You like arcade perfect ports right? Oh ok, how about better than arcade quality ports with little extras here and there? Well then, I think you'll do just fine here. Sharp, instead of trying to compete with the dominating NEC computers, created a powerful machine targeted at gamers, programmers and designers (think of it as the Macintosh to PC-98's DOS).
This thing had specs near identical to arcade hardware of the time (Capcom actually used those to program CPS1 games), and the screen is perfect for them too. Plus you can use a SNES and Genesis controller if you buy the adaptor, or feel free to try some of the other perfectly good controllers made for this computer.
There a 90% chance that if the game is on here it's better than any other port.
|Akumajō Dracula||Platformer||Another iteration of the original Castlevania with all new levels and secrets. Ridiculously hard with relentless enemies and plenty of traps. One rare oddity is the "herb" subweapon, found nowhere else in the series, that can be used as a healing item. The Chronicles re-release on the Playstation contains this game in unaltered format which makes the X68K version obsolete. Still, it remains the rarest and most sought after title in the Castlevania series.|
|Atomic Robo-Kid||Shoot 'em Up / Platformer|
|Blue Wings 2 Blue Knights||Shoot 'em Up||Homebrew that fleshed out into a surprisingly enjoyable game. Three ships to choose from each with their own parameters and arsenal. You can mix and match temporary power-ups for some potent combinations. The paltry Shotgun spread not doing it for you? Compound it with the Multi charge and cover the screen with your Contra-style spread shot! Pretty unexciting graphics but the gameplay more than makes up for it.|
|Cho Ren Sha||Shoot 'em Up||Without the X68000 we would have missed out on the best shooting game of all time, and that would've been a damn shame. A throwback to simpler times, the gameplay is simplistic, fast and fierce with very intricate patterns of enemies. Bosses in particular also have specific weaknesses: the first pair of which are stupid enough to fire an energy orb at one another if you bait them to fire. Move inside of power-ups and follow them down screen to collect all three at once, a necessary skill to master!|
(Ghouls 'n Ghosts)
|Platformer||Save your beloved Prin-Prin from the clutches of the Demon World in this prohibitively difficult classic. Arcade perfect in every sense of the term. The X68K had the advantage of powerful hardware near identical to Capcom CPS boards, so it's no wonder this is the most faithful to the arcade. It even has difficulty dip switches which go up to eleven.
However there is one more arcade perfect port: Capcom Generation 2, for Saturn and PS1, which has the first three games all in perfect translation from the arcade!
|Detana!! TwinBee||Shoot 'em Up|
|Dragon Spirit||Shoot 'em Up||A Xevious clone, but it's better than Xevious! Morph into a dragon and rain destruction from the goddamn sky with two shot buttons to attack aerial and ground enemies. Eggs are strewn about levels and gifted after eliminating certain enemy formations which give you extra heads, stronger weapons and temporary superpower - bringing you up to parity with motherfucking King Ghidorah. The music in this game is also extremely catchy and pleasing for some reason, even the short intro.|
|Étoile Princesse||Top-down Shooter||A super moe overhead cute-em-up (think Legend of Valkyrie), whith lots of secrets and extra characters unlocked by defeating bosses.|
|Fantasy Zone||Shoot 'em Up||Arcade perfect port, and it even has an exclusive Space Harrier level! However I hear this version was in the Japanese only Fantasy Zone 2500 collection for the PS2, so you get more that way.|
|Final Fight||Beat 'em Up|
|Garō Densetsu 2: Aratanaru Tatakai|
(Fatal Fury 2)
|Gradius||Shoot 'em Up||Same great Gradius action, now with a slightly altered soundtrack and none of the shitty slowdown seen in the PC-Engine version. Bundled with the original X68000 to display with classics what awesome conversions the system was capable of.|
|Granada||Shoot 'em Up||Top down tank shooter with amazing music composed by Motoi Sakuraba (of tri-Ace/Tales fame). If these don't get you interested you're fucking deaf. Prowl through levels hunting key targets culminating with a showdown against really challenging bosses. This was ported to the Mega Drive but apparently it wasn't up to the task as there is HUGE amounts of slowdown and drowned out sound (what the fuck).|
|Nemesis '90 Kai||Shoot 'em Up||An excellent revamp of Gradius 2 that patches its atrocious scrolling to be silky smooth and appends a few new levels. The graphics are nothing short of gorgeous, making this easily the best looking game on the X68000. This game is strangely harder than its MSX version, probably due to less slowdown, with very unforgiving enemies hellbent on shunting you into the landscape and enemy fire. Sadly this has never been released to American audiences, which seems to be a trend for old school Konami (Gradius Gaiden, Gradius II - why, Konami, why?)|
|The New Zealand Story||Platformer||Yep this is the highest quality version of the game you're gonna get.|
|Otoko Dama||Shoot 'em Up||More homebrew that I honestly have no idea how to play. Total Cave/Toaplan rip-off, still fun though. Holding shot down focuses your spread shot into a stream, and rapid shot transition seems to give you a momentary burst of speed (?). Pressing the bomb button gives you a temporary bullet cancel to allow some time to cycle between options: Bomber (screen damage), Back-Burner (obliterates enemies behind) and Laser (high powered frontal beam). To get past the green screen on start-up go into Mouse Mode (F12) and click the 4th button (10 MHz) on the left.|
|Parodius Da!||Shoot 'em Up||A cute, nonsensical parody of Gradius. It's the same great Parodius from the arcades, screw your home console ports this thing's damn perfect in every way! Of course there's nothing wrong with the consoles ones since they have exclusive levels and get the job done!|
|R+R||Shoot 'em Up||A quality doujin game that can best be described as a "horizontal Cho Ren Sha". The rapid vulcan shot can be point blanked for incredible damage while the stream laser is good for distant, heavy duty use - both of which hit max power quickly as your weapons charge on destroyed enemies/objects. In addition to the vulcan/stream laser you have a neon burst that erupts once upon leveling up. This can also be fired by moving your ship back and forth quickly.|
|Rygar||Action / Platformer||"LET'S FIGHT"|
Good old Rygar, swinging his Diskarmor yo-yo around like nobody's business. The game is standard side-scrolling action with a whopping 27 levels, with the end of each level being awkwardly punctuated by Cho Aniki-style musclemen in tight swimsuits grading your performance. Treasures, yo-yo upgrades and 1-Ups are scattered throughout each stage for you to find. It bears few similarities to the NES Rygar action-adventure game but it's still OK, albeit monotonous. It's part of Dempa's Video Game Anthology as Vol. 9: Argus no Senshi.
|Sol-Feace||Shooter||An artificial intelligence has taken over humanity's space colonies, a scientist creates a spaceship to fight it. A very good and seriously challenging shmup. You might know it from the Sega ports, which are perfectly acceptable, but the graphics and music really suffered with their lesser hardware.|
|Space Harrier||Rail Shooter||Much more accurate than the 32X port. Arcade perfection right here, though they're both great.|
|Super Street Fighter II||Fighting|
|Strider||Action / Platformer||One of best action titles on the arcade. You are Hiryu, a prodigious Strider tasked to crush a communist regime. Cut up commies and amazons into bloody messes with your Cypher, a plasma bladed tonfa. His dexterity allows him to scale any wall or platform, even when attacking. Capcom personally produced the X68K port while the Atari/Commodore PC versions were handled by some no-name company. As such, this Japan-exclusive port boasted a pixel perfect conversion while the Europeans probably had to cut corners. They buttmad. The Genesis version is fine too.|
|Terra Cresta||Shoot 'em Up||You start off in a meager ship that could pass for a batarang and, at first, the game doesn't look too special. Your ship is slow as molasses, hordes of enemies crowd the horizon and there isn't much hope... that's until you start acquiring ship parts to make an even bigger Death Batarang! Your parts can be detached into high powered formations and at the highest level you turn into a fiery phoenix for a set duration. Part of Dempa's Video Game Anthology as Vol. 1: Terra Cresta.|
|Zugya||Shoot 'em Up||This plays a lot like Bosconian on the arcade with its 8-directional free roaming, but gone are the drained neon sprites and terrible gameplay in favor of mass destruction with resounding explosions. The gameplay is focused around destroying space stations in a set time limit. Each space station gets progressively more modules with special features like ship spawning bays, gravity wells (which repel your ship) and homing lasers. Your ship has a unique "plasma bubble" which protects you from one shot at full power while holding shot down, and when released you turn into an invincible wrecking machine.
There is an English patch and a PC version.
|Consoles||Philips CD-i - Commodore CDTV - Pioneer LaserActive - Sega Mega Drive - SNK Neo Geo - Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Funtech Super A'Can - NEC TurboGrafx-16|
|Handhelds||Bit Corporation Gamate - Nintendo Game Boy - Sega Game Gear - Hartung Game Master - Atari Lynx - Welback Mega Duck - Watara Supervision|
|Computers||Commodore Amiga - Atari ST - BeOS - Fujitsu FM Towns - Sharp X68000|