Streets, Spidey, Speedball & Strider (Sega Master System)

Seems to me the Sega Master System was a fun console- but does a lot in the way of ruining games I love on other systems:

Take Strider for example- this is not the platforming game I remember from the Nintendo days, using your bionic arm to zip up walls and stick to them oh sure you can do that here but the graphics are less precise, more washed out, the jump in this game is got to be one of the worst jumps in video game history- you do a complete flip (tremendously slow ) in mid-air like it’s a slow motion X Games highlight.  And when you do, the camera tilts up so you can’t see whats below you and there’s no shortage of enemies wandering around.  This game blows huge chunks to parlay a 90’s reference.

The sequel- Strider II was a bit better, cooler stage layouts and a less steep learning curve as you have more options with jumping and clinging all around you.  Music steps up a notch but that awful jump is still around and I miss those classic Strider sound effects when you use the arm.

Strider:   Playability- 1.5     Graphics- 3     Music- 2    Replay value- 1     Originality- 2   Final: 19%

Strider II:  Playability- 4.5    Graphics- 2.5     Music- 4     Replay Value- 3     Originality- 3   Final: 34%


Streets of Rage

ok now we’re playing with fire- this version offers up the same street fightin business you have come to love from the sega classic.  It’s the original walk down the street and punch every bad guy in your way.  The boss fights are still just as fun and frustration as you remember.  once you get down the pattern of each enemy (AND NEVER, EVER LET THEM TRAP YOU BETWEEN 2 ENEMIES) you are really cooking.

Graphics and fighting sound effects are fine; it’s the style of play and the layout of these games: it’s simple brutality and it’s something you can jump right into.

The sequel, Rage II, is waaaay more frustrating. The graphics are smaller, hard to clearly see; the moves are harder to pull off (I like Skate- and he’s the fastest) and the controls aren’t as fluid.  The enemies are also way harder and are repeated from the first game essentially and the stages are way longer.  Everything that was fun about this game is just less fun here.

Streets of Rage: Playability- 8.5      Graphics- 5     Music- 5     Replay Value- 9      Originality- 7.5    Final: 70%

Streets of Rage II:   Playability- 4.5     Graphics  3.5    Music  3    Replay Value  6    Originality 5    Final: 44%


Sports Pad Games:

Let’s not dwell on these atrocious bags of garbage:

Worst controls of any sports game- the configurations start out backwards; which is a total nightmare.  Once you get those fixed, the game still plays like you’re in the mind of a Kindergardener starting soccer for the first time.  The passing in both of these games is a joke.  At least Soccer has fully formed Playskool like graphics; the football is miniscule at best.

I hate everything about these puke-fests.

Sports Pad Football:  Playabiilty- 1     Graphics- 2    Music- 4    Replay Value- .5    Originality- 3     Final: 21%

Sports Pad Soccer: Playability- 1.5    Graphics- 5    Music 2.5     Replay Value 1    Originality  3   Final: 26%


Spider-Man :Return of the Sinister Six: & Spider-Man v. Kingpin:

The steepest learning curve of any Spider-Man game is finding out what exactly Spidey can do and how to control him; In v. Kingpin, you’re collecting web cartridges and scaling walls; it’s not easy; the fighting is weird too; you can shoot webs and punch and the enemies all take like 5 hits.  Each level has a different mission but you get these really awesome cut scenes involving Dr. Strange guiding you through your enemies as you play.  Once you figure out the way to defeat each stage it’s really not that bad but damn, that sewer level with the pitfalls is a true bitch.

The graphics look directly imported from the arcade cabinet and pop with big vibrant colors; it’s a good thing.

Playability- 4.5     Graphics- 7     Music 5     Replay Value  5    Originality 5.5    Final: 54%

Return of the Sinister Six

Now we get slow Spidey, which isn’t fun for anyone.  When you kill a random bad guy on the street, he burst into flames.  Wicked.

These levels are as pedestrian as they get; side scrolling beat ’em game with a boss fight, which is fun but once you run out of webbing, you’re screwed because you become slow motion like in the Matrix trying to throw a kick.  The graphics are really pixelated and it makes everything look scrunched together.  Jamming soundtrack though, very reminiscent (although not as high quality) as old Nintendo cartridges:

Playability- 4      Graphics- 4      Music- 6.5      Replay Value- 6    Originality- 5     Final: 51%


Speedball & Speedball 2

Speedball is like a gladiatorial handball game, a mix of Rugby, Field Hockey and Quidditch.  But with pads and tackles.  The setting is futuristic and crazy as all get out the play is kind of fun  and sucks you in quickly.  There’s not a lot of features to normal Speedball; gets you right in the game.

2 though has a manger feature, stat boosts for diff. players and you can equip diff. items and levels to those items before you play.  They stepped up their graphic game too and even though some of it seems a little unnecessary for a gamer looking for a simplistic type sports game, this one feels ahead of it’s time.

Scores: Playability- 7.5      Graphics- 6.5     Music- 5     Replay Value- 4.5    Originality- 7   Final: 61%


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