The NEC PC-FX; an eight part video series that will probably fail

smokey

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I really tried to like this system….but yeah.
 

BillyJoelZeta

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As a massive PC Engine fan from almost day one I can honestly say...the FX sucks. It sucks. It's beautiful looking, but it's still useless. Maybe if it was ugly, like the Jag, people would stop trying to give it a chance...

While both machines say "NEC" on them, it wasn't NEC that made the PC Engine great, it was Hudson and a million other devs. Hudson mostly made the PCE chip designs themselves with NEC joining up later., and obviously Hudson was already cranking out super popular software for Famicom before they made the PCE. Almost none of that Hudson magic exists on the FX. Hudson made more/better games for Saturn than they did for FX. Honestly, if you want early 32-bit Hudson you want the Saturn. It has Yuna 3 and Willy Wombat and Bomberman SS and all that. The FX has jack shit. They didn't even make a Bomberman for it. That's a warning! And third party support is even worse. There isn't going to be any Blazing Lazers (only one mediocre shooter on the system) or 2D fighters (none, arcade ports or original). You will get LOTS of Tokimeki Memorial type stuff though, a C+ RPG or two, some games that could get you arrested in certain states, thats about it. It *really* sucks.
 

smokey

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I don’t know man. I guess you need to be fluent in Japanese to understand most of it. But the games that are playable are a bit basic to me. Zeroigar started to become fun once I got the translating patch installed. The last prince looks like fun but without translation,I doubt that I’ll enjoy it. I have a copy of chip chan kick. Seems like a good time to sell.
Did you dedicate a part to home brew? I only know of two homebrew games
 

BillyJoelZeta

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Knowledge of Japanese isn’t the issue. People assume it’s the issue, but it isn’t. The system was only sold in Japan after all and was on clearance the next year. Is Japan not good at Japanese?

While I’m far from fluent, and always will be, I play RPGs and strategy games in %100 Japanese more than I play them in English. For me, that wasn’t the problem. The problem is that all the devs left. There is no Ys, no Valis, no Xanadu, no Momotaro Dentetsu or Densetsu, no Bonk, no Zonk. No SNK ports, no Capcom ports, no Sega ports, nothing. The PCE is famous for having too many shooters and the FX has one.
 

smokey

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My reply was more to op then to you zeta. You don’t have to convince me, I have the system with several games. It is a bit like the 3do or CDI . Thinking that interactive movie/anime was the way of the future. Marketing departement getting to much influence over game design department. What boggles my mind in the bad Hudson soft support. They designed the horrible thing. Why no games?
 

BillyJoelZeta

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I don't know that they did design the thing. I think they didn't really, not to the extent that they designed the two main PCE chips. I think they were more left out of the FX from the beginning and followed that with software support that the system deserves, almost nothing. The actual game hardware in there absolutely sucks compared to PS and SS which hit the market at the same time. You couldn't do Astal or Toshinden on it in a million years, so the games HAD to be FMV or they would just look like Mega Drive ports.

Does the FX say "HE System" on it anywhere? Maybe that was the first red flag.
 

roker

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I like your vids. I hope it doesn't fail. I've always been intrigued by this system but never to the point of buying it or even trying it on emulation. In fact, I jus found out you can play it on mednafen:

 

smokey

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I don't know that they did design the thing. I think they didn't really, not to the extent that they designed the two main PCE chips. I think they were more left out of the FX from the beginning and followed that with software support that the system deserves, almost nothing. The actual game hardware in there absolutely sucks compared to PS and SS which hit the market at the same time. You couldn't do Astal or Toshinden on it in a million years, so the games HAD to be FMV or they would just look like Mega Drive ports.

Does the FX say "HE System" on it anywhere? Maybe that was the first red flag.
Well the main chip is a Hudson design and they made the launch title. So you would think they had some input. On the old pcenginefx forums the guy who made that homebrew shooter explained some of the technical assets. Like you could do multiple layers of video but the sprite capabilities were less then that of pc engine .
 

smokey

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What was NEC thinking, from the PC engine FX forums:
The PC-FX has several significant disadvantages, most of them related to sprites.

The biggest issue is that it can only draw 128 sprites on-screen at once. These come without any possible rotation or scaling effects, and they will flicker if you put too many of them on one horizontal line. Also, each sprite is limited to one 15/512 color sub-palette just like the PCE.

The Saturn's VDP1, by contrast, can draw so many sprite pixels that it can fill up the screen several times over. It could theoretically draw more background layers and sprites than the PC-FX without even using VDP2. It can rotate, scale, and otherwise warp sprites very freely, and it can draw them at a much greater color-depth. Of course, since it buffers everything, it never flickers.

The Playstation is no slouch, either. While the Saturn is so inefficient at making VDP1 sprites transparent over VDP2 backgrounds that most developers went with fake checkerboard transparencies, the Playstation doesn't have this problem, and it shows in a lot of games.

The problems for the PC-FX go on. It's got a significantly slower CPU, even against only one of the Saturn's SH2s. You're basically limited to 256x240 resolution if you want to use a lot of background layers, and there are no interlaced high-resolution modes. It can do one "Mode 7" layer and one transparent background layer, but no more than that. Video RAM for sprites and the CD drive buffer are only 256 kilobytes each vs. the Saturn's 512. Though it does potentially have more RAM for background tiles, that RAM is also where ADPCM goes, and there is plenty of motivation to want to store lots of that instead since the rest of the sound hardware is so obsolete.

About the only advantage that the PC-FX has over the Saturn is its FMV playback. You can start playing streaming FMV anytime without taxing any hardware other than the dedicated FMV chip, and you can mix it into games however you like. For example, you could easily make an auto-scrolling platformer or shooter that uses FMV as a background.

It certainly would have been possible to make beautifully animated action games for the PC-FX. It sounds like it would have been the most enjoyable system to program, too, and clever design probably could have gotten some surprises out of it. On the other hand, almost every graphically-fancy 2D game from the 32-bit era would have had to have been compromised in some way to run on the PC-FX with little room to compensate in other areas.
User: samiam
 

BillyJoelZeta

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All three systems hit XMas 94, IIRC. Sega had Panzer Dragoon, Sony had Ridge Racer, NEC had…well, the title I saw at the time was Battle Heat and I liked it, honestly, but I was hoping it would get better at some point and I’m not sure if ever did, really. I guess there are two or three RPGs that are better games than Battle Heat. If Apocalypse IV had been an FX game that would have been pretty rad, the FMV would have been better at least.

All these systems suck major compared to Neo anyway I guess…
 

terry.330

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I got a boxed one cheapish years ago and it sucked. So much potential but totally wasted on text heavy story games, the kind of bullshit that only Japan really loves. There's really only like 3 or 4 games actually worth playing outside of those.
 

BillyJoelZeta

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I don't think SEGA with the Genesis ever acknowledged the Turbografx/NEC in any advertisement... that really tells everything you need to know.

They didn’t mention it because almost nobody in the US would know what they were talking about due to the TG bombing completely. It took well over a decade to finally sell through the initial manufacturing run of TG16 but the Genesis sold millions and millions for years and years.
 

Burning Fight!!

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I got a boxed one cheapish years ago and it sucked. So much potential but totally wasted on text heavy story games, the kind of bullshit that only Japan really loves. There's really only like 3 or 4 games actually worth playing outside of those.
Raiden, R-Type, Twin Cobra, Gradius II, Gradius, Salamander, Download, Download 2, Super Darius, Super Darius 2, Blazing Lazers, Super Star Soldier, Soldier Blade, etc. etc. and refuted only with the shootie genre :hammer:

Sure the pc engine lacks some games on certain genres but that's the fault of having a Japan console vs. a Worldwide console, that limits who wants to make games for it a bit. But it has a lot of games that aren't text heavy at all, or don't even have a story. Hell a good portion of the US released software is also gold, hard to believe NEC fucked up so much but they still had a good console launch in terms of software. Legendary Axe, Alien Crush, Dungeon Explorer and R-Type are great games.
 

Burning Fight!!

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The fuck are you talking about? This thread is about the PC-FX.

The PC Engine library is amazing, PC-FX is shit.
Someone brought it up and I forgot this thread was about the PC-FX :lolz: :lolz:
I need to pretend I drink tsingtao every day too so I have an excuse for my retardation
 
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