After roughly 17, 000 western consoles had beaten each other to death in a huge playground fight to bring about the video game crash of 1983, the NES and Master System stepped up for the first 'proper' console war.
The NES arrived first and took the majority of the 8-bit market share during a rough seven year lifespan. The Master System turned up a year later and lasted for around a decade thanks to a healthy afterlife in smaller markets, particularly South America. As market leader, the NES got the majority of the third-party love, but the Master System was no slouch either, with a largely separate set of exclusives and of course a hell of a lot of great first-party games from Sega. It might not have had Mario or Mega Man, but the likes of Alex Kidd and two tailor-made Sonic games kept MS owners more than happy.
The considered critical appraisal, however?
Try as we did, we couldn't find any version of Doom for either machine, so we've taken another game as our comparison tool. Street Fighter II. The Master System had an official port (though 'adaptation' is a more accurate term), published in 1997 by Tec Toy for the Brazilian Market. The NES had a dodgy pirate version released completely unofficially.
Master System SFII looks good, but is really choppy and the title theme makes us feel sorry for it:
NES SFII has cartoonier, homemade sprites and none of the original music, but the pace and flow of the fights feel more authentic: