I have wanted an MSX computer for quite some time. The MSX was a computer standard, popularized in Japan and Europe and developed jointly by Microsoft and ASCII Corporation. The standard was implemented and machines were created by such Japanese companies as Sony, Panasonic, and National to name a few.
The platform mainly sold as a gaming machine, although the few models that were released in North American were sold as midi music computers. All MSX computers had to conform to the same set of standards; the same chips, the same keys, directional buttons on the keyboard, two DB9 controller/peripheral ports and a cartridge slot, although most had two carts slots.
I got my MSX, A National CF1200, off of Ebay and have been slowly collecting games for it. The downside about the MSX is that the games are pretty hard to come by and the prices for complete copies of the better games can cost an arm and a leg. But if you are a fan of astounding 8-bit graphics and fantastic soundtracks, then this is the system for you.
The games I have are as follows; Gradius, Gradius 2, Antartic Adventure, Dragon Quest, and a Korean release of Bubble Bobble, which is a pretty killer port.
I decided and purchased this console and the games back in October of this year. To fund this fairly costly venture into unknown waters, I had to make a choice; long ago I decided that the number of consoles I currently had was going to stay constant- IE, if I wanted to get a new console I had to get rid of one entire collection.
The sacrificial collection was indeed my Sega Master System collection. Yes, I sold the whole thing off and used the cash to buy my glorious MSX haul, a decision I have yet to regret.
As far as the actual games themselves, they are pretty awesome. The two Gradius games play beautifully and the Antarctic Adventure is awesome- I mean, it’s Antartic Adventure. You can see my views on the Dragon Quest MSX over at Encounter Rate.
I am still pretty stoked on the MSX after several months and I can’t wait to add more games. Specifically I am looking for Twin Bee and Parodius. Look for more updates on this in the future!