#1: Hang On & Safari Hunt (1986 Sega)

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We begin our odyssey by looking at the original pack-in title for the Master System when it was released in October 1986. Keep in mind that Nintendo’s primary bundle at the time included two games: Super Mario Bros., one of thier most popular platformers, and Duck Hunt, the showpiece for the Zapper light gun. Sega noticed it too and decided to follow suit with a dual package of their own, including both games on one cart. In their case Sega decided to go with a port of one of their popular arcade titles and a game to show off their light gun accessory (which every game console in the late 1980s was seemingly required to have in the wake of Duck Hunt’s success). Let’s see how Sega’s pack-in duo matches up against Nintendo’s bundle. Continue reading

The Challenge Will Always Be There!

Welcome to Sega Masters, a new chronogaming blog about Sega’s 8-bit console, the Sega Master System, which never got its due in North America but was successful across teh Atlantic in Europe and even down south in Brazil.

Granted there are other ‘chronogaming’ blogs and sites out there, most notably Dr. Sparkle’s excellent Chrontendo and Chronogamer’s site on Atari Age, but I wanted to do my own spin on the hobby of playing one system’s game library one game at a time in approximate order of release. I chose the Master System because I felt it’s catalog of games is never touched on. I grew up in the 1980s and am always fascinated by what the video game industy was like after Nintendo brought it back from the ashes. It’s interesting to see how Sega attempted to compete against the near-invincible Nintendo empire in the 1980s including some of their own faults, not just the stuff Nintendo was doing.

I’m also fascinated by how the Master System was the dominant console in Europe, how they were essentially what the NES was over here. Many great games were published in Europe that never got a straight up American release (many of them were translated to the Game Gear) and I want to spotlight those titles us American gamers missed out on.

So this blog will see me playing each Master System title one by one and writing a post about it, with my review and maybe a little insight. I will try my hardest to approximate the release order of the cartridges, and I’m manily going to stick with U.S. and European releases, though I may also look at some Brazilian carts as well. I’m also going to try and use the actual cartidges and not have to resort to emulation unless I have to. So hopefully you Sega fans out there enjoy this little odyssey.