Down and Dirty Reviews: Sega Master -- N - S

The Master system failed for a reason, that's for sure. You'll see a lot of bad scores in sound because of the overall poor audio of the system in general plus you'll play some pretty standard, if not, bland games with not a lot of originality. But then there is Phantasy Star down there and don't forget about the other action and RPG's like Alex Kidd, Wonderboy, Y's or Miracle Warriors. All reviews are by StarSoldier unless noted.

*Card and 3D Super Scope games will only work on the Sega Master System base console.

The overall score is out of 100.

The graphics, sounds, and game play are out of 10.

Score / Name
The StarSoldier Game of the Month!
74 OUT RUN (Sega, 1987)
Sure, Out Run here is a graphical downgrade of the popular racing arcade game but it's plays pretty much the same so it's a good buy for Master System owners. In the game you race across several scenic locations like sunny beaches and rocky mountains while avoiding other cars on the roads. You can even choose your path after you completed a stage which doesn't hurt the replay value, eh? This is your typical racing game here but it's a good one.
For 1 player only
graphics: 7
sound: 7
gameplay: 6
Find this game on eBay here!

59 PAPERBOY (Sega/Atari, 1990)

The name Paperboy isn't code for a game about a strange boy made out of paper here (like Paper Mario or something), you are actually a plain old Paperboy here that delivers the news to the selected houses. It sounds easy enough but you have avoid the many dangers like cars, lawn mowers, cars, and even crazy spinning people while keeping your customers happy. The game's colourful visuals are pretty good but holy crap, is the music here ever annoying. Paperboy is a very creative arcade style game but it does get tiresome after a few levels.

For 1 player only
graphics: 6
sound: 2
gameplay: 6
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65 PENGUIN LAND (Sega, 1989)
This is one you're either going to love or hate. In this puzzle game here you have to help a penguin in space successfully guide a egg down dangerous caves so it doesn't break. The problem it's a egg you're pushing around so of course it's going to crack. The game may look cute here but it's still pretty tough. Fortunately, there is a save feature and you can even create your stages as well, if you even care? If you like a challenging game and you don't mind some overly cartoon-like graphics and unremarkable sounds then you may like the strange Penguin Land.
*Battery back up game
For 1 player only
graphics: 5
sound: 4
gameplay: 7

Find this game on eBay here!

Best Sega Master System Game!
The StarSoldier Game of the Month!
99
PHANTASY STAR (Sega, 1988)
Here is the supreme 8-bit Role Playing Game in my opinion! The game comes loaded with multiple perspectives, over 50 hours of challenging game play and it even has great graphics that still hold their own in day and age. In this big game you guild 4 different warriors across 3 different planets to save the Algo solar system from the evil Lassic in this huge 4 meg adventure. The 3D mazes can be hard to travel through since all the wall look the same but they are still fun to play. Phantasy Star is not only the best Sega Master System out there but it is a true RPG legend!
*Battery back up game
*Uncommon SMS game
For 1 player only
graphics: 9
sound: 5
gameplay: 9
Find this game on eBay here!

84
POWER STRIKE (Sega/Compile, 1990)
Here's one game that completely went undetected by radar from most Master System owners and that's a shame because it's also one of the best games for the machine as well. If you are a fan of cool NES shooters like Zanac, Guardian Legend, and Gun Nac then you will feel right at home with this intense game too because it is made by the same team. Your starship can use both stardard shots and 1 to 8 different secondary unique guns so you have a lot of choices here. If there is one vice about the game is that Power Strike is insanely difficult and it will have casual gamers begging for mercy. It isn't impossible though especially if you get the right power ups and pro players should definitely get a kick out of this vicious title here.
*Rare SMS game

For 1 player only
graphics: 7
sound: 7
gameplay: 9

Find this game on eBay here!

27 PRO WRESTLING (Sega, 1987)
In this highly generic wrestling game you must pick from one of four tag teams in this very tough to control and generally bad looking title. Although there are a few hard too understand digital voices here which is impressive for a earlier Sega Master title, the background music is very up beat and annoying. This is nothing like the superior Pro Wrestling on the NES by the way even though they have the same names.
For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 3
sound: 2
gameplay: 4
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65 PSYCHO FOX (Sega, 1990)
This is a good but not great platformer game starring an angry looking fox for some odd reason. In this adventure you can control up to 4 different characters here and they have to go through 7 huge levels to defeat the evil Psycho Fox. The game has a lot cool features like multiple ways to power during and at the end of a stage but the controls are hard to use making the game harder then it needs to be. The ending in Psycho Fox was pretty cool though but don't expect to finish this tough one too quickly.
For 1 player only
graphics: 6
sound: 5
gameplay: 6

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61 QUARTET (Sega, 1988)
The four player arcade game in now reduced to two with the red (the chick) and green (the big black guy) warriors now only available here. Quartet is still a fun shoot em up with good colourful graphics and solid control but I wish there were more power ups because the game can get way too difficult in the later stages.
For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 5
sound: 5
gameplay: 5
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58 RAMBO III (Sega, 1989)
*Light Phaser required
Here is a above average light gun game based on the final Rambo movie (anyway I hope that is the final Rambo movie, you know Hollywood, eh?). The game's biggest selling point here is the impressive graphics and high difficulty but everything else is nothing revolutionary.
For 1 player only
graphics: 7
sound: 4
gameplay: 4

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57 RAMPAGE (Activision, 1989)
The popular arcade game comes home on the Master System as well and it isn't too bad. In it you help one of three giant monsters go on fun destruction tour around the world but the armies of these nations are waiting to take you down so it isn't as easy as it sounds. Rampage on the Master System looks great and the game is fun in the first few stages anyway but it is also a very repetitive game with many similar locations, enemies, and sounds so you may grow tired of this one very quickly.
For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 6
sound: 4
gameplay: 5
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68 RASTAN (Sega/Taito, 1989)
In this slow action game you guide a warrior across 7 challenging levels that are filled with several monsters and other mystical demons. Rastan is good for people looking for action on their Sega system but I hated the awkward jumping physhics here and it's not as good as fast as the arcade game either unfortunately.
For 1 player only
graphics: 5
sound: 6
gameplay: 7
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63 REGGIE JACKSON BASEBALL (Sega, 1988)

Although I don't know who Reggie Jackson is (is he the one famous baseball player on the original Naked Gun movie?), but his game here isn't that bad. The game comes packed with 4 different modes, it has solid graphics for an older baseball title, and the music is constantly changing as well. Sadly, went the ball is in play the players are very tiny and lame looking from the high overhead perspective and the background track here is even worse. The controls to take some getting use to because the weird holding down the button to swing and the slow out fielders really need to get their butts in gear but with enough practice they works well enough. The game has it share of problems but Reggie Jackson is still pretty good.
For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 6
sound: 3
gameplay: 6

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58 RESCUE MISSION (Sega, 1988)
*Light Phaser required
Want something different in your gun games? In this odd title you have to shoot your fellow soldiers to guide them to the hostages safety while making sure you get rid of the enemies too. Rescue Mission has limited appeal for action fans but it is a very original light gun game at least.
For 1 player only
graphics: 5
sound: 4
gameplay: 6
Find this game on eBay here!

43 ROCKY (Sega, 1988)
Sure, this boxing game based on the hit and very repetitive movies from the ancient 1900's may look fairly good thanks to all the detailed characters at first but then the fighting itself really got on my nerves. What really kills Rocky is all the poor hit detection and overall lack of control of the characters (why do they keep moving back and forth here?). The different bonus levels were cool but them alone can't save Master system Rocky off being nothing more but a lame button masher.
For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 7
sound: 5
gameplay: 3
Find this game on eBay here!

The StarSoldier Game of the Month!
70 R TYPE (Sega/Irem, 1988)

This is a pretty nice translation of this awesome arcade shoot em up. In the game you control the R-9 starship on a mission to rid the world of the evil Bydo empire. This Master System R Type comes with all the 8 levels, all 3 weapons, and this game also has a few other new stuff included. For example; the Sega Master System has a exclusive secret Alien level not found in any other versions of R Type. This is a must for the Sega Master System owners even though the graphics and sounds here are far from arcade perfect.
For 1 player only
graphics: 7
sound: 6
gameplay: 8

Find this game on eBay here!


63 SAFARI HUNT (Sega, 1986)
*Light Phaser required
*Launch title that may be built in some systems
In this fun gun title you shoot several cute but soon to be dead animals to earn big points in three different stages. One of them looks just like the scene from Nintendo's Duck Hunt too. This game is short in features but it still had some nice colourful graphics for its day.
For 1 player only
graphics: 7
sound: 6
gameplay: 7

Find this game on eBay here!

71 SAGAIA (Taito, 1992)
*European game
This awesome Genesis shooter also comes to the Sega Master System with the 12 different levels in the milky way solar system. Although I wish there were more levels here, Sagaia is still one of the better shooters on the system and surprisingly it doesn't look too different then it's bigger brother either.
For 1 player only
graphics: 7
sound: 5
gameplay: 7

Find this game on eBay here!


76 SHANGHAI (Sega, 1988)

Who knew trying to get rid of little tiles could be so much fun! In Shanghai here you get to find matching tile pieces in order to clear the entire board in the fastest possible without screwing yourself up. The graphics are simple and easy enough to read so you search for the right piece here and if you get sick of the Asian-style background music you can change it at any time. Shanghai isn't high on action of course it will still challenge you.
For 1 player only
graphics: 5
sound: 6
gameplay: 7

Find this game on eBay here!


66 SHINOBI (Sega, 1988)
Shinobi is a action game starring a high skilled ninja looking to rescue kidnapped children from a huge crime syndicate. This game is certainly not as intense has the arcade game of the same name, but it's still an alright action game with new power ups added to the mix plus one hit will no longer kill you. Shinobi isn't perfect but it's still a good find.
For 1 player only
graphics: 6
sound: 5
gameplay: 7

Find this game on eBay here!


53 SHOOTING GALLERY (Sega, 1989)
*Light Phaser required
Although this game has some nice backgrounds graphics and multiple modes as well where you can even shoot the background art, you're not looking at anything too innovative here in terms of Light Phaser games go. You're better off with
Gangster Town.
For 1 player only
graphics: 6
sound: 5
gameplay: 5

Find this game on eBay here!


86
SONIC The Hedgehog (Sega, 1991)
This is the original Sonic the Hedgehog that took the world by storm and it still pretty good on the Master System as well. If you don't know the deal here you play the role of a super quick blue hedgehog who travels across several stages like forests and factories to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik. Sonic was not only fast and he had a tough attitude making him looking more aggressive then, but the game play here is is simple anyone could master it. The graphics and sounds are not as impressive as the Game of the Month winning Sega Genesis version but they still really push the limits of the 8-bit machine here. Sonic the Hedgehog is a great edition to any library but be warned although the overseas edition is dirt common, the North America version of this game is very difficullt to get since it was the final Master game released. The US version with the exclusive UPC code sticker can easily go over 100 dollars!
*Extremely Rare SMS game!!
For 1 player only
graphics: 8
sound: 8
gameplay: 7
Find this game on eBay here!

The StarSoldier Game of the Month!
75 SONIC The Hedgehog 2 (Sega, 1993)

*European game
Yes! Sonic 2 did arrive on the old SMS.......... in Europe! In Sonic 2 you must help Sonic rescue his young buddy Tails from the evil Dr. Robotnik.This game plays just almost like the Game Gear game but that title was still a solid and lightning quick platform game and it is easier to control here as well. Sonic 2 is a lot of fun for action freaks here but it's just not as polished as the Genesis version.
For 1 player only
graphics: 6
sound: 4
gameplay: 7
Find this game on eBay here!

32 SPACE HARRIER (Sega, 1987)
I was a big fan of the Space Harrier arcade game. In it you control a flying dude with a power laser cannon and he gets to fight everything cool like giant robots, stone heads, and even dragons and all in amazing 3D! I was hoping the Master System edition here would bring the incredible action home. Nope, it just sucks! There is just only so much you can actually do on a early 8-bit engine and this amazing arcade shooter should have never been made on the underpowered SMS. Just look at these very choppy 3D graphics and blocky artwork here. The shoot and move game play is basically the same (and in all honestly it wasn't the most in-depth) but now the game is ruined by repetitive music and bad looks. "Shame on you Sega!"
For 1 player only
graphics: 5
sound: 3
gameplay: 2

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38 SPACE HARRIER 3D (Sega, 1988)
*SegaScope 3D game
Sega tries to save Space Harrier by making the next game a Sega Scope title and although the new look is not too bad, you can still see tons of pasted on sprites and choppy frame rates which should have been fixed instead. Space Harrier does sport some new stages and enemies but the basic shooting game play here is nothing new.
*Uncommon SMS game
For 1 player only
graphics: 6
sound: 3
gameplay: 2
Find this game on eBay here!

57 SPY VS. SPY (Sega, 1989)

Remember those little Black and White spy comics from Mad magazine that are always trying to kill one another in funny ways? Even these guys got a video game here and it comes to the Sega. In this simple but very action packed game you have to find various collectibles before the other player and escape to win. If your friend or computer gets in the way you can just beat them up or use one of your traps instead for the instant kill. Although it sucks since you can always see what the other player is always going (remember this was before LAN parties and Link cables) and the graphics and sounds are not too hot, Spy Vs. Spy still makes for a funny and competitive two player game.
*Card game
For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 6
sound: 5
gameplay: 6
Find this game on eBay here!

The Total Recall Dud of the Month!
23 STRIDER (Sega/Capcom, 1991)
Ahhhh! This is easily the worse Strider game ever made and that includes that disappointing Genesis version of Strider 2. In the game you control a agile ninja named Strider on a mission to stop a mysterious madman (who looks like the Emperor from the Star Wars movies). Strider is not only good with a sword and climbing walls but he can also get robotic friends to help him fight across the world. Sure that sounds cool but sadly for us the game is very hard to control at best since it's slow as molasses, and it looks and sounds really horrible. Just avoid this mess of a cartridge!
*Rare SMS game
For 1 player only
graphics: 3
sound: 1
gameplay: 2

Find this game on eBay here!



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