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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
Earth Defense Force (SNES)

Earth Defense Force review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

The only thing that we likely have forever branded on our crumpled shmupper’s ego is the painful memory of that relentless, recalcitrant, snapping turtle head. Flashbacks of his refusal to let you win, to let the immemorially inevitable story of the hero beating back the wicked and saving earth take its course, will haunt you until the world ends. Did you used to cheer for Cobra during G.I. Joe reruns? Score one for the bad guys!
Darius Twin (SNES)

Darius Twin review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

If you’ve played a Darius game before—and most shooter fans have—the boss encounters won't floor you. The familiar siren sounds along with a dramatic written warning that both names, and describes, the oncoming sea-dwelling behemoth. But the actual names in Twin are priceless. As over-the-top dramatic as they are, (e.g.: a tortoise named Full Metalshell) they are quite in keeping with the wailing, alarming tracks that enthuse in the background. A boss encounter in Twin is like a episode-ending Voltron battle: all hype.
Super Nova (SNES)

Super Nova review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

Darius has always been about some evil force known as ''Belser'' that threatens life as we know it and so they’ve got hell to pay, and your role is to ensure proper remittance. Shamefully, Super Nova recycles this old shooter story cliché in the most cliché way possible; they give us a short history of some nondescript previous battle in the Darius annals, and then they tell us in all their wisdom of history’s tendency to repeat itself. DON'T YOU SEE?! IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN.
BlaZeon: The Bio-Cyborg Challenge (SNES)

BlaZeon: The Bio-Cyborg Challenge review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

There are few redeeming factors to be found in this strange game, where the first level is the most exciting. Truly, it is all downhill from there. To be fair, the boss music is great, that fourth level boss encounter is nice, and most of the characters don’t look too bad. Unfortunately, that’s not nearly enough to make even an average shooter out of Blazeon. Far too much of the game feels like a typical shooter ending. Slow-scrolling screens prompt you to put down your controller and watch the poorly drawn graphics fill the panorama. Often the only indication that it’s not just a bad cinematic sequence is that you can still shoot.
Axelay (SNES)

Axelay review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

Listen to that. It’s the sound of crescendoing drums and bass line as you begin the game, and excitably contemplate the weapon select screen. It will only get better. From the Robotech inspired level two track, to the haunting, otherworldly undersea imaginings of level four, your ears are met with constant, engaging quality.
Zillion II: The Tri-Formation (Sega Master System)

Zillion II: The Tri-Formation review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

No. This game is nothing at all like Zillion in terms of gameplay. Where Zillion was Sega's Metroid, Zillion II is a cross between the simplest shooter (think Cloud Master) and the simplest jump and shoot platformer (think Cyber Shinobi). But there is a charming, agreeable quality to The Tri-Formation that cannot be denied.
Wonder Boy  in Monster Land (Sega Master System)

Wonder Boy in Monster Land review (SMS)

Reviewed on January 12, 2004

Follow me through Monster Land. Undertake a battle of wits (or memory) with the Sphinx. Vanquish the Grim Reaper with your shortest sword, his damage meter worn plainly and usefully (however silly it may look to super-realism spoiled gamers) on his chest. All the end-of-level foes wear this medallion of sorts, and it says a lot about the way the game strikes me as a whole. Colourful, unpretentious, unequivocal.
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.

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