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Console Debate #1: Sega Master System/Mark III


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Console Debate #1: Sega Master System  

44 members have voted

  1. 1. Console Debate #1: Sega Master System

    • 10/10 GOAT. Greatest console of all time.
      0
    • 9/10 Bad@$$. One of the best.
      0
    • 8/10 Exceptional. Everyone should play it.
    • 7/10 Superior. More than a few games you like.
    • 6/10 Good. You might occasionally enjoy playing it.
    • 5/10 Average. Smack dab in the middle.
    • 4/10 Mediocre. Not something you will go out of your way to play.
    • 3/10 Inferior. There are better alternatives to this.
    • 2/10 Poor. Barely worth turning on.
    • 1/10 Trash. No redeeming features.
      0
    • Haven’t played, but interested.
    • No interest in it.

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  • Poll closed on 11/14/2020 at 07:00 PM

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The NES beat it pretty easily in terms of software (due to Nintendo’s dickwad exclusivity deals it made companies sign). However I still think it’s a system worth exploring. You aren’t going to find any Mario’s or Metroids, but it’s still got some cool experiences.

- Phantasy Star is world class (some argue it’s better than Final Fantasy. Their words, not mine)

- Fantasy Zone 1 and 2 are cute shooters.

- You’ve got a decent port of R-Type, and the Double Dragon and Rampage ports are better on MS than NES.

- The Ninja Gaiden on the system is its own game, different from the NES ones. I haven’t played it but many say it’s great.

- The Wonder Boy games need no introduction. Awesome platformers. The first is Adventure Island (the other way around, actually) but the others became their own thing.

- Shinobi. Nuff said.

- Alex Kidd is it’s own thing but if I’m being honest I’m not the biggest fan of that series. Except for...

- Alex Kidd in Shinobi World. Fantastic game. It’s cute, it’s fast, it was originally a Shinobi game alone (to be titled Shinobi Kid) but Sega at the last minute decided to slap the Alex Kidd brand on it. The US/blue label release is expensive as far as MS games go.

- Golden Axe Warrior. Another pricier MS game. It’s a Zelda clone. Winners write the history, and for that reason this Zelda clone is sought after on this Sega system.

- Golvellius is decent. Something different. Sort of Zelda-ish.

- Zillion 1 (not 2) is as close to Metroid as you’re going to get. I’ve heard great things.

- Spellcaster is the prequel to Mystic Defender and it’s pretty alright. A combo of platformer and adventure game but if I’m being honest the platforming sections are frustrating. Still worth a pickup and play IMO.

- Psychic World is actually my favorite platformer on the system. It’s no Mega Man, but that’s the closest thing I can think to compare it to.

There are more that I haven’t listed but these are what come to mind. If you’re like me and you appreciate nice pixel art, the MS hardware is actually stronger than the NES so some of the games looks gorgeous for 8-bit.

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It was dead in the water due to Nintendo's licensing practices.  It had a lesser library, obviously, here in North America, and even when it did have a decent game, it would be a version programmed by Sega in-house rather than an actual third-party developer the LARGE majority of the time.

Problem #2: it's stock controller has the only D-pad in history where you can actually go in the OPPOSITE direction you intended on any random key press.  That big square directional button is the most useless gaming device I've ever used!

Problem #3: maybe it's bias from playing NES my whole life, but SMS graphics always seem to have a blue/purple tinge in pretty much every game, and the music sounds like it's coming from a tin can.

Problem #4: much like the Turbografx in North America, the SMS marketing and packaging was abysmal.  A blue grid on a white background does not scream "fun" to me.  Looking at a shelf of SMS spines is one of the most boring views in all of collection-dom.

Full disclosure: I'm obviously a NES-head so take this with a grain of salt, but outside of Phantasy Star, the SMS doesn't really have anything to offer me that I can't find in much better form on the NES.  Seriously, I keep my SMS around for a single game!  I actually refer to it as my dedicated Phantasy Star player to my collector friends...

3/10 for me.

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  • The title was changed to Console Debate #1: Sega Master System/Mark III

I think it will depend what region you’re in. Here, SMS was on par with NES and maybe even was ahead for a few years. Everyone I knew had a SMS over a NES.

I gave it an 8 because it has a great library but not NES/Famicom level great. Everyone should give the library a go.

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1 hour ago, mbd39 said:

SMS should've had a pause button on the controller. One of the bigger drawbacks.

 

I do agree, however as a kid I never saw this as a problem because we were normally on the floor right next to the console haha. 

These days couch is the norm so it is more frustrating.

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4 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

Full disclosure: I'm obviously a NES-head so take this with a grain of salt, but outside of Phantasy Star, the SMS doesn't really have anything to offer me that I can't find in much better form on the NES

The port of Fantasy Zone that the SMS got was better than the NES version*. After Burner was better, too, but that's a pretty low bar to cross. 😛

 

*I acknowledge that the Famicom Sunsoft Fantasy Zone is good, but we never saw it over here.

 

Edited by Tulpa
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Had to think about it and went with a 5. 

My cousin had one and I was kind of amazed by it but I almost always opted to play (his brother's) Nintendo when visiting.  That was all before I had my own Nintendo. 

I even tried to convince my parents to get me a Master System because it was half the price of a Nintendo.  Thank you, grandma, for coming through on my 10th birthday with the Nintendo.

Ultimately it ranks up there with PS3-5, Wii, Xbone, etc.  I'd probably go more out of my way to play Master System than most of those consoles but it's still not too likely.

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3/10. Bad controller and below average library. I can’t even think of one game that graphically or gameplay-wise blows my mind. Everything on SMS gets compared to better games/consoles constantly when they’re brought up.

GAW is like Zelda, but not. Alex Kidd is comparable to Mario if you were dropped as a child. It has some good arcade ports like R-Type... for a Sega Master System so you’re never actually going to play this version of R-Type with this dumb ass controller. It has a game nominally called Ninja Gaiden. It’s OK.

If SMS is an 8, NES is a 15.

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Just now, Reed Rothchild said:

Yeah, from the outside looking in I have to kinda question the high scores.  How many MS games are in the running for any "Top 100 Games of All Time" lists?  Hell, Top 500 games...

This console I think will be very biased to where you grew up. Obviously nostalgia plays a part in these scores (almost impossible not to). The majority of people here are from US/CAN so most didn’t really grow up with a SMS.

There are a lot of great games on the console, but now it is too hard to go back for adults because they have generations of games and consoles that may influence their decision.

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Editorials Team · Posted
2 minutes ago, Shmup said:

This console I think will be very biased to where you grew up. Obviously nostalgia plays a part in these scores (almost impossible not to). The majority of people here are from US/CAN so most didn’t really grow up with a SMS.

There are a lot of great games on the console, but now it is too hard to go back for adults because they have generations of games and consoles that may influence their decision.

Even with bias intact, what are the top ten/twenty/fifty games, and how do they compare against the NES, Genesis, SNES, or TG16/PC-E libraries?

That's a serious question.  I only have a superficial understanding of the library.

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1 hour ago, PineappleLawnchair said:

The poor people voting 9 or 8 didn't have anything better to play as a child. Even the damn NES could play Master System games better. The only thing keeping it from being Jaguar bad is Phantasy Star and Gorevelius .

 

 

Games that are on both systems tend to look much better on the SMS.  Rampage, for example. The SMS has better colors.

 

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