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Title Range: M-R

Marksman Shooting/Trap Shooting
Grade: D
Publisher: Sega (1986)
Reviewed: 2012/4/1

screenshotIt would be hard to find a more vanilla light gun shooter than Marksman Shooting/Trap Shooting. This unimaginative two-in-one package makes Duck Hunt look like Time Crisis. In the Marksman Shooting portion you aim at people-shaped cardboard cutouts moving across a room. You score more for hitting targets in the red dot in the chest. The room has a weird network of broken pipes which are probably meant to convey depth. There are seven rounds but each one is pretty much the same. It gets pretty boring! After each round you get a breakdown of your performance and are treated to a jaunty little tune. In the Trap Shooting portion you shoot down clay discs launched over a green meadow. Unlike Marksman Shooting, you don't advance to the next round unless you hit a certain percentage of targets, so there's a little more challenge. If you do reach the later stages, the scenery changes to a beach with waves magically frozen in place. In terms of controls, no calibration is required and the aiming is pretty accurate. Then again your mileage will vary depending on the size of your television and the distance you're sitting from it. If you're just looking for some target shooting action for your Master System, this cartridge will serve its purpose, but it's pretty bland. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 156K/46K
1 player 


Maze Hunter 3D
Grade: B
Publisher: Sega (1988)
Reviewed: 2011/5/5

screenshotAt its core, this is just another generic scrolling maze game where you collect items, fend off creatures, and seek the exit. It's tempting to write off, but I have to give Maze Hunter a lot of credit because the 3D aspect is totally convincing! The action is viewed from overhead, with tiered platforms of various heights and portals that let you move between them. The illusion of depth is surprisingly effective, especially the way the walls rise up around you. The stages include a space ship, volcano, ice planet, and a lush garden. There's nothing spectacular about the levels, but excellent use of color and texture makes the scenery look rich. Small enemies include green balls of pain, sea urchins (my interpretation), and giant atomic particles. You can beat them with a club or shoot them after you snag a power-up. Bonus items can be found in balloons, and it looks pretty amazing to see one floating over the action. You also have the option to leap over enemies, and the illusion of jumping into the air is very cool. Even the soundtrack is likeable, featuring a looping refrain that just keeps coming back again. The problem with Maze Hunter is replay value. While it's fun to conquer the early levels at first, having to work through them every time you play can be tedious. Your inability to aim diagonally is a minor annoyance, but overall Maze Hunter is a heck of a lot more entertaining than its name would imply. Note: This game requires the Sega 3D glasses. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 27,000
1 player 


Missile Defense 3D
Grade: A
Publisher: Sega (1987)
Reviewed: 2011/5/5

screenshotWhen you combine the simple fun of light-gun shooting with Sega's 3D glasses, the result has to be awesome right? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Missile Defense 3D is more intense than most light gun shooters because the fate of a city is in your hands! Each wave of incoming missiles plays out over three screens. The first depicts a launch facility that lets you pick off missiles just as they're taking flight. Don't worry if a few get through, because you still have two more chances. The second screen shows an overhead view of a polar landscape, and it's neat to watch the missiles glide over ice formations and meander through deep crevasses. The final screen is your last chance to shoot down the remainders as they approach the city. If successful, the next wave features a whole new set of screens, including an astonishing view from space with missiles appearing on the horizon. The 3D effect in this game is sensational and the light gun is dead-on with the accuracy. After the first two waves, the missiles start turning on you, increasing the difficulty dramatically. Missile Defense 3D is a very cool experience that pushes the Sega Master System into virtual reality territory. Note: This game requires both the Sega 3D glasses and light gun. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: SLN 56,300
1 player 


Monopoly
Grade: C
Publisher: Parker Bros (1988)
Reviewed: 2000/12/14

screenshotLet's get something straight up front: If you want to play Monopoly with another person, you do NOT want to play it on a video game system. Buy the board game for Pete's sake! On the other hand, if you can't find anyone else willing to play this tedious, long game, then this version will provide plenty of computer challengers. I'm not a big fan of Monopoly, but found myself playing this game longer than I thought I would. From what I've seen, you can do just about anything in this version that you can do in the real game. The main screen provides an overhead view of the board and critical stats for all players, but it's difficult to make out the tiny pieces and houses. Fortunately, when a piece moves you get treated to a nice scrolling close-up of the board. There are a few little animations (like going to jail), but overall there's nothing fancy here. The menus are well-designed so you can make your decisions without a big hassle. One nice feature is the "speed up" button, which speeds up the game during the computer's turn. Another useful feature turns off that annoying music (thank you!). It won't replace the board game, but this version of Monopoly is a respectable one-player game. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.

1 to 10 players 


My Hero
Grade: C
Publisher: Sega (1986)
Reviewed: 2002/6/4

screenshotIt's evident that this game was ported from the arcade by the fact that it's so incredibly HARD. If you can stay alive for over a minute, you're doing a good job. You actually earn points for each step forward, which underscores the difficulty. The premise of My Hero is as corny as its name. A thug with a Mohawk has taken off with your girl, and you have to battle wave after wave of lowlifes to get her back. You also need to dodge bombs and bottles dropped from windows. Your character looks like a big dork wearing a blue prom tux. He can jump, punch, duck, and kick, but his best attack is the flying kick. When you strike an enemy, he flies diagonally off the screen. What makes the game so hard is that one hit (touch really) will kill you instantly. There's little room for error, so when you accidentally duck instead of kick, you'll pay the price. Still, there's something to be said for arcade-style games like this. It has an addictive quality that keeps you coming back. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 


Ninja, The
Grade: B
Publisher: Sega (1986)
Reviewed: 2001/2/11

screenshotI really got into this game. You are a ninja attempting to infiltrate a palace and save a princess. You're equipped with throwing stars and the ability to become invisible temporarily. As you progress up the screen, you'll pass through various locations, each offering a unique challenge. Enemy ninjas come of the woodwork. If you see a rock, chances are it's about to transform into a ninja (don't ask). And these guys are equipped with an arsenal of weapons. In order to keep them from ganging up on you, it's a good idea to retreat momentarily to keep them in front of you. One button on the controller throws stars forward, and the other allows you to direct your throws. Pressing both buttons activates your cloaking device, which comes in very handy in tight situations. I really like the graphics, except for the recurring boss who looks like Ernie from Sesame Street. Also, the attack dogs seem to turn into people when they die (lazy programming?). The up-tempo background music is pretty good, and when stars collide they make a satisfying "clank" sound. Good control, colorful graphics, and a cool cloaking device add up to a fun game. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 


Outrun
Grade: C+
Publisher: Sega (1987)
Reviewed: 2011/10/26

screenshotFans of the arcade hit will probably be satisfied with this scaled-down rendition of Outrun. This colorful, pick-up-and-play racer lets you weave through traffic while trying to reach the end of a branching course. The first stretch of road is set near a sunny beach and each subsequent stage offers its own distinctive set of vivid color schemes and sparse scenery. The game is at its best when you're nearing the next checkpoint just as the clock is ticking down. The branching course design provides tremendous replay value, letting you experience all types of climates and locations. There are plenty of curves and hills but the wide roads provide for some margin of error. The sense of speed is modest and when you shift from low to high gear, it's hard to tell. The steering controls are good but it's easy to accidentally shift into low gear. The scaling scenery looks choppy and there's some occasional break-up, but it doesn't spoil the fun. My friends were mainly disappointed by the fact that the passengers do not get thrown from the vehicle when it rolls. Before each game you get a selection of background tunes to select from including Passing Breeze, Splash Wave, and Magical Sound Shower. The sparse sound effects are poor and dominated by squealing tires. There are better versions of Outrun out there (all of them, I think), but this one still exudes that happy-go-lucky vibe that made the series so likeable. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 4,165,240
1 player 


Outrun 3D (Europe)
Grade: A
Publisher: Sega (1988)
Reviewed: 2011/10/26

screenshotI thought the original version of Outrun for the Master System was pretty good... until I played this. This game's 3D effect is nothing short of amazing. Even my friend Steve who owns a state-of-the-art 3D television referred to Outrun 3D as "awesome". The ability to gauge distance is key in any racer, and it's easier to weave through traffic when you have a true 3D perspective. It also helps that the viewing angle has been raised slightly to make it easier to see what's up ahead. The graphics have been improved all around. The starting line is more festive and you can actually see the beach on the left side in the opening stretch of road. My friend Chris practically fell out of his chair when he found himself driving through a freakin' tunnel! Very cool. This version also packs extra sound effects (like cars passing) and a new set of tunes to choose from. On the downside it's still easy to accidentally switch to low gear, and using the brake can bring you to a complete stop. Despite these minor annoyances Outrun 3D is a technical marvel and a must-own for fans of the franchise. It's a crime this wasn't released in the states, but at least the European version will work on your North American system. Note: Sega 3D glasses are required. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 4,322,870
1 player 


Paperboy
Grade: A-
Publisher: Sega (1990)
Reviewed: 2012/4/1

screenshotOne look at Paperboy's bright, vivid graphics, and you know you're in for some good-time arcade action. You play the role of a kid on a bicycle delivering papers on a suburban street. The screen scrolls diagonally, giving you an isometric view of the action. Riding on the sidewalk, street, or grass, you'll need to avoid all sorts of obstacles like dogs, run-away lawnmowers, construction workers, and kids on unicycles. Spinning breakdancers and boom boxes give the game an unmistakable 80's flavor. When you start off most houses are fair game, but as you progress you'll gradually lose customers (indicated by black houses). You adjust the speed of your bike by pushing up or down. You can toss the paper onto the customer's porch or into his mailbox, but be careful not to break a window. At first I didn't even notice the mailboxes on the lawns because they tend to blend into the bright brown dirt of the flowerbeds. At the end of the street is a little off-road course that lets you hit bonus targets and jump ramps. It comes to an end at some bleachers with girls holding signs that say "I LUV U". You then get a quick recap of what customers you lost before starting over. Paperboy is a lighthearted game with a fine sense of humor. Once you figure it out, you'll be playing it over and over again. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: Med
Our high score: 13,800
1 player 


Poseidon Wars 3D
Grade: C-
Publisher: Sega (1988)
Reviewed: 2006/8/21

screenshotDesigned for use with the Sega 3D glasses, Poseidon Wars puts you in command of a naval ship in hostile waters. Played from a first-person perspective, you aim crosshairs at approaching enemy ships and aircraft. The collision detection is generous to say the least, allowing you to shoot down scaling planes and missiles while they're still little more than a pixel on the horizon. I like the choppy water effects, but those scaling missiles look pretty rough. The effect of the 3D glasses is respectable, although it takes a few minutes to adjust your eyes to it. Much like staring at those crazy 3D designs popular a few years back, you have to "unfocus" your eyes a bit to experience the full effect. Despite being designed for the glasses, Poseidon Wars can also be played in 2D mode (by pressing button one on the second control pad), but that's far less interesting. Completing five "training" stages opens up eight "normal" stages you can play in any order. The shooting action is fun for a while, but it's far too easy and tends to wear out its welcome. When a game plays tricks with your eyes like this one does, you don't want to be staring at it for long stretches. Ultimately, Poseidon Wars probably offers more novelty value than play value. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 


Psycho Fox
Grade: A
Publisher: Sega (1990)
Reviewed: 2002/10/8

screenshotHere's a platform game I can get excited about! Too bad it's so hard to find. It took a while for Psycho Fox to win me over, but when it finally did, I was hooked! At first glance, the game doesn't look like much. The graphics look like a Sonic and Mario mix. Your fox can jump and punch, but that's about it. The gameplay seemed pretty lackluster until I discovered the item screen. You collect items from enemies you punch, and can access these goodies when you press pause on the console (NOT reset like the book says!). Obviously, you need to sit close to the console (to reach the button), but it's worth the effort. One item lets you to transform into other animals including a hippo (power), monkey (higher jumping), or tiger (speed). The fox is the most well-rounded character, but certain situations are best suited for the other creatures. Other items let you activate smart bombs (to blow away everything on the screen), or trigger temporary invincibility. You can even bet money to earn more items! This game has a lot of good ideas. Strategically using your items is the key to finishing the game. Another awesome feature is a black bird you can throw like a boomerang, taking out multiple enemies at once. The jumping controls take a while to get used to, mainly because they rely heavily on momentum. There are seven stages in all, each with its own boss, and a bonus game as well. Psycho Fox is an absolute blast to play. While it's tempting to zoom through the stages, your best bet is a slow, methodical approach. The music is upbeat and quite catchy. This may be the best platform game I've played on the Master System. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 


R-Type
Grade: A
Publisher: Sega (1987)
Reviewed: 2004/4/17

screenshotWhen it comes to the greatest shooters of all time, R-Type ranks pretty high on the list. This challenging and addicting side-scroller features excellent control, gorgeous graphics, and loads of power-ups. You'll blast your way through cannons, robots, and all kinds of creepy-looking biological monstrosities, and the bosses are exceptionally large and grotesque. But R-Type's main gimmick is your "droid", a remote ball that not only provides extra firepower, but is invincible as well. It can be positioned anywhere on the screen, so when you find a boss's weak spot, just send in the droid and let him do all the work. You can also use him as a shield. R-Type is one tough game, but thankfully its continue feature is one of the most friendly I've seen, letting you pick up right near where you died. There is some flicker and slowdown in the graphics, but nothing objectionable. This classic shooter belongs in every gamer's collection. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 


Rambo III
Grade: B
Publisher: Sega (1988)
Reviewed: 2006/8/21

screenshotI had one heck of a time getting this game to work on my TV, but I'm glad I finally did, because Rambo III's brand of mindless shooting mayhem is right up my alley. I had to really crank up the contrast and brightness to get the light gun to properly register. Each of the game's seven stages offers a unique locale including a village, prison camp, and Soviet base at night. As the camera slowly pans the scenery, enemy soldiers pop out behind jeeps, barrels, and other obstacles. Occasionally a helicopter will attack from the air. The light gun control is pretty accurate, but the game is unforgiving and some foes can absorb multiple shots before going down. You'll want to be careful not to blast civilians, but since the game plays the same each time through, it doesn't take long to recognize the patterns. Besides shooting like a madman, you can employ a bomb by shooting an icon at the bottom of the screen, and there's a health icon down there as well. Rambo III's graphics are fairly elaborate, and a rousing military march keeps the adrenaline flowing. Several continues are available, and taking into account the difficulty and fact that your score doesn't reset, it's reasonable to treat these as additional lives. I did notice one odd bug in stage two. When you shoot the guys camped out on the roofs of houses, the mountains behind them change shape! Rambo III is not exceptional in any way, but if you're in the mood for some simple shooting action, you'll have a ball. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 


Rambo: First Blood Part 2
Grade: A
Publisher: Sega (1986)
Reviewed: 2009/3/10

screenshotI knew I was in for a treat when I saw that awesome illustration of Rambo on the title screen, and sure enough, Rambo: First Blood Part 2 proved to be the real deal. Both the graphics and gameplay are simply outstanding. The screen scrolls vertically as Rambo forges his way through ever-changing jungle environments while facing endless bad guys armed with guns, grenades, and even flame-throwers (which look like thermometers). Equipped with unlimited bullets and a limited stash of exploding "arrow-bombs", your survival depends on a combination of sharp shooting and evasive maneuvering. Enemy bullets are big and slow, so you can't say you didn't see them coming! Your shots have slightly longer range, and that can be enhanced with power-ups (hold onto that "L" power-up like grim death!). Ironically, when you blow up a villager's hut, he rewards you with a fresh stash of arrows! It's fun to watch enemies wade through waist-deep mud, and even more fun to see them keel over when shot. There's an occasional tank to spice things up, and at the end of each stage you must penetrate a well-fortified enemy fortress. Near the conclusion of the game there's an exciting "street stage" with exploding cars and cops on motorcycles. Rambo's two-player simultaneous mode makes it fun to play with a buddy, allowing you to share a fixed number of continues. With its superb visuals and challenging (but fair) gameplay, Rambo is a standout shooter for the Master System. © Copyright 2009 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 


Rampage
Grade: D+
Publisher: Activision (1986)
Reviewed: 2006/8/21

screenshotI've reviewed this game on so many systems that I'm starting to feel like a broken record. I've never been a big Rampage fan, but I will admit that its premise is awesome. As a kid I always loved watching those cheesy Ultraman shows and Godzilla movies on Saturday afternoons. In the same spirit, Rampage places you in control of a giant ape, wolf, or lizard, wreaking havoc on various city skylines. Two people can play at once, which is always a nice feature. While dismantling buildings you'll have to contend with pesky tanks, helicopters, and snipers in windows. Rampage should be a blast to play, but poor controls and repetitive action really minimize the fun factor. You'll spend much of the time grappling with the poor controls. It's really tricky to climb up the sides the buildings; you'll need to line up your monster almost perfectly to get any traction. Since you can't damage a building until you climb on it, there's no way to touch the first floor, which really stinks. Despite the lousy controls, Rampage is awfully easy, and the games seem to last forever. Since all the stages look and play pretty much the same, the game probably won't hold your interest. I will give Rampage credit for its graphics. This looks like something straight out of the arcade! There are a lot of funny animations and you can even make out the tiny people. A catchy tune loops in the background, but like the game itself, it wears thin. In my opinion Rampage is a brilliantly conceived but poorly executed title. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 


Rastan
Grade: A
Publisher: Sega (1988)
Reviewed: 2002/2/17

screenshotThis game is similar to Legendary Axe for the Turbografx-16, but I like Rastan better. The main character is a Conan look-alike who must hack his way through hordes of mythical creatures. The characters aren't very large, but the artwork and use of color is impressive. The monsters look great, and each meet their demise in a brief splash of blood. Rastan is so easy to control that even the platform jumping seems simple. And there are some cool moves, the best of which allows Rastan to strike DOWN during a jump - a move that comes in very handy. There are a lot of ropes to climb and vines to swing on, and he can still use his weapon while hanging on them. With a nice variety of weapons and power-ups, this is a game that will keep you coming back for more. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 


Reggie Jackson Baseball
Grade: B
Publisher: Sega (1988)
Reviewed: 2004/4/18

screenshotMy first impression of Reggie Jackson Baseball was NOT good, and I think you'll understand why. When I first turned it on, I witnessed the most hideous sight ever seen in a baseball game: a RED FIELD with a GREEN crowd! I honestly thought my TV was broken. After nervously resetting the game, I was shocked to discover that Reggie Jackson Baseball has three fields - red, yellow, and green - which are selected at RANDOM! This has got to be the most unwanted feature EVER in a baseball game! Everyone I know who's played this game absolutely INSISTS on resetting it until you get the green field, and I feel the same way. Once you have the green field, the graphics are not bad at all. The behind-the-batter view of the pitcher looks nice, and once the ball is put into play, the game switches to an overhead view with tiny fielders. The ball movement is smooth, but it takes some practice to track fly balls, thanks to their deceiving arcing shadows. Your fielders are slow, so you'll need to get a good jump on the ball. Reggie Jackson also offers an "auto-fielding mode" for the lazy player. Forget that - once you get used to the controls, Reggie Jackson is one heck of a baseball game. The throwing controls are intuitive, so you'll be turning double plays with ease. During close plays at home, a close-up treats you to a nice view of the runner sliding into the catcher. There are some other nice graphical touches as well, like animated umpires, third base coaches, pitchers warming up on the sidelines, and cheerleaders (huh?). And be sure to check out what happens when the pitcher hits the batter with a pitch - a bench-clearing brawl always ensues, and although medics with a stretcher carry the batter away from home plate during the mayhem, five seconds later he magically appears on first base. Annoying music plays constantly throughout the game, and I have no idea why Sega did that. The teams are real, but the players are fictitious (except for the managers). The computer opponent isn't too bright, but against a human, Reggie Jackson Baseball is a fun contest. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 


Rescue Mission
Grade: D
Publisher: Sega (1988)
Reviewed: 2009/1/25

screenshotRescue Mission is a lackluster title that's even more repetitive than most light-gun titles (hard to imagine, huh?). The game begins with the obligatory mission briefing in the form of verbose, slow-scrolling text (zzz...). Your three lives are represented by individual soldiers, and with names like "Mike Beginner" and "Lazy Steve", they don't inspire much confidence. Your mission is to protect a medic who wheels around on a handcart while providing medical attention to injured troops along the train track. Enemy soldiers descend upon the medic from all directions, and you must pick them off, detonate mines, and knock out projectiles like rockets and boomerangs. The shooting action is pretty run-of-the-mill, with hesitating enemies that give you ample time to take them out. The hardest part of the game is resisting the urge to shoot your injured compatriots whom you're supposed to be saving (I blame my itchy trigger finger). Don't feel bad if you accidentally shoot one though, because an angelic animation will clearly show him ascending to heaven (unlike enemy soldiers which are cast directly into hell). Rescue Mission doesn't offer much in the way of eye candy, but I like how the cart plows through enemies in its way. Occasional smart bombs let you destroy all foes on the screen, and they're most satisfying to use in the swamp stage, causing soldiers in jet-packs to rain from the sky. The aiming controls are forgiving enough, but I found it hard to hit targets on the far left edge of the screen. Rescue Mission isn't particularly fun, and I hate how you have to restart the entire stage when you lose a life. The music is terribly inappropriate. Instead of an urgent military theme, there's a happy-go-lucky melody more appropriate for Lester the Chipmunk in Lollipop Land. All in all, Rescue Mission is a thoroughly forgettable shooter that will elicit yawns from even the most ardent light gun fans. Note: Having trouble getting your light gun to work? Crank up the brightness of your TV screen. © Copyright 2009 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 


Rocky
Grade: D+
Publisher: Sega (1987)
Reviewed: 2000/11/18

screenshotThis is a fine-looking boxing game! It pits Rocky against Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang (Mr. T), and that nasty Russian Ivan Drago. One player can work his way through the ranks, or two players can beat the heck out of each other. In the one-player mode, there are short training sessions before each match that can improve your chances in the ring. The graphics really make this game special. The training sessions in particular feature a large, muscle-bound Rocky and smooth animation. The fights feature detailed ring graphics and a crowded audience. The boxers look good, but they're a bit small and it's tough to tell what's going on up close. Between rounds you can even see the boxers resting in their corners! The gameplay doesn't quite live up to the standard set by the graphics. There are three types of punches, but there doesn't seem to be an advantage to using any particular one. The guard moves don't seem to be very effective. The matches inevitably turn into button mash-a-thons. The up-tempo music is pretty good. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 



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