As Pang Man Continues His Journey Through Some Of His Finest Gaming Memories,
He Gets Underneath The Games That Made The SEGA Master System Such A Great System!
Let's Take Another Trip Into The Mind Of The Pang Man As He Reveals Some Of His Favourites SMS Video Games...
"The Commodore 64 was my first computer and the only cassette loading machine that I ever owned. I can’t remember too many of the games, but I do recall enjoying The Ninja (cool music), Boulder Dash, International Karate and Who Dares Wins.
The Sega Master System was my first console and my first cartridge based system. Even today, I still prefer the feel and weight of Cartridges compared to CDs. The games were boxed in distinctive white packaging and cost about £30 each (I think!)
In those days, most of my friends had an Atari St or Amiga 500 and would avidly read the St Format or Amiga Format magazines. I however was happy with my Sega console and have great memories of some of the classics.
Besides Double Dragon my favourite beat ‘em up was Shinobi. I know now that this was considered to be a shoddy port of the arcade classic, but at the time I thought it was great. Growing up I loved Martial Arts and Kung Fu movies, so anything related was appealing to me. I was fascinated with ninjas as well and would often rent ninja movies from the local video store. (On that note, I thought American Ninja was an awesome movie when I first watched it, but I saw it again a few years later and realised it was rubbish!)
The cool thing about Shinobi was the bosses, for example in the 3rd stage you had to defeat Mandara. Mandara was a boss where you had to fire ninja stars at an extremely rapid pace in order to avoid being crushed against the side of the screen. I was so glad when I finally won. I probably died at least 20 times! The final boss, a masked ninja was also pretty good for an 8 bit game. After he was hit 3 times he would change patterns and only after you beat numerous patterns would you emerge victorious.
Another of my favourites was Bomber Raid. This was a vertical scrolling shoot ‘em up where you could slowly gain more and more powerful ammunition as you went along. My only bugbear with this game was that it set you back a bit too far in terms of weaponry when you died.
Probably the best game on the Master system was Wonderboy III-The Dragon's Trap. This was a platformer with endless invention and imagination. Throughout the game I was constantly surprised and excited as I discovered new unlockable areas and hidden stages.
The ability to transform from human to lizard to piranha to hawk to lion to mouse, added an element of strategy as you had to constantly switch forms to access different areas. For example, as a mouse you were able to squeeze through narrow passages and cling to walls and ceilings, whilst as a piranha you could swim in water. There were hidden doors, hidden entrances, and the stages were as varied as could be. There were stages set underwater, in the dessert, in the dark, in a castle and in the forest .Boss battles were great and you could buy weapons and armour from the shops.
Wonderboy III was truly a masterpiece and I believe it is one of the few 8 bit games that still holds up well, even today.
Finally I would like to give an honourable mention to World Soccer. Not the greatest game by any stretch of the imagination but definitely memorable. You only had a choice of 8 teams, but the gameplay was fun especially in 2 player mode.
So that’s it from me on the Sega master system! In a future instalment I hope to cover the greatest console of the early 90’s –The Super Famicom!
Thanks for listening,Pang Man"