


  1. I've always wanted an OG Neo Geo.

  2. I've been lucky enough to own PC Engine & PC Engine Duo, Neo Geo AES and Neo Geo CD and Xbox! I've loved them all & recommend playing the real deal. Admittedly, this was at great cost, but over a decade. As time passes, less working consoles are available each year & "one day" will never arrive.....

  3. Yeah, they sure are a disirable piece of kit aren't they, Tom? It's just not realistic for most gamers though. Well, having games for it, anyway!

    Hey Lukey :) I remember your Engine, AES, and Xbox (complete with HD full of 'back ups') but I don't remember you having a Duo - you can't have had it for long! Did you get it when you moved up north?

  4. I currently own an emerald Xbox ;)

  5. Grrr, I'm envious! I looked at eBay again the other day, actually, and they're quite cheap... if it wasn't for that bloody postage fee :(