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Old March 2nd, 2003, 09:51 PM   #1
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Calling Sega Master System owners

About one year ago I picked up a SMS II and $15 titles for like $10.

My question is, are there any "gem" titles that I am missing out on?

Here is the list of games that I currently own:

Phantasy Star
Wonderboy
Choplifter
Gangster Town (useless, I don't have the gun)
Rambo First Blood Part II
Golvellius
Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Reggie Jackson Baseball
After Burner
Missile Defence 3-D (Useless, I don't have the 3D glasses)
Rampage
Quartet
Ghostbusters (One day I will find some instructions online and figure out how to play this!)
Zillion
Y's The Vanished Omen
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Old March 4th, 2003, 12:09 PM   #2
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Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion was a pretty nice platformer for the SMS. Of course it's nowhere near as pretty to look at as the Genesis original, but it's a nice port.

Also R-Type is a fun game.

And you need the 3D glasses, interface, and that wierd overhead "Maze Hunter 3D" that shows off the glasses the best. Full color 3D is still cool, even if it's only on an 8-bit system.
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Old March 5th, 2003, 10:48 PM   #3
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This isn't by any means the consensus, only a reflection of my person taste. I would suggest all of these games, and as you may not have played them all I'll favor you with a few short reviews.
  • Alex Kidd in Shinobi World - If you've been turned off to Alex Kidd sequels based on the ubershittiness of SEGA's "Alex Kidd the Lost Stars" (Which was actually a Japanese Arcade title), fear not. For if the Lost Stars was enough to make you lose faith in the Alex Kidd franchise, Alex Kidd in Shinobi World is enough to rekindle your faith in SEGA's ability to produce a quality Alex Kidd installment beyond Miracle World.

    While AK in SW isn't representative of Miracle World (still my favorite AK title), it's definitely one of the better games to bare the AK brand. It's a parody of sorts featuring Alex Kidd in true Shinobi fashion donning ninja shurikans, sword, and executing a few trippy ninjutsu tricks like grappling walls and objects, and flaming dashes through the air.

    The stages are fashioned after the Shinobi arcade title with each mission being laid in out with a map and a picture of the enemy boss at the end of every (3rd?) stage. Nothing is sacred as Kidd plays on elements of the original SEGA classic Shinobi. With clearly ripped bosses like Lobster, who in the AK version gets "steamed and buttered" upon defeat rather than keel over an die as in the original, this game is a nostalgic riot.

    It's also a pretty rare game to snare. I'm not sure but I don't think that many copies of Shinobi World were released domestically, as they fetch a bit more than other Master System titles on the resale market. While the prices for Shinobi World are slightly higher, they are so much that it's not worth the purchase. Alex Kidd in Shinobi World is a SMS great IMO and anyone who enjoys Alex Kidd and the original Shinobi would likely enjoy this title as well.
  • Alex Kidd in High Tech World - Again, Sega shows their ability to make an Alex Kidd sequel as good as they can bad.

    Alex Kidd in High Tech world incorporates traditional role play elements and Japanese cultural elements which may not sit well with most Western gamers but are fascinating to less casual gaming fans. Baring little in common with it's many predecessors, Alex Kidd in High Tech World offers new game play elements like character interaction, cause and effect decisions/choices and even a bit of SEGA trivia (You have to pass a quiz that includes SEGA gaming questions shortly into the game, I aced it the first time). I haven’t played through Alex Kidd in High Tech World in it's entirety yet, so I can't give an in-depth review of the title, but I certainly plan on getting more time in, as the more I play it the more I enjoy it.

    Alex Kidd in High Tech World, like Shinobi World seems to demand a little more than other SMS titles, but like Shinobi World is certainly worth it for a true SMS fan.
  • Black Belt - Not much to say about Black Belt, but I've never met anyone who's a SMS fan and has played this game and didn't like it.

    It's pretty much a 1 player martial arts fighter that shares many game play elements as SEGA Genesis' "Last Battle". It's got a pretty fair difficulty rating and impressive game play mechanics considering it's an NES Kung-Fu master era title (and it completely blows Kung-Fu Master away). While I wouldn't say I couldn't live without it, I would recommend it. I know too many people that feel it's the best that the SMS has to offer.
  • Fantasy Zone II, The Tears of Opa-Opa - This is probably my favorite shooter and easily one of my all time favorite games. It's colourful and zany with some of the coolest backgrounds ever created on an 8-bit platform.

    As mentioned, it's a shooting game where you play as Opa-Opa, an winged, egg shaped creature who not many people realize is a character from the 80's era "Zillion" Anime series, by Tatsunoko. You're mission is to destroy Menans (the enemies) and the Blackhearts (the bosses) using custom weapons and speed upgrades which you can purchase in a number of shops through out the game for various prices. You gather monies in the form of coinage and bills collected from defeated enemies, but every time you purchase an item it's price goes up, costing your more the next time it's purchased. In addition to weapons and speed upgrades you can also purchase extra lives, rapid fire, increased vitality and continue game credits. There are also a number of hidden objects and shops which reward you with various power ups that aid you in your mission.

    FZII has a scrolling prologue that reveals elements of the games first installment and details the events which place in the second, and while FZII is a shooting game your character actually has a personality (he's not just a machine, he's a sentient mechanism), and as such the ending and storyline is quite touching.

    Fantasy Zone, being a SEGA produced title, has one of the best soundtracks for an 8-Bit game. In fact, there's a re-mixed sample of the FZ-shop tune in several other SEGA games including Super Hang-On on SEGA Genesis and Phantasy Star IV also on SEGA Genesis. I'm a fan of Fantasy Zone the Maze (the third installment of the series) and lastly the Original Fantasy Zone, but I think that part two is the over-all best of the series.
  • Fantasy Zone The Maze - Again, I'm a real fan of the Fantasy Zone series, and this third installment is an interesting break from the shooting game formula. It's a 1-2 player maze style, Pac-Man'ish Prequel (it takes place before the first FZ) with several aspects that set it apart from other Maze genre games.

    For one it's got a weapons/money exchange system that makes it increasingly difficult to end this game in single player mode. Unlike the first two Fantasy Zone's You go through the majority of the game with NO weapons but have the option to purchase weapons (which only last for a few moments at a time) when needed with the funds you've collected in the form of captured enemy coins, the dots which occupy each maze, and special symbols which appear at random intervals (or when certain conditions are met).

    As with other FZ games the weapons increase in price with demand, so every time you or another player purchase a weapon that particular weapon is going to cost a little (or a lot) more the next time you buy it. Most people who play this game have trouble ending it because of the budgeting difficulties involved, as the increase in game difficultly can lead to bankruptcy preventing you from purchasing the weapons you need in later stages.

    Two player mode is a lot easier but is an excellent game to play competitively rather than cooperatively. This increases the difficulty and is a great deal more rewarding.

    FZ the Maze It also features revised backgrounds and music from the original Fantasy Zone (I) game. Not many people would list it as a must have title, but I really love this game and recommend it highly. I'd also suggest that you get the first Fantasy Zone installment just to say that you have all three. Having the first one in a way gives you a better appreciation of the two sequels.

    Fantasy Zone (I) is also one of the only SMS games to have a blue title graphic on the cartridge instead of a red one. Not that it matters, it just looks cool.
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Old March 5th, 2003, 10:54 PM   #4
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Arrow more worth while SMS titles...

I'd also suggest these titles.
  • Ghost House - Is one the few SEGA game cards released for the SMS. Basically a one mega game where you take a (not so) spooky rump through houses that are occupied by ghosts, bats, mummies, fire breathing demons and of course vampires. There are also arrows and knives that occasionally fly at your head, sometimes getting logged in your skull.

    You're goal is to collect gems that are awarded every time that you kill a vampire. There are 5 vampires to slay per round and you can get a limited number of power ups including an energy increase, a random (?) points awards and an attack knife. There's not much of a difference between the 6 stages in this game, but there are some difficult points in the game that require you to plan your course of action as your weapons (knives) are limited and your basic punching attack alone is sort of shitty. Your enemies are more humorous than creepy and your character himself looks like a demon. According to the manual he's "a normal kid", but I'm almost positive that he was supposed to be a demon of some sort himself in the original Japanese version.

    With trippy little extras like secret passages, a time freezing trick, crawling, and programming flaws (They don't add your last bonus) Ghost House amounts to mindless fun. Not the most involved gamed I've played, but I could think of worse ways to kill 30 minutes. The theme song's fun to make up lyrics to as well.

    I'd definitely recommend it to a SMS owner.
  • Space Harrier - While Space Harrier on the SMS is the poorest example of the a SEGA Arcade Great of the same name (due to obvious hardware limitations), it's still a classic and is worth having for novelty's sake.

    SMS's Space Harrier was the first video game I've ever owned that had a Sound Test Mode (something very common today), and many a night I've sat up listening to those classic tracks played over and over again. The SMS version of the original Space Harrier is also the only version to have an epilogue, complete with cool little SD (Super Deformed) versions of the hero and enemies/bosses chasing each other, taking a bow, and marching along to the sounds of the melancholy track "Lovers".

    Interestingly enough, according to the SMS Space Harrier prologue the Space year that the game takes place in (6226) is the same year that Fantasy Zone II's story takes place. Also, Space Harrier's stage one (Moot) boss "Squilla" cameo's as the stage four (Bow Bow) boss on Fantasy Zone II. They also refer to the forth level as "The checkered path" in the Fantasy Zone II manual. Clearly a reference to the trademark checkered path in Space Harrier. Lastly, Space Harrier welcomes you to the "Fantasy Zone" in the original arcade version and does so at the end of the prologue of the SMS version.

    SEGA always added little Easter eggs and references of that sort in their games. SMS Space Harrier also includes a final Boss (Hiya Oh) that doesn't appear on any other version of Space Harrier that I'm aware of. You'll notice that the high scores have an additional high score (equal to the first place score of 1,000,000) with the initials EPI at the top of the list. Try imputing those initials into all of the high score slots and you might get an interesting (but now worthless) surprise.
  • Wonder Boy III, The Dragon's Trap - A completely different game from what you might expect after playing the first Wonder Boy.

    You begin Wonder Boy III by fighting a monster and (easily) defeating him, but suffering a curse which changes you into a lizard man, and now your quest is to find an artifact called the Salamander Cross which is needed to change you back to your original human form. As the game progresses you'll be changed into several other animal forms, each having special limitations and abilities (swimming, flying, wall crawling, etc), and will have the option to purchase a number of different weapons and magical items to aid you in this action role play adventure. If memory serves me correctly this game has a battery save feature allowing you to save you game in the carts internal memory. I can't guarantee that the internal memory will still function properly after 16 years time, but you can always emulate the title on your PC in the event your cartridge is incapable of saving data.

    Wonder Boy doesn't share many similarities to it's predecessor, but it's my favorite of the series and a definite recommendation for anyone with a SMS or SMS emulator.
  • Zillion II The Triformation - Zillion II is another favorite of mine that very few people appreciate. Almost no one likes this game and for a number of reasons that have little to do with the title itself.

    Zillion II The Triformation was a rather unpopular sequel to the original SMS smash hit Zillion. It shares very few elements of the original save the cast of characters JJ, Apple and Champ. As with the first installment you must rescue your comrades in arms from the Norsa labyrinth, however, unlike the original Zillion title there are virtually no differences between the three characters outside of their appearance.

    Zillion II, unlike it's predecessor, is a very short game composed of 8 stages. 4 of the eight stages (every other stage) are played by running and jumping on foot through a labyrinth of platform levels, having elevators, stationary gun turrets, moving and flying gun turrets and of course Norsa warriors. Unlike the first Zillion game, there are also bosses at the end of every platform stage. The other 4 stages take place while riding a transformable three wheeled motorcycle called "The Triformation", which, unbeknownst to most, is the signature vehicle of the White Knights in the 80's era Zillion Anime series.

    The reason many people don't care for Zillion II is because they're basing their feelings on a comparison to the first game, and having never seen a single episode of the Zillion series. Without seeing the Anime one's only impression of Zillion is that of an in-depth "Metriod" styled adventure game. The sequel, Zillion II, is anything but that. It's a face paced platform style shooting game more similar to Quartet than Zillion I.

    Once you get out of the habit of viewing the game in the shadow of the original, you start to appreciate it's finer qualities. Zillion II, like the original, stars the three heroes of the original Anime series JJ, Apple and Champ - "The White Knights". It also has signature elements from the Anime series such as the music, enemy characters, mecha and the fore mentioned Triformation motorcycle, which if you haven't seen the Zillion series is very similar to the "Cyclone" motorcycle from the Robotech series (Your chances of seeing that are a little bit better).

    These elements, along with solid game play make a rather enjoyable gaming experience and an easy recommendation for any who are fans of shooting games, of the Zillion Anime series or "Otaku" in general.

    A LITTLE SMS TRIVIA: Not many people realize that the SEGA Light Phaser (The official SMS Light Gun) is actually a replica of the Zillion Gun from the Zillion Anime! Cord and all.





    It even appears on the intro screen to Zillion I on SMS. JJ blasts the screen with it before the title screen appears. And YES, I used to role play with the gun, I was 12 years old after all!
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Old March 11th, 2003, 10:56 AM   #5
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Spy Vs. Spy =)
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Old March 11th, 2003, 04:18 PM   #6
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I've never played Spy vs. Spy. What was the game play like? I don't know anything about the title, but I'm a MAD magazine fan so it might hold my interest.
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Old March 11th, 2003, 07:09 PM   #7
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The game was fun as hell. Get the ROM and try it.

http://www.consolecity.com/forum/sho...threadid=20076
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Old March 11th, 2003, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The game was fun as hell.
Seconded!!
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Old March 15th, 2003, 11:23 AM   #9
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You might also want to add these to the list as well:
  • Kenseiden - This is one of the best 8-bit games on any platform in my opinion. It's a really dark Samurai themed game with extremely creepy backgrounds, sound and enemies, most picked from traditional Japanese folklore.

    You advance through the game by selecting adjacent regions to the one you're currently occupying on a Map of an ancient Japanese province once you've completed a stage. There are also dojos and shrines along the way which offer special gifts, and rewards of advanced attack abilities, when certain tests are completed. You have the option of not completing all of these tests and advancing through the game by your own means. In short, the game play is non-linear and the difficultly is relative to the paths you choose and the order in which you advance.

    Kenseiden's a pretty difficult game, with a few really tough bosses, and ultimately one of the most under rated titles of the 8-bit era. Definitely a most have for any SMS collector. I'm actually surprised that it never had a sequel on a later platform.
  • Cyborg Hunter - One of few Activision SMS additions, but one of the better Master System titles IMO. Cyborg Hunter is a labyrinth type exploration game not unlike the first Zillion title, were you try to advance to different levels of an enemy complex filled with elevators, weapon upgrades, map screens and cyborg creatures.

    Cyborg Hunter, a side scrolling game, has in addition, a first person sort of radar system similar to Phantasy Star's dungeons view - where as you can tell when an approaching enemy's nearing you by an indicating dot on the FP-view screen and an audible proximity sensor which beeps louder and faster as enemies draw closer (or rather as YOU get closer to THEM, as they usually remain hidden until you're right on top of them). You're basic attack is a punch, however you have the ability to throw a more powerful wave-like projectile punch which is limited, and to attain a few more weapons (shields, bombs, etc.) through out the course of the game. You also have inventory and (I believe) map screens that you can access using the player 2 controller (as with Zillion II and a few other titles). This is because SEGA was to dumb to add a pause and/or select button to the SMS controller. Regardless to the annoying inventory access method and the semi-annoying soundtrack, Cyborg Hunter's a pretty solid game and definitely worth a recommendation.

    Once you end it however, you'll be shown a picture "Paladin" (your character) and two other Cyborg Hunter's who never appear anywhere through out the game. I've never figured this one out...shitty planning/programming or game secrets I haven't figured out yet? Go figure.
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Old March 20th, 2003, 12:48 PM   #10
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I found a screen shot of Kenseiden:

It' looks similar to Irem's Coin Op / TG-16 game Ninja Spirit:
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Old March 20th, 2003, 01:21 PM   #11
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Kensiden is the shit. The way you progress through the games stages was really different for that era. I've played Ninja Spirit a few times on M.A.M.E. but never the console version.

I understand it to be a rather popular title on the TG-16.
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