What I am playing: PC Engine games. In particular, games like Bikkuriman World, Gekisha Boy (aka Photograph Boy), Honey on the Road, Mizubaku Daibouken (aka Liquid Kids), Obocchama Kun and Parasol Stars. I've also spent some time with Alien Crush, (the much-maligned) Deep Blue and Final Match Tennis.
Namco's Obocchama Kun
(Full disclosure: I've been playing all of these games via emulation. Now, before anyone jumps down my throat about the perils of piracy, let me say this: I will soon--very soon!--be the proud owner of an actual PC Engine and a number of PC Engine games. Also, I plan on owning physical copies of all of the above-mentioned games--and then some--in the not-too-distant future. So, let's just consider my current, questionable activities to be akin to trying on a shirt or a pair of jeans before buying them, OK?)
FACE's Honey in the Sky
Anyway, the thing that has struck me while playing many of these games is how innovative they are/were. Games like Deep Blue and Honey in the Sky could easily be called precursors of the current "bullet hell" (shoot 'em up) genre, for instance, while games like Honey on the Road and Obocchama Kun took what were considered at the time to be the rules of the platforming genre and ran with them. And then there are games like Gekisha Boy and Mesopotamia (aka Somer Assault), which defy classifications and rules altogether.
As such, it's sad that so few of these games left Japan--and the ones that did were largely ignored. Thankfully, some of them can be experienced through Nintendo's Virtual Console service and Sony's "Game Archives" download service. To experience the rest, well, you'll either have to pick up an actual PC Engine system or download an emulator.