Merry Xmas or whatever you're into at the time of year you're reading this. Something like 10 months ago I reviewed the first Hyper Catalog which was fun to look at. Some other number of months ago I reviewed the second one. Then I took a peek at the third installment. Here's the next one in the series which has a festive holiday theme. For those unfamiliar with the Hyper Catalog CDs, they are PC Engine samplers that also have a little database of games. The first four are not very expensive to import and as of this writing I don't have the last two or so.
There's a similar review written 8 years ago over at: https://gamingafter40.blogspot.com/2011/12/clueless-gaijin-gaming-pc-engine-hyper.html - it's probably better than this one so go check it out too.
Already this is 10x better than the first two installments and like 2x better than the third. Our hosts for the evening are taking a stroll when they spot Santa Claus. They return to their home with the 18ft ceilings to find presents under the tree. The presents also serve as the menu for this sampler. I want to make a Hallmark Channel movie based on this introduction.
Inside the first present is the catalog.
Inside the next box is a two stage demo of Godzilla. This game's not bad really, it's unfortunately coming out at a time when there are much better 1:1 fighters to choose from though. It's worth trying for about a stage.
Super Darius II
Then we have a demo of Super Darius II. I'm terrible at shooters and lasted about 5 seconds. Almost anyone else would enjoy this more.
Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys
This lets you play through the first day of the story. Adol and Dogi arrive back in Minea from a long journey, but perhaps not the journey of Ys III, and meet some old friends. The next morning the demo ends.
This is an interactive demo where you play though a couple battles from various points in the game. Other than the lead character this game looks awesome.
Based on the disclaimer screen this might be an early build of Bomberman '94. It has a playable level which is nice.
If you can read Japanese then you can play some portion of this game.
After the intro there's a playable fight. This is sort of like a better looking Karate Champ.
I'm impressed at how good Faceball looks on the TurboGrafx-16 CD. It's managing to run a split-screen pseudo-3D game. I realize there aren't textures and stuff but I assure you this took a ton of work. This was a fun demo to play.
This is a 1:1 fighter, the best of the 3 on this sampler, that reminds me of Eternal Champions in terms of play style. There are 4 playable characters out of 9, not bad. With a little localization work I could see this being a moderate success in the US (albeit on another console since the TurboGrafx-16 was dead in 1993 here).
This was on the last CD too.
Now for the important question is this CD worth it? Yes! 100% it is. There are 6-7 playable demos depending on whether you count Ys IV. It's a pretty decent amount of content for a sampler CD. For whatever reason this is on average the cheapest entry in the series on ebay right now so I think it's worth picking up.