Oh boy, here we go. So like do uh, do you live in the United States? Then don’t bother if this one. If you live in South America, well it’s basically your NES. The Sega Master System is an odd little box. I had one as a kid. Never knew anyone else who did though. The system was pretty cool all things considered. It played game cartridges, game cards, and even had a plug in “3D glasses thing I never had.
That’s pretty much the good parts of it. The controller used a hexpad instead of the D-pad we all know and love. The games well, basically Sega Game Gear games on the TV with bigger screen size. A big plus if you absolutely love Sonic. Which those games were pretty dope. More about level exploration than the more linear obstacle course style Genesis titles.
No need for bonus stages when the Chaos Emeralds are hidden in the levels themselves. Not to mention some titles were actually better on Sega Master System than the Nintendo NES. Ghostbusters comes to mind there. Just sadly the library of available games is very different depending on where you lived. One thing stayed the same everywhere though. The Sega attitude we all came to know and love.
Oh yeah, better talk about those boxarts. You saw ’em right? Just these grided templates that make me think of those Composite Journals from school. I can’t be to sure but I assume it goes back to that’s how games were planned out back then. I’ve seen so many game documentaries that showed even Mario plotted out on those types of graph paper journals. If so it wasn’t really common knowledge back then so who knows?
Atleast they were those hard clam shell style boxes. So finding them isn’t to hard. The games all are pretty decent. I haven’t played all of them, yet. The ones I did I atleast enjoyed. Much like the Sega Genesis I would say it has less fantastic must play titles than the Nintendo counterpart, but has more consistent quality overall. Still I mean emulation is an option if you are interested in the games. Many of the main stay titles like Sonic are bundled in as unlockables in other later installments. Again nice for fans, but doesn’t help the urge to collect them. Though remember the Super Gameboy? Well here is the Sega Power Base Adapter!
That bad boy let you play Master System carts and cards on your Genesis so you might want to consider it and a few select titles in your Genesis collection atleast. Just that converter runs around $200 a pop. The Master System itself on the other hand is about $40 to $150 based on condition and if it has the light gun with it. Also there is the Mark 2 that looks kinda awful. That tends to hoover around $80.
The games tend to fluctuate quite a lot in prices. From just a buck for a cart only to ten with the box it’s a good casual collection to toss together. The rare games, good games, and collector’s titles will quickly jump to $50, $80, and even $1,200 so it’s not for a completionist or those with compulsory spending habits. The upside is well, it’s not a fairly active market. More supply than demand for sure. Just like with most retro collectables those selling know they have to have some intrinsic value because it’s an old game. So often the highest average price becomes the established norm. Know who else loves Sega Master System? Mordecai and Rigby, those two lovable slackers from Regular Show.
So it has a decent enough cult following to give it a little bit of extra clout if you are like me and enjoy a good reference or two. All that in mind I still can’t honestly recommend it. If you are just starting out with your collection there are better systems to jump into. If you already have a sizable collection well it’s hard to justify the more expensive titles. I mean I’d love to get my Master System collection back, but there are just far better ways to spend my money.
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