7 April 2018

REVIEW: Blaze Gear Sega Master System Hand-held Games Console

Top Gear

Retro gaming is huge these days, and it's all thanks to people wanting to recapture the joy and excitement of their youth. If you were a kid in the late '80s/early '90s you probably fell into one of two camps: Nintendo or Sega (otherwise known as Mario or Sonic). This particular retro gaming device will appeal mostly to those in the latter camp, especially if they owned a Sega Master System or Game Gear. We check out the Blaze Gear Sega Master System Hand-held Games Console.

This is a hand-held gaming device a bit like the cheap one-game-only things you had as a wee sprog. However, the Blaze Gear Sega Master System comes pre-loaded with 30 official Sega games; ones released for both the Master System console, and the Game Gear hand-held device. You can tell that Blaze actually have licensed the official games from Sega, as there is a picture of Sonic the Hedgehog on the box and Sega haven't sued them.

Yes, the screen might be tiny compared to playing games on your phone, but the device itself is refreshing light and fast. Pop three AAA batteries in the back, switch it on, and you'll instantly get a menu of all those 30 classic games. These include... Sonic Triple Trouble, Sonic Drift, Sonic Chaos, Dr Robotniks Mean Bean Machine, Alex Kidd In Miracle World, Sonic Spinball, Aztec Adventure, Dragon Crystal Fantasy Zone, Gain Ground, Kung Fu Kid, Golden Axe, Global Defense, The Ninja, Quartet and Penguin Land to name but a few.

The D-pad and action buttons are of the squishy-feel kind, but they are responsive and feel quite robust. The game-play is also pretty slick - far slicker than we thought it would be. The whole thing looks quite low-res, but when played on such a small screen, it seems sharp enough. We were also quite impressed that the Blaze Gear Sega Master System Hand-held Games Console features a video-out port on the top side (next to the power switch and volume control), allowing you to play on your TV. The AV cable isn't included, but we recommend you get one as playing on a larger screen tugs even harder at those nostalgia strings.

Although the big hitter here in terms of the games is dear old Sonic himself, we were pleased as punch to see that Altered Beats was also included. A few of us not only enjoyed this (admittedly crap) game on the Master System, but also on the Commodore Amiga. Playing it again, after about 25 years since the last game, was great. But also reminded us how crap it was.

But the Blaze Gear Sega Master System Hand-held Games Console was actually a real surprise. This thing is cheap (less than £30 at Amazon at the moment), so we weren't expecting all that much. However, the classic games translate well, and the gamer itself handles everything quick and smoothly; even the fastest scrolling screens the Sonic games can throw at you. 

We heartily recommend this for older retro gaming fans who remember these games from the first time round, and also for kids who need educating about what golden-era gaming was really about.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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