Friday, 31 January 2014

Hello again! & Sega Master System Collection review #1: Action Fighter!

Hello all!

Its been a while. Like really, a bloody long time, but I made a new years promise to myself that I would get back to writing reviews. I know it's the end of January, but hey. LET US REVIEW!

I'm setting myself a task here, to review every Sega Master System game I own (don't worry, it's nothing like complete, we're talking ~50 games) in order to get myself back into regular writing and also to force myself to play one of my favorite consoles that I really don't make enough time for. 

Uni work must come first unfortunately, but I'm sure I can cut out some procrastination and squeeze in some awesome video game reviews instead!

Here's to getting this bloggy thing back on the road! Cheers!

A brief introduction to the SMS:

The Sega Master System, as I'm sure most of you are aware, was Sega's first cartridge based home video game console to have a worldwide release, and was one of the few major competitors to Nintendo's NES system in the 8-bit era. There had been the previous Sega SG-1000 released only in Japan and Australia/New Zealand, and it's successors the SG-1000 II and SG-3000, which were just improvements on the original model. The SG-3000 had a built in keyboard and worked more like a computer than a stand alone games console.

In 1985 came the Sega Mark III, a true home console with backwards compatibility with most of  the SG series, which served as the basis for the Master System.

Masterfully crafted by Sega

The Master System was released in the UK and Europe in 1987 with the above design. One quirk of the original Master System model is the ability for it to read both cartridge and card based games. Sega had first introduced the card game media type with the SG-1000 and a 'card catcher' peripheral, the Master System's built in card reader was almost identical. Unfortunately, I will be reviewing the games on my Master System II, which lacks the card reading ability.

Surely that's a card-inal sin, right? right!?

Fortunately, however, a) I don't own any card based games at the moment; and b) the later Sega Mega Drive has backwards compatibility with the Master System via a Base Convertor peripheral which does have a card slot, and I happen to have one. Noice.

Anyway, enough about the history of the console. It was Sega's answer to Nintendo's NES and it was a bit nifty. I never had any experience with one as a child, but in the last few years I've become attached to it. Sure, I play my NES more but there's something special about this, too. It might be the squishy d-pad, or the annoyance of having to get up and press pause on the machine rather than on the controller (why?), but there's something about this console that plays a jammin' riff on my heartstrings, and hopefully I'll get that across in these upcoming reviews. It seems to make sense to start at the beginning of the alphabet, but whether I actually do this series in alphabetical order remains to be seen.

Without further ado, here's #1!