Did you know that D4 Enterprise is releasing Japanese PC-88 games on Switch? It hasn’t been going on for long, but I just learned it now, thanks to Hydlide. D4 has added two titles to their EggConsole lineup, with 1984’s Hydlide and 1986’s Silpheed.
The PC-88 is a Japanese home computer, similar to the Commodore 64 or Apple II. While we never got it over here in the West, it was extremely popular in its home country. Because of this, there are very few ways for Anglophones to really experience them. The fact that someone is porting games from the platform to Switch is pretty exciting to retro explorers such as myself.
Hydlide is an interesting, but kind of dopey, game that was ported to the NES but originally released on the PC8801. It’s an action RPG that predates both Dragon Quest and The Legend of Zelda. It’s a pioneer! Though, it’s also not a great one. Still worth experiencing for the historical context and its overall importance in the genre. It’s the same reason you might play the original Ultima.
Silpheed, on the other hand, is a scrolling shoot-‘em-up. For 1986, it feels so ahead of its time. It uses a lot of 3D effects and has some pretty rocking music. It was ported to other microcomputers at the time, got a semi-sequel on the Sega CD, and lived on through entries on the PS2 and Xbox 360.
Beyond these two games, you can also find Xanadu, Relics, and Thexder already available as part of the EggConsole series. Each one runs for $6.49, which strikes me as a good price. The only thing to note is that parts of these games are still in Japanese, but it appears that all of the important stuff is in English.
Staff Writer – Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.