TurboGrafx-16 Sports Round-Up

I already covered three of the most commonly owned and played TurboGrafx-16 sports titles, the TV Sports series (Basketball, Football, Hockey) and made it very clear how much I disliked these games. This post is intended to cover the remaining sports titles in my collection and hopefully conclude that some of these, if not all, will be better than those previously reviewed.

Currently in my collection:

Davis Cup Tennis – game only D+

  • Tennis title that allows you to play anywhere between 1 to 4 players (w/ TurboTap)and any combination in between. You can co-op in a double match, against each other one on one or in doubles play or just play the computer.
  • Difficult control scheme where you must hold and release the button before you swing in order to hit the ball instead of simply pressing the button like most tennis games.
  • Even after getting used to the control scheme the game is extremely difficult. Opponents are able to return just about every shot you can muster and as a result, volleys go on for as long as you can avoid making a mistake.
  • If a sports game is too difficult to win at, it loses its replay ability against the computer which leaves it only as a multiplayer game.
  • Default split screen isn’t ideal so make sure you change to full screen in options if you’re playing the computer. I don’t always remember to do this so I often just play in split screen mode.
  • Music and graphics are decent and you can name your own player and choose his country of representation. Ideal for tournament style play.

Power Golf – game in case, manual C

  • Run of the mill golf game from the era. Easy to pick up and play if you’ve ever played an 8 or 16 bit golf title.
  • Repetitive music that repeats each hole. Upbeat and catchy though!
  • Standard graphics, nothing to write home about but not bad either.
  • Takes a bit to get used to using the pitching wedge as it barely requires you to hit it at all to chip your ball onto the green. It took me awhile to figure out how soft I needed to swing to avoid going way over the green. Just like my golf game in real life!
  • Putting is similar to other games of the era, not super easy to manage so you have to use arrows on the green to judge your putting angle and distance.
  • A decent game overall and I was able to get the hang of it after only a few rounds. Eagles and birdies and pars, oh my!

Sonic Spike – game only C-

  • Beach volleyball game where all the men wear speedos and the women look like body builders.
  • With the word “spike” in the title you can guess which volleyball play is the most prominently used. You have about a 10% chance of blocking your opponents spike but at least their odds are the same in blocking yours.
  • Difficult to position your player correctly when returning serves or volleys as the screen scrolls so your side is always off screen when opponents hit the ball. This only gives you a second or two to react to where the ball is going to land on the court and position your player underneath.
  • Yet another extremely difficult TG-16 sports game although not quite as difficult as Davis Cup Tennis.
  • Probably more fun as a multiplayer game so at least your opponent will likely suck along with you and you can just have fun spiking the ball in each other’s faces constantly.

Takin’ It To The Hoop – game in case, manual D

  • The better of the two basketball games available for the TG-16, which isn’t saying much. Once again, no NBA license.
  • Like Sonic Spike, also takes its name a bit too literally. You can drive and dunk the ball 90% of the time if you so choose.
  • Each dunk requires the same animation and forces you to press the button in the middle of the gauge to ensure your dunk doesn’t get blocked or flat out missed. This animation gets very old once you’ve seen it 30 times in the first quarter alone.
  • Extremely easy to steal the ball and have the ball stolen from you.
  • Players are ugly as hell and mostly white and blonde. There is usually one guy named Pin and has both of his ears pierced with big hoop earrings and a mohawk. Did Dennis Rodman steal his style from this game?
  • Jump shots require precise shooting mechanics and a lot of luck. I think I was 1/30 from the 3 point line in my most recent play through.
  • Boring and repetitive gameplay. Hard to make it through an entire game. Can’t imagine using the password feature to play through an entire season.

World Class Baseball – game in case, manual B-

  • Fun baseball title that allows you to play a full season through use of password save.
  • Good graphics and upbeat music.
  • Sketchy digitized voices. Sounds more like grunts or someone talking through a voice box.
  • No MLB license so weird team names. My favorite are The Fries.
  • Bat timing takes a little to get used to. Took me a good 5+ innings before I could make contact with the ball consistently.
  • Controls are similar to other baseball games on the NES so easy for someone to pick up and play without having to read and memorize the manual or learn a new control scheme.
  • Not a perfect game but definitely respectable and the best baseball game on the TG-16 (maybe the only baseball game on the TG-16?)

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