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Games whose best version was on the Master System!
Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:08 am
Recently, I discovered a review full of compliments of SMS California Games by The Videogame Critic. He claimed that the SMS port of that game was the best version of California Games ever, hands down! I agree with him, since I prefer that port of the game over the rest, even the Mega Drive one. California Games seems to be one of the most praised SMS videogames in the history of the console; the reviews from the specialized publications gave it some of the highest scores for a SMS game: 96 from Mean Machines, 94 from CVG magazine, 93 from Mean Machines, etc.

By the way, another port of a game which also had a very high score is Impossible Mision (97). Would you say that the following games have their best version ever in their respective SMS port? These are my personal choices for the "Best Port Of This Game Was On The Sega Master System" awards:

-California Games
-Impossible Mision
-Bubble Bobble (the SMS port have the most levels -200- of any port of the game, as well as more secret chambers)
-Operation Wolf (the best light gun game in the console, and a very enjoyable port).

What do you think?
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:02 am
Apart from more controversial opinions (Like for me Sonic 1 SMS is the best Sonic), I can say:

-Ys: Probably the best port without counting the 90s port to PC or the modern ones. (Famicon had reworked graphics but the palette is not great)
-Ultima IV: It's fairly more recent than other ports, but probably the best.
-Golvellius: The same reason as Ys.
-Ghostbusters: I haven't tried aaaalll the ports, but it seems better to all the microcomputer ones I tried (Amstrad, Spectum, C64)
-Double Dragon: Obviusly, graphically cannot compete with Amiga or Atari ST versions, but these ports have pretty lame playability.
-Renegade: It's really late port, but it beats the microcomputer versions.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:33 am
My vote is for Castle of Illusion, I might be biased in that I played the Mega Drive version much later (so the stunning graphics had less of an impact on me) but general movement/control felt slower and more sluggish compared to the master system, at least for me.

Also +1 for double dragon, that's an excellent version that I played a lot back in the day.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:21 am
The Ninja.

It's better than the Sega Ninja / Ninja Princess arcade original mainly due to being a more refined experience (horizontally thrown projectiles don't have their flight path affected by vertical map scrolling, for example).
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:57 pm
Shinobi,master system has the best home port of it and extra weapons ect..


+1 for Ghostbusters
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:18 pm
A videogame that no one never speak about It, Ace of Aces.

It has so many ports, but maybe the SMS one is the best of all.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:25 pm
Just an OK game, but the SMS Captain Silver is certainly the best version.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:02 pm
Raccoon Lad wrote
Just an OK game, but the SMS Captain Silver is certainly the best version.


An OK game? It's one of my favourites!

Rastan on the Master System is the best version for me. The IBM and arcade versions are needlessly too difficult.

Populous also. I've completed the the IBM version and I still think the Master System version is the best.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:08 pm
Popolous was indeed a great conversion. The Master System game I spent more time when a kid.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:29 pm
kusfo wrote

Ys: Probably the best port without counting the 90s port to PC or the modern ones. (Famicon had reworked graphics but the palette is not great)


Nec Pc Engine version is way better...
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:49 am
Yeees, but I'll consider it a posterior version/Remake. It was released on a next generation console and in CD....
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:15 pm
Shinobi, the gameplay is so good and so satisfying.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:57 am
kusfo wrote
Yeees, but I'll consider it a posterior version/Remake. It was released on a next generation console and in CD....


Still a 8 bit console.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:54 am
I was going to say Choplifter, which blows the home computer original out of the water.

…UNTIL I saw the Sega arcade adaptation. So similar to the SMS version but it has a FOURTH LEVEL. A futuristic San Francisco, saving hostages from building tops while jetpack dudes and laser-spitting drones chase you down.

(It looks easier than the 3rd level.)
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:16 am
Adol wrote
kusfo wrote
Yeees, but I'll consider it a posterior version/Remake. It was released on a next generation console and in CD....


Still a 8 bit console.


Although the bit comparison is (and it was) totally non sense, the processor is closer to the SNES one than anything, so then we may also consider the SNES a 8 bit machine :-p
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:53 am
Not sure what's the point of this discussion when clearly the answer has to be "all of them". :)
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:17 pm
I absolutely agree with California Games. Too bad that most players had forgotten about it nowadays.

Zool is the best version on the SMS if you ask me. Maybe the other games had the better graphics, but the gameplay on the SNES or Amiga (which are amazing systems, no doubt, I love them too) is much worse and a little frustrating.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:32 am
Best version is subjective, but I have to give a shout to New Zealand Story here. It's streets ahead of most other ports and can stand proudly alongside the Mega Drive, PC Engine and even the coin op. Very few compromises were made and to this day it amazes me.

I actually prefer it to the Mega Drive one as that's based on the arcade proto for some reason and I don't really enjoy the level layouts.

On that theme I reckon Paperboy and Gauntlet are worth a mention too. Gauntlet was the best home port for me until the fantastic Mega Drive version came along.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:42 am
The port of Krusty’s Fun House to Master System has some extra puzzle elements compared to some other versions. The art is pretty wild and impressive for the system, really making use of the colour capabilities.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:58 pm
I thought with Krusty's Fun House, that there were essentially two versions of the game: the "standard" one all the 8-bit consoles it was released on, and the "Super" version on the two 16-bit consoles (essentially different levels).
Are they not equal within that classification?
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2021 3:35 pm
As far as I played it on other systems (which is not much), the levels were the same but the puzzles were a little easier on Mega Drive.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:30 pm
kusfo wrote
Adol wrote
kusfo wrote
Yeees, but I'll consider it a posterior version/Remake. It was released on a next generation console and in CD....


Still a 8 bit console.


Although the bit comparison is (and it was) totally non sense, the processor is closer to the SNES one than anything, so then we may also consider the SNES a 8 bit machine :-p


More than 3 years of release apart, but ok.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:56 am
Hillbert wrote
My vote is for Castle of Illusion, I might be biased in that I played the Mega Drive version much later (so the stunning graphics had less of an impact on me) but general movement/control felt slower and more sluggish compared to the master system, at least for me.


They're completely different games, but I agree. The Sega 8-bit versions of the Mickey Mouse games were vastly superior, imo.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:12 am
kusfo wrote
Adol wrote
kusfo wrote
Yeees, but I'll consider it a posterior version/Remake. It was released on a next generation console and in CD....


Still a 8 bit console.


Although the bit comparison is (and it was) totally non sense, the processor is closer to the SNES one than anything, so then we may also consider the SNES a 8 bit machine :-p


Not to mention that, while the SNES processor was 16-bit, its data bus was 8-bit, which further blurs the line between a 16-bit and an 8-bit machine.

So, should we look at the data bus of the video hardware to define the amount of bits? In that case, to confuse things even more, AFAIK the SMS VDP accesses the data busses of two VRAM chips in parallel, which would make it a 16-bit chip, in a sense.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:01 am
Not just in a sense, the VDP reads 16 bits in one operation and is as 16-bit as the TG16’s equivalent. It’s all marketing nonsense and it really just means a way to group three of the console generations.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 2:43 pm
I am confused by the 68000 used by the Genesis.
If it can do 32-bit math, why is it a 16-bit CPU?
I suppose it is doing some internal work to make the code function, sort of an automation of the sort of code 8-bit games need to do to make 16 bit addition/subtractions work.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:03 pm
KingMike wrote
I am confused by the 68000 used by the Genesis.
If it can do 32-bit math, why is it a 16-bit CPU?
I suppose it is doing some internal work to make the code function, sort of an automation of the sort of code 8-bit games need to do to make 16 bit addition/subtractions work.


That's a complicated question; there are plenty of CPUs with mixed bits:
- The 68000 can do some 32-bit math, but it is mostly 16-bit internally and had a 16-bit data bus;
- The Z80 can do some 16-bit math, but it is mostly 8-bit, both internally and externally;
- The 65C816, used on the SNES and the Apple IIgs was essentially a 16-bit CPU with an 8-bit data bus, made mostly for backwards compatibility with the 6502;
- The Intel 8088, famously used in the first IBM PC, was a 16-bit CPU internally, with an 8-bit external data bus;
- Less well known, there existed a 68000 variant called 68008, that had an 8-bit data bus; it was designed for use in very cheap 16-bit computers, like the Sinclair QL; so, it was a 16-bit CPU with a few 32-bit operations and an 8-bit external bus.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:17 pm
good lord are we doing this
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:18 pm
The Z80 is actually kind of 4-bit on the inside. However the branding of consoles with bits really started with the move from SMS/NES to Mega Drive/SNES and persisted to the “generation” after that when we had 32/64 bit systems. Nobody much cared before that or after. It was just a useful way to delineate the generations between mid-80s and early 90s. It has little to do with any “bitness” of anything in the system - CPU data bus, CPU register width, CPU ALU width, video chip bus width…

In fact, the graphics chip capabilities were mostly more important and that’s why there were so many old CPUs in the 8-but generation - the CPU didn’t need to get better, the graphics chips were the thing that improved across generations.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:49 pm
Maxim wrote
The Z80 is actually kind of 4-bit on the inside. However the branding of consoles with bits really started with the move from SMS/NES to Mega Drive/SNES and persisted to the “generation” after that when we had 32/64 bit systems. Nobody much cared before that or after. It was just a useful way to delineate the generations between mid-80s and early 90s. It has little to do with any “bitness” of anything in the system - CPU data bus, CPU register width, CPU ALU width, video chip bus width…

In fact, the graphics chip capabilities were mostly more important and that’s why there were so many old CPUs in the 8-but generation - the CPU didn’t need to get better, the graphics chips were the thing that improved across generations.


That was smy point, PC Engine is part of the same "generation" as Sega Megadrive and Super Nes, it's not really on par with the machines on the previous generation.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:46 am
SavagePencil wrote
good lord are we doing this


Apparently! The whole x-bit argument really has been done to death. If nobody has agreed on a definition in the last 30-odd years, they likely never will, especially not on a forum dedicated to early Sega hardware.
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