Genesis’ Big Brother – Video Gaming Milestone!

March 1988

Visionaries #3

I’m finally able to use my scanner again – yay!!! Oh, ’80s, how I’ve missed you! So to celebrate, here’s my favorite ad from my newly scanned comic – the Sega Master System! I wasn’t really aware of this system during its heyday, but am more familiar with it now, and it’s actually a pretty cool system! Back when the NES ruled home gaming, the Master System actually had more powerful hardware, but NES had Mario, so eventually the NES’ game library is what allowed the NES to triumph over the Master System… in America, anyway. It turns out that in Europe, it actually surpassed the NES by quite a bit! And in Brazil, it’s the best-selling game system of all time, with compatible systems still being produced!

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One thing that I think is pretty cool about the Sega Master System is that games came in two formats: Mega Cartridges and Sega Cards. The cartridges are pretty standard, but the cards were the size of a credit card – they couldn’t hold nearly as much data as cartridges, but they were substantially cheaper, so you could build your game collection without breaking the bank!

However, the part about this system that I think is the most impressive is the 3D glasses (SegaScope – sold separately, of course). Considering that it was released in the mid-’80s, the 3D is pretty amazing! I know that the Vectrex also had 3D around this time, but other than that, the next one I can think of is the 3DS – a full 25 years later!

EDIT: While originally writing this, somehow the Virtual Boy completely slipped my mind (Sorry, Virtual Boy, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you!) – so that would make it more like 10 years until the next 3D gaming system. Were there any between the Master System and Virtual Boy that I’m forgetting about? If so, let me know in the comments!

CBA IRL – QuickShot

Lookie what I found in a local thrift shop last week – a QuickShot controller, featured in this ad from 1989 that I posted a while back!

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I’m guessing that the $3.99 that Savers was asking for this is considerably less than it cost back in the day.

One thing I like about actually finding this is that I can see details not discernible in the ad, like “FOR PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS” printed just under the logo. Well, I’ve never been paid to play video games, so I guess I’m not qualified to use this controller. 😦

Can it Really Be Considered a Prize if You’re Earning It?

April 1980

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century #7

Ah, to be young – so much stuff you want, but so few options for getting the money for that stuff. Well, Olympic Sales Club is here to help! Just look at all the fabulous prizes you could earn by selling cards and gifts!

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So pretty much everything on here is stuff that would appeal to kids/teenagers… except possibly the crock-pot. I mean, really, what kid would choose a crock-pot over toys or video games??

And just for the record, I had a Coleco Telstar as a kid (and still have it, in fact!) – I think getting it for a few bucks at a rummage sale is a much better deal than having to sell 19 boxes of greeting cards!

QuickShot – Taking Aim at Your Cash!

December 1989

Wonder Woman #37

Video games were hot in 1989, so people tried to cash in by making better, faster, more powerful controllers. From what I’m told, QuickShot’s performance doesn’t even remotely fit this description or live up to the amount of excitement that they promise.

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I’m no video game expert (unlike some people I know), but I’ve never even heard of the MSX or Amstrad systems – anyone out there remember those?

16 Bits in an 8-Bit World

December 1989

Wonder Woman #37

Remember the TurboGrafx? More than likely, you don’t. But maybe you should! The TurboGrafx was a 16-bit game system on the market back when the 8-bit Nintendo was the hottest system out there. It had significantly better graphics, sound, processing, and just about everything else.

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So then what was it missing? Mario.

Yep, even with superior hardware, they only had a handful of games compared to the Nintendo, and no third-party support at all.

Fun fact – this was actually the first system to have an add-on CD component – in 1989!! The TurboGrafx was ahead of its time for hardware, and behind the times on games, leading to its demise.