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29 Controls of Christmas
Sega Master System Pad
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 29, 2008   |   Episode 3 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 29 of the best known video game controls of all time, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii remote. We're going to review each and every one of them, and then give you a short haiku. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 29 Controls of Christmas!



Not all of the Sega Master System controls had the cord jutting from the right side, however mine does and that's going to be the pad I review!
Brief Synopsis: Like the Nintendo Entertainment System's control, the Sega Master System's pad is nothing more than a D-pad and two face buttons. Perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise, since it's painfully obvious from the design of the pad that Sega was influenced by what Nintendo had done a year earlier. There is one big glaring difference between the Master System and NES's control, the placement of the cord. While the NES has the short black cord jutting out of the top of the control, this Master System pad has the cord inexplicably coming out of the right side of the control. The other big difference was the D-pad, which had a slightly different look (even though it works exactly the same as the NES pad).

The Style: You can't go wrong with a black control. The Genesis and PlayStation 2 certainly had good controls, and is there a person alive that thinks the original Guitar Hero guitar doesn't look? I don't think so, which is why you would think that I'm a fan of the Master System's black color scheme. The truth is, the black is probably the best thing about the control pad. Although it only has two buttons and a D-pad, the Master System control is hideously busy. All around

Beyond having an ugly control, the Sega Master System also featured some of the worst video game covers ever created!
the D-pad is this weird grey arrow, and there's the Sega logo highlighted with annoying vertical lines. What's more, a good chuck of the pad is eaten up by two strange plastic mountains that make for a valley where the two buttons live. I honestly don't think any color could have improved the hideous design of the Master System control.

What the 8 Year Old Me Would Say: Uh ... isn't this exactly the same as that remote you gave me last year? Okay, so this is the same thing, only black. I like black more than the grayish color found on the NES pad, but I don't like this directional pad thing, and the face buttons are using numbers instead of letters. I get letters, I know what "A" and "B" does, but what's this "1"? And why is the cord coming out of the right side? This control is stupid, and I don't like any of these games. I think I'll go back to my NES now.

What I Would Say Now: I hate to admit it, but the me of today is in total agreement with that eight year old me from 22 years ago. I would like to sit here and tell you that the cord placement isn't an issue, but it really is. It was bad when I have small kid-sized hands, but it's even worse now that my hands are big and fat. That cord definitely gets in the way, cramping my right hand and ruining my gaming experience. Thankfully you can play the Master System by using the Sega Genesis's superior control, but not everybody was fortunate enough to upgrade. These days I certainly have more of an appreciation for the Master System, but that doesn't mean that I'm any more fond of the terrible control pad.

The SMS Control Haiku:
A small black control.
Its cord jutting from the right.
Who decided that?
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