Tell Us Dammit: Favourite Video Game Magazines

I went into the newsagents today for the first time in a long time. I did what I normally do while browsing in such establishments: I went to the tech section to check out the games magazines.

I say this as someone who started their career in print, as someone who loves magazines — the scene was a little bit desperate. The only game magazines the newsagent had were Game Informer and tucked behind that, the Official Xbox Magazine.

It got me to thinking about my favourite game magazines of yesteryear.

I grew up in the UK and, when I was growing up, magazine culture was powerful. We had Crash magazine for Spectrum, we had CVG, we had Mean Machines. Later when I was in high school Edge was a big deal. I understand that, in Australia there was a similarly powerful movement.

What were some of your favourite video game magazines?


Comments

    Here's mine:

    I found online forums pretty early on and much preferred finding game info through that than gaming magazines. I read a few when they were in front of me, but never found them necessary. Born in '89 so I probably just missed out on being in the generation that had to depend on them.

    Last edited 11/02/16 11:39 am

      You must have access to broadband pretty early on too. At 'video game playing child' age I wouldn't have known what a forum was let alone had dialup speed fast enough to do anything but email or wait for my sonic/pokemon pictures to print.

      And if you're born in the 80s there's no way it was a generational thing. ('86 here)

        That I did! To be honest it completely slipped my mind that could be a factor. My dad is pretty tech savvy so I've had internet access for almost as long as I can remember.

          Yeah, an accoustic coupler was the only way of accessing the 'online' world via a BBS when I started buying magazines....

          So I loved C&VG, Big K, Atari Age, Page 6, ANTIC, and Compute!
          Nothing like typing in a BASIC program for a couple of days, then debugging it and then finally saving it to cassette and playing a game you had really frigging earned!

          The reviews were so necessary then, games were outrageously expensive, I paid $80 in 1982 for 'Defender' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiB_DttmN3Y) ,so what is that in today's money?

          The game boxes tended to have no relationship to actual gameplay, and there was no way to see them in action, so the reviews we so crucial before you plonked down a year's worth of lawn-mowing money on a dud.

    I've always liked Edge, still buy it even now.

    Back in my youth it was all about Zzap 64 (later Zzap 64 Amiga). Which was like Crash, but better because it covered the C64 rather than the Spectrum :P

    First magazine I ever bought was an issue of CVG back in like... 1987. There was also one back in the day called ACE which I bought a few times... I vaguely recall it being pretty good.

      Yeah I used to but ACE - they focussed on Atari ST and Amiga with a paltry section at the back for NES and Master System reviews!

        Well yeah, you focus most of your attention on the best :D And also on the ST, I suppose :P

          True, that way you get the best twice!

    Up until recently I had a subscription to game informer, until I realised the internet is faster and cheaper.

    I quite enjoyed Official Playstation and PC Powerplay back in the day. Mainly for the demo discs. Also read Hyper from time to time, they published two of my stupid screenshot captions lol. N64 gamer I liked for a bit while it was around but it became more and more adolescent boy humor and fanboyism so I stopped after a while...

    Mark,
    Sydney was all about HYPER. Dan Toose's lustrous ponytail graced many an editorial and to this day has me question the rigidity of my sexuality.

      Without getting all creepy about Mr Toose’s terrible ponytail (it was terrible, we can admit that in 2016), Hyper was the best.

      I’ve still got a huge box of them buried under my old bed at my parents’ house.
      I used to read them cover to cover and then start again back in the days when I spent a lot more time dreaming about the latest and greatest games as I did actually playing them. A $5-7 a month expenditure to be able to look at and read about the newest games on the market was just about all I had to tide me over between Christmas and my February birthday.

      I used to have a room covered in Hyper posters too (some from the always awesome poster specials they’d put out occasionally). They were also the perfect size for cutting the corners off and using them to laminate my school books so I was the raddest kid in class.

      It’s sad in a way that those times have passed, but I don’t think the kids these days mind much. I look at the games I’m playing now and how easy it is to get hold of things to play and think they’ve got it pretty sweet!

      Last edited 11/02/16 1:15 pm

    NMS

    And Hyper, because I was in it once.

    I used to love Hyper and Game Informer. But in the last few years, I've only ever bought them before a flight.

      Yeah Hyper was a pretty regular read for me. Also, the official (Australian) Nintendo Magazine called the Nintendo Magazine System. Also used to buy PC Gamer pretty often.

        I used to get Nintendo Magazine System (NMS) every month...well my mum got it for me. I loved getting home from school and seeing a fresh crisp magazine sitting on my bed. I got it from the SNES days through to the N64 and possibly Gamecube days. My walls were plastered with gaming centrefolds :p

        I had a few CVG issues too from the NES/SNES days.

    Hyper seems like a fairly obvious choice. That's a staple Aus gaming magazine.

    http://amr.abime.net/issue_120

    Amiga Action.
    I've linked to one edition in particular- it had Syndicate, Dune 2 covered in it.
    A chance to win an 80mb hard drive! :)

    I find it amusing that the cover game title is a game that dissappeared into obscurity but the supporting games became legendary :)

      Hey, I still remember Zool!

      And Apocalypse, too... that was a pretty good Choplifter clone :D

    Totally a Nintendo Gamer guy. I missed the boat with N64 Gamer, back then I was only a dumb kid that would just pick up magazines at the newsagents to see what cheats they had in the back, but I remember back in 2001 we came back from a holiday and at the airport newsagent was this bright yellow-covered magazine with a highly detailed picture of Mario on it. It was the E3 issue, with the big reveal of the GameCube and HOLY CRAP LOOK AT MARIO'S OVERALLS YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE STITCHING. Pretty sure that was the first magazine I actually read through cover to cover, and it awoke something in me that still carries on to this day :P

    I was pretty bummed out when it got cancelled, and hated that I had to turn to Hyper for my gaming Nintendo news instead. But then that in turn led to a whole bunch of friendships and life experiences, so that was alright I guess. Actually, I ended up crossing paths a couple years back with Nat Silva who used to haunt the NGM letters section, and at another thing ran into Stephen Farrelly. So that was pretty cool, good for a nostalgia wave. Also got to chat with Cam Shea at PAX the year before last.

    I recall at one point during the Wii era we got an official Nintendo magazine for a while. And despite how cringeworthy it could get at times, after a year or so it got a new editor who was pretty big on the community interaction thing. He was a pretty cool guy :P

      Nintendo Gamer Magazine was my favourite, right around the GBA and Gamecube era. Check out this link, I'm pretty sure this is the one your talking about?

      http://www.thatnostalgia.com/nintendogamer01

        That's the one. Golden age, right there.

    Nintendo Magazine System, in the early days. Fatboy and Skull were worth the price of entry themselves.

    Bugger I feel old.

    Last edited 11/02/16 11:35 am

      I remember Nintendo Magazine System used to publish alot of erotic fan art people would send in, which i always thought was very inappropriate....

        Eh, that sort of stuff went over my naive little head back then. After Fatboy and Skull got retired from the letters sections I moved on to N64 Gamer, then the Australian OPS (first one I bought had the FF8 demo, followed the series since).

        Now PSM, THAT one I bought for all the erotic art.

    Jumping in here because if it wasn't for a gaming magazine I wouldn't be doing this job right now.

    The UK edition of PC Gamer. And the one I specifically remember the most: a January edition -- 96, I think -- that was bright yellow and had a massive 4 page review of Virtua Fighter in it.

    Loved it so much I read the thing into a tape recorder. Mum found the cassette like 10+ years later and played it back.

    I still have some of those demo discs, too.

    /reminiscing

      @alexwalker
      Pfft, demo discs, you young punk.

      In my day we had to type the programs in ourselves, and debug them.

      Grumble...mutter...I need a blank cassette....

      Last edited 15/02/16 10:12 am

        I never debugged them, but does it count if I remember playing Gorilla and other BASIC games?

    I really loved N64 Gamer while it was a thing, then when it died I moved on to Hyper for a year or two, eventually got the internet and was over month-old news.
    I remember I used to laugh any time there was a letter asking about the nude code for Goldeneye, I miss that.

    Nintendo Magazine System for me too. It's the one that got me into magazines. My parents place still has an old set of drawers covered in stickers from the magazine and the cover with a promo shot from the Super Mario Bros. will never leave my memory!

    After that I read N64 Gamer for a while, and would occasionally pick up Hyper. Once I got into PC gaming in 2000 with Half-Life I sporadically would pick up PC Powerplay and have been a subscriber for the past 5 years. I blame life, but the last 3 issues are currently scattered around the house still in the plastic and I am unsure if I'll be renewing my sub next month.

    Zzap64 and CVG back in the day. Hyper, Game Informer and occasionally Edge (too pricey tho). I travel a lot and if ive just finished a novel i gotta pick something up. Cannot travel without reading material EVER. Sites like Kotaku are for breakfast/smoko/lunch/bathroom type breaks. I really miss Hyper tho :(

    Atomic

    I know it wasn't *just* a gaming magazine, but it was still my favourite for gaming content. It's waning years showed a dip in quality, particularly for those of us who remembered it's hardcore PC/tech enthusiast ways of the early/mid 00's [case modding, Linux server builds, exotic cooling setups], but it was still a really nice read made by people passionate about what they do.

    I bought Hyper religiously back in the 90s and early 2000s. I occasionally picked up PC Powerplay for the demo discs.

    And then the internet happened.

    Do they still sell/import PC Zone? Though I heard it had a changing of the guard of some sorts so it's not the same as it was back in the 90s...

    I was a subscriber to Hyper back in the late 90s/very early 2000s.

    I also used to buy the UK Official Dreamcast Magazine. Damn I miss that console.

    Man N64 Gamer was my Jam. Had a subscription for the longest time to that and was legitimately sad when it was cancelled. There was just something about receiving it every month and being excited for it to arrive. Read it Cover to Back several times a month. Kinda miss print media like that...

      Yep! Me too
      Still have my issue one in a box. That was jam packed with great material. Was so excited about the thought of Mario 64 II and the N64DD *coming soon*

    Hmm.

    The PC mags lived and died on their shareware CDs that you'd exchange about at school. There was one I remember with some weird CGI promo vids:

    A mech told his base he'd destroyed all the targets but then he gets blown up by surprise "Tower, I....kapow"

    Some RPG series "Do you remember your first time underground"

    And then some obscure fighting game.

    As for Hyper, well it was the premier source for E3 news, obviously.

    Previews told you someone's impressions of early/unreleased games of course, but even back then the heavy leaning on franchise and IP meant sequels sequels sequels - this was important and kept you informed.

    Reviews back then were simply what someone thought of the game, and you actually had to read the prose. The scoring systems were adequate too, get this, they even put words under each sub-score!

    What a novel idea!

    NMS got bought/sold or something in around 1996/7 (so yeah, right when a new console was coming out, brilliant idea that) and promptly had an identity crisis. Any attempt at the 'personality-driven' work they had cultivated after that was bad, Michael Jackson Bad.

    Hey Mark, I use to be an avid reader of the Official Australian PlayStation magazine when you were the head editor and I basically stopped reading it after you left. During your reign you published a letter about me bitching about gaming advertisements and then a game idea (in that section at the back of the magazine) where all you do is break stuff in a determined time limit (inspired by Red Faction: Guerrilla probably). I was likely 15-16 at the time lol. Good times, I was a subscriber.
    Otherwise, I was a huge fan of the original UK official PSone magazine - I still have all my issues of that including the very last issue.
    In the current day, I'm actually still a subscriber for Retro Gamer, which is now the only magazine I read. They print some good shit in that mag, though!

    Play. (not to be confused with Play Magazine the PS-only one.) Dave Halverson is a controversial figure but I liked how the man stuck to his guns and his love for games was palpable. The magazine itself was beautiful to behold with text surrendering to art instead of the other way around.

    An image in the January 2008 issue of the Playstation Official Magazine Australia, of what I believe is (maybe) a young Mark Serrels on the toilet, PSP in hand.

    Good times.

    Last edited 11/02/16 1:04 pm

    PC Powerplay and Hyper were the ones I read. Don't miss them at all to be honest.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now