Old Gaming Magazines

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lynchie137
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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby lynchie137 » May 5th, 2020, 2:30 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Lynchie - yes this is the fun type of cover you never see on most modern game magazines. For the last 10 years or so Game Informer has insisted on some kind of tastefully rendered artwork with no text. First of all, it looks pretentious as hell, and second, it's annoying not knowing what the game is.

I should mention that Retro Gamer still has fun covers. They still "get it" and don't take themselves too seriously.


Yeah. I see what you mean. The images that Game Informer tend to use for their magazine covers do look very nice from an artistic standpoint. But their overall presentation is indeed very very bland and does not compel me to pick up a copy and buy it.

As for Retro Gamer? That's one mag I really don't see too much in my neck of the woods. But going by some of the covers I've seen online, they do have that old school look about them. Bright colors. Bold text. Which, like a lot of the covers of mags like Game Players,tends to scream "BUY ME". Like I said, though, I really don't see it on store shelves here very often. but the next time I do happen to see one, i think I will pick up a copy or two....

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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 5th, 2020, 2:45 pm

The problem with Retro Gamer is that it's very expensive, partly because it's published in the UK. If you see if at a bookstore, one issue might be $10 or more. Still, it's the best video game magazine around, with big glossy pages that cover both old games and new.

I usually ask for a subscription as a Christmas present because it's >$100.

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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 6th, 2020, 3:06 pm

I was going thru the big fat Dec 1994 issue of Game Players, and took a few notes.

There was a feature about the upcoming Street Fighter II movie! Ah memories. There was a lot of talk about if the new 32X was necessary, considering Donkey Kong Country was arguably better. Sega steadfastly maintained it was going to be their main console. They actually seemed to downplay the Saturn, which would end up launching in just a few short months.

I saw ads for two games that looked interesting: Page Master and Saturday Night Slam Masters, both for Genesis.

There was an article about Virtual Reality, and they said the trick would be reducing a $5K setup to something closer to $200 for the average consumer. Hell, they could have written that article today.

The reader mail was fascinating. One of the letters were making fun of the geriatric Rolling Stones. This magazine is 25 years old and the Stones are still touring! I guess in another 25 years we'll have a cybernetic Mick Jagger strutting his stuff.

These magazines are packed with so much info, it's kind of hard to read some of the small text, or discern some of the tiny pics. Still, pretty fascinating stuff.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby Retro STrife » May 6th, 2020, 4:25 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:So I just picked up a set of these magazines off ebay (I know, I know) around the 1994/1995 timeframe, including the one pictured. Yeah, these are great. Very colorful and every page contains so much information! I feel like I'm in a time warp reading these, and I don't want to come home!


Awesome pick up, Critic. That one issue I have of of Game Players from Feb. 1995 has long been a top favorite in my magazine collection. The features are great, with a ton of dumb humor thrown in, lots of color and photos, covering a wide range of system, and their reviews seemed very fair (and I like the "second opinion" feature of the reviews). And I like that each writer for the magazine had their own personality and inside-jokes about themselves - you don't see that anymore.

One of my favorite parts of old magazines is seeing how games were perceived back in the day compared to today. This past weekend I flipped through my Feb. 1995 issue again, and read their review of Phantasy Star IV, and was very surprised to see that their complaints about the game in 1995 were so similar to my complaints in 2020. Most of their reviews hold up well today, and I can't say the same for a lot of other magazines. I'm not sure why I never thought to buy more issues of this magazine like you did, but I'm thinking about it now. They're more expensive than most though, so people must know they're good..

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Retro STrife
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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby Retro STrife » May 6th, 2020, 4:38 pm

Well, I just bought one on ebay to check it out. I went with the Dec. 1994 issue that you mentioned. I wanted a second one to flip through, but didn't wanted to splurge too much on a set at this point. Reading the wikipedia page, the magazine had an interesting history of name changes. It was only named "Game Players" for a few years, which is probably part of why it isn't as well known as others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Players

TheEagleXIII
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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby TheEagleXIII » May 7th, 2020, 4:10 am

Aside from the brief, borderline SEGA-propaganda, reviews in Sonic the Comic I used to read as a kid, I never bought gaming mags until I got a PS1. So lately I've been checking out some old SEGA Magazines scans to see what I missed out on - found a decent one we had here called SEGA Pro which launched in 91 and it is fascinating to go back and read these old mags.

Even just stuff like what criteria they use to judge a game - so many of the reviews talk about how many music tracks a game had, how many sound effects, what the title screen looks like, the menu. It's even crazy seeing how games were priced. Usually, but not always, they were priced on how much data they fit onto a cartridge, regardless of final game quality. And the average price I'm seeing most new games listed at is around £35-£45. For reference, in 2000 brand new PS1 games were usually priced at £30 and a couple years later new PS2 games were £40. And that's just for Mega Drive, new Master System games aren't cheap in 92. It's a common theme in the mag at the moment that new Master System releases are priced at £30, and it's rubbing some of the reviewers the wrong way a bit.

That said, the Master System is getting a lot of love here in 92. There's a consistent stream of new games and they're getting great if not solid reviews.

Another interesting thing is 'grey importers', places where you can buy Japanese games not released in the UK. Like, its not even a few shady guys in a back alley, the stores that advertise in the magazine openly offer it and the magazine constantly refers to buying grey imports like it's a totally normal aspect of being a gamer in the early 90s. It's to the point that the mag even reviews Japanese games when they're released and gives advice to wait if there's gonna be a UK release at a later date.

jon
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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby jon » May 8th, 2020, 5:43 pm

As it got to the late 90’s you see a progression in Game Pro for example. A lot of great video game companies all of a sudden are done. And the games got so ugly looking. 2d is basically extinct and everyone had a policy of no 2d games which makes no sense considering how ugly the 3d games were. Now I enjoyed some of the first wave of PS1 games and some even from ‘96. So I still bought Game Pro’s or at least looked at them at stores. But shortly after that time it was such a drag. Now computer game magazines were awesome during this time. But the ones that focused on video games were just not that good at that time.
There’s basically no Atari or Sega. Nintendo was pumping out not so good software (for consoles at least). The pressure was too much for the Jaguar or 3do to even have 2nd generation games. Those systems actually had promising looking first Gen looking 3d games. I remember in high school kids arguing which is better the PS1 or the N64. And I’m just thinking what happened. Of course on top of that my absolute favorite developers were kicked out. I’d say 1996 was the last time Game Pro put out good content. Maybe 2001-2002 was interesting

lynchie137
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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby lynchie137 » May 8th, 2020, 8:05 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I was going thru the big fat Dec 1994 issue of Game Players, and took a few notes.

There was a feature about the upcoming Street Fighter II movie! Ah memories. There was a lot of talk about if the new 32X was necessary, considering Donkey Kong Country was arguably better. Sega steadfastly maintained it was going to be their main console. They actually seemed to downplay the Saturn, which would end up launching in just a few short months.

I saw ads for two games that looked interesting: Page Master and Saturday Night Slam Masters, both for Genesis.

There was an article about Virtual Reality, and they said the trick would be reducing a $5K setup to something closer to $200 for the average consumer. Hell, they could have written that article today.

The reader mail was fascinating. One of the letters were making fun of the geriatric Rolling Stones. This magazine is 25 years old and the Stones are still touring! I guess in another 25 years we'll have a cybernetic Mick Jagger strutting his stuff.

These magazines are packed with so much info, it's kind of hard to read some of the small text, or discern some of the tiny pics. Still, pretty fascinating stuff.


I still have that issue at home. And I still like to read it from time to time.

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Re: Old Gaming Magazines

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 10th, 2020, 11:43 am

So I was sitting on my deck reading the Jan 95 issue of Game Players with my coffee, thinking it doesn't get any better than this. The sun on the paper even made a smell that reminded me of the beach.

Anyway there were so many interesting items I took notes (your welcome)!

"Virtual Reality is a reality": this headline caught my eye. Turns out they were referring to the upcoming Virtual Boy, which was still a bunch of rumors at this point.

32X blurb mentioned "there are going to be 100 new dedicated 32X titles by the end of 1995". LOL

"What's going on here?": This article shellacked Sega for switching to cardboard boxes and encouraging third-party publishers to do the same. "video games are collectors' items" Amen to that.

Ad for a game called Breakthru for multiple platforms, by the guy who did Tetris. Never heard of it!

Arcade games with terrible names: Global Champion. Bloodstorm.

Noticed an arcade game called Operation Wolf 3 which has digitized graphics. This is the kind of game that never made it to consoles, sadly.

Club Drive review for Jaguar. This game got trashed. Surprised it even scored 35%

There was an article talking about how the magazine was adding a new "innovation" score. I was thinking "this is what I need"! A lot of times I review groundbreaking games but give a low score because of current playability. A lot of readers get confused by this. Maybe I need to upgrade my grading system or add a new icon? By the way, I was assuming Game Players was going to use the innovation score to heap praise, but in fact it's more frequently used to mock the "same old" kind of games.

Review for Yogi Bear for the SNES. I like the snow stage pic! Got to add this to my list.
Also SeaQuest for the SNES for the summer

The writers for this magazines are brilliant. I really need to up my game.
Review for Corpse killer caption: "A bevy of Jim Morrison and Robert Plants are coming after you and they're looking for drugs"
Biker Mice review: "Not the best license in the world, but in the capable hands of Konami, anything is possible"
Mailbag section: "The future is here... almost"

Babe alert: By perusing the screenshots found two more candidates for the new Babe special:
Redhead from Space Ace - even hotter than Daphne
Isabella from Snatcher

Thoughts? Comments?


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