Sep 1, 2016
The Challenge Will Always Be There
Sega Master System
Thirty years ago, Sega's answer to the NES was released in North America. My first time playing the Master System was the summer of 1988 when I was visiting cousins in Hawaii. It was love at first sight and it found its way to the top of my wish list the second the controller hit my hands. My grandparents gave it to me as a Christmas present that same year.
My favorite game for the console is Shanghai. I have a lot of fond memories of playing the two player version of it with my grandfather on the move timer. I played a little dirty by dragging the cursor up to the top right corner of the screen after my turn was over to give me more time to find a move without my grandfather being able to move the cursor fast enough to make a move.
Other favorites of mine include Double Dragon, Out Run, Time Soldiers, Alien Syndrome and Astro Warriors. Later on in the days of dial-up internet, I discovered Phantasy Star on the early SMS emulators.
Though it'll always come in second to the NES for all but the most dedicated of Sega fans, the Master System did have its advantages. Sega's arcade ports were second to none, and their version of Dragon Warrior was superior to the NES. Safari Hunt came with the system and was a more robust gun game than Duck Hunt, and although many would disagree with me, I enjoyed Out Run more than Rad Racer.
If you haven't played a lot of the Master System, sample some of their catalog. It's a distinct experience from the NES and definitely worth playing.