I saw some really awesome arcade games at the time. Games like Space Harrier and Out Run really blew me away back then
with their amazing 3D graphics and their fast action packed game play
plus they all sometime in common; they were all made by the company Sega. Needless to say I
started to become a fan of them that year. Now out comes this new
game system by this company themselves to challenge the then kingpin 8-bit NES. The oddly named Sega Master System boast
a strong 8-bit Z80 Cpu processor, a max of 32 colours on screen
out of 64, and many of their popular arcade hits would be ported to their console here as well. Sounds good, eh? The SMS was released in Canada thanks to the Toy company Irwin and
early sightings of the games looked even better than most of the 8-bit Nintendo games available (at least on the screen shots anyway).
It seemed great on paper but I was very disappointed to find weak arcade translations of some of
my favourites like After
Burner, Space Harrier, Thunder Blade and many
others games with horrible 3D frame rates and sloppy arcade-like game
play. These particular 3D Master system games often bored too quickly
for me and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thinks that way either.
The list of problems don't end there I'm afraid. Although the Master
system had a stronger graphics processor than the NES, the
Master had some lousy music and sound capabilities (oddly enough the Japanese SMS sounds way better) and the games could
only to be paused by pressing the Pause button on the machine itself
which is a step backwards in gaming. Perhaps the nail in the coffin
for the SMS was a strict Nintendo third party clause saying if you
produced games for the NES than you couldn't make games for the competition.
Because of all these combined problems, Sega (much like Atari and
their 7800) got hammered by new comer Nintendo and there giant NES
Sega did not give up the fight though, it was cool to see a real two-player
version of Double
Dragon (although it kind of sucks) and a home version
of R TYPE (which was released by Nintendo in the arcades, btw)
plus we can't forget about Phantasy
Star, a four Meg role playing game that killed any
RPG (even Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior for NES) for
the old Nintendo. The Sega Master System has a full list of great games
like Alex Kidd in Shinobi World and some nice accessories as
well, here are some of the toys you can for the system:
COOL SMS TOYS
She is the Master and been a very bad boy!
Since I already did an amazing review of the great original Sega Master
System here is one for the harder too find sequel. This little beauty
here is the more compact 8-bit Sega Master System II and if you love
you some Sega then maybe this tiny console with it's new features might
interest ya here? First a little background though. The unit looks a bit more like the
first Sega Genesis then the more blocky original Master System
and now you have to open up a tray to insert the cartridge. The SMS
II was released way back in 1990 for $99 Canadian and it meant to be
a cheaper alternative to the then aging original console but to cut
cost Sega had to take out a few features too like the Card slot and
video outputs. That's definitely disappointing.
It isn't all bad though. The system no longer has that annoying Sega
theme playing before each game starts and now there is just no sound
a simple logo and that's it. One of the best reasons to pick up this
old unit is the free game you get inside here. Another cool thing about
the system is the fun Alex
Kidd in Miracle World comes with it.
The game is easily one of the best and most popular games for the system
and way better then getting that crappy Hang On, eh? In Europe
the SMS II came with other free games like Sonic the Hedgehog so there
are others units out there to find with different titles if you are
has nerdy as me.
Although the unit has the amazing Alex Kidd in Miracle World
built right in and the new look is pretty cool too, overall though the
SMS Power Base II is not recommend over the previous console. The reason
for this is because you don't get the Card serial port so you can't
play any of the special Card games or even 3D Sega Scope games as well.
That's over 10 games right there you can't play. The SMS II also has
no Reset button or A/V outputs to help keep the cost down for the unit
even though these systems usually go for more money on auction sites
since it's a rarer console now. If you don't care about the 3D and card
games out there and you just want to play the standard cartridge games
then this is still a good system to have especially if you find some
cool games with it like Wonder Boy III and Phantasy Star.
You also have to love a system called the Master System, eh? Be the
Master of your domain.
SMS II overall rating: 70/100
These expensive black specs will only work with certain games like Maze
Hunter 3D, Missile Defence 3D, Zaxxon 3D, and Out Run 3D
but they add unique looking 3D effects to a machine with no true 3D
capabilities. You can try and play these games on your system without
the glasses but they will only look ultra fuzzy and blurry to the average
gamer. These glasses are a rare find but are worth a look.
These things kind of stink to be honest. The square D-pad is way too
unresponsive and there are only two action buttons as well, plus if
that wasn't bad enough, you can't pause your game from the joy pad either
like you could from a NES controller. These small controllers are even
backward compatible on some systems like the Atari 2600 and 7800 to
some degree. You can even use a Genesis controller for the SMS if you
The Sega Master System version of the Light Gun works on such games
like Safari Hunt, Shooting Gallery, Gangster
Town, and more. The Phaser is fairly light
and comfortable so it's very easy to use.
Bottomline: The SMS sure had its share of ups and downs but don't
forget some of the games here that are actually fun to play. You can
buy a Genesis, then the Master Converter for under 20 bucks (it will only
work on a Sega Genesis 1 and Sega CDX though and some games may not
hard correctly) and avoid the Master system if you can but if you can't
find the Master Converter and you're wondering about some of the SMS
games then don't be afraid to go for the Sega Master System with a copy
of Phantasy Star too. This system may surprise you!
Rating: 72/100 The SMS can be a very good system if you
can find the right games for it.
Find The Sega Master System on eBay here!
Rare Scale: 3/10 it can be hard to find a Sega master system with
those evasive those special 3D glasses but that's it really.