Format reviewed: Sega Master System
With Sega having so many classic arcade games of its own, it perhaps surprising to learn that some of the Master System’s best conversions were actually of non-Sega games. Nevertheless, Bubble Bobble, The New Zealand Story, R-Type, Gauntlet and Klax are just a few of the gems that were a massive improvement of Sega’s own conversions (which were still very good) and should be in every Master System owner’s collection. If we had to choose just one game however we’d easily pick the excellent Operation Wolf.
Virtually everything about the Master System conversion is absolutely superb, making it a stunningly accurate representation of the original arcade game. It sports fantastic chunky visuals that effortlessly capture the style of Taito’s, while the music is also of a very high standard. All the coin-op levels are included and there is plenty of onscreen action, ensuring the gameplay remains fast and frantic. Best of all though is the fact it uses the Master System’s lightgun, which allows for some extremely accurate shooting. You can even use the second control pad to activate grenades, ensuring you’re never troubled by the many tanks and helicopters the game throws at you (we recommend you trigger rockets with your feet).
While it’s possible to play with a standard joypad, it’s nowhere near as much fun, due to the fast, erratic nature of the cursor. It’s still playable, but games like Operation Wolf lose something when you’re not using the proper peripherals. Yes there’s very little depth to it and it won’t take too long to complete, but that doesn’t matter when it’s offering so much fun. A fantastic Master System port that makes the NES alternative look very silly indeed.