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4 in 1 Super CD

Reviewed by: Rob StrangmanMedia: CD
Released by: NECStatus: out of print
Platform: TurboDuoNumber of games: 4
Year released: 1992Players: 1-2 (alternating)

Games included:
Gate of ThunderBonk's AdventureBonk's RevengeBomberman

Remember the days when you bought a console and there were actual games included, not just demos? I don't mean special bundle packs, either. There was a time when every console on the market came with at least one game packed in, and this was normal. The NES came with a Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt combo cart. The Super NES came packed with Super Mario World. The Genesis originally included Altered Beast and later on Sonic The Hedgehog. The Turbografx-16 was no exception to this rule. The original system came packed with the mediocre Keith Courage in Alpha Zones. Not a terrible game by any means, but it was no SMB.
So you thought you only got three games on this disc? SURPRISE!

But when NEC decided to release the TurboChip/CD combo unit TurboDuo in the US, they went beyond including one lone game. To try to entice more players into picking up a Duo, they included the fantastic action RPG compilation Ys Book I & II, the phenomenal TurboChip Ninja Spirit, and a compilation disc that included the platformers Bonk's Adventure, Bonk's Revenge and the fantastic ThunderForce-esque shooter Gate of Thunder. And as if that wasn't enough, they included the puzzle classic Bomberman as a hidden game on the disc! NEC covered every base except for sports. You got two action RPGs, two platformers, a shooter, a puzzle game and an action game and didn't have to spend any extra cash for them. Now that's how you do a pack-in!
Bonk's Adventure: Grab the smiley faces for extra points at the end of the stage.

When you load up the disc, you're greeted by Bonk, who tells you "Me Bonk! You player! We play!" in caveman pidgin talk. He then walks up to the screen, smacks it with his head and walks off as the game select menu comes up. Make your selection and Bonk will announce the game's title. Then the logo will scroll toward the screen and the game starts. Bonk's Adventure and Bonk's Revenge are no different from their original TurboChip incarnations. Both, however, are great platformers, two of the best in the TG16/Duo library. Having them both on one disc made the purchase of the Duo almost worth it right there, and in the case of other consoles, that might have been all you got. But of course, NEC gave us more than that.
Bonk's Revenge: Unlike most drones in your average platformer, these eggheads seem to have forgotten that Bonk is on his way. Too bad for them.

The real treat, of course, is Gate of Thunder. It was a TurboDuo exclusive (although it could be played on an older TG16 CD-ROM unit with the right system card), and is without a doubt one of the finest shooters to grace the console. If you're a fan of the ThunderForce or Gradius series, you should feel right at home here. And the soundtrack is driving, thunderous heavy metal. There's not a better type of music to blow things up to, if you ask me. Finally, there's the game NEC snuck on this disc to give us even more value for our money: Bomberman. Just press Up, Right, Down, Left and II at the menu screen and you're off. Just like the two Bonk games, there are no changes from its original TurboChip incarnation. It is catchy and addictive as always.
Gate of Thunder: If you can imagine ThunderForce III crossed with Gradius, then you know what this is like. Sheer. Shooting. Bliss.

Even now, if you manage to find a TurboDuo for sale, this disc will be included. If for some reason it's not, you need to track it down ASAP, as this disc should be in every TurboDuo owner's library. You can't go wrong with it, as it has a little something for just about everyone.
Bomberman: Now this is a major improvement over the NES version.

Worth the purchase: Absolutely.

Diversity: You get a shooter, two platformers and a puzzle game. That's more diverse than some comps I've seen.

Playability: Every game on this disc oozes playability. No emulation = no emulation issues.

Hidden gems: Bomberman. Literally.

Screenshots courtesy of The Video Game Museum.