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Retro Rearview: Sharp X68000 PDF Print E-mail
Written by DarkTetsuya   
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 15:21

Welcome to this week's installment of Retro Rearview. This week, I thought I'd take a look at another one of the lesser known systems, although probably not as obscure as last week's entry. The Sharp X68000.

The X68000 was a home computer released by Hudson Soft in Japan, and had various versions (with upgraded RAM, processor, and HDD) released dating as far back as 1987. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that all the games managed to fit on a handful of 5.25" floppy discs!

I'm sure you're thinking, "5.25 floppies?! I bet that thing only runs like Oregon Trail and Number Munchers... maybe Space Invaders if you're lucky!!" Au contraire, I say, as the X68000 had a pretty solid library of games, including some (damn near perfect) arcade ports:

  • After Burner (SEGA)
  • Bomberman
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Castlevania (aka Akumajo Dracula in Japan, but this one did get a limited US release as 'Castlevania Chronicles' on PSX, which also featured a mode with updated visuals and SFX/music.)
  • Detana! Twinbee
  • Dragon Slayer
  • Final Fight
  • Galaga '88
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins
  • Gradius II
  • Knights of Xentar (Which I read has some mature content)
  • Lemmings
  • Mr. Do
  • The New Zealand Story
  • Parodius Da!
  • River City Ransom (Under its Japanese title, of course Downtown Nekketsu Kunio-Kun, a vastly improved version of the NES/Famicom original)
  • Street Fighter II
  • Strider
  • Twinbee
  • Ultima
  • Valis II
  • Xevious
  • Ys 1&2

Another interesting bit of trivia, is that many of the arcade games released at the time (like Capcom's, for example) were all developed originally on the X68000 platform, which made pixel-perfect arcade adaptations possible! In fact, one of the many addons released for the X68000 was an adapter made by Capcom which allowed use of either SNES or Genesis controllers (Like say, the CPS Fighter stick which was released for both) which allowed for near-perfect arcade action at home!

Unfortunately, the X68000's last release was in 1993, while there had been one more updated version of it planned, for whatever reason it was cancelled and never released. Perhaps it had to do with the impending release of the Sony Playstation? The world.... may never know.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my look back at the Sharp X68000... certainly one of the most amazing computer systems ever released on either side of the world. Tune in next week for yet another look into the annals of history for another classic videogame system from years past.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 19:58

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