A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Game Collection: Sega Master System: The Alpha

Well, Alpha in the USA anyhow.  The Master System was a revision and upgrade of an earlier Sega console which as far as I know was only released in Japan.  They made a computer version of this machine, then later on an upgraded console mostly compatible with the old one and named it The Mark III.

A version of this machine with not as good music came over to the US as The Master System around the same general timeframe as the NES.  It could show like 3 times the amount of colors on screen but it's controller only had 2 action buttons and left the Pause key on the console itself.

It had double options for games, one being credit card sized titles, the other being normal plug it in and play cartridges.  (The card port was also used for the 3d glasses.)

In the US it was not very popular at all, though it did quite well in Europe and Brazil, places Nintendo basically ignored in their usual self absorbed and elitist ways.

I originally skipped it as the NES had a ton of arcade titles early on I had seen or played at Riverside Amusement Park in Agawam Mass.  (Now another Six Flags outpost.  Bleh.)  I got my NES for Christmas 86 before anyone else I knew had one.  (I started seeing ads for it on WPIX 11 out of NYC like a couple weeks after getting my Atari 2600 2 years before.)  For whatever reason my NES was acting broken and we needed to return it which meant I would have a good 2-4 weeks plus waiting for Toys R Us to get in a replacement.  I was offered by my parents to instead get the Master System which was in stock.

Thankfully I said no.  Mainly as the NES would quickly be 90% of the US console gaming market and even when I got my Commodore 64 and later Genesis the NES would have the biggest library and games could be bought, rented, or borrowed from almost anywhere.

Three years later I would get Sega's followup, the Genesis.  My cousin who never really played games much or ever really took care of most of his stuff somehow got a machine and had the Power Base Convertor which allowed Genesis users to plug it on top of their machine and play SMS games on their Gennies.

He really didn't have anything outside of Monopoly and a 3d game that was basically unplayable without the glasses so it didn't leave an impression.

Till I played Phantasy Star 2.  One of my most beloved and cherished games.  And there was a prequel on the SMS!


Now I eventually expected to give the Convertor back but never did as it was never asked for.  (Again my cousin never really CARED much about games.  Or me for that matter.)  So I had to get a machine of my own.  For some idiotic reason, instead of just getting a PBC of my own I wanted the system itself.  Maybe to get original controllers and the Light Gun?

I saved up and somehow got one though Phantasy Star wasn't available, nor was it found when places were selling out SMS games at 20 a pop.  (PStar originally went for 75 dollars.  In late 80s money.)  A Freshman in High School when I was a Senior was gonna sell it to me, but decided to not show up the last day of school so I never got to buy or play it till the age of the Internet, first with emulation, later with my own copy thanks to Ebay and compilation packs to finally finish it.

And to think I stood my ground and refused to "grease" him as was the custom on our bus to and from the Votech High School. I even got punched in the face by a hypocritical Sophmore (who got greased a good half dozen times over his Freshman year, which is like 4-5 times more than anyone else ever did!) for throwing the concoction of perfumes back at him.

Oh well, the kid DID let me borrow his Game Boy so I got to play a number of GB classics.

Anyhow, on to my meager collection.  The SMS isn't the most common of machines to collect for, though its games look TONS better than their NES counterparts.  There is just less must have titles, especially as Sega's arcade ports were either closer on the Genesis, or now in emulation and compilation packs!

I mean would one want to play 8 bit versions of Golden Axe, Strider, Altered Beast, or Ghouls and Ghosts when 16 bit versions got much closer to the originals?

Alien Syndrome is a decent port of the arcade game, as is Double Dragon and Choplifter.  In fact DDragon may be the best home port till arcade emulation got going!  California Games, Ghostbusters, and Montezuma's Revenge are excellent to possibly DEFINITIVE versions of those 8 bit computer era titles.  Hang On & Safari Hunt were the pack in games with the SMS and are eh.  Arcade racer port and a light gun game.  Golden Axe Warrior and Golvellius are both Legend of Zelda styled Action Adventures with a top down style.  Lord of the Sword is an ok sidescrolling Action Adventure.  Miracle Warriors is a pretty good for the era proper RPG.

And Castle of Illusion?  One of the best "Mascot" Platformers EVER.

Phantasy Star is the amazing RPG I have talked about some before.  Rambo First Blood Part II is a top down Run and Gun shooter.  Rampage, Rastan, R-Type, Shinobi, Time Soldiers, and Vigilante are all pretty good for the machine arcade ports, with Shinobi in some ways being MORE fun than the arcade game.  Sadly Time Soldiers is a Run and Gun ala Ikari Warriors and used it's turning joystick in the arcades to move one direction while firing in the other that is not replicated here.  Y's is the best 8 bit version of that classic Action RPG series.  Zillion is an interesting Metroid styled 2d Platforming Action Adventure that was an anime tie in where it came from in Japan.  Monopoly is a decent console version of that beloved and derided board game.  Spell Caster is a neat mixture of 2d Action Platformer mixed with a Point and Click Adventure game.

I actually have a couple more games not shown here that I purchased since I started taking these collection photos back in July.  Once I finish up these posts as they are I will probably make a post just showing all the silly games I spent money on that I shouldn't have since then.

I am not even done with taking photos as the PC section will be stupidly large.

But this was the Master System.  A great for its time machine that never got the love in the US it probably should have.

No comments:


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Southeastern CT, United States
I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/