most Master System collectors know, Brazil is one of the most interesting
areas where it saw release. It went strong until 1997 and thus some of the
rarest titles and accessories only originate in the country. Today they
are some of the most elite items one can possibly find for the SMS. Some,
like the Master Girl, are quite interesting, others, like the Asa, are a
bit more obscure and in some respects not worth the effort to locate. |
The Asa (Tipo Asa Profissional on the box) translates, literally, to “Wing.”
It’s nothing special actually, simply a Quickshot joystick released by TecToy
in Brazil. Quickshot had been making joysticks since back in the Atari days,
with a variety of models released for different systems like the Amiga and
Commodore. In the 8-bit era they made a few for the NES and SMS, but the
former received a bit more attention as a whole and thus more products.
Quickshot had some luck with their Master System joysticks outside of the
US, but this was only because the joysticks were all manufactured with a
“System Selector” switch that enabled you to use it with different systems.
Thus, in Europe, almost all of these joysticks were boxed and labeled as
“Multi-System” controllers, and thus are not pure Master System collectibles,
so to speak.
However, in Brazil,
TecToy decided to market the Quickshot controllers (three in all) for
use exclusively with the Master System, thus you’ll find “Para o Master
System” (For the Master System) directly on the box and instructions on
how to use it on the back and sides. The Asa (known as the Wing Commander
elsewhere) is an odd joystick and fails to really capture one’s attention
as a unique controller because it simply doesn’t do anything useful.
First off, the design is a bit awkward and hard to get used to. As you
can see, it’s designed to look like a plane in some respects, thus its
name. The system selector is at the front, the Directional Pad is on the
left wing (operated with your left thumb), Button 1 is on the right wing
(operated with your right thumb), an auto fire is in the middle and Button
2 is located on the front of the right wing (operated by your right pointer
or middle finger). It doesn’t really fit right in the hands and even after
getting used to it you’ll wonder why you did.
Second, the auto-fire button is nearly useless. Unlike other Quickshot
joysticks, the Asa only features auto-fire for both Button 1 and 2 at
the same time. While this may work for shooting games, if you planned
on using this for any other type of game, good luck. I assume it was made
for use specifically with shooting games, but due to its awkward design
you really won’t find it any better than the standard Control Pad. If
the idea was to get your more into the game on design alone, bad decision
and incredibly stupid, because there’s just no way a controller called
the “Wing” is going to make playing a shooting game any more realistic
than a normal joystick or the like.
Third, and most importantly, the buttons tend to lose their responsiveness
over time and you’re left with an inoperable controller. A number of Quickshot’s
joysticks were known for shoddy construction and the Asa is no exception,
making it even less desirable in terms of usability. It’s also somewhat
lame in that TecToy didn’t bother making it specifically for the Master
System in terms of design because the system selector is still present.
They simply took Quickshot’s Wing Commander and slapped it in a different
box while adding “Position at D for the Master System” to make sure you
get the joystick to work correctly (it won’t work properly on one of the
other settings). I guess coming from the demons that released Bonker’s
Wax Up, you shouldn’t expect much to begin with.
As it stands, while definitely a piece of the history of the SMS, the
Asa Profissional is not really worth the effort. It’s nearly impossible
to find in the box and when you do you’ll most likely put it on display
and go back to the old Control Pad, which remains the only reliable controller
in the Master System’s library as far as I’ve found. In the future I’ll
be reviewing more accessories I’ve located and let you know what I think,
for now take in the Asa and fly.