Favorite PC Engine games not on PC Engine Mini

When I became interested in strange and special Japanese games I started hearing people who seemed very cool talk about the PC Engine. I always wanted to understand what the PC Engine is truly like, but it is so hard. Many people talk about Famicom games and Megadrive games and make big lists, but when I search on the internet for PC Engine games the results never seem as satisfying or useful. I have played some PC Engine games, but I see now that what I played almost all is on the PC Engine Mini, which must mean I have only played the commonplace and obvious.

I know that there must be many “What are your favorite PC Engine games” forum posts in the past, but I can’t seem to find the useful ones.

I have played so many Nintendo games and so many games that are made by people who I think just play Nintendo games. When I play on the PC Engine the feeling is I am a seeing a tiny bit of another kind of world. So this kind of game is what I ask you recommend. I hope my understanding of this other world can expand.

The glaring missing piece of the PC Engine Mini library is the lack of sports games from Human, probably due to a lack of interest or failure to negotiate with Spike-Chunsoft (who owns the vast majority of the rights).

**Final Match Tennis** is one of the best sports games ever made, strangely a cult classic in France (akin to the weird local Windjammers culture) and completely ignored in Japan. I don't think **Formation Soccer** has aged as well but it is another popular sports sim and probably much more significant series in Japan. **Fire Pro Wrestling** became the standard for wrestling simulators and the series began on the PC Engine.

The PC Engine is probably the queen of shooting games so it makes sense the Mini had to pass on a few excellent titles. **Gate of Thunder**, predecessor to Lords of Thunder available on your PC Engine Mini, is probably the most notable shoot'em up missing from the line-up (most likely for space reasons as it's a CD-based game). It's an eternal debate which episode is better. Gate has a less unique setting (traditional SF theme) and less memorable enemies but a more nervous level design and stronger enemy pattern in my book. **Hanatākadaka!?** is a japanese folklore-themed horizontal shoot'em up; it is my favorite shooting game on the system after Spriggan and I am very sad it was not included in the Mini. **Magical Chase** is notable for its adorable graphics and also being a game from Quest (better known for Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre).

Many other shooting games missing are straight arcade ports so your mileage may vary on how much you need the PC Engine to discover them? **Dragon Saber**, **Gradius II**, **Kyūkyoku Tiger** are good examples from three different publishers. Taito also brought over excellent conversions of **Don Doko Don**, **Mizubaku Daibōken** and **The NewZealand Story** to the PC Engine.

One really cool experimental title from the PC Engine is **Gekisha Boy** from Irem, a humorous take on Cabal.


There are many more! I will notably let others make recommendations regarding Telenet's catalogue and Hudson games licensed from Nihon Falcom.

The PC Engine Mini has Cho Aniki which is a relatively normal horizontal shooter with a campy homoerotic gay bodybuilder theme. Mechanically it‘s pretty standard. Your player character is a guy who is oriented horizontally so it’s easy to dodge bullets. He is in practice no different from the ship in most shooters. A body builder is your ‘option’-like helper.

but the PC Engine Mini doesn't have
**Ai Cho Aniki**
In Ai Cho Aniki your player character is the body builder. He is upright and he takes up a lot of the screen which makes it very difficult to dodge enemy bullets. You input moves to make different attacks in different directions. You can dance to make yourself invincible but you have to do it sparingly. It's a visually impressive game with an unusual theme and very unusual mechanics.

Ai Cho Aniki is the best and strangest Cho Aniki game, but it tends to get overlooked. People talk about the gay bodybuilder theme of the series, but they don't talk about how unique the game mechanics are in Ai Cho Aniki.

I had no real expectation that Download and/or Download 2 would be included, but they're two of my missing favorites!

For a weird time, might I recommend the racing rpg Final Lap Twin? I‘m trash at racing games, so I havent played much of it, but between what I’ve played and watched, I‘d say at least give it a try so you can see one of the interesting offerings on the system that you don’t see much like it elsewhere.

Hello this thread was designed for me to answer - though I agree with most of what Chaz said above, especially that Gate of Thunder is the superior Thunder game.

I don't really know what's on the mini, but here's a breakdown of stuff that to me feels Very PC Engine and also is probably not on the mini. This is off the top of my head, but I'll go through my collection later and add.

_Cross Wiber_ - a game created for a non-existent sentai series with great music, great sunsets, fun weapons (your little dude can transform into/power up three different sentai suits with unique powers - I like the green/boomerang one), and unfortunately, terrible death pit traps that feel like they were designed to eat quarters, even though this isn't an arcade port. By FACE, one of my favorite devs for this platform.

_Valis III_ - well, I love all the Valis games for better or for worse, but III is probably the best one. Tons of faults but great music, and a fun cheeseball plot featuring a schoolgirl who has to inherit a mighty sword to take on the demon hoards (and defeat her companion sword of lazus). It's the first game I played with a slide dash (not the first game to do it probably, just the first I played). Oh, it's an action hack and slash platformer, kinda. Less than Megaman X but more than NES Castlevania??

_Final Zone II_ - sequel to the genesis game?? I think?? the genesis game sucks. This game on the other hand, is super fun. It's a top-down 8-directional shooting mech action game where you play as different mechs as you go through the story. Has re-recorded vocal themes in the US and JP versions.

_Last Alert_ - another top-down 8-directional shooting action game, this time with a small rambo man. the music rules, the stupid dialog rules, the whole thing rules. It's dumb as heck.

_Hiho Densetsu - Chris no Bōken_ - weird action platformer with limited time (sucks) lots of weapons (rules) good music, and a weird scenario.

I guess I mean scrolling shooters heh.

_Metamor Jupiter_ - it's not the very best, but the reason I included it in the "impossible" techniques thread is its excellent visual style. Also has the first video game music ever from Masaya Matsuura. I had him sign the obi. This to me is a quintessential PC Engine game FOR ME because I know it's not great but I love it. That'll be a different game for everyone, but this is a very "warts and all" console where you might like a game just because of the concept or the musician or a certain scene.

_Psychic Storm_ - I mean, it starts out in Neo Hong Kong. Your ship can change shape into some sort of chimera beast. It's fun, the end.

_Aero Blasters_ - this was an arcade game and a genesis game but for me this is where you play it. It's speedy, it's colorful and bright, it's just a lovely little shooter.

_Download 2_ - first game I ever saw with male nudity. Also it's a weird cyberpunk shooter with hitler's brain as the bad guy.

I wouldn't say the PC Engine is strongest in the puzzle genre (actually maybe it's one of the weakest for that) but it's got some good stuff.

_Ryukyu_ - another FACE game, this one about making card matches with music from the Ryukyu islands playing in the background. The opening theme with the waves is just fantastic.

_Devil's Crush_ - just putting this in puzzle for some reason. It's the best pinball game I've ever played. I guess Alien Crush is in the collection but it really can't lay a finger on Devil's Crush.

LOTS of good mahjong games on here. Maybe get a FACE one.

_Arunamu no Kiba_ - interesting little RPG with a brutal intro. in the first scene fiends come to attack the village, and your brother, the best warrior there, goes off to protect everyone. You decide to follow and he has to protect you, but he freaking gets gutted and his blood splashes across your face and the baddies basically leave you for dead because you suck. it's quite a thing!

_Vasteel_ - okay, battles take too long, but it's an ambitious tactics/action hybrid with light jazz music set in space with mechs.

_Lady Phantom_ - I can't defend this. It's a tactics RPG with terrible balance, OP characters aplenty, and just so much bad stuff, but I love it.


_Moto Roader MC_ - I guess Moto Roader is in there? but Moto Roader MC is my favorite one. It's got a hidden 5 player mode where you go around in an arena that's slowly falling away, and try to knock each other off. Good stuff.

Well, I'll update this later with more stuff. I know there's tons I'm forgetting.


@exodus#1069 Devil’s Crush - just putting this in puzzle for some reason. It’s the best pinball game I’ve ever played. I guess Alien Crush is in the collection but it really can’t lay a finger on Devil’s Crush.

Yeah that one is really weird. I tend to be cautious because the French PC Engine scene has some strange quirks about what games were more popular to us vs. the rest of the World but it always seemed to me pretty obvious and universally understood that Devil’s Crush is a much better game than Alien Crush and I can’t explain why Alien Crush always takes precedence (indeed Alien Crush is in the Mini). Am I missing something? Is Alien Crush way better known in the US despite the MD port of Devil’s Crush?

If not, I suspect that it’s a legal issue, either related to the title’s trademark or that Hudson might somehow own part of Alien Crush (since they produced and published Alien Crush Returns) but maybe has no ownership over Devil’s Crush.

Devil‘s Crush is pretty universally regarded as the better game, I’d say. Alien Crush is one of those “ah, try it out, it's not so bad!” kind of games, in the consensus. I have a strong suspicion that, like you suggest, Hudson got involved in the project and made it easier to get hold of. It's possible also that the MD port somehow got the rights further muddled for the whole property or something stupid?

But yeah, I'd say "everyone" knows Devil's Crush is The Game, no matter the region, and they also know that the PCE/TG-16 version is the best one.

@chazumaru#1041 hey. i know that guy. [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/2UqZfuY.jpg]

@exodus#1074 Hudson was supposed to publish Alien Crush as Horrorball.

Someone speculated that Hudson would give games to other companies to make it look like the PC Engine had more third-party support. Break In was another Hudson game published by Naxat. Spin Pair is definitely a Hudson game, if you look at the credits, but it was published by Media Rings, and Hudson's name is nowhere to be found.

Really bummed that Riot Zone isn't on there as its a decent brawler.

I am surprised that none of the SNK ports made it on to the mini. They're all pretty competent, SNK seems pretty into licensing out their catalog, and it would have give the system at least one fighting game. Though I would imagine the controller being a big issue there. Which rules out Street Fighter. But I feel like you could swing World Heroes 2 or maybe that Tengai Makyou fighter.

Interesting about those Hudson loan-outs. I guess it worked, since they did eventually get a fair number of publishers.

All those SNK fighters are 2-button, I think?? I don't think they actually work with the 3 or 6 button controllers... but maybe that's an old and incorrect recollection.

As for Riot Zone, I hate to naysay on anything PC Engine, but that game is too long and too samey for me. It never evolves, and the combo system is so static. I do own Riot Zone and Crest of Wolf both, but that's mostly because I like the soundtrack. I feel like the PC Engine is particularly lacking in the brawler department - Genesis had streets of rage, SNES had Final Fight partially-exclusive, and of course there were imitators everywhere on both consoles. But PCE just didn't really get the same level (it does have that AMAZING Double Dragon II OST though, wow).


For my money, the brawler to get is Anesan. Yankee girls fighting in the streets, then going home and decorating their rooms while having dreams of princess or pulling "ugly face" contexts. Wish the music were cooler though.

I don‘t have a list offhand but more game support the 6B controllers/stick than you might think: there’s SFII, the SNK ports and a few other fighters like Variable Geo and whatever else, some wrestling games, a few of the later mahjong games and RPGs, etc, maybe a couple dozen games all up. I haven‘t tested them all but I remember someone telling me SFII’s the only one that actually uses all six buttons, but don't quote me on that.

Some of the big omissions from the PCE Mini are the later CD RPGs like Emerald Dragon, Linda Cube, etc. The producer seems serious about wanting to do a second version with some of the games that aren't on this one and while I don't have a problem with that idea, I honestly think they got most of the crucial games the first time around.

RE: Alien Crush, I don't know for sure but the impression I get it that it takes precedence simply because it was an earlier game that sold more, so it has perceived nostalgia going for it.

At least another title that I can confirm uses all six buttons if you play with an Avenue Pad 6 is Kabuki Ittōryōdan, the fighting game spun off from Tengai Makyō Kabuki-Den. It’s the standard punch x 3 kick x 3 approach.


I agree with the others in the thread. I was very confused by the omission of Devil's Crush. It really is one of the best games every made. I even would have preferred Time Cruise II to Alien Crush.

Here's a short list of games that I would have loved to see on the mini:

  • - Bloody Wolf
  • - Ryukyu
  • - Gekisha Boy
  • - Atomic Robokid
  • - Maerchen Maze
  • - Son Son II
  • - Mesopotamia
  • - Coryoon
  • - Legend of Hero Tonma
  • - Magical Chase
  • - Metal Stoker
  • Motoroader II or MC also would have been an nice improvement over the first installment. I also have fond memories of the Tatsujin port on the PC Engine.

    @exodus#1099 I could see Anne San as its a pretty out there internet bait-y game. That could drum up some excitement. I agree Riot Zone is limited, I would say Splatterhouse is a vastly better game, its just SO punishing. I guess you do have save states on the mini though. I forgot about the gal fighter on the PCE and maybe AVG or Asuka 120 could also have been thrown on there for their “Wacky Japan” appeal. Though I feel like Brandon you are a proponent of the PCE Asuka 120%.

    Yeah, the only reason I didn‘t mention Asuka (which was designed from the ground up for 2 button controllers btw!) is because there are better versions on other platforms. I’d rather someone‘s first impression of asuka be on the saturn or playstation. I kindaaaaa feel that way about Linda Cube as well, but not totally?? I’m not sure.

    Also it's really too bad that Kabuki Ittōryōdan isn't more fun to play! It looks real nice, but that's about it. Kind of like Kaze Kiri! Pretty game with nothing to do in it.

    I do loooooove splatterhouse, and the PC Engine version is my favorite. It's one of the only games where I can give actionable tips for someone playing it. The music perfectly gets that giallo vibe, too. But that is on the mini so I didn't bring it up :3

    @exodus#1111 I could see that. I think its interesting that with the PCE mini more than most any other system, they are kind of defining what that system was to a new crowd of people. I feel like we all are seeking a broader more balanced library, while the overall package ended up being more Bonk + Shooters + Arcade ports. Its a tough call though when so much of the broader library was JP only. Ha ha! Like, this system had LOOM on it of all things. And that's the only console port.

    Götzendiener is kinda cool. It‘s an isometric action game by GAINAX where you’re a princess who has to escape a castle.


    I always liked the idea of this one but got too confused with the maps and where I was supposed to go… I never wound up getting very far because of that, but I should really revisit it. isometric prince of persia is not something many companies attempted! It‘s interesting also because it almost feels like a Japanese team making a fan-game in a Western genre. And I guess it basically is? It’s like a western team making a successful JRPG.