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Late 90's Gamepro

Posted: July 17th, 2019, 2:01 pm
by jon
I was looking through different Gamepro magazines and it really reflects how I felt in high school in those days. It's been talked about before but in 1994-1995 Gamepro was amazing. Looking at the cover, it showed the systems it covered at the top. Just looking at a random one from '95 you'll see Sega, Nintendo, Jaguar, 3do, CD-I, Neo Geo, 32x, and arcade. Then I looked at Gamepro from 1998, and there's no consoles listed at the top of the cover. On the cover all you would see is the games they were reviewing inside the magazine. And they were almost all PS1 games with the rare N64 or PC review. That was just crazy. I guess a couple years later in around 2000 there were more choices. But I always remembered how much I really felt late 90's gaming was basically only the PS1. It's like a whole magazine devoted to the PS1.

Re: Late 90's Gamepro

Posted: July 17th, 2019, 8:15 pm
by VideoGameCritic
I have to agree with your sentiments. Those mid-90s Gamepros were HUGE, covering dozens of systems. It was a pretty exciting time, especially with the new 32 bit systems on the horizons. Whenever I go on a trip I usually throw a few of these magazines into my bag as reading material. They are fun to read with colorful screenshots and illustrations. Even the ads were interesting.

As for the late 90's, I think we forgot how dominant the original Playstation was. The Saturn was floundering, and the N64 took several years to get up to speed. The Playstation really delivered.

Re: Late 90's Gamepro

Posted: July 19th, 2019, 9:18 am
by jon
In addition to Gamepro, there were always special mags devoted to a specific fame discussing strategy and the storyline. I always picked them up if I was flying. Another really good quality was sports magazines back in the 90’s. The mid 90’s was before the internet took off so for each magazine it was the best writers. Before espn had its own magazine (which sucks), they would do sports preview like baseball basketball hockey football and both colleges. Those were whole Magazines devoted to it around
‘95-‘96. The football previews in the summer were also awesome.

Re: Late 90's Gamepro

Posted: July 19th, 2019, 9:40 pm
by lynchie137
One thing that always annoyed me about Gamepro is that the writers would write under pseudonyms. And for the most part, they were usually really bad and always accompanied by a really lame cartoon picture of themselves. Now this might strike some folks as being somewhat ironic, given that pretty much everybody that posts a comment or ten here will do so under an assumed name. But at the time, that was something that just sort of bugged me about that magazine, since it seemed like all the writers for all other video game rags going at the time would use their real names when writing a review.

Re: Late 90's Gamepro

Posted: July 19th, 2019, 10:18 pm
by Matchstick
Always loved Scary Larry and Major Mike. Jonny Ballgame (real name Jon Robertson) was responsible for nearly every sports review, and, fun fact, has been employed as a sports writer for ESPN for over a decade now. He wrote an awesome article a few years back about the legacy of Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl. A fun read, and if I can track down the link, I'll post it here.

I only have a small stash of gaming mags left, but most of them are GamePro mags from '95 and '96. Like jon said, the covers of the mags had the systems covered inside the issue listed at the very top, including Neo Geo and Virtual Boy. What a time to be alive!

I liked the strategy section in the mags, too, particularly in regards to fighting games. I rented a ton of games back then and I usually didn't get a manual. The issues with movelists for DarkStalkers, Killer Instinct, and Street Fighter Alpha were an absolute godsend! They devoted a few issues to the original Resident Evil, as like the rest of the gaming world at the time, they were completely hooked on it. I still have the issue with a walkthrough for the Sega Saturn game D, as well. Never would have beaten that game without it - and I still can't, all these years later.

I miss the ads from back then. So much edge in the different marketing campaigns. I even have some of my favorite full-page ads framed and hanging on my wall. No joke - a Dollar Tree frame can make an old ad from GamePro look like a work of art!

Some of my favorites, and their related taglines:

X-Men vs Street Fighter ("Only one fighting game's big enough to hold them both!")

Loaded ("What good is a Sega Saturn... if it isn't LOADED")

Krazy Ivan ("He's the next Russian revolution!")

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 ("The longest wait is the one for death")

Resident Evil ("If these walls could talk... they'd scream")

Super Mario 64 ("On September 30th, dinosaurs will fly!" - showing Mario grabbing Bowser by the tail)

Hell, some of the best ads weren't even game related. I have an old FILA ad from one of those issues with Jerry Stackhouse, who was then killing it for the 76ers. He's airborne, jumping over a highway sign that reads "Philadelphia," though "FILA" is blocking out the "Phila" part of the sign. Clever, clever. And yes, I wanted to wear FILAs because of that stupid ad. Stack, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley were my favorites at the time, and they could sell me anything as an impressionable, NBA-obsessed teen in the 90's. Thankfully, though, I never owned any Michael Jordan cologne...

Fun thread! Brings back a lot of memories. Maybe I'll go flip through a few of those issues tonight, for old time's sake.

Re: Late 90's Gamepro

Posted: July 20th, 2019, 7:50 am
by Gentlegamer
lynchie137 wrote:One thing that always annoyed me about Gamepro is that the writers would write under pseudonyms. And for the most part, they were usually really bad and always accompanied by a really lame cartoon picture of themselves. Now this might strike some folks as being somewhat ironic, given that pretty much everybody that posts a comment or ten here will do so under an assumed name. But at the time, that was something that just sort of bugged me about that magazine, since it seemed like all the writers for all other video game rags going at the time would use their real names when writing a review.


This was because there was only one or two writers, each using several pseudonyms.

Re: Late 90's Gamepro

Posted: July 20th, 2019, 2:45 pm
by jon
That was some very interesting stuff. Thanks Matchstick. One thing I realized was a bit ago after mentioning that in mid ‘95 no one knew who was going to come out on top, member posted something that was fascinating. The PS1 had apparently sold 500,000 copies in Japan by the time it reached American in I think September. I read a couple days ago in a mid ‘95 gamepro that the PS1 had already signed a billion developers to make games Bc the system was easy to make games for. That was inteeesting because generally in that time free it was sort of looked at as a competition but looking back in reality I think some people knew the PS1 was going to be huge because so many developers signed on. But when you are back then in 1995 reading I didkt know at all the PS1 had everything going it’s way. I actually thought some other systems had a shot. But they sort of did and no one knew the “ultra 64” would get outsold 3 to 1 maybe more