Wednesday, 7 June 2017

My top 5...Master System 2 games.

Oh hai, Jason here.

Ah the Master System II, the first console to recieve a sequel. Yet its origins can be traced back to Sega's Mark III console from 1985. Because that's not confusing as hell at all. The Mark III eventually gained enough EXP to evolve into the master system and once the system travelled to the European region it reached its final form...the Master system 2. Which also has the proud distinction of being my very first wander into console land.

The Master System had several memorable features including the sliding lid (good), the pause button located on the console itself (bad), Alex Kidd in miracle world being installed in every system (good), a relatively small catalogue of games (bad), and the maths text book paper box art that was on every game case (good if you needed to do long division but didn't have graph paper to hand). So lets get on with this shizz and find out what my 5 favourite Master System II games were. Oh and as always this list is based on the games I owned when I was a diddy kid, so if I didn't own it, then it can't be on the list.

5. Laser ghost

In all honesty this game has made the list not so much because it was good, but because I remember it better than any other MS2 game I owned back in my youth. Your goal is to protect a blond girl from various ghosts and super natural creatures as she walks...well somewhere. I can't recall where exactly...maybe shes going down the chip shop to get a saveloy, or to the newsagents to get a copy of the Daily Mail to wipe her backside on. The player would do this via the medium of shooting...yep laser ghost was light gun compatible and was fiddly as hell to play without one, but it had a unique premise, so into position 5 you go, even though it's more than you deserve.

5. Alien Storm

First up, look at that cover. Believe it or not that robot is one of the playable characters and not some sort of metallic bondage overlord. Alien storm was basically streets of rage meets an eighties B-movie. You picked one of three characters, a bloke, a blokess or the robo-git with his electro whip. You then beat, shot and blew up numerous alien enemies. It was fairly standard but there was some nice variety here and there. Oh and on a side note the picture above is a good example of the 'graph paper' design that Master system game cases all had.

3. Alex Kidd in miracle world

Well this had to be here really didn't it, the one MS2 game you coulkd guarantee everyone had. What a great idea as well, making sure that everyone had one game to play on their shiny new console....even if they paid for it second hand. It makes me sad that having something to play on your new console isn't standard practise within the gaming industry.

As for the game itself....pretty fun. Possibly most well known for the rock, paper, scissors mini game you'd play against bosses, Alex Kidd also had fun modes of transport, giant hands and Mario style underwater fun. I'd suggest it was an essential purchase for all master system 2 owners...but you didn't have to fork out a penny....which is nice.

2. Sonic the Hedgehog

In a shock upset, the only Sonic game on this list gets the number 2 slot. Not that its a bad game, it's great. But it's also not the same as the superior Mega Drive with levels such as marble zone and scrap yard zone scrapped in favour of the bridge zone (which was just a more gimmicky green hill zone) and Jungle zone. The bosses were also more of a let down, remember on the mega drive avoiding Robotnik and his swinging ball of doom? Well on the Master System he....just flys around....that's it. So a great game, but not the greatest version of the original Sonic.

1. Jurassic Park

There have been many Jurassic park games over the years, I remember having an especially cack version on gameboy, but the MS2's version is cracking. Each level would start with a light gun style section where your jeep would be attacked by various dinosaurs before a boss dino came at you, a section that also happened to have some surprisingly great graphics. You'd then be launched into various areas (you could choose the order you tackled them in) and work your way towards that sections final boss using platforming skills and three wildly different weapons.

I really did love this game more than any other MS2 game as it was by far the best looking game on the console and even had some fancy 3Dish visuals here and there. The bosses were especially fun, although it took me ages to work out how to beat the Brachiosaurus on a boat (obligatory snakes on a plane joke). This game was my finest memory of what was a meh console.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory avenue, next time we'll be switching to Sega's great rivals...with the Super Nintendo.

Time for the clean up

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