Show us your collection: #28 Stewart Lange
Mar25

Show us your collection: #28 Stewart Lange

North of the border to Edinburgh in Scotland, is where we head for our next retro gaming collection-fest. Stewart Lange is co-founder of Retro Collective Europe, an avid Sega fan and a big collector of Master System titles. He is gunning for a complete Sega Master System collection and is (at the time of writing) 44 short of the full set. He can often be found sharing his passion the SMS and for gaming in general on Instagram (@outafterdark216) and on his Twitter account. The Collection Click on images to enlarge Full shelfie: every box is full of games My first #RC trade, from America a GameCube signed by the band alterbridge A few of my more precious boxes Master System shelf, 44 remaining for complete PAL set My rarest 6 SMS games according to collectors app One of my rarer Nintendo items Strategy guides *Probably* my top five games   Q and A with Stewart Lange When did you become interested in video games and what was the first video game you played? Stewart: I’ve always been interested in video games, as long as I can remember. When I was really young the only console in the house was a Sinclair Spectrum ZX so I have fond memories of putting in a cassette, going to eat my dinner and coming back to find the game hadn’t actually loaded. It’s pretty hard to pin down what the very first game I played would have been, but I do mainly remember Atic Atac as an early favourite, followed by Beach Head, Rocco (Rocky, much?) and the Dizzy games. What was the first games console or computer you owned and how old were you? Stewart: If I exclude my Dad’s Spectrum, the first console I had was my Sega Master System that I got for my 6th birthday. I’m fairly certain I got my first Gameboy that Christmas too. If we’re talking about bought and paid for with your own hard earned cash, then the first console I bought with money I saved up and made the decision to buy was the Sega Saturn. No, I’m not sure I know how I was able to afford it, either. What got you into collecting videogames, computers and consoles? Stewart: I think this is a pretty cliche answer, but it started as me just buying up games I knew and remembered loving as a kid. I actually started picking up Gameboy stuff first of all, but quickly moved on to the Sega consoles, then on to things I didn’t have. Once I realised this was my opportunity to buy and play all the...

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Head 2 Head: Double Dragon – Sega Master System vs NES
Jul23

Head 2 Head: Double Dragon – Sega Master System vs NES

Number four in our new series of face-offs between classic games on rival consoles. The aim of Head2Head is not to say which console I think is the greatest (all consoles have their own particular strengths and weaknesses), but rather to examine the same game released for rival consoles and to say in the fairest possible way which I think was the best at the time. This episode features the home version of the arcade smash hit Double Dragon, originally developed by Technos Japan and distributed in Europe and North America by Taito in 1987. The game was then released in 1988 on the NES and Master System followed by releases on Atari 2600, 7800, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC464, Amiga, Atari ST and MegaDrive. The idea for this Head 2 Head came from a conversation on Twitter with Danny Major (@GuyFawkesRetro), well worth a follow! Graphics At first glance, the Sega Master System seems to have this one licked, but first appearances can be deceptive. Yes, the colours are brighter, the characters more detailed and the intro screen is much better, but play the game a while and you will realise that whilst some degree of thought has gone into the NES screens, the same cannot be said of the SMS version. Double Dragon on the SMS has bland, featureless screens with little or no thought to actual interaction between characters and scenery. The NES also has splash screens announcing the next level, something which they clearly couldn’t be bothered with on the SMS version. Both versions have numerous glitches and bugs regarding the screen redraw, with flickery sprites and characters only being half redrawn when knocked to the ground being just two of many issues. These issues are more prominent on the SMS version especially on boss levels and this along with the lack of graphical detail gives the NES a win. Sound From the intro music, through to the level-start and in-game sound effects, there is only one winner here and that is the Sega Master System. Gameplay This one proved to be a bit tougher. Both had so many flaws that they almost cancelled each other out. Poor collision detection on the SMS makes it almost unplayable especially on boss levels. The fact that only 2 enemies appear on the screen compared to the 3 on the SMS gives Sega’s effort the advantage in that area. Better screen design on the NES version make playing it more enjoyable than its SMS counterpart. The SMS does have 2 player co-op which is something that the NES version sadly lacks but even that can’t make up...

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The Sega Master System Encyclopedia: Volume 1 Review
May21

The Sega Master System Encyclopedia: Volume 1 Review

For the purposes of this review I have used the iPad version of this book, but it needs to be noted that there are also Kindle and printed versions to be purchased, although the iPad version has the added benefit of  gameplay videos which we will come to shortly. The author Derek Slaton approached me with a view to doing a review of the first in this series of Master System Encyclopedias and I jumped at the chance with the SMS being one of my favourite gaming systems. I have fond memories playing the ubiquitous Alex Kidd in Miracle World (built into my version of SMS II) and playing Operation Wolf with the Sega Light Phaser when I should have been revising for exams. And although I originally didn’t own the system for long (upgrading to a MegaDrive a year later) I realise how important this system is in Sega’s timeline. Hence the importance of a Master System Encyclopedia which would hopefully, and in the author’s words; “be the definitive publication on the system”. He also states that this encyclopedia is about keeping the memory of these games alive for future gaming generations, a sentiment that I am in total agreement with. First impressions do last Unfortunately my first impressions were not great. Before delving deeper into the content of the book, I must state that the presentation of this iBook leaves much to be desired. The front cover is uninspiring, the pages are plain white and bland looking and do nothing to make anyone but those specifically interested in the subject want to look further.     The descriptive text of each game is OK, but again I personally felt a little disappointed in the lack of content. Most games are covered by 3-4 pages, which consist of a description of how the game plays, a set of screen shots (scrollable) and a video (playable on the iPad). The playable video is a great feature as are the scrollable screenshots but I was left wanting to see some extras, maybe full shots of the packaging – front back and booklet, a poster or two, you know – the extras that usually accompany such a digital download nowadays. Also, Volume 1 of the Master System Encyclopedia only covers 29 games from Action Fighter to F16 Fighting Falcon. With the printed version at $25 and the downloads at $4.99 and another 3 volumes to come this is going to work out expensive. In Summary I wanted to like this, I really did. But with its price and dull appearance it only comes down to the content to save this book....

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