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Review Archives (All Reviews)

You are currently looking through all reviews for games that are available on every platform the site currently covers. Below, you will find reviews written by Masters and sorted according to date of submission, with the newest content displaying first. As many as 20 results will display per page. If you would like to try a search with different parameters, specify them below and submit a new search.

Available Reviews
Wonder Boy (Sega Master System)

Wonder Boy review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

You've probably heard about this game's big brothers, subtitled Monster Land and The Dragon's Trap, respectively. But this early Master System release has your character lacking a sword, armour, or any animal morphing ability. Instead, a primitive axe, grass skirt, and skateboard will all have to suffice. Even Wonderboy had to start somewhere.
Slap Shot (Sega Master System)

Slap Shot review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

Slap Shot is based on hockey like one of those Hollywood movies is 'based on a true story'. Loosely. Very loosely. Sega's knowledge of hockey back in 1990 must have been extremely limited and certainly Slap Shot is evidence of this. I am amazed that they knew to make it a five-on-five contest, with 20-minute periods (not real time). Also remarkable is the fact that they made three pools in this international contest, and knew to make Canada and the USSR two of the strongest teams. Considering other aspects of the game, I wouldn't have been surprised to see Afghanistan as the top hockey nation in Slap Shot.
Shinobi (Sega Master System)

Shinobi review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

The conversion in terms of overall gameplay mechanics are excellent. Certainly the game is as good as you might imagine it being, making that precarious trip from arcade to 8-bit; that’s not an easy road. Even the bonus rounds, (you throw shuriken and green clothed ninjas from a first person perspective to earn ninja magic) are included.
Scramble Spirits (Sega Master System)

Scramble Spirits review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

This game was a much-needed addition to the Sega Master System's meager library of 2-D shooters. It's generally thought of as a bottom feeder, even on this system, and I won't try to convince you otherwise. Even with only a handful of titles in the genre, SS falls firmly behind exciting excursions like Compile's Power Strike 1 and 2, and the venerable R-Type. It's not even as entertaining as the decidedly mediocre Cloud Master.
Rastan (Sega Master System)

Rastan review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

Something usurped this brand of base hack and slash side-scroller a long time ago. Golden Axe added some Double Dragon-esque depth to the mixture, and two-player action to boot. The Legendary Axe added inimitable enemy confrontations, and sights and sounds of truly mythical proportions. Despite the enjoyable-sounding, if not novel concept involving Rastan taking on seven stages of warriors, wizards, beasts and dragons; battling through mountains and inside castles; avoiding pitfalls and the danger that night brings—the big guy seems, quite frankly, to be a barbarian in the company of refined men.
R-Type (Sega Master System)

R-Type review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

R-Type is a classic. The arcade game was a diabolical quarter muncher featuring detailed alien and mechanical enemy hybrids the likes of which nobody had seen before. The general consensus among shooter fans seems to be that R-Type's first level boss is the coolest looking boss in a shooter. But the question was, could Irem get this home? The answer is a resounding yes.
Power Strike (Sega Master System)

Power Strike review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

Power Strike (called Aleste in some parts of the world) is a Compile-developed vertical shooter in the Zanac, Blazing Lazers and MUSHA vein. While you're up against lots of the usual robot ships, the real bad guys (read: bosses) are bullet-spewing, mankind-enslaving vegetables. Time for a garden salad!
Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Sega Master System)

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

The 8-bit Castle of Illusion has to be one of the system's strongest efforts and most memorable moments. It should be on your 'must have' list, along with gems like Wonderboy II and III, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, and R-Type. With the exception of the latter, these testaments to Sega's 8-bit power were all cutesy side scrolling platforming games, and Sega took their level of expertise at making them to another level with the release of Mickey's fledgling foray into the world run by a big eared kid named Alex.
Lord of the Sword (Sega Master System)

Lord of the Sword review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

LotS is epic in one very real sense of the word. It's long. And ridiculously so. In fact, it's unreasonably long for a game with no passwords or saves. You'll be at it for hours on end, endeavouring to protect your vitality bar (you've only got one life) with no opportunity to leave the pedestrian proceedings to do something else. You could pause the game, and go to the washroom, or down to the kitchen to get something to eat, but if you have diarrhea, or if you're a big person or a big eater, you'll be risking damaging your unit and TV screen by leaving them on for too long.
Altered Beast (Sega Master System)

Altered Beast review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

The five stages of side-scrolling jump, punch and kick tedium in the bestiary that we played in the arcades, was dulled significantly for our Sega Genesis experience. It was dulled even further still for the four level Master System experience—an unfortunate copy of a copy—so that it is a shadow of its former self, which was a flimsy silhouette of a game to begin with.
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars (Sega Master System)

Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

The game is so colourful in fact, that a cursory glance at screenshots gives you the impression you are looking at a children’s book. Games that would appear many years later, such as Super Mario Brothers 3 and Yoshi’s Island, will spring to mind. There is a definite, simplified artistry at work in Sega’s cartridge.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World (Sega Master System)

Alex Kidd in Miracle World review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

So what's Janken? Well, young Alex defeats his tougher foes (Janken the Great's henchmen with names like Scissorhead, whose head actually looks like a hand in the shape of scissors) by nonviolent means; bringing his great 'skill' at paper, rock, scissors to bear. Odd that a game of chance should decide so much of your progress, but there's hope. A crystal ball is available, often hidden and often stocked in shops strewn throughout what is certainly an impressive collection of locales. The ball is vital, as it allows you to see your adversary's thoughts so that you can plan your Janken 'strategy' accordingly.
Alex Kidd: High-Tech World (Sega Master System)

Alex Kidd: High-Tech World review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

Alex’s friend approaches him with an invitation to go to a new arcade. The prospect becomes more and more dubious as the fool friend not only informs us that he doesn’t know where the arcade is, but that the map he had of its location has been torn into eight pieces, all of which are lost in Alex’s castle (he’s a prince, you know). “High Tech World” is ostensibly the name Sega has given to the far off arcade, and so the game doesn’t actually occur in a world of robots and other futuristic coolness. So yes, the title is quite misleading. But don’t fret about that; there are far worse things to worry about as the game progresses.
After Burner (Sega Master System)

After Burner review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

This game hardly warrants five minutes of your time. While it’s true that Sega had imposed upon its underpowered Master System the difficult task of representing powerful arcade blockbusters that utilized cabinet gimmicks (such as the coin-op Afterburner’s cockpit arrangement) on the small screen at home, that’s no excuse for this sub-sub par effort. The port of Golden Axe was great, Shinobi was good, Hang On was decent, and hell, even the game that was slower than ex-rap star Mase’s delivery, Altered Beast, showed more promise.
Toki (NES)

Toki review (NES)

Reviewed on January 07, 2004

Toki is an ape. He even walks like one, and it's an endearing trait. I was pretty impressed by the genuine monkey gait he gets into, especially when he's going down a slight grade, and you see his little legs adjust and buckle as they work down the incline. It's a really cool sight, and it had me smiling. Speaking of smiling, Toki smiles a wide, gap-toothed grin after clearing a level, which looks a little bit like this: =B
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

Super Mario Bros. 3 review (NES)

Reviewed on January 07, 2004

We miss the point. The majority of the video game demographic is comprised of young males, so it's no wonder. We are a petty, short-sighted, goal-oriented animal. When Brad asks Sheila, ''how was the sex?'' she replies emotionally, ''an hour of wondrous lovemaking,'' seemingly putting her whole being into the response. Even so, Brad won’t be impressed: ''but did you come?''
Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)

Super Mario Bros. 2 review (NES)

Reviewed on January 07, 2004

The story is a departure from standard Mario fare. Bowser's off making kids with a mysterious sperm receptacle of a woman (the guy's like Michael Jackson - he doesn't keep the poor mother around). The demented offspring of the unsavory union would later help him rule with an iron fist in SMB3. So, to amuse himself in his nemesis's absence, Mario enlists the help of his friends: gangly green-clad brother Luigi; the stocky, mushroom-domed Toad, and the ''I can too fight just like the boys - see I'm not the quarry this time'' Princess Toadstool.
Star Soldier (NES)

Star Soldier review (NES)

Reviewed on January 07, 2004

Right away, fast moving enemies cascade down the screen. You’ll see the inspiration for the follow up game, Super Star Soldier for the Turbografx-16 (well, obviously), but also for Blazing Lazers for that same system. You'll play this game and think, ''the vertical shooter genre hasn't come very far, has it? Star Soldier had it all!'' That's very high praise you're giving out, you know. But other than the fact that variety is lacking, and there’s no real ending, it’s true. Star Soldier does appear to have it all - Hudson Soft be praised.
Shinobi (NES)

Shinobi review (NES)

Reviewed on January 07, 2004

Tengen makes us laugh right away, however unintentionally. The title screen is supposed to feature the face of our hero, beneath the traditional black ninja mask. His expression should be menacing, confident, his eyes should communicate this to us. Instead, Tengen has him slightly cross-eyed, beady-eyed, and wholly lacking proper pupils. You think to yourself, ''man, if they can’t get this right…''
Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (NES)

Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom review (NES)

Reviewed on January 07, 2004

Ninja Gaiden 2 was as beautiful as NES platformers come! Well, understandably, Ryu hasn’t changed - his sprite is virtually identical in all three games. Most of the enemies are different naturally, and they’re a decent bunch, the mostly mindless menagerie comprised mainly of zombie types and robots. Sadly, there are no high-kicking Karatekas knocking you off cliffs, or afro wearing boxers doing the same. The game has a decidedly futuristic tilt, and as such, it's robots, robots, robots, with a good deal of alien weirdness thrown in for good measure.

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