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alienjesus
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Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by alienjesus Tue Aug 02, 2022 5:32 pm

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I'm a day late starting this month's thread, sorry!

This month we're going back to the 8 bit days with Sega's NES rival, the Master System. Known in Japan as the Mark III, this was Sega's more powerful followup to it's SG1000 hardware. The console wasn't a big success in Japan or North America but proved popular in Europe and Brazil, with games being released way into the 1990s after more modern options were already on the market. The system sold somewhere in the region of 10 million units overall.

What are your favourite Master System titles? Do you have much experience with the console. Any hidden gems, cult classics, or defining titles you would recommend? Let's discuss Sega's 8 bit wonder this month!

Edit by racket:
RB Guides covering Master System:
Master System 101 A Beginner's Guide: https://www.racketboy.com/retro/sega-ma ... ners-guide
Games That Defined the Master System: https://www.racketboy.com/retro/games-t ... ter-system
Master System Hidden Gems: https://www.racketboy.com/retro/the-bes ... idden-gems
Rarest & Most Valuable Master System Games: https://www.racketboy.com/retro/the-rar ... stem-games
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SpaceBooger
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by SpaceBooger Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:31 pm

I just got my first SMS this spring. I have a couple of games: Zillion, Golvelius, and AfterBurner. I have not played any other than AfterBurner to test the system. I do have a flashcart so I am excited to see what games people talk about and recommend.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:09 pm

This is a fun console. Phantasy Star is still my favorite 8-bit JRPG.
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:14 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:This is a fun console. Phantasy Star is still my favorite 8-bit JRPG.

Same
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by o.pwuaioc Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:25 pm

The console itself is unnecessary thanks to the Power Base Converter, or for those who care about sound chips, the Power Base Mini FM. It also has the best port of Paperboy and Choplifter. The Sonic games are worth getting, Zillion is great, Master of Darkness is stupid expensive. What really sells it though is Golden Axe Warrior.
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by marurun Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:10 am

I confess I never really got on with the Master System. The audio felt too strident to me and while it could display pretty graphics it simply couldn’t handle smooth motion as cleanly as the NES. It felt like a system that had made the wrong compromises where the NES had made the right ones. And yet it does host some true classics. And I felt the hardware’s second life as the Game Gear was oddly more palatable.
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by Nemoide Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:26 am

It wasn't supported long enough to get mapper chips in cartridges like Nintendo used, so even though it's more powerful than the NES, there aren't any SMS games that can really compare to Mario 3 or Kirby's Adventure. But I think the system still stands strong for arcade-style action! I love the SMS. It's perfect for games that I just want to play in short bursts. I've never beaten Fantasy Zone or Space Harrier, but I love popping in a cartridge and playing for 30 minutes or so. I've heard people describe the difficulty of retro games as being "Nintendo hard" but IMO Sega just upped the difficulty to the point of absurdity - I've long since given up trying to beat even my favorite SMS titles; they're just too hard. Although now that I'm thinking about it, it's been a while since I've given Zillion a go and that one feels like it's possible to beat...

Like o.pwuaioc said, the Power Base Mini FM has largely replaced the need for an actual console. I'd rather play my games on that and get to hear those sweet FM soundtracks. But I still have my console for some of the oddball things like the 3D games or card-based games, both of which require a model 1 SMS for the card slot. I actually only have one card game and it's extremely bad (F-16 Fighting Falcon) but I think the card format is really cool and do like the idea of collecting more of them.

The system's library is a bit odd because on one hand, it's so small that it feels like there really aren't any truly hidden gems. But on the other hand, since the SMS was so unpopular in the US, it kind of feels like EVERYTHING is a hidden gem.
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by bmoc Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:08 am

I really loved collecting for the Master System. There are so many great imports! Alas, I sold off my collection after getting an Everdrive for my Genesis. In fact, I now have two Genesis consoles. One unit has a 32X (which prevents Master System games from being played) and the 2nd one is solely for playing Master System games.
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by marurun Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:23 am

I'm not sure the Master System could have supported mapper chips the way the NES did. The NES exposed a lot of internal memory and bus access via the cartridge slot that other systems didn't.
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Re: Console of the Month (August 2022) - Sega Master System

by o.pwuaioc Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:18 am

Nemoide wrote:I actually only have one card game and it's extremely bad (F-16 Fighting Falcon) but I think the card format is really cool and do like the idea of collecting more of them.

How's your Turbografx-16 collection coming along? :)
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