SMS Reviews

Alex Kidd in Shinobi World (Virtual Console / Master System)

Alex Kidd in Shinobi World (Virtual Console / Master System)

Does Sega's original mascot go out with a bang or a whimper?

Poor Alex Kidd. The pint-sized, big-eared wonder never really caught on as a mascot, although it was not through lack of trying on Sega's part. Alex appeared in a number of games featuring vastly different forms of gameplay and, with this last throw of the dice, Sega tried to pair the ailing character with one of their more successful..

R-Type (Virtual Console / Master System)

R-Type (Virtual Console / Master System)

Blast off and attack the evil Bydo Empire once again in 8-bit!

While we applaud Sega for bringing some of its most fondly remembered Master System games to the Virtual Console, we can’t help feeling that on this occasion it is a little bit pointless. After all, we’ve had a near arcade perfect port of R-Type on the TurboGrafx-16 since 2006, which humbles the Sega Master System version by..

Phantasy Star (Virtual Console / Master System)

Phantasy Star (Virtual Console / Master System)

The starting point for a venerable roleplaying legend

Pity the poor Master System. South America and Europe aside, it just could not compete with the unstoppable NES despite superior technology and some cracking games. Among those titles is what could be considered the machine's killer app - a huge game with a matching price tag, which not only tested the hardware but also the boundaries and..

Fantasy Zone II (Virtual Console / Master System)

Fantasy Zone II (Virtual Console / Master System)

Does Opa-Opa's second adventure feature the same unique charm of the original?

The original Fantasy Zone release kicked off a series of shooters that's still quite popular to this day. When the game was released on the Sega Master System, it immediately became one of the more beloved titles for the console so it was pretty much a given that a sequel would come sooner or later. Fantasy Zone 2: The..

Secret Command (Virtual Console / Master System)

Secret Command (Virtual Console / Master System)

Secret Command takes you back to an era when run 'n gun titles ruled arcades.

With overhead run 'n gun titles like Ikari Warriors and Commando snatching up large numbers of tokens in arcades, it comes as no real surprise that Sega would have to create one of their own for their Sega Master System. The game was originally released under the name "Secret Command" in Europe, where the Sega..

Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars (SMS)

Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars (SMS)

In this platformer from the 1980s, help Alex Kidd in a race against time to find the 12 missing zodiac signs.

Before Sonic came along and propelled them into the big time, the world identified a big eared lad by the name of Alex Kidd as Sega’s answer to Mario. Alex Kidd in Miracle World was a worthy alternative to Super Mario Bros in the mid 80s and when bundled with the Sega Master System in..

Sonic Chaos (SMS)

Sonic Chaos (SMS)

Play as Sonic or Tails in Sonic Chaos, which was originally made for the Sega Master System.

For those gamers in 1993 who were still unfortunate enough to not have not upgraded to the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis this third 8-bit Sonic adventure might hold some memories. It is unlikely that many will remember this Master System swansong however. That...

Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Wii Virtual Console / Master System)

Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Wii Virtual Console / Master System)

Ale or mead?

Sega’s follow-up to the legendary Wonder Boy on the Master System took our hero Tom-Tom out of his former prehistoric setting into a medieval fantasy world. This game started out life as an arcade machine and also got ports to home computers and the Japanese PC Engine (TG-16) under the name of Bikkuriman World. Wonder Boy II really...

Enduro Racer (Virtual Console / Master System)

Enduro Racer (Virtual Console / Master System)

Enduro Racer takes you on an intense set of adrenaline-designed courses containing diverse and rough terrain that will test your skills and reaction time.

Enduro Racer started out life as an arcade machine by Sega; it was a normal racing game like its better known stable mates Hang-On and Out Run. The idea was to ride your dirt bike through the...

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Virtual Console / Master System)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Virtual Console / Master System)

Sonic is back for a second 8-bit outing.

In 1992 if you weren’t lucky enough to have upgraded to a Sega Mega Drive / Genesis system and still had a humble Master System you might have picked this up. Interestingly the Master System version was released slightly earlier than its 16-bit counterpart so no one can accuse this of being a soulless...

Space Harrier (Virtual Console / Master System)

Space Harrier (Virtual Console / Master System)

Blow your mind in a fantasy zone

When Sega released the Master System back in the ‘80s the company was facing an uphill struggle against Nintendo’s NES. The NES had the software support and thanks to Nintendo’s nefarious practice of making developers agree to keep their titles exclusive, it left Sega with little in the way of third party...

Sonic the Hedgehog (Virtual Console / Master System)

Sonic the Hedgehog (Virtual Console / Master System)

Sonic's back in 8-bit style.

Following the undoubted success of Sonic The Hedgehog on the Mega Drive it seems only fitting that a version of the game was created for the Sega’s 8-bit wonder, the Master System which still had strong support in Europe at the time. This game was also something of a swan song to North American gamers who had took a...

Alex Kidd in Miracle World (Virtual Console / Master System)

Alex Kidd in Miracle World (Virtual Console / Master System)

In Miracle World you'll have to contend with the evil Janken the Great, who will send his henchmen and monsters at you to thwart your progress.

Following the incredible success of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros series, Sega decided that it too needed a platform game with an identifiable mascot. The result was Alex Kidd in Miracle World, which appeared in 1986 as one of the biggest releases yet seen..

Fantasy Zone (Virtual Console / Master System)

Fantasy Zone (Virtual Console / Master System)

Take command of the spaceship Opa-Opa and blast your way through various fantastical levels as you try to take out all the enemy bases in each stage.

Fantasy Zone is one of those great forgotten franchises from the 8-bit/16-bit era that enjoyed lots of attention back in its heyday but tends to be ignored these days. Featuring the exploits of the cute space ship Opa-Opa, this 2D shooter borrows more..

Wonder Boy (Virtual Console / Master System)

Wonder Boy (Virtual Console / Master System)

As Tom-Tom the Wonder Boy, it’s up to you to rescue your girlfriend Tanya from the vile clutches of the monster that has kidnapped her.

Wonder Boy was one of the first games I got for my beloved Sega Master System. Having played the original arcade game on seaside weekends of my youth it seemed amazing to have such a faithful conversion of the...