When I think about the games I love the most, they are all concentrated on several consoles like NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Playstation, etc. There are so many excellent games to be played on those consoles alone that I could spend the rest of my life doing just that, but in the interest of pushing against the edges of my comfort zone, I’ve been trying to get to know other consoles outside of what was popular in my region. The Sega Master System was not a system I grew up with at all, nor do I even own myself – the one we have belongs to my boyfriend. He bought it at the very first swap we ever went to together for $60, and ever since then I’ve been scouring the SMS library for games that might interest me.
You may recall that I recently picked up 11 RPG-style games for the Sega Master System and I’ve finally started to play through them on my Twitch channel. The more I play the SMS, the more in love I become with its graphics and sound. It by far outcompetes a lot of what I’ve experienced on the NES, its main competitor. Beyond the few games I’ve fiddled with so far, I hadn’t really seen many games that I might be interested in since many of the console’s well-known hits are “run and guns” or fighting games, and those don’t really do it for me. The other day, I decided to sit down and watch a YT video of someone’s top SMS games, and I found a game that immediately grabbed my attention: Psychic World. When I started researching, I was pretty bummed because I found out that it was only released in Europe and in Japan. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to find it or even be able to play it on my NTSC system, but I had a look around and it turns out that the SMS isn’t region locked between Europe and North America due to the cartridges being exactly the same shape/format. Apparently the Japanese games have a different cartridge shape altogether and can only be played on the equivalent Japan-exclusive console called the Sega Mark III. I tracked down a copy of Psychic World on eBay from a seller in France and ordered it. It’s a little beat up and just arrived today!
The game features a female protagonist attempting to rescue her sister who has gone missing after an explosion in a laboratory. The gameplay mechanic is similar to that found in other games where powerups and abilities are required to make it past obstacles to access new areas of the game. It’s not an open world adventure, but rather one with several levels that are long and require the use of many different strategies to be successful. It’s definitely interesting, and I’m planning to play through it soon.
One thing I can definitely comment on is that as beautiful as NTSC SMS games are, the PAL games are even more beautiful! I am so, so jealous of people from the PAL region that got to experience all those extra scanlines and pixels to make the video game experience that much more detailed and aesthetically appealing. With our professional video monitor, the retro gaming experience we have is just gorgeous. Unfortunately for the moment, we can only output in composite video so the video quality is a bit poor, but I recorded some gameplay for anyone interested in seeing what the game is all about.
The harder I look, the more this console is becoming a fast favourite. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Sega Master System, it comes highly recommended by yours truly.
Thanks for reading!