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 ) 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?