It's no secret that Wii had tons of awesome TurboGrafx titles yet none are available for Wii U. Sure, you can download a few in Japan but we're not as lucky in the west. Here, I'll explore some of the best TurboGrafx games for Wii so you can see what I'm talking about.
Shoot 'em ups aplenty
Very few consoles have as impressive of a shmup library as TurboGrafx. Two of the best ones are Gate of Thunder and its follow-up Lords of Thunder. Both games include rocking heavy metal soundtracks and intensely challenging gameplay. Playing them will make any retro action enthusiast feel like a badass, especially the latter title which puts you in the cockpit of one of four different mechs. Hudson's Star Soldier series also has a prominent presence on the console with Super Star Soldier, Final Soldier, Soldier Blade, and its ridiculous spin-off Star Parodier. If you're looking to try one out then the best of the bunch is Soldier Blade with its epic boss battles. A couple of nifty shoot 'em up spin-offs are Air Zonk (set in the Bonk universe) and Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair which I was actually surprised is a shmup after I played it for the first time. If you're in the mood for some absurdity then Cho Aniki is full of over-the-top hilarious (and homoerotic) imagery while also offering fairly solid gameplay.
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
That's right; this game is so awesome that it deserves its own category. Although we never got to play it in the west, we did get an inferior version for Super Nintendo entitled Castlevania: Dracula X. It's an incredible game as far as I'm concerned, but Rondo of Blood is still the better of the two. Anyway, this TurboGrafx vampire slaying adventure stars Richter Belmont and boasts a massive game world consisting of many beautiful stages with branching paths and unforgettable boss fights. Being able to unlock Maria Renard as a playable character is a fantastic feature that reminds me of recruiting pals in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. Maria may be a little girl, but her ability to double jump and attack by throwing doves at enemies makes her an easier character to play as than that big oaf Richter. Rondo of Blood was such a phenomenal game that it and its sequel (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) are considered by many gamers as two of the greatest games of all time. Symphony of the Night is also the highest scored game on Video Chums as of writing this.
Classics from Hudson Soft
Hudson Soft is most known for the classic series Bomberman, Adventure Island, and Bonk. Thankfully, each of these had titles released for TurboGrafx. First, Bomberman '93 and Bomberman '94 are classic games in the series that can be played by up to five players simultaneously and both include single player campaigns that are reminiscent of the original Bomberman (with the exception of bosses being introduced). By the way, you may have already played Bomberman '94 since it was later ported to Sega Genesis as Mega Bomberman. Moving on, New Adventure Island for TurboGrafx took the series back to its roots with a simplified gameplay style and a more cartoonish presentation. It's not the best of the series, but it's still fun for fans of the original. When it comes to Bonk, all three main entries were on Wii's Virtual Console including Bonk's Adventure, Bonk's Revenge, and Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure. That makes three reasons to bash your massive head into mischievous prehistoric creatures.
A few hidden treasures
TurboGrafx has its fair share of great games that not many people have heard of. A couple titles that come to mind are Alien Crush and Devil's Crush which are virtual pinball games that are surprisingly addictive. The organic visuals and tight gameplay make exploring the huge tables very satisfying. Another gem I discovered is Cratermaze where you control a time-travelling chum who defeats his enemies by digging holes to trap them inside. It plays a bit like Bomberman but it's not quite as cool. Many gamers know the Ys series of RPGs, but the TurboGrafx includes one of the best interpretations of Book I & II that every Ys fan should definitely check out since it looks and plays like a dream. Finally, if you're looking for a cooperative game then Chew Man Fu is right up your alley. In this game, you roll balls around with a friend in maze-like stages while trying to avoid and strategically eliminate odd animal-themed enemy creatures.
That about does it for my favourite TurboGrafx games on Wii's Virtual Console. I sure hope to one day see them on Wii U or perhaps Nintendo's next machine. Do you have any TurboGrafx games that you'd like to see on Virtual Console? Leave a comment below and maybe you'll help me discover my next retro obsession.