Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Just bought a Master System for the first time

  1. #1
    Apple (Level 5)
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,182
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    36
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    48
    Thanked in
    44 Posts

    Default Just bought a Master System for the first time

    Only took me about 15 years or so before seeing one in person and buying it. I had the opportunity a year ago but just didnt care much about it.

    I knew absolutely nothing about the SMS going into this. I had only played a handful of games on my emulator I had on Dreamcast. I am amazed to see a controller with only 2 buttons. The D pad is really nice too. Love the way the buttons feel mushy. Overall a great controller

    Only game I bought was Wonder Boy. Was disappointed when I realized it was Adventure Island, a game I got sick of pretty quickly. The game started on the first try. I love the Sega startup screen

    Console feels very sturdy. Love the design. Controller cable very long and so is the RF cable.

    Too bad this console flopped in the U.S. Better specs than the NES, more reliable hardware. Sega just doesnt know how to sell a product do they
    "I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it's a comedy." - Joker

  2. #2
    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    4,112
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    4
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    52
    Thanked in
    47 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    Only game I bought was Wonder Boy.
    There's a built in game if you turn it on without a cart. Usually Hang On/Safari Hunt. Mine unfortunately has a lame maze game.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

  3. #3
    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    4,153
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    18
    Thanked in
    18 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    YoshiDM
    PSN
    YoshiDM
    3DS Friend
    0860-4642-4923

    Default

    Tonka did the distribution and marketing for the SMS, which they botched. In the city I grew up in, we had three department stores that sold video games: Kohls, Prange Way, K-Mart (we had a Sears but I don't think they sold anything off the shelf until the early 90's). Out of those three, only one, Kohls, had ANYTHING SMS. The other two had NES and one also sold Atari 2600 carts in the toy department. The only city close by that carried SMS in THREE stores was about 30-40 miles away, which had a Kay Bee Toys in the mall and a Toys R Us. So either department stores weren't interested or Tonka dropped the ball.

    I had an SMS a couple times in my life. It was OK but I like the controls on the NES better, hated the "pause" button on the console and a lot of the titles to me didn't seem as polished as NES titles.

  4. #4
    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    4,112
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    4
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    52
    Thanked in
    47 Posts

    Default

    I never saw any sms stuff growing up. There were the odd stories of friends cousins, or whatever, having a "Sega" and occasionally kids saying they played one and thought it had better graphics than a "Nintendo". But that was it. When I finally did see a "Sega" a few years later, it was a Genesis and I remember thinking "wow, they were right. a sega does have better graphics than a Nintendo."
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Moderator
    Custom rank graphic
    Aussie2B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    8,653
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    6
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    86
    Thanked in
    67 Posts

    Default

    I'm pretty sure I never even knew the Master System had ever existed until the late 90s.

    I came across one and a bunch of games several years ago and picked it up. It's okay, but the games I found aren't that great to me, and there's not a lot in the library that interests me either. I'd like to expand my collection, but I'm guessing the most interesting stuff is probably expensive. It also sucks that it's RF-only.

  6. #6
    Apple (Level 5)
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,182
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    36
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    48
    Thanked in
    44 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    I'm pretty sure I never even knew the Master System had ever existed until the late 90s.

    I came across one and a bunch of games several years ago and picked it up. It's okay, but the games I found aren't that great to me, and there's not a lot in the library that interests me either. I'd like to expand my collection, but I'm guessing the most interesting stuff is probably expensive. It also sucks that it's RF-only.
    It has an A/V out port on it that looks like the one on the Genesis. According to RetroRGB, it can output RGB. i would assume composite too but not sure.
    "I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it's a comedy." - Joker

  7. #7
    Apple (Level 5)
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,182
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    36
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    48
    Thanked in
    44 Posts

    Default

    I can confirm that it works with RGB. I tested it out using my Genesis cable
    "I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it's a comedy." - Joker

  8. #8
    Strawberry (Level 2) AdamAnt316's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    507
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    I'm pretty sure I never even knew the Master System had ever existed until the late 90s.

    I came across one and a bunch of games several years ago and picked it up. It's okay, but the games I found aren't that great to me, and there's not a lot in the library that interests me either. I'd like to expand my collection, but I'm guessing the most interesting stuff is probably expensive. It also sucks that it's RF-only.
    One of my friends had a Master System; the rest had Nintendos. He had a fair number of games for it, plus the 3D Glasses. Think I only played it once or twice.

    As gb says, the original wedge-shaped Master System from the mid '80s indeed does have a Genesis-style A/V output connector. The Master System II from the early '90s, however, is RF-only like the NES Toploader. They also eliminated the game card slot for some reason, meaning that you can't play 3D games on it either.
    -Adam
    Last edited by AdamAnt316; 08-04-2019 at 06:50 PM.

  9. #9
    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    DFW Metroplex, Texas
    Posts
    4,244
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    26
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    19
    Thanked in
    17 Posts

    Default

    Many years ago I bought a Master System at a street sale. I was all excited because I had always heard of it but never actually played one. Had to borrow some money off a couple of friends to buy the console with maybe 14 loose games. Got it home, plugged it in, played each game for a couple minutes, and stuck the console in a storage tub and never played it again. I now know that the games that I got with it were probably the lamest titles for the system, and I've gotten several more over the years (even found European imports here and there) but I've never had the desire to plug the machine back in. It was such an underwhelming experience that I can't be bothered to ever use the machine again. All I could think about at the time was how I blew $50 on a box of crap.

  10. #10
    Cherry (Level 1)
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    337
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    Too bad this console flopped in the U.S. Better specs than the NES, more reliable hardware.
    More reliable hardware absolutely, but "better specs" is debatable. The sound chip is the same one that was in the ColecoVision (and SG-1000), and that chip sucked back in 1982, let alone three years later, because there's no damn bass. Kickin' soundtracks were a strong suit of the NES, and the SMS's harsh, tinny square waves didn't cut it.

    The SMS may have a higher color count, but it also has some weird graphics handicaps. There's no sprite flipping, for instance -- if you want "character facing left" and "character facing right" they have to be stored and loaded separately. And two buttons on the controller was just not enough.

    All that may sound like I'm down on the SMS, but I own one -- 3D glasses and all -- and quite enjoy it. (Heck, I even like the SG-1000.)

    I just find that the tinny soundchip, the generic (at best) cover art for games, and a couple other things often make the SMS's American release library feel undercooked and cheap. There are some really poor color choices in some games, too -- a big color palette is no asset if you use it to fill the screen with inappropriately garish reds, pinks, and greens, like in Kung Fu Kid.

    But the European library is another story -- there are some really nice titles there. And on the US side, games like Phantasy Star and Wonder Boy III can compete with the NES's best, obviously.

    OTOH I think the Double Dragon port on the SMS is awful, and would take the NES's single-player, non-arcade-accurate experience over it any day.

  11. #11
    Ghostbuster
    Greg2600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Soprano Land, NJ
    Posts
    3,488
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    20
    Thanked in
    19 Posts

    Default

    SMS are definitely not more reliable. The NES pad is much better. Graphically SMS was pretty good, but yes the standard PSG sound is awful. Same atrocious composite video as the Genesis. Needs RGB/component out. I had mine modded years ago with a new sound board to get FM sound from import game roms.
    The Paunch Stevenson Show free Internet podcast - www.paunchstevenson.com - DP FEEDBACK

  12. #12
    Strawberry (Level 2)
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    412
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    49
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Default

    I remember bringing my Master System (Model 1) home the last week of March 2006 (I think the 27th, might have been the 29th or 30th). I was 13 at the time. I found out about the Master System in late 2005 researching video games, I thought it looked really cool and I also felt bad for it for being steamrolled by the NES. It was $47 and I got some games with it, IIRC Global Defense and Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars were two of them, I got Alex Kidd in Miracle World either also that day or shortly after (within a couple months). It had a cheap-ass Myiicco RF unit with it so it had a wavy picture but it was a lot of fun, I spent a surprising amount of time playing with the little underdog console. I got the NES the next day, I remember it being a lot of fun too (an NES, obviously, has a wide variety of awesome games)

    I fired up Global Defense, it sucked. Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars was a lot better (I like this game for some reason, it's weird AF too). I remember being shocked that there was a naked guy (luckily, no genitalia!) pooping out blue skulls, thinking "How did they get away with this on a game targeted at kids? In 1988?". I always felt that Alex Kidd in Miracle World was better than Super Mario Bros. 1. There just seemed to be more to it and it was a little quirky with the rock-paper-scissors thing. Out Run was another favorite. Overall, definitely a worthy purchase.
    Real collectors drive Hondas, Toyotas, Chevys, Fords, etc... not Rolls Royces.

  13. #13
    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
    Gameguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Richmond Hill, Ontario (Canada)
    Posts
    7,204
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    33
    Thanked in
    27 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    I am amazed to see a controller with only 2 buttons. The D pad is really nice too. Love the way the buttons feel mushy. Overall a great controller
    The system I have is a launch one and the controllers with it have the cable coming out the left side of it, right where a human would want to place their hand to hold it. They later changed the cable to come out the top like a normal controller. I never liked the D-pad much on these controllers, it's almost better to just play the games on a Genesis using a Power Base Converter and use standard Genesis controllers.

    That said the games themselves are mostly lacking, and I find most of the NES equivalent ones just control worse than the NES ones. There are still good games on the console though which is why I kept it rather than sell it off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    I came across one and a bunch of games several years ago and picked it up. It's okay, but the games I found aren't that great to me, and there's not a lot in the library that interests me either. I'd like to expand my collection, but I'm guessing the most interesting stuff is probably expensive. It also sucks that it's RF-only.
    Most of the good games are either rarer North American releases or strictly European imports, which like you assume are expensive now. Back when I first became aware of the Master System existing in the early 2000's nobody cared about it and games were dirt cheap, I never made a point back then to seek them out as I didn't like the console enough to collect for it as it just seemed like a worse alternative to the NES with a worse controller, which is how everybody saw it at the time. Now it's a "rare collectible". Most of the games I would want for the console I still don't own now, I'm just hoping someday I'll come across them. Stuff like Golden Axe Warrior and the Power Strike games.

    It's not RF only, it can use a mono composite cable. It's the same one the Genesis model 1 uses. I believe it's the same 5-pin type used on the Commodore 64 and other similar systems, it wasn't proprietary.

    But I still would rather have a Master System than a Dreamcast, the best games on the Master System are still better than the best Dreamcast games.

  14. #14
    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    DFW Metroplex, Texas
    Posts
    4,244
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    26
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    19
    Thanked in
    17 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    the generic (at best) cover art for games
    That was another reason I ignored the SMS back in the day. I'd go to Toys R' Us to get Atari 2600 or 7800 games, maybe an INTV game (they were the only place selling late-release Intellivision games that I knew of) and I'd see the covers of those SMS games and wonder why they refused to put out an effort. They were shockingly bland and boring. Why would any company undersell their games by putting the worst, plainest images on their boxes. Who gave the okay for the Black Belt cover? Or Alex Kidd in Miracle World? Didn't anybody at Tonka Toys think the cover to Pro Wrestling looking like a poorly drawn guy holding his own decapitated head might not sell the game? Their whole art department should have been fired once the first mock-up covers were turned in.

  15. #15
    Insert Coin (Level 0) danny_galaga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    brisbane
    Posts
    120
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    If itís a Master System 2 it will have Alex Kidd built in. Pretty sweet deal

  16. #16
    Peach (Level 3)
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    KY, USA
    Posts
    720
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    8
    Thanked in
    7 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Azathoth1488
    PSN
    Azathoth_IKA
    3DS Friend
    4313-0753-9074

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    The sound chip is the same one that was in the ColecoVision (and SG-1000)
    Wow, never did know that.

    Most SMS/GG games have some cruddy music, but I think it's just as much developer laziness as it is poor instrumentation from the sound chip. Like the Genesis, there were a few styles of music it seemed to be good at, and other styles needn't even be attempted. Seemed like the sound chip was suited well to producing traditional folk instrument music (Kenseiden) or a slower symphonic style like Miracle Warriors.

    The SMS Power stick was the only right handed joystick I've ever been able to use. It's funny, back when it came out I thought nothing of it having the stick on the opposite side and could do just as well with it as I could with the pad. I'd struggle to navigate the dashboard with a current gen right handed stick.

    For a long time I preferred to play the SMS pad with the little thumbstick nub in it, which most people seem to hate.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-04-2016, 12:10 PM
  2. Replies: 28
    Last Post: 08-01-2011, 01:48 AM
  3. WTB: Time Crisis 4 w/ Guncon *BOUGHT*
    By NCrouther in forum Buying and Selling
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-17-2010, 10:22 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •