Friday, June 10, 2011

2 B A Cloud Master

Fuck Cloud Master. It is absolutely no fun to play. For those of you that don't know, and hopefully that is all of you, Cloud Master is a side-scrolling shooter for the Sega Master System. It is a port of the Japanese arcade game Chuuka Taisen by Taito. It was ported to the Famicom and various other Japanese home computers, but the Master System version is strange because it was only released in the US and EU for the Master System and not in Japan on the equivalent Sega Mark III. Even so, there was nothing particularly different about this version.


Cloud Master is one of two Master System games that I own, and I'm sure the other will end up on this site at some point. My family never actually owned a Master System, but we did have the Power Base Converter that allowed Master System games to be played on the Sega Genesis. That's not particularly important information, but I guess it helps provide some context. I mean, even as a kid, it was hard to be impressed with Master System game when it is playing on the same machine that does Sonic The Hedgehog and Streets of Rage. Of course, going back to it now, it is still a bad game.

The game is perhaps the most basic side-scrolling shooter ever in terms of mechanics. You fly to the right, you shoot stuff that flies in patterns, you get power ups, and you kill bosses. The main thing that makes me hate this game is the movement speed, which is so slow it can make it difficult to avoid even attacks that are obvious. The backgrounds and enemies are extremely repetitive and even when things should be exciting they seem boring. Also, the game is really goddamn hard. I remember being amazed when my brother made it to the second level.

I suppose I should at least explain what is somewhat unique about the game. As you might be able to tell by the screenshots, the game isn't the typical space shooter, it has a Chinese setting. Considering your flying around on a cloud, I guess it is based of that old story that has been adapted a million times, Journey to the West. In addition to the standard power ups that you pick up from enemies, there are different secondary fires that can be obtained through shops that show up at certain points in each level. Still, it's not enough to make the game interesting, and I'll forever remember this game as the shooter with bowls of ramen for enemies. Maybe if Cloud Master weren't the first scrolling shooter I ever owned I wouldn't be so negative towards the genre now.

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