The Sega Master System (SMS) is a third-generation home video game console manufactured by Sega. It was originally a remodeled export version of the Sega Mark III, the third iteration of the SG-1000 series of consoles, which was released in Japan in 1985 and featured enhanced graphical capabilities over its predecessors. The Master System launched in North America in 1986, followed by Europe in 1987, and Brazil in 1989. A cost-reduced model known as the Master System II was released in 1990 in North America and Europe.
The original Master System models uses both cartridges and a credit card-sized format known as Sega Cards. Accessories for the consoles were also released such as a light gun and 3D glasses designed to work with a range of specially coded games, which were sold separately or available in certain bundles. The later Master System II redesign removed the card slot, turning it into a strictly cartridge-only system and was incompatible with the 3D glasses by proxy.
The Master System was released in competition with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It had fewer well-reviewed games than the NES, and a smaller library, due to Nintendo licensing policies requiring platform exclusivity. Despite the Master System's newer hardware, it failed to overturn Nintendo's significant market share advantage in Japan and North America. However, it attained significantly more success in Europe and Brazil.
The Master System is estimated to have sold at 13 million units, excluding recent Brazil sales. Retrospective criticism has recognized its role in the development of the Sega Genesis, and a number of well-received games, particularly in PAL regions, but is critical of its limited library in the NTSC regions, which were mainly dominated by Nintendo's NES. As of 2015, the Master System was still in production in Brazil by Tectoy, making it the world's longest-lived console.
Double Dragon games released on the Master SystemEdit
A Master System version of Double Dragon was released on October 1, 1988. It featured two-player cooperative gameplay and its graphics were superior to the NES version, but the level design and sound were more similar to the arcade version (the NES version, by comparison, had more creative stage layouts and more memorable music).
The Master System version did have one horrible eyesore, however: pixel flickers. While the NES version can only hold two enemies on the screen at once, the Master System version can hold three. For an 8-bit machine, this is overload and this sometimes results in graphical glitches like those in the Atari 2600 port of Pac-Man. Apart from these glitches, however, this is considered to be a good port of the game.