I'm always amazed when I look at those EGM magazines from the early 90s, because they gave out so few perfect scores. Today, any hyped game that plays decent will get all 10s no matter what. The earliest game I can remember that got at least one 10 from an EGM reviewer was Ys Book 1 & 2, a game that definatly deserved it.
On the other hand, they often ripped games that most people today think of as classics. EGM gave Herzog Zwei fours and fives, calling it unplayable. To make up for it, they named it one of the greatest games of all time in their 100th issue.
For me, it is with out any doubt, Q64 Magazine for the N64.[/quote]
I loved that rag. It was a quarterly magazine (meaning it came every four months) put out by (and patterned after) the same publisher that put out PSExtreme, my favorite independent mag dedicated to a single console that recently morphed into a smaller version. Lengthy reviews, minimal advertisements, the great Zach Meston's insane writing and very stingy on giving perfect scores.
Say, did anyone else like Gamer's Republic? It's a multi-console magazine that lasted from approx. 1999 'till the middle of 2001 that was put out by Dave Halverson, the creator of the original GameFan magazine? It was the best marriage I've ever seen of an American game magazine and the layouts of British videogame magazines. Gamer's Republic tanked, and in its place we now have PLAY magazine (another Halverson rag) which has lasted close to three years and seems to have developed its own little cult niche of readers. I started liking PLAY but 18 months ago I just got disenchanted with it and stopped buying it, leaving me with the first two years' worth of issues that I don't know what to do with.
EGM: The older the better. I have one old EGM from '99 and it's the best. It's got dozens of reviews and a heck of a lot more previews, including Japan-only games. The reviews are pretty good, and the editors aren't total dolts. I have a few from 2001-2002 (including the E3 2001 and the GBA's launch). They're pretty good as well. But I hate the new EGMs. Ever since they changed their layout, there has been more pictures, less content and their reviews are terribly biast. Plus they stick half the games they receive to review in sections that either don't give them scores (and each game receives a useless 20 words) or in the 'rest of the crap' section, where the continually kick games into the dust that they later admit weren't so bad. Drives me nutts. Plus, what happend to the previews section? Now they have like 2 previews per issue.
GamePro: This is one of those publications where the writers just don't seem capable of giving a game a really bad score. Plus there's not really that much coverage. Still, some interesting features and very informative, plus more independent than most magazines which are still all published by one company.
GMR: They over-rate everything, and often contradict themselves, but still well written and with nice layout.
Official Dreamcast Magazine: Being the official magazine of Sega's dreamcast I expected ODM to be completly biased. It's not. I don't like a lot of the content, but the reviews aren't biased and they don't pretend past Sega consoles were successfull or popular.
That's my two cents. Sorry to blabber on so long.
I wonder was game pro ever any good? Anything from 2000 to now is a joke i stopped reading there reviews after driv3r got a 4.5 as well as that god awful ps2 castlevania game. In there last issue they had the gul to say soul calibur 2 was a bad game after the gave it a damn near perfect score! They went on to say it didnt sell as well as namco has hoped which makes not a lick of sence since it went greatest hits on all 3 systems. Even the writing sucks i have never seen so much jargon and probaganda on one page before.
BTW, not sure if there is any Canadians here, but has anyone else read Total Gamer? It's an independant, short but free gaming magazine that's just given away at Blockbusters and stuff. It's actually pretty cool. In this day and age it's hard to find a magazine staffed by real gamers, let alone one that's only distrubuted to only one nation (At least one like Canada).
I also liked the fact that EGM rarely gave out perfect scores. I remember when Super Monaco GP came out for Sega Genesis, and TWO reviewers out of four gave it a 10.... that blew me away. The only other game I can remember getting 10s was Super Mario 3.
In high school I had my room papered with gaming-magazine covers.
I don't know, I think there are a lot more good videogames being made today than back in the 80's and 90's. It makes sense for EGM to give more 10's now than several years ago, me thinks. The last couple of issues only had one game ('God of War' for PS2) getting two 10's from two of three reviewers. The only two games in recent months that have gotten 10's from EGM ('Resident Evil 4' for GameCube and 'Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory' for XBox) can at least have a claim at being above-average compared to everything else on the market at the time. I agree that the amount of 8.0's and 9.0's has gone insanely high recently, but the EGM 10's are still rare (and mostly justified).