Yo Ho! WeRCats here!
I preordered the TurboGrafx-16 Mini so that I could obtain it in mid-to-late March of 2020. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the release date was changed to May 22.
As a kid, I was able to own the original T-16 console with only a poker hand amount of games: Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, Sinistron, Legendary Axe, and PacLand. I was lucky to borrow Splatterhouse and Bonk’s Adventure before losing my console. Now I can redeem myself and then some with the addition of other T-16 games as well as the original Japanese PC Engine games. So let’s get into some details about this mini and see the good and the bad:
The T-16 Mini looks exactly like the T-16 I remember from yesteryear. The controller itself feels like the same one I used to play with; it plays like it as well! The turbo switches for the I and II buttons function perfectly, especially with the shooter games that are included in the 57-game library.
The games are a plethora of uniqueness as most of the games come from the PC Engine side. Games like Akumajou Dracula X Chi No Rondo, Galaga ’88, and the rare game Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire are a fun treat to play. The cult classic Snatcher is included as well! As for the T-16 games, they are self-explanatory but full of fun. The biggest plus: you don’t have to buy the Japanese PC Engine Mini to enjoy yourself as the games are almost identical save a few game changes.
The menu screen is animated with life as little PC Engine guys walk around the screen as you find something to play. You can change the game screen to be wide, normal, scan-lined, or play on the screen of the portable TurboExpress.
Unfortunately, there are games from both sides that are repeats and serve as a redundancy instead of adding other games. For example, we have US and Japanese copies of Ys I & II, Neutopia, and Dungeon Explorer; there could have been different games to substitute! (Where is Legendary Axe?)
The library could have had more games from both sides. Two controllers would have been okay instead of just one while Splatterhouse is the US censored version. Games like Snatcher are completely in Japanese, but these are just minor setbacks so the harm is negligible (online translators exist).
The TurboGrafx-16 Mini delivers with some minor setbacks. But don’t let the setbacks put you down as this mini console packs a punch of entertainment. You don’t have to invest in two different mini-systems to enjoy the same games, though you have the option to. Some games are in Japanese and you can’t enjoy them without understanding the Japanese language; however, you should attempt a try with an online translator with a smartphone. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this mini console a 7.7 to an 8.1 out of 10. You could try to get the original systems and get the games yourself but it would prove very expensive. Settle for this mini console and enjoy it!