The Games that Made the System.

What drove the overwhelming popularity of the PC Engine in Japan is the same thing that continues to drive the popularity of the TurboGrafx among enthusiasts. The games. While there were less than 140 TurboGrafx game titles released in the United States, there were nearly one thousand released in Japan for the PC Engine, many of them high quality It has been mentioned among Turbo gamers that the TurboGrafx product line had never really felt as if it had been 'Americanized' to the extent that products and games for other systems had been, maintaining a distinct hint of its Japanese origins. While critics pound the TurboGrafx for its lack of sports titles and variety of quality games as compared to the Sega Genesis. And this was true, as a fault of NEC and Hudson's inability to quickly translate enough of the thousands of quality Japanese PC Engine games.

However what the TurboGrafx line did have was a distinct set of unique and imaginative game titles that went against the mainstream 'NES mentality' of the time. Titles like TurboGrafx's J.J. and Jeff and its PC Engine Japanese counterpart Kato and Ken turned Mario world up side down. The Legendary Axe and Dungeon Explorer series games were also popular picks for consumers taking home a new Turbo system. Being able to play all of these titles on the go with the Turbo Express added even greater play value to the TurboGrafx lineup. A few years down the road brought us the advent of the Turbo Duo along with the Super CD format which afforded the system the ability to play games that far exceeded the capabilities of the original Turbo Chip HuCards. Games such as Ys Books I, II & III were popular hits, not to mention import Duo titles such as Dracula-X. Many TurboGrafx games released in America were translations of popular PC Engine games from Japan, and tended to maintain the oriental ora.

TurboGrafx games were unique in more than just gameplay alone, they were unique in the methodology of media storage. With the introduction of the TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine in Japan, NEC had taken a unique approach in software interfacing, bypassing the traditional game cartridge for a unique style of media similar in design to a credit card commonly referred to as "HuCards" and introduced in the United States "Turbo Chips". This HuCard technology garnished a great deal of attention and intrigue for the system in its early days, setting the consumer mentality of the TurboGrafx as a unique game system utilizing innovative state-of-the-art methodology for media interfacing. NEC capitalized on this image by pushing the TurboGrafx-16 / PC Engine to the next level with the development of the TurboGrafx-CD, the first commercialized CD-Rom game peripheral marketed to the home consumer that proved to be just a little ahead of its time.

The TurboGrafx-CD component sat in sync behind the TurboGrafx-16 base unit, adding a massive amount of potential to the already powerful system. A CD-Rom could hold hundreds of times the data that could be stored on a silicon-based cartridge, allowing the quality of gaming to increase dramatically over a standard game cartridge based on the huge potential for storage capacity. The Duo was capable of playing new Super CD game titles that had been developed to utilize an expansive amount of additional memory and resolution built into the Duo's core, as the unit came pre-loaded with the SuperSystem 3.0 card and 2 Megs of additional Ram built in. This meant that the Super CD could deliver better graphics, superior quality sound, and a more intense gaming experience that could not only compete with the other 16-Bit game systems, but put them to shame. TurboGrafx-CD owners could upgrade to play new Super CD games though the purchase of a system upgrade card. Ahead of their time as always, NEC forced the gaming industry to accept and embrace the concept of CD-Rom based videogames for the home, setting the stage for the CD/DVD standard of today.