One Game, One System: Sega Master System

For reasons of not being able to ditch it, Alex Kidd in Miracle World (and the hidden snail game) are exempt. Also, before anyone makes the obvious and very tired joke I’m not a Sega mascot (but I guess I could be for money).
Before we begin, a brief pause for something that I still have on actual audio tape, because it was attached to the front of a games magazine way… way… way back when.
I make no apologies, nor explanation for that. Things were different back then, OK?
The Sega Master System has the distinction of being the first console I ever spent my own money on; while there was an Amstrad CPC 6128 in the family home (and, when I shifted continents, an Amstrad PCW8256), that wasn’t “mine” in that way.
Not doing an Amstrad one console thing, by the by, because that would have to be the GX4000. I never owned one. But for the respective machines? Head Over Heels for the 8256, because, hey, it’s HEAD OVER HEELS.
(totally not me on the commentary, but the existence of this video on YouTube proves that everything is out there. I expect the lost episodes of Dr Who to simply pop up there one day…)
As for the CPC 6128, probably the port of Ghosts N Goblins. Sure, it was frustrating, and short, but that’s pretty much the point. These days, the only Amstrad Software I own is a complete copy of Elite. Don’t ask why…
The Master System is also (to date) the only console system I’ve sold; before heading off (eventually) to University it got sold along with a small pile of games, something I regret even now. Anyway, the Master System is home to a lot of really good games, even though online it gets only a fraction of the respect it deserves due to the NES being the US console of choice. That made the decision of which game from my personal collection to keep a very tough one. In the end, it came down to a final set of four, with only one winner:
Sonic The Hedgehog’s a mighty technical and gameplay achievement for its time, but it’s not quite the best thing I’ve got.
Likewise, I spent a fair bit of time (and money) getting hold of one of the finest games I’d sold when I did sell my original Master System, that being Ultima IV. Not that it’s impossible to get hold of… but with both spellbooks, it’s a tough search. Ultima IV is very tempting… but not quite the one game.
Pipped only just at the post was Wonderboy III: The Dragon’s Trap. A great game — and one that I played quite a bit of prior to owning a Master System, courtesy of man who I shall simply call “Adam” (for that is his name). I tossed it back and forth in my mind, as it really is good, and if I could take two, it would be the second. But it couldn’t compete with…
The Master System version of Bubble Bobble. I’ve only got a loose cart — I’ve never been that bothered with “mint” cases or anything, but I probably should try for a boxed version of this particular gem, which plays better and with more variety than any other version I own. Needless to say, there’s more than a few iterations of Bub and Bob’s adventures in my collection, but the Master System version is the one to own.
Think I’m spot on, or dead wrong, and that The Ninja was the pinnacle of Master System gaming? Let me know in the comments below! (Although I hasten to add; you’re totally wrong)
Next Up: Time to get portable…
Image: iBito

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