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My new stupid project: Reviewing and collecting EVERY SMS GAME IN THE US.

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Yeah. I have begun a project since I realized I already had about a third of the US released SMS game library, and (in general) most of said library is either relatively cheap, or I have it already, or I can just get the UK/AUS/EU versions and have the game albeit with a different cover or title.

 

If anyone wants to follow me in my mission my project is here: http://masterratings.blogspot.com/

 

So far I have reviewed 7 games. (Ghost House, Ghostbusters, Black Belt, Vigilante, Enduro Racer, Hang On, and Safari Hunt.)

 

Watch as I try to find reasonably priced copies of bad games like ALF and then spend at least an hour playing the damn thing and trying to review it fairly.

 

Facepalm as I waste good money on a bad Trackball that supports one whole game. That is also bad.

 

Or just comment on Master System fun and give me advice or your own thoughts on the games I have covered!

 

(If I thought there was both a place for it, and time to do it I wouldn't even mind getting a Master System Podcast running if there were good cohosts and the like.)

The SMS just doesn't get any respect for some reason.

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Pretty cool so far... they seem less full on reviews and more first impressions with a lot. But I always enjoy seeing some Master System love.

 

Regarding Enduro: To keep from losing speed on ramps you must press DOWN to pop your front wheel up JUST before you make the jump. You'll soar through the air faster and land at the same speed you launched at.
And man, you HAVE to finish this game... at least ONCE, the ending is worth it! Trust me!

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Yeah. I have begun a project since I realized I already had about a third of the US released SMS game library, and (in general) most of said library is either relatively cheap, or I have it already, or I can just get the UK/AUS/EU versions and have the game albeit with a different cover or title.

 

If anyone wants to follow me in my mission my project is here: http://masterratings.blogspot.com/

 

So far I have reviewed 7 games. (Ghost House, Ghostbusters, Black Belt, Vigilante, Enduro Racer, Hang On, and Safari Hunt.)

 

Watch as I try to find reasonably priced copies of bad games like ALF and then spend at least an hour playing the damn thing and trying to review it fairly.

 

Facepalm as I waste good money on a bad Trackball that supports one whole game. That is also bad.

 

Or just comment on Master System fun and give me advice or your own thoughts on the games I have covered!

 

(If I thought there was both a place for it, and time to do it I wouldn't even mind getting a Master System Podcast running if there were good cohosts and the like.)

The SMS just doesn't get any respect for some reason.

 

I was a Nintendo guy but had plenty of respect for SMS. My cousin had one first and I was blown away with Wonder Boy. Wonder Boy was like my first "favourite" game in the arcades and the SMS translation was very close to the arcade. Fond memories for the Wonder Boy series games, Phantasy Star, Shinobi, and Double Dragon (which was actually a 2-player arcade port, unlike the NES version). You could tell that many games were technically superior to the NES and had bold, bright colours. Unfortunately the sound was pretty much the same in every game and sub-par. Too bad we didn't get the FM chip in North America.

 

I nearly asked for a Sega just because of Wonder Boy, but then I saw a commercial for Super Mario Bros. and I thought to myself, "Hey, that looks a lot like Wonder Boy, maybe it would be cool to try a new game and then between the two of us we could play all the games on both systems." I don't regret getting the Nintendo, even if I was a little jealous of Phantasy Star when playing Dragon Warrior.

Edited by BillyHW
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SMS had a trackball?

Yep, the Sega Sports Pad is indeed a trackball and not the dance mat you might expect from the name. It technically works with the majority of SMS games with a flip of a switch, but it's just not very good no matter how you use it. I tried converting it to a PC trackball using an old mouse, but that had unsatisfactory results. I think the teeth on the metal gears inside the trackball just aren't fine enough for precision movement. I tried playing Segasonic the Hedgehog (the arcade game) with it and my arm just about fell off, even with the mouse sensitivity cranked up to its max.

 

If you want to make an arcade trackball, don't use a Sega Sports Pad. It will only end in tears.

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I will eventually explain how I am reviewing things once I get around to it. But the short is I give a game around an hour or so. Some get lots more time some get a bit less. Thankfully a lot of the early SMS library aren't really large games at all.

 

And honestly nobody needs to completely play through a game to know if they enjoy it or not. Ideally yes go for full complete especially nowadays with Save States but.. I play a lot of games and am working on various other projects and things. Trying to perfect Enduro Racer to see a silly end screen is not on my menu!

 

Plus eventually I have a couple other blog projects to create or get back to.

 

http://blogovania.blogspot.com/2010/11/games-castlevania-1-level-1.html

 

 

like this one where my goal is to play through every 2D Castlevania. Sadly CV Legends, Vampire Killer (MSX), and Haunted Castle (Arcade/PS2) go for about 2-3 TIMES what I am willing to pay so its on a bit of a hiatus.

 

I also want to LP/Review every Aliens/Predator franchise game and every Batman game. And possibly Macross/Robotech and Transformers. But that's long term thoughts and you know, getting the full collection as much as I might be able to.

 

So count this as more doing a bit more in depth play than say Videogame Critic, Polaventris, or Steve Benway but not maybe to the level of Pix' Origin Adventures in most of the SMS games.

Edited by Bloodcat

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This is what I like to see, a 40-something reviewing games. I got hammered on Digital Press for saying I don't normally like 20-somethings reviewing games that were around before they were born. Too bad. I prefer my reviewers to have enjoyed the game when it was new, and I'm not apologizing.

 

Now, with that off the bat, I wish you luck! :)

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http://masterratings.blogspot.com/2015/02/game-ten-after-burner-1987.html

 

 

Another review up! Next time its Alien Syndrome! I'm getting some screencaps now which is good since I have a couple other versions to show off too. Ones with A DAMNED LEVEL MAP ON THEM.

Edited by Bloodcat

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I really like the fact that you use lots of pictures. That's one thing that many game reviews don't do. I think it's due to the limited space allocated for it in print media. However, since we've got the web as well these days, there's little to stop people from making nice visual presentations of what is a very visual medium.

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I've found that its actually EASIER to take a ton of shots with some commentary and then use the text to support it. And a 3 level review system lets me be fairer to a game than some number or star scale.

 

A game might not be very good but not really bad either. Just.. eh. So it should be given an OK and I should say why. Not that most people read any more if they ever really DID mind you but..

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I've found that its actually EASIER to take a ton of shots with some commentary and then use the text to support it. And a 3 level review system lets me be fairer to a game than some number or star scale.

 

A game might not be very good but not really bad either. Just.. eh. So it should be given an OK and I should say why. Not that most people read any more if they ever really DID mind you but..

I've always wished that a comprehensive descriptive list of video games would come out that included lots of pictures and no actual ratings or opinions on the games. That would be super-keen. Every book I have on the subject has at least one really good game given a nasty review by the author (despite history and stats proving otherwise).

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To be fair not everyone likes every game no matter how beloved they are.

 

I mean in this era retro community Dragon's Lair is beloved. I think its complete GARBAGE. An utter nongame. FMV/Quicktime Event games are an insult to actual GAMES IMHO.

 

In the 16 bit era Sonic is worshipped and even at the time I found them mediocre at best.

 

Adventure games of the classical Sierra/Infocom/or Japanese "Visual Novel" style (think Snatcher) I almost universally despise for being nongames that basically drag you along for a story you have no agency or control over. And its blatantly obvious you have no freedom and it might as well just be a book or movie and quit pretending otherwise.

 

Final Fantasy 7 is practically SACRED to 20-30 somethings and I find it ok-decent at best, most of its so called shattering story beats done better nearly 10 years before in Phantasy Star 2.

 

Lots of people adore the GTA series but I found 3 to have mediocre game mechanics outside of the fun of goofing off for an hour or three. And then you get into the contents and what you actually have to do to complete the game and it rubs me the wrong way in an ethical and moral sense.

 

I won't even play RTS games any more outside of the old classics because I don't find them strategic, merely action games with bad AI and interface control.

 

Everyone likes and hates different games. AS IT SHOULD BE.

 

The problem in the gaming space nowadays is everyone wants groupthink. Reviewers get DEATH THREATS for giving a beloved franchise installment an 8 instead of 9-10! (See Nintendo fans and their overhyped and UNDESERVED worship of that company's franchise titles. Very rarely does Nintendo make a bad game but very rarely are they games I actually LIKE.)

 

Nuance? Personal preferences? Gamers want NOT of these things. And it sucks. I have plenty games I adore but I can see issues with them or why others might not. Most people don't think like this as consumer products are religion and identity. :(

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I've always wished that a comprehensive descriptive list of video games would come out that included lots of pictures and no actual ratings or opinions on the games. That would be super-keen. Every book I have on the subject has at least one really good game given a nasty review by the author (despite history and stats proving otherwise).

 

Yeah, but you need a description on how it plays, if the controls are tight or not.

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I think Imagine Publishing has a few of these MOSTLY IMAGE BASED book/bookazines as does the Hiive Books guy. I just don't see as much of a point in them other than coffee table. I am cool with different opinions.

 

Plenty of the Ultima community love Ultima 7. I think it kind of sucks outside of a technical achievement. (Barely there real time combat, annoying inventory system, NPC party members who whine for food every minute.)

 

I enjoy reading why folks like or dislike a thing. But I try not to let reviews or opinions cloud my own though like everyone they sometimes do. (I do worry sometimes mine are set out of spite or some contrarian streak in me though.)

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I totally agree with your appraisal of the games you mentioned. I feel the same way although I generally won't mention it since I know there are others that really like those games. And that's fine. Different people take different things from games.

 

And to address BillyHW's comment about the need to discuss the control system for games, I think that raises the question of what the reviews are designed for. If the goal is to discuss how playable of fine-tuned the game is, then the controls should be talked about. However, if the write-up is about the game itself as an entity and the backstory on the times and people that created it, then there's really no need to discuss control response.

 

This all makes me realize that the type of video game reference I'm thinking of is something that is more of a database (sort of like how MAME32 has a text entry and thumbnail image for each game running down the side-bar). Perhaps someday I'll work on something like that as a visual reference for the games of the late 70s and early 80s.

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I really loved Ghost House back in the day, but haven't played it in ages. Been keeping my eyes open for a cheap copy to pick up.

 

I like the format of your reviews - lots of pictures, box shots, stats... I like that you're not beating people over the head with a single rating number but focusing more on text. It's there, but not in a "let me generate traffic" way.

 

 

 

However, if the write-up is about the game itself as an entity and the backstory on the times and people that created it, then there's really no need to discuss control response.

That's not really a game review, then, IMHO. Like you said, more of a reference.

Edited by BydoEmpire

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In the 16 bit era Sonic is worshipped and even at the time I found them mediocre at best.

Agreed. Sonic was an ok game, nothing special at all. His popularity was a fluke. He's also part of the reason for Sega's fall.

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I cannot honestly agree with that statement. Sonic was what the Genesis needed to matter with non hardcore gamers. Sonic and Mortal Kombat's gore are what gave the Genesis a leg to stand on against the generally superior SNES.

 

The problem mostly lies in Sega of Japan being near 1982-on Atari level of incompetent if not outright HOSTILE to their customer base. Sega has always cared more about Japan in spite of their homeland basically not giving a rat's patootie about any of their home systems except for the Saturn. (Mostly due to Virtua Fighter being HUGE at the time.)

 

Things like the 32x, and the allowance of so many awful FMV games on a system that simply was completely unsuited for those games and the outright DISASTER of the US Saturn launch are what did them in.

(Yes I loathe FMV titles as I said. But if you are going to do them you need more than 64 colors I think! Time Gal is the only one that came out looking halfway ok as they basically seemed to have traced over the original animation almost like rotoscoping. Except in this case a laserdisk cartoon. So it ends up looking much better than it probably would have otherwise.)

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I cannot honestly agree with that statement. Sonic was what the Genesis needed to matter with non hardcore gamers. Sonic and Mortal Kombat's gore are what gave the Genesis a leg to stand on against the generally superior SNES.

 

The problem mostly lies in Sega of Japan being near 1982-on Atari level of incompetent if not outright HOSTILE to their customer base. Sega has always cared more about Japan in spite of their homeland basically not giving a rat's patootie about any of their home systems except for the Saturn. (Mostly due to Virtua Fighter being HUGE at the time.)

 

Things like the 32x, and the allowance of so many awful FMV games on a system that simply was completely unsuited for those games and the outright DISASTER of the US Saturn launch are what did them in.

(Yes I loathe FMV titles as I said. But if you are going to do them you need more than 64 colors I think! Time Gal is the only one that came out looking halfway ok as they basically seemed to have traced over the original animation almost like rotoscoping. Except in this case a laserdisk cartoon. So it ends up looking much better than it probably would have otherwise.)

The only thing I disagree with you on is FMV. I am a huge, HUGE FMV fan, maybe the biggest one here. No, not interactive games (like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace), but FMV games that use video with actors instead of CGI. I absolutely despise CGI. Oh what I would do if they decided to use humans again. Loved Sherlock Holmes! Phantasy Star IV was originally supposed to be on the Sega CD, and use FMV cutscenes. It was to be called "The Return of Alis" and would have been the best game ever. What pretty girl would have played Alice in 1994? My pick would have been Alicia Silverstone. :) Instead it was canceled and we got more of the same.

 

Getting back to Sonic, he was a waste of a mascot. They should have stuck with Alex Kidd and put him in a high-budget game. Or even Opa-Opa. And the "Sega Scream" sucks too.

Edited by Zap!

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