6 of the Best Games: Sharp x68000

Games in my opinion that define gaming on the Sharp x68000 Computer system

There does seem to be a ‘rough rule’ where if an arcade conversion was made, the x68000 version is likely to be one of the best. This has been true for many games that I have discovered particularly for titles made by Capcom and Konami, but like all systems, there are some failures too.

I’d like to point out that the X68000 system has plenty of games that are not Arcade conversions. Someone might argue why bother — just use Mame — but you may have memories/nostalgia playing these titles, even if the ports are not exactly delivered like the Arcade counterpart. It might surprise people to hear that I personally do not use Mame and I don’t even have a single ROM for it.

Six of the Best Sharp X68000 Games In My Opinion

1. Rygar — Argos No Senshi

Rygar is the “perfect port” of the Arcade version of this game. Released originally by Tecmo in 1986 in the arcades, the x68000 version was not released until in 1994 by Dempa/Micomsoft. Pressing F1 gives you access to the Dip Switch controls where you can set the difficulty, number of lives etc. which is a nice touch. This game includes all 27 levels present in the arcade version and is as difficult as the original.

Rygar is to this day, one of my all time favorite games.

2. Gradius II — Gofer no Yabou (Gofer’s Ambition)

Gradius II is in my opinion, a decent improvement over the first game in the Gradius series. The x68000 version (and the MSX version) of the game is essentially an alternate port of the Arcade version, which I also believe was developed to run at a lower screen resolution. Compared to the original Arcade version, it has totally different music as well, and I think I prefer the port music over the original myself. Before you begin the game, you can choose from four different weapon types for your ship — each with own different advantages and disadvantages. The graphics in Gradius II are quite spectacular for a game made around 1988 — particularly on the insanely difficult third stage with the field of crystals. A Konami classic.


3. Final Fight

Final Fight is a side-scrolling beat ’em up based in Metro City. Released by Capcom originally in 1989 and then exclusively on the x68000 in Japan in 1992, it is an “almost perfect port”. Only the music and slightly less on-screen enemies at one time (one could argue this version is more approachable because of this) are different to the original. You can play in two player co-op mode, choosing from three characters — Mike Haggar, Cody and Guy. You must rescue Jessica (Haggar’s daughter) who has been kidnapped by the Mad Gear gang after Haggar became the newly elected city mayor. The game features different bosses at the end of each of the six main rounds (there are two bonus rounds as well). You perform various attacks/combos to defeat enemies but some combos will drain your health bar. A precursor to other Capcom fighting games including my favorite beat’em up — Captain Commando.


4. Flying Shark — Hishouzame

Flying Shark is a game made by Toaplan and is the first in a series of two ‘shark’ games. Similar to the 194x series, you control a biplane flying over various battlefields filled with tanks, buildings, battleships and plans. Many enemies take multiple hits to destroy and you will need to clear areas to reach checkpoints throughtout the games five (but quite long) stages. If you do complete the five stages, you continue on from stage two but at a harder level of gameplay. I enjoy this shmup because I find it quite challenging to play.


5. Ghouls ‘n Ghosts — Daimakaimura

Another Capcom classic — the x68000 version of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts released in 1994 is a “perfect port” of the original arcade game that was released in 1988. The game is the sequel to Ghosts ‘n Goblins (a game I played extensively on the Commodore 64) and you control the same Knight character named Arthur. The main difference between the original and this game is that you can now fire upwards and downwards while jumping. The aim of this game is to rescue the soul of his lover Princess Prin Prin whose soul was stolen by Lucifier (Loki). The game is quite difficult and consists of just five stages and a final boss fight in Lucifier’s chamber. You need to complete stages one to five TWICE before you get the chance to defeat Lucifier.


6. Castlevania Chronicles — Akumajō Dracula

Akumajō Dracula was originally released by Konami in 1993 on the X68000 before being ported to other systems including the PSOne in 2001. Set in the year 1691, you play as Simon Belmont who has to defeat Count Dracula who has been terrorizing the people of Transylvania again after rising again after a century of rest. Simon uses the Vampire ‘killer’ whip as his primary weapon against the Lord of Darkness. The whip can be upgraded with extras and is also used to help find other items hidden inside the castle during the games 24 stages. This game can be insanely difficult, but it’s still another Konami classic.

Note: While true 5 of the 6 games I have listed above are Arcade conversions, I’d like to point out that the X68000 system has plenty of games that are not Arcade conversions. Someone might argue why bother — just use Mame — but you may have memories/nostalgia playing these titles, even if the ports are not exactly delivered like the Arcade counterpart. It might surprise people to hear that I personally do not use Mame and I don’t even have a single ROM for it, as I continue to choose where possible to play these games on the systems that I own.

Other Great x68000 Games

If you have decided to explore the x68000 system more — well done! — can I also recommend these game titles as well:

System Exclusives:

  • Nemesis ’90 Kai
  • D-Return
  • Aquales
  • Geograph Seal
  • R+R
  • Otaku Dama
  • ChouRenSha 68k

Other Games including Arcade Ports:

  • Bubble Bobble, Super Hang-On, Strider Hiryu, Street Fighter II, Pacmania, Zugya, R-Type, Dragon Spirit, Gemini Wing, Spacer Harrier, Salamander, Image Fight, Fantastic Night Dreams: Cotton, Detana!! TwinBee, Etoile Princesse, Overtake, Terra Cresta, Blue Wings 2, Parodius Da!, Sol-Feace, Granada

You can probably now tell I like playing Shmups on the Sharp x68000!

If you have missed my other story about the Sharp X68000 Computer, feel free to read it here:

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