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?
That’s the only conclusion I could come to after watching the following commercials.
Honestly, I’d be hard-pressed to say one of them is worse than the others, as all of them are pretty horrendous.
Although the PC Engine was home to many odd–and oddly endearing–games during its wildly successful run, few if any were wackier than Gekisha Boy (aka Gekibo, Photo Boy and/or Photograph Boy).
That wackiness is evident from the get-go, as players are immediately tasked with filling the shoes of a green-around-the-gills photographer who has to hit the streets to look for outrageous snapshots that can be taken back to his tough-as-nails newspaper editor.
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, consider this: While you keep one eye out for those aforementioned photographic opportunities–which include delightfully detailed (words which can be used to describe all of the game’s graphics) flashers in trench coats and Michael Jackson look-alikes–you have to keep the other eye out for a myriad of dangers–such as bouncing balls, skateboards and other random projectiles–that stand in your way of the perfect shot.
They stand in your way of making it to the next stage, too–since you lose valuable film every time you get hit by said projectiles. (That’s important because the more well-taken photos you turn in, the more points you receive from your boss and the more likely you are to advance to the next level.)
Controls in Gekisha Boy are about as tight as they can be–with the d-pad handling the movement of your character and the aiming of his camera, and the action buttons corresponding to your camera’s shutter and your ability to jump.
Unfortunately, the well-tuned controls don’t make the game a walk in the park–it’s more like a walk down a darkened alley in the bad part of town. As such, expect to repeat each level many times before you succeed–especially as the game progresses.
Considering the sights you’ll see along the way, though, you’ll likely enjoy every hair-pulling minute of it.
Boot up a copy of Namco(t)’s World Court Tennis and choose the title’s (in)famous “Quest” mode and you’ll come face to face with what could very well be the worst example of translated text in all of videogamedom.
Don’t believe me? Decide for yourself.
“I’ve been waiting for you. I’m a king of tennis kingdom. Would you do me a favor?
“My country has been peaceful. Everyone loved tennis. But it’s all over. Evil tennis king appeared. He took treasures of the royals. And snatched the tennis courts. People can’t play tennis and are complaining.
“Beat the king of tennis and bring back peace.”
I’m not sure which line I like better: “I’m a king of tennis kingdom” or “Evil tennis king has appeared.” Both deserve points for abruptness and awkwardness, don’t you think?
See also: ‘Let’s play tennis on the PC Engine!‘
The folks at the long-defunct Working Designs made a lot of great decisions during the 16-bit era. Among them: Their decision to localize (for North American TurboGrafx-16 owners) Telenet’s PC Engine RPG, Cosmic Fantasy 2.
One of their not-so-great decisions: Using the following piece of art to promote said RPG.
The ad above appeared in the April/May 1992 issue of TurboPlay magazine. Unfortunately, the art featured in the ad also appeared on the game’s cover.
Is it any wonder the game wasn’t able to achieve the sales or status of, say, Lunar: The Silver Star, another of Working Design’s 16-bit-era releases?