Tag Archives: PC Genjin

I don’t plan on publishing any more posts on this particular blog, but …

… that doesn’t mean I’m finished writing and publishing PC Engine-focused posts altogether.

In fact, I’ve regularly published PC Engine-focused posts on my other, more general, gaming blog, The Gay Gamer, since I stopped doing so here late last year.

Sorry, I’m only telling you about it now. I would have done so sooner, but I honestly thought I’d continue to publish posts on this blog for some time to come.

Trying to maintain two blogs at once, though, has become more than I can handle, so I’ve decided to put all of my energy into The Gay Gamer, which not only regularly features posts about the PC Engine and its games but also features posts about pretty much every other “retro”–as well as current–game system under the sun.

Don’t believe me that the PC Engine gets plenty of attention on my other blog? Here are just a few recent examples:

* “Bubble Bobble + Chack’n Pop + Parasol Stars = single-screen platformer perfection
* “Manual Stimulation: PC Genjin (PC Engine)
* “My kind of art
* “Second Chances: Pop’n Magic

I’m sure some of you will balk at visiting The Gay Gamer because of its name. Just know that it welcomes people of all colors, genders and sexual orientations and that a good percentage of the folks who visit and comment on the site are not, in fact, members of the LGBT community.

Anyway, I sincerely hope some of you will check it out at some point, especially if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here. And if not? Thank you for supporting this blog during its far-too-short (in my opinion) existence. I’ve greatly appreciate it.

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PCE Review #8: PC Genjin

Game: PC Genjin
Genre: Platformer
Developer: Atlus/Red Company
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Format: HuCard
Release date: 1989

Most folks know this game, renamed Bonk’s Adventure before it was released in North America, for its hard-headed protagonist–who bravely served as the PC Engine’s entry in what I like to call the “Great Gaming Mascot Pageant” of the late 1980s and early 1990s. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course–that is the game’s main claim to fame, after all–but in my opinion it deserves to be known for much more than being a somewhat-competitive contemporary of Mario and Sonic. For instance, there’s the fact that PC Genjin began life as a comic (in the pages of Gekkan PC Engine magazine). I don’t know why, but I’ve always found that kind of cool. Then there’s the fact that it was developed by the abler-than-able folks at Atlus and Red Company (makers of Gate/Lords of Thunder and the Tengai Makyou titles). There’s also the fact that PC Genjin is, simply put, a fun and unique game–something that can’t be said about too many of the mascot-focused platformers released during the 16-bit era. The main reasons I find it to be fun and unique: For starters, the protagonist attacks his prehistoric foes by bashing them with his head. (He can do this while standing on the ground or while in the air, by the way; with the latter move resulting in a devilish dive-bomb.) Also, jumping and then rapidly pushing that same action button on the PC Engine’s pad causes PC Genjin to spin wildly and hover or float, if for just a second or two, above the ground. Finally, I’ve always appreciated the primitive nature of this title’s graphics. Considering most “mascot games,” including this game’s superior-in-many-ways sequel, are awfully slick in that area, PC Genjin‘s primordial departure from the norm could and should be seen by PC Engine and platformer fans as a pixelated breath of fresh air.

See also: Previous PCE Reviews

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An artful look at Bonk’s arcade cousin, Kaneko’s BC Kid

Like any good Bonk–or, PC Genjin, as he’s called in Japan–fan, I consider the character’s PC Engine outings to be (basically) the only ones worth my attention. As a result, I’ve ignored pretty much all of the spin-offs that have been released for the GameBoy, the Famicom and the Super Famicom–I’m just going to ignore the later atrocities–over the years.

I haven’t ignored all of the Bonk spin-offs, though; the arcade-only BC Kid, for instance, has always intrigued me despite the fact that it was developed by Kaneko rather than Red and Atlus.

Artist and blogger Curtis Bathurst seems to share my interest in BC Kid, at least as far as the game’s aesthetics are concerned. In this recent post, Bathurst critiques the game’s promotional art (right) as well as its in-game graphics.

Although he isn’t a big fan of either, he ends his post on a positive note saying, “I find it wildly exciting that there was ever a coin-op Bonk’s Adventure and I love rummaging through the ‘net in search of bits and scraps about the game.”

If you’re at all interested in graphic design–especially as it relates to the gaming world–I highly recommend heading over to Bathurst’s site and reading his post about this quirky quarter-muncher.

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Five favorites: HuCard cover art

Hundreds of games were released during the PC Engine’s lifetime, so it’s no simple task to come up with a list of the system’s best HuCard cover (or box) art.

As a result, it took more than a bit of hemming and hawing before I was able to settle on my five favorites:

Hany in the Sky (Face, 1989)–It could be argued that one of Face’s other bizarro releases, Hany on the Road, is just as deserving of a place on this list, but I went with Hany in the Sky because of its daring use of color–you don’t often see pink and teal box art–and its abstract nature.

Makyo Densetsu (Victor Musical Industries, 1988)–Don’t hold the following admission against me: I’ve never been a big fan of this game, better known as Legendary Axe in North America. I am a big fan of the game’s box art, though, in part because it brings to mind classics like Castlevania, Golden Axe and The Legend of Zelda.

PC Genjin (Hudson Soft/Red, 1989)–This piece of cover art is the polar opposite of the one above. Whereas Makyo Densetsu‘s cover art is dark and moody, PC Genjin‘s is bright, cheerful and, well, cute. (I especially like the blue dino in the background.) That’s not the only reason this game’s cover art is among my favorites, though; I’m also a big fan of its mixed-media sheen, for instance.

Parasol Stars (Taito, 1991)–Well, this particular piece of box art sure is colorful, isn’t it? It’s also more than a bit busy. Still, I like it. A lot. Not only does it do a great job of mirroring the game’s content, but it does so using a rather groovy and retro-tastic style.

War of the Dead (Victor Musical Industries, 1989)–I’ve never played this game, so I don’t know if it’s great or if it’s crap, but I want to play it regardless simply because of its cover art–which reminds me, in more ways than one, of some sort of long-lost Resident Evil spin-off (or maybe knock-off?). I think that about says it all, don’t you think?

Contenders: Columns, Deep Blue, Dungeon ExplorerGekisha Boy, Kato & Ken Chan, The Kung Fu and Power League.

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Well, bop me on the head and call me Bonk

While doing a bit of research for a post on my other gaming blog (yes, I have more than one), I discovered that the folks at Atlus–responsible for the Etrian Odyssey, Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series–developed, along with the able crew at Red Company, the original PC Genjin (aka Bonk’s Adventure).

I knew they were responsible for Dungeon Explorer and Mesopotamia (aka Somer Assault), but I had no clue until today that they had a hand in developing PC Genjin too. (They had nothing to do with the game’s arguably superior sequel, though; that was all Red Company.)

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The PC Engine’s five fruitiest games

Here’s an admission you won’t come across on just any gaming blog: I love fruity games.

Now, when I say “fruity games,” I’m not talking about Cho Aniki or its ilk; I’m talking about games that are packed with so much actual fruit they should accompany every Edible Arrangements® order.

Anyway, the PC Engine was home to a good number of “fruity” games during its lifetime, with the following five being my favorites:

Coryoon–Naxat’s crazy cute ’em up would be well worth the price of admission even if fruit didn’t pop out of defeated enemies like they were the world’s healthiest piñatas (see screenshot below) thanks to its crisp, colorful graphics, cheerful music and tight controls. Plus, it stars a baby dragon!

Monster Lair (aka Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair)–Is there anything more satisfying than coming across certain pieces of fruit in this game and then shooting them until they erupt into even more pieces of fruit? OK, so I’m sure there are many more satisfying experiences in all of video game-dom, but I’m not sure there are in this particular title.

The New Zealand Story–I have to admit, the fruit in Taito’s cute-but-challenging platformer pales in comparison to its cool bosses, inflatable ducks and laser guns. Still, the apples, grapes and melons (no, not those kinds of melons) eradicated enemies leave behind serve to make this already sweet game even sweeter.

Parasol Stars–Like its predecessors, Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands, Parasol Stars (below) throws more than just fruit at players; it throws jewelry, pastries and vegetables at them, too. Is that more enticing and exciting than the title’s frantic gameplay? Actually, sometimes it is.

Rainbow Islands–What does Rainbow Islands offer gamers that Parasol Stars doesn’t? Rainbows, for starters. Oh, and stars! That’s not to say it’s a prissy pushover–in fact, it packs quite a punch in terms of bosses, enemies and levels. Just think of the fruit–and treats and veggies–you collect along the way as sweet rewards for your troubles.

Honorable mention: Don Doko Don, PC Genjin and PC Genjin 2.

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‘Welcome to Splatterhouse’ (and other ‘classic’ PC Engine commercials)

This recent tinycartridge.com post prompted me to spend some time this morning scanning YouTube for “classic” PC Engine commercials.

I think the following one–used to promote Namco’s Splatterhouse–is my favorite.

Of course, Hudson’s corny and over-the-top Gunhed ad is pretty fabulous, too.

And then there’s this one, produced by the folks at Hudson to promote PC Genjin.

What are your favorite PC Engine (or TurboGrafx-16) commercials?

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