PC Engine Recommendations

Lords of Thunder

Refia – Probably one of my favorite shoot-em-ups on the console along with Star Parodier and easily the best version of this. Absolutely ROCKIN’ soundtrack and very smooth gameplay on this one. As with a lot of PC Engine games, the soundtrack is what really sets this apart. There’s different armors you can use with their own specialties and a shop where you can buy upgrades like more life, more continues, and other stuff, so it has a bit of an RPG element to it too. You can shoot bullets or use a sword in this one, and it’s fairly challenging. Not really any slowdown either to be seen, even with tons of junk everywhere.

Star Parodier

Refia – Really good shoot em up disc-based game for the PC Engine. It’s a parody of Star Soldier, hence the name, but even though it’s a joke game, when it comes to fun this game is SERIOUS. you shoot little CDs n stuff and you play as a flying PC Engine. There’s all kinds of weird stuff in it to find. Really good soundtrack that uses the CD aspect well. One of my personal favorites on the system if I had to pick.

Ys IV: Dawn of Ys

Refia – This game technically isn’t in English officially, but there’s an entire fan dubbed version with English audio. You can also find the patch with Japanese audio and English text. I highly recommend the former if you can’t understand Japanese, since some things are only in audio. Amazing game and IMO the best one on the system and in the Ys series as a whole (maybe even among all RPGs I’ve played???? Idk I don’t wanna go too nuts but this shit is good!!!!). The soundtrack is just legendary, a lot of games I recommended I said had good soundtracks right??? Well they’re all trash compared to this thing. It’s just freaking mindblowing that this came out in the early 90’s. The gameplay is fun but might take getting used to, but most importantly the story and worldbuilding are super solid. I really love the sense of place in this game. I’ve played it twice now, and honestly I kinda want to play it again cause it’s just one of those games where if I talk about it I get the urge to just load it up and chill out to the incredible tunes.

Ys Book I&II

Refia – This game is a rerelease of Ys I and Ys II, but it’s so much more than the sum of its parts. It actually joins the games together for the first time, letting you transfer your save from one game to the other as you yourself transfer from Esteria to Ys between games. And it adds a soundtrack that’s probably only second to Ys IV. It’s really incredible and honestly gives it a good run for its money. The gameplay is a little less polished, but the world and everything are very good and for the time this must have been mindblowing. The Super Nintendo wasn’t even out yet when this game released, and it has a full CD based soundtrack with real instruments and everything. Not many people had it at the time of course cause being the first CD based console made it super expensive, but this thing sounds incredible next to anything else from the era frankly and it holds up even to today in terms of quality cause it’s just that well composed. The cutscenes and story segments, while not as immersive as Ys IV, are very good, and I feel the second game in particular really shines. Don’t miss trying this one. Ys III is kind of different from the others and not as well tuned of a game, but its soundtrack is absolutely worth a listen.

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