View Full Version : Gaming Magazines

Wolf Kanno
09-28-2017, 08:42 AM
So I picked up some older games recently and was getting ready to really plow through them when I remembered that I had an old gaming magazine that had a guide in them for these particular titles and figured I could get some use out of them in case I get stuck anywhere. This of course involved me having to dive into closet, which is a major storage unit for a bunch of crap I collected growing up, but one thing I never could bring myself to get rid of was all of the gaming magazines I use to collect.

Growing up, my mother wasn't exactly wild about my love of the digital medium, but while she only rarely bought me a game or two over the years (my NES, the original Legend of Zelda and Super Metroid some years later so thanks for feeding my addiction mom :p ) she would humor me by getting me a subscription to GamePro way back in the day, which spurred my desire to check out other gaming mags. While I never owned an issue of Nintendo Power, I would read the collection my local library had (and copy pages that had strategies for games I was stuck on, thank you very much Lufia 2 and the growing grass puzzle) and I would occasionally check out Electronic Gaming Monthly.

As I grew older and gained access to better hardware, I shifted to PlayStation Magazine and PSM: The unofficial PlayStation Magazine before they were merged and I got a subscription to EMG2 before it became Expert Gamer. I dabbled in Gamefan as well before they were unceremoniously cancelled and have even gotten my grubby hands on some magazines from outside the good old U.S. of A. Play was probably the last magazine I seriously collected. While I still had subscriptions to EGM before it went full digital and I still get that monthly subscription to Game Informer from my GameStop subscription, I eventually just stopped collecting magazines as both the medium and my own jadedness for the medium kicked in. I still check out Retro Gamer if I'm at Barnes and Noble but have yet to be really inspired to get a subscription as I don't particularly care about getting stuff in the mail. With the exception of one website, I don't really have many go to gaming news sites, I make sure I get email alerts about news concerning games I'm interested in but it's not like I have a site or two I check everyday and read everything. It kind of makes me sad and wonder if my gaming news feed is too insular lately.

What strikes me the most odd was paging through the old magazines and being instantly transported back to my childhood days and the excitement that gaming really brought to me. I found one issue of EMG2 that had a strategy guide for Breath of Fire III in it that I used back in the day, but I was a bit dumbstruck remembering that I also read the section on Tekken 3 to get a better idea of the characters despite the fact I neither owned the game or really ever played it. Paging through the magazines I remember reading a bunch of stuff on games I never owned nor have much of a desire to own, but I still feel it was pretty cool to see all of the different games and hat was popular decades ago. Hell, I even started finding articles on games I loved but only discovered years after they came out. It was fun taking a nice walk down memory lane with the Nintendo vs Sega console war, the rise of 3D and watching PlayStation really change the medium and landscape. It brought me back to a time where I was really excited for the medium and saw lots of interesting possibilities and I was always curious to see what was next. So in addition to realizing I should really lighten up and stop being so gosh darn cynical about everything, I was curious to discover who actually read old gaming mags and which ones your prefer?

09-28-2017, 09:05 AM
Well, considering my country and all, the gaming magazine field was always a bit different here. I was always frustrated that the vast majority of our magazines only covered PC games, since I always felt a better connection with consoles and handhelds. So there was this one magazine that I basically clung to and bought every issue for some time. But then, suddenly, the next issue was PC-only, and they said they quit covering consoles because consoles just don't really exist in Poland. The plus side was that they started including CDs with a full game and some demos. Not that I could run them at the time...

In the end, that was a pretty short-sighted decision. The magazine drowned in the endless pool of PC-centered magazines where there was this one magazine that was pretty much the champion and still is today. Nowadays, we have a bunch of console-centered magazines, and that old magazine I used to buy has long been discontinued.

09-28-2017, 11:10 AM
We were spoiled here in the UK with the amazing Super Play magazine. It was dedicated solely to the Super Nintendo and it was absolutely glorious.

As well as the usual news, reviews, guides etc, they also reviewed the latest Anime releases. Every issue had original Wil Overton artwork on the cover. It ran for four years and I'm proud to say I still own every copy in mint condition.

They actually brought out one final issue recently (it came free with Retro Gamer) to mark the release of the Super Nintendo Mini. A quick flick through any issue is enough to transport me back 25 years :love:


09-28-2017, 01:00 PM
I loved PLAY, which was a UK PlayStation magazine. I started with issue 20-something (I'll edit this once I've checked), because the cover was for Tekken 3, which I was so hyped up about at the time (the issue contained a rundown of several games that were coming soon, including Tekken 3). Then I missed one or two, and got something like issue 31, and carried on from there (I was initially still following Tekken 3). I lost interest in the magazine eventually, but I remember getting to issue 50, which was an excellent issue, because it contained a rundown on every issue there had been up until then, with a reminder (for those who had read them) of some of the games reviewed, as well as other things that had happened within those issues, plus a "Don't tell anyone..." placed at the end of each issue, which shared anything from trivia about how they chose the cover, to statements about the games they mentioned, to pieces of self-deprecation about how they'd now changed their mind about certain games (e.g. for issue 1, it said something like "Somehow, Street Fighter: The Movie scored 85%!").

I also managed to get a hold of issue 4 at some point, and it looks beautiful, but it's amazing how different it looks. I would love to get a hold of every issue from 1 to 50, including the ones I've already got (as a lot of them are falling apart anyway), as that truly looked like the best era to me, and I'd love to follow that from the beginning.

09-28-2017, 01:36 PM
Play was fantastic. I couldn't really afford it when I was a kid so I only occasionally picked it up, but that made it all the better when I got one. I especially liked the back few pages of the magazine, where they'd list the scores for all the games they had reviewed in previous issues.

I think they were still going until last year or something, which was nice, they had a good run. Probably digital only now.

09-28-2017, 02:19 PM
Everyone talking about having PlayStation magazines when they were a kid. Here's me with my SNES ones... that makes me feel old.

09-28-2017, 02:50 PM
Official UK PlayStation Magazine was my jam. Loved the monthly demo disc!

09-28-2017, 03:40 PM
yeah i have boxes of official US ps mag

still pop the demo discs in every now and again

also liked game informer and had a soft spot for game pro (first console mag i ever saw)

like fynn says poland only had pc mags, which were GOOD, and COOl, but yeah limited to PC only

09-28-2017, 04:55 PM
CD Action is actually still going and is still the no.1 mag here.

09-28-2017, 05:39 PM
I really liked EGM as a kid. I also got PlayStation magazine during the ps2 era whenever it came with a disc I'd like. I had a game informer subscription more recently thanks to Gamestop, but I never really enjoyed reading it like I did some of the older magazines.

I wish I would have gotten Nintendo power as a kid, but I don't know if I knew it was a thing. I doubt my parents would have gotten it for me anything. I would have loved it though.

09-28-2017, 09:42 PM
I used to get the Gamestop ones all the time and thought they were great. Then I worked there and had to push the subscription. Then I hated them :stare:

09-28-2017, 10:27 PM
I think my problem with game informer was that when I got those, I could get all the same info online much sooner. I'm also generally not quite as excited with games as when I was younger.

There was something about EGM that made me like it above any other magazine I read back then though. I'm not sure what it was, and I probably still wouldn't see it if I still had any of those old issues.

09-29-2017, 01:47 AM
Nintendo Power was my original love. I have a cousin that not only had every issue from the very first one, but he also had the original fan club letter inviting readers to joining Nintendo Power! I would eventually get my own subscription from the early SNES years to the mid Nintento 64 era.

Around that time by Grandma randomly got me a 3 year subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly. I remember the cover being Aya from Parasite Eve. It was a close up of her face with a black background. So this was probably 1998. Holy smurf I am talking about something that almost happened 20 years ago. My whole life is becoming a blur! Anyway, I really did love that magazine. Though, they did rough Nintendo up all the time and really got on their high horse about the most random thing. I remember in the mid 00s the editor basically implied that all other publications don't finish their games even though they review them. EDIT: It was actually worse. He implied that most other publications get paid for their reviews.

So, I obviously kept EGM for a long time (not until it died, but only a couple of years shy before it did), but during the 00s I also got Game Informer through GameStop. I did this for a few years only not getting the mag for a month or two. I also got GMR for awhile, but that magazine quickly folded. In the late 00s I think I had a very short Play magazine subscription too.

I also saw a lot of other gaming magazines like Game Pro, but I never had a subscription to it. Oh wait! I just remembered! I actually did have a Game Informer subscription waaaaaaaay back in the day. Like it was a very small, low budget looking magazine. I think it only delivered once every two months. Or maybe it was bi-monthly? It had a weird schedule and it was so tiny that it felt more like a magazine ad or coupon book. I remember getting it at the same time I had Nintendo Power during the 16-bit era of gaming, so wow, I did have early issues of Game Informer at one point.

Anyway, I remember Nintendo Power the most fondest of all. Everyone knew it was a giant ad, but most of the staff over the years genuinely cared about Nintendo stuff. The magazine had real soul. I picked up the last issue years ago and it was fun reading about the magazine's history. Actually I wish I picked up a subscription during the final years. A friend of mine did and it looked real slick. The vibe of the magazine was very self aware and fun too.

So I rambled too much, I'm sorry.

09-29-2017, 06:15 AM
I had a year long subscription to Nintendo Power a few times as a kid. I would love going through everything in them, page to page, and just reading everything they had to say about anything. I even still have a copy of the very first issue. I had the original newsletter from before it became a bi-monthly magazine, but it was lost a very long time ago. I remember it had a lot of info about Metroid in it :D

09-29-2017, 02:57 PM
Everyone talking about having PlayStation magazines when they were a kid. Here's me with my SNES ones... that makes me feel old.

Was all about GamesMaster.

Chibi Youkai
09-30-2017, 03:39 PM
Had a sub to PlayStation Magazine for years, until my brain decided that quality had gone to crap. It was a few years to realize that the reason it had changed was because my family moved back to the states, and it was a completely different group of people publishing it.