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View Full Version : NEC's PC-FX: impressions, the games, etc.


blueskied
05-14-2005, 01:44 AM
I recently got a PC-FX and here's some impressions if people are interested.
There isn't much info about the system on these forums and many people don't know much about it. A good resource is www.pcenginefx.com.

The system itself is sorta clunky and it creaks if you move it even a little.
It loads up faster than any other CD-based system I've owned (Sega CD, 3DO, Saturn, etc.). It also has the best full screen FMV of ANY system pre-128bit era.
It's full screen, it's 24-30FPS, there are very few noticable visual artifacts. And each game disc can hold LOTS of it. I like the look of the system and the controller, a nice 6 button layout (no shoulder buttons).

The games I have:

Pia Carrot e Yookoso- I really enjoy this game, I've already played through it 3 times winning three different gals, and I'd like to go through and win all the others. The Pia Carrot games are extremely well done dating-sims where you work at a restaurant during summer vacation, and try to win one of 8-10 girls, most of whom also work there as waitresses. You have to carefully manage your attributes (style, academics, kindness, etc.) to get the girl you want. The art is lovely, with very soft pastels and full screen scans. The PC-FX version has great, full screen anime intros, and a long anime cinema during the prologue. It is also very much 18+ adult game, with full nudity (minus the bikini area, which is a big no-no in Japan--these areas are just blurred out in skin-tone). The nudity is only a small part of the game, and you can win a girl without seeing any of it if you choose (though for some, it's you pretty much have to see some). There are some explicit sex scenes as well (especially with Reina), which are a little too pornographic for my tastes. The stories are very well scripted (especially Saori's!)Anyway do NOT play this if you have a problem with naked Japanese anime girls. Go play the G-rated sequel on the Dreamcast (which is a splendid game). There are full faqs for this game, but I can't see it being much fun unless you have at least some basic Japanese ability. There is full voice acting, and all the voice actors are good except the voice for Shouko WHICH IS HORRENDOUS. She sounds like she is a mentally retarded 5 year old. Seriously. I should also add the music is VERY good (much better than in the sequel), each girl has their own theme-track which comes on when you're talking to them. My fave is Shiho's, it's really quite catchy. There is also a Saturn version with totally redone, yet oddly subpar artwork, no nudity, new fmv cinemas for each character, and an extra character (Airi).


Can Can Bunny Extra DX. Another 18+ adult game, apparently with nudity. I played this for 20 min and turned it off in disgust, I didn't get past the prologue. It's boring and the pacing is awful (the text scrolls painfully slow and you can't speed it up). I don't think I'll be playing this one anymore.

Fire Women Matoigumi- I've only played this a few minutes but I can tell it has a lot of potential and is well crafted. There is full voice (like most PC-FX games), a really cool RPG system sorta like the River City Ransom rpg (the art is also reminiscent of that game). There is also a dating aspect to it, but I'm not really sure how that works yet. Japanese players rave about this game, so I look forward to playing it more when I have the time.

Super God Trooper Zeroigar- the only shmup on the PC-FX. It has GREAT fmv cinemas in lovely Japanese anime. They are littered throughout the game, between each level. The gameplay is sorta dull and nothing special. Still fun to play through a few times, but not worth the crazy prices on ebay ($180+).

Zenki- The PC-FX's only action/platformer! This is even more rare/expensive than Zeroigar ($280+). I've only played it a bit, but it is pretty fun so far, with nice parallax, transparency effects, BIG sprites, no slowdown, cool music, cool characters, etc. Seems like a winner, I'll have to play it more.

Team Innocent- This game is pretty fun so far. Basically it's like Biohazard/Resident Evil (this is the game Capcom copied from to make Biohazard) set in outerspace on space stations with 3 anime chicks. Very well done fmv, fun exploration, nice music/voice. So far so good!

Well that's about it. I also have Tenchi Muyo (a 2-Disc digital comic adventure), but I haven't played that yet.
Any questions, feel free to ask. In summary, it's a really fun niche-system best suited for those with some Japanese language ability, as most of the games are text/voice-heavy. I really want to get Battle Heat (fmv fighter game) and Chip Chan Kick (cool 2D action game like Parasol Stars) next.

Joe Redifer
05-14-2005, 02:06 AM
Can the PC-FX do scaling and/or rotation in the hardware?

Hallucinus
05-14-2005, 02:31 AM
ive had a pcfx for several years now :P

Joe Redifer
05-14-2005, 03:07 AM
Would you like to sell it to me for $50 + shipping?

blueskied
05-14-2005, 03:48 AM
Can the PC-FX do scaling and/or rotation in the hardware?

Yes. There's lots of effect like that in Zenki. Some in Zeroigar as well. There's sprite scaling in Team Innocent too. Plus it can do true transparencies unlike the Saturn. Too bad developers didn't really tap into the FX's power very much. :irked:

blueskied
05-14-2005, 03:48 AM
ive had a pcfx for several years now :P

Cool. What games do you have?

Joe Redifer
05-14-2005, 04:50 AM
Saturn can do transparencies, just not with polygons.

Icarus4578
05-14-2005, 06:10 AM
I recall GameFan/Nick Rox raving about how cool Team Innocent was, and they also reviewed Zenki which is based on a manga or something. There was also a fighting game where the entire thing was done via FMV but I don't remember what it was called. The PC-FX was way too expensive at that time, costing around $600-700 to import.

blueskied
05-14-2005, 06:56 AM
Yeah I remember that stuff in GF too. The anime FMV fighting game you refer to is Battle Heat, and it's supposed to be good--I'm currently looking for a used copy on ebay! There was also a Tengai Makyo anime FMV fighter made using the Battle Heat game engine. It's supposed to be a bit different. It's too hard to find and expensive for me to track down at the moment...but thankfully battle heat is pretty cheap.

I played some more Team Innocent tonight and I don't really like it much anymore. The anime cinemas are really great, and there's lots of them. So that's nice. The in-game dialogue is nicely voice acted w/ smoothly animated facial portraits. However the actual in game sprites are so HIDEOUS it makes it hard to play. They seem to have like 2-3 frames of animation for most movements. It looks so out of place and jerky in contrast to all the other smoothly animated things in the game, it makes you wonder why they couldn't spend some of that time animating things to animate THE SPRITES. The controls are also fairly broken (something else Biohazard borrowed, haha).

As for the console, yes it was pricey when it first came out, but a few years after you could get one new for $275 from import shops. I bought mine used last month (complete and boxed w/ instructions) from a guy w/ 5 complete original games (Team Innocent, Pia Carrot, Tenchi Muyo, Can Can Bunny, Fire Women) and 4 games on CDR (Zenki, Zeroigar, Miraculum, Farland Story FX) for $145 total. A pretty good deal, I think. :bigsmile:

I think I'm going to spend some time with Zenki and Fire Women over the coming days, as those seem promising.

Icarus4578
05-14-2005, 07:42 AM
I might have to get a PC-FX down the road. I like the looks of some of those games, and am especially interested in the soundtracks which I've never heard before. Unfortunately, it didn't get the kind of coverage nor support one would expect an NEC console to get. I know that www.wolfgames.com sells used/new PC-FX games, among others. I've bought from that guy and he's got a good lineup of rare software.

blueskied
05-14-2005, 08:15 AM
Whoa. I just spent the past hour playing through Zenki. I used about 9 credits to finish it, but WOW. What a game!! Huge sprites, not a trace of slowdown, crazy 8-9 layers of parallax, great art, scaling effects, smooth animation a la Guardian Heroes, etc. Rivals the best Saturn 2D. The gameplay is sorta average though. But it's a lot of fun from start to finish. I played as Zenki, you can play through as the girl as well, and there's a 2 player mode too. Long game from start to finish, it would be tough to beat this on a credit.

Too bad it costs about $300 nowadays!! I might pay that much if I had it to spend, I mean, people pay far more for Neo geo games not as good as this. Anyway, fun game and the best thing on the FX I've played thus far (besides Pia Carrot)! I'm happy with my CDR copy for now. :bigsmile:

blueskied
05-14-2005, 08:23 AM
I might have to get a PC-FX down the road. I like the looks of some of those games, and am especially interested in the soundtracks which I've never heard before. Unfortunately, it didn't get the kind of coverage nor support one would expect an NEC console to get. I know that www.wolfgames.com sells used/new PC-FX games, among others. I've bought from that guy and he's got a good lineup of rare software.

Get a console + games pack from someone in the US selling it off. You can get a much better deal that way, as Japanese and Asian sellers charge a lot for shipping.

I really like the FX a lot. It's a neat console, in fact it's just fun to look at next to your TV. ;) It has CHARM. Something a console like the xbox or ps2 just doesn't have (even though they're great machines with lots of good games to play). The games have CHARM. Somehow the stuff on this console feels different from games on every other console, sorta like how Neo geo games feel different.

Anyway, if you get it and don't like it, you can always sell it off and get your money back.

Pia Carrot has a really good soundtrack, and Zenki's is pretty good too (if you like 80s anime rock soundtracks). I'm going to dig into Fire Woman Matoigumi tomorrow and see how that music is. Zeroigar is decent from what I recall though I'll have to give it another listen. I don't think it's anything special though.