Old game magazines

General and high profile video game topics.
User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11122
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Old game magazines

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 10th, 2016, 7:20 pm

I had been digging into my collection of old (circa 1990's) video games magazines and they are a heck of a lot of fun to read. Every page is splashed with screenshots and art, and the reading level is about 3rd grade.

But while the magazines were certainly a lot more fun back in the day, I did notice their information wasn't the most accurate. For one thing, the grades were subject to just as much inflation as today. In Gamepro, the "crazy happy face" 5.0 score was all over the place, while "sleeping face" 1.0 was nowhere to be found.

I noticed there was a lot of "rumor mill" stuff, often clearly from the mouth of a PR person. There was an article about the 3DO talking about how its expansion will ensure that the system will not become obsolete and would remain a smart purchase. What a joke. Not only was that statement false, but the expansion never even came out.

Also, in the mid-1990's everybody was going crazy about virtual reality. According to the magazines in only a year or two we'd all be playing games with helmets on our heads. And they seemed 100% certain about it. Talk about deja-vu.

Herschie
Posts: 376
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 11:44 pm

Re: Old game magazines

Postby Herschie » July 12th, 2016, 6:59 pm

Anyone remember that Nintendo Power issue where they had that 2nd-quest Zelda map? I finally figured out years later that it was for the 2nd-quest, which explained why things were never where the map said it was.

In any case, I used to love reading Howard and Nester. Thems were the days, when you couldn't get a FAQ on the internet. You had to wait until the magazine came, or get up early to watch "Video Power" with Johnny Arcade. Remember when they showed the top 100?

Goodness, where does the time go?

Den
Posts: 15
Joined: May 26th, 2015, 3:03 pm

Re: Old game magazines

Postby Den » July 12th, 2016, 9:52 pm

EGM's reviews were a lot more respectable than GamePro's. EGM very rarely gave 10s. I remember when Super Monaco GP for Genesis got two 10s and it blew my mind.

The tips were my favorite part of those old magazines -- the secrets, maps, codes, etc. Not needed today, of course, but the only way to get that info back then.

When I went to college in 1995, I threw out all my magazines. I had every single Nintendo Power and EGM up to that point, as well as many GamePros and VG&CE issues. Big regret there.

bluenote
Posts: 74
Joined: August 14th, 2015, 5:16 pm

Re: Old game magazines

Postby bluenote » August 30th, 2016, 1:30 pm

I grew up on GamePro, since it was launched in 1989. I just bought all 12 issues from 1991 on Ebay (I threw out my old collection 20 years ago), and man, do I miss these old magazines! I especially loved the ads! I would pore through these magazines, reading them over and over as a kid.

A different time, that's for sure....

Ken Lao
Posts: 3
Joined: July 18th, 2016, 7:40 am

Re: Old game magazines

Postby Ken Lao » August 31st, 2016, 7:35 am

Old game magazines? I don't think you youngsters know what "old" gaming magazines are. I am talking about Electronic Games magazine back from the early 80's. I still have several issues. Dirk the daring, Miner 2049er, Mario, and many others graced the cover of these issues back when they were a new item. Mario wasn't even called Mario yet back in those days! Now those magazines are fun to look through.

matmico399
Posts: 481
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 6:11 pm

Re: Old game magazines

Postby matmico399 » August 31st, 2016, 10:47 am

Yeah my first ones were Atari Age.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1946
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: Old game magazines

Postby scotland » August 31st, 2016, 11:22 am

These old magazines are awesome. Unlike Nintendo Power, I think you can find many of them at the Internet Archive. For instance, here is issue 1 of Atari Age. https://archive.org/details/atariage-1-1

The articles, the ads, the photographs, the artwork, the Q&A parts, even the classified ads of some of these magazines are fun. I have had fun looking back on some of the old print ads and wondering what people were thinking. I bought several of the paperbacks at the time, and later became interested in computer magazines like Compute!.

I even have some of the old Tandy / Radio Shack Whiz Kids comic books extolling the world saving power of a TRS-80 in the hands of smart kids. I should try to collect them, as a few of them have great covers - green and purple flying 80s Lex Luthor "No one can stop Lex Luthor from wrecking the Metropolis World's Fair" (except two preteen kids who know BASIC on an 8 bit personal computer!)

goldenband
Posts: 151
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 10:29 pm

Re: Old game magazines

Postby goldenband » August 31st, 2016, 11:26 am

Ken Lao wrote:Old game magazines? I don't think you youngsters know what "old" gaming magazines are. I am talking about Electronic Games magazine back from the early 80's. I still have several issues. Dirk the daring, Miner 2049er, Mario, and many others graced the cover of these issues back when they were a new item. Mario wasn't even called Mario yet back in those days! Now those magazines are fun to look through.


I loved Electronic Games (though I only discovered it shortly before it came to an end), and also enjoyed its short-lived successor, Computer Entertainment. They weren't afraid to give out brutally negative reviews when they were called for; I still remember a lethal, and extremely funny, review of a very poor Indiana Jones-related game for C64 (IIRC).

twilighthotel
Posts: 53
Joined: August 31st, 2016, 11:32 am

Re: Old game magazines

Postby twilighthotel » August 31st, 2016, 11:55 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:But while the magazines were certainly a lot more fun back in the day, I did notice their information wasn't the most accurate. For one thing, the grades were subject to just as much inflation as today. In Gamepro, the "crazy happy face" 5.0 score was all over the place, while "sleeping face" 1.0 was nowhere to be found.


Every few months back in the day, over a period of several years, EGM would do editorials taking shots at magazines who in their opinion were paid off to write glowing reviews of less than special games. More often than not, informed readers could figure out they were referring to Gamepro.

They constantly took shots at Diehard Game Fan in their editorials as well, for having a magazine full of spelling and grammar errors.

Funny enough, EGM never had a track record of dogging Video Games & Computer Entertainment or Game Players, both of whom were long time competitors, and I don't recall them taking many shots at Sega Visions or Nintendo Power, seeing that they were "official magazines" for first party companies who might stop sending them review material.

User avatar
Stalvern
Posts: 436
Joined: June 18th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Re: Old game magazines

Postby Stalvern » October 8th, 2016, 3:44 am

Amiga Power was the only real magazine. Brilliantly written and a complete stranger to BS (which eventually led to a moronic, one-sided "feud" with a certain major developer who stopped sending review copies when one of their games didn't get a high enough score).

Very, very British, though.


Return to “Video Games General”