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Gaming Mags Worth Their Ink 108

eToyChest takes a look back at five gaming magazines worth subscribing to. Tellingly, four out of five are no longer published. From the article: "What can be said about Next Generation Magazine that would truly do it justice? In its seven-year run starting in 1995, Next Generation virtually defined what good game journalism should be in the U.S. Interviews with prominent industry figures, even those unrelated to game-making such as Henry Jenkins of M.I.T. and Senator Joseph Lieberman were erudite and informative. Imagine what fun they would have had with Jack Thompson." As I've said before, Futurenet's Edge is my personal favorite print magazine. What is yours?
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Gaming Mags Worth Their Ink

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  • Maximum PC (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sethb ( 9355 ) *
    Maximum PC is a pretty good mag, if you're into PC hardware. Profesionally, Windows IT Pro is worth every penny of the hefty subscription price (compared to many other mags). A few well-written articles in there have helped me implement something at work in hours that would have taken me days of fiddling on my own.
    • The free demo cd with every issue is a plus.
    • Re:Maximum PC (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rinisari ( 521266 )
      My problem with Maximum PC is twofold: First, they still distribute their software on CD. Most other mags have moved to DVD and thus are able to jampack more demos and apps into it, making the premium for the disc much more worth it. Second, Maximum PC has A LOT of ads. I know ads bring in revenue (I work in print media), but there's a point when mags have an article followed by three pages of ads--MaxPC has reached this point. It's time for them to have more content or charge more for their ads. They've go
      • That sounds like ... god, if those magazines had no ads at all, they wouldn't have more than 20 pages. I wouldn't like to see games mags to turn something like that =/
      • Second, Maximum PC has A LOT of ads. I know ads bring in revenue (I work in print media), but there's a point when mags have an article followed by three pages of ads--MaxPC has reached this point. It's time for them to have more content or charge more for their ads. They've got a decent subscriber base, they just need to make their advertisers aware of it.

        well that's what sucks about this day and age, It used to be about providing content to people, Now it's just about making money.

        The few magazines I

        • It used to be about providing content to people, Now it's just about making money.

          I know the rose colored glasses can distort history pretty badly, but what plaent are you from? Magazine publishing has always been about making money. The difference is that people used to get upset when advertising started outweighing actual articles. As competition for advertising has increased (with the rise of the web), the prices payed out for carrying advertising has decreased. To make things worse, readership ha

          • Also, people seem to have lost any outrage they used to have at paying to read ads. You'd think in a country that claims to pride itself so much on "freedom" that people would be less accepting of being sold like cattle to advertisers, but I guess not.
          • and that's the point I was making.

            When I used to get magazines they were filled with a lot of great info, now a days though they are filled with far to many ads then what they were filled with.
            I understand it's either that or up the subscription price but if it ment I could get more articles and information out of a magazine for a higher price I would rather do that then be stuck with a magazine that doesn't give me anything but ads upon ads for less.
    • I concur. I used to subscribe, but eventually I found myself being more up-to-date than they were (which isn't at all surprising, as they're a print magazine), and just reading it for another perspective. Plus, as I migrated away from Windows, its Windows-centric nature alienated me a little (not that they haven't had good alternate OS features -- I first heard of many alternate OSes in one of their articles). It's a well-written magazine, but at that point it just wasn't worth it to me. I highly recommend
      • Maximum PC is a fantastic airplane read. I don't keep up with PC tech on a dialy basis, but I read the mag nearly monthly, and I at least feel like I have some idea of what's happening in the hardcore PC front.
        • Good point. Another thing about MaxPC is that they're really into PC building and high powered systems, which is great if that interests you, but I've lost interest in those aspects of computing.
  • Joystik and Video Games circa the early 80s were decent. The latter had great long articles, and the former - aside from the large strategy guides - had the best artwork and layout of any game-publication of it's time.

    Edge is nice, but the delay in the UK releases - and that PRICE - make it a rare buy for me. In fact, I haven't seen it around Borders in the SF Bay area for a while now. Was it discontinued?
    • Here in the UK I rather like PC Zone (have subscribed to it since about 2000, still have a couple of issues from about '98 I think). Has a bit of a price tag (can't remember how much as money just vanishes from my bank as they renew my subscription), but it's rare that I disagree with a review when I buy the game.
    • Joystik was a cool mag, well formatted, neat articles.... actually had a subscription to that in the 80s for a couple years. Great insights on coin-ops of the day.
    • I like Edge enough that I recently took out a subscription. The reviews are generally well-written, much more interesting to read than anything I've found online.

      The price isn't too bad in the UK - £4. How much do they add on in the US?
      • Re:Next-Gen aside (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bigbigbison ( 104532 )
        Subscription price is a LOT in the USA. You can get it at Barnes and Noble for $8.99 which today is £4.88. A subscription from Edge is £72.00 or $132 a year. I don't care how good Edge is, I can't afford to subscribe to it. If there was a digital version that was substantially cheaper, I would subscribe without a second thought. As it is, I pick up an issue every couple of months.
        When you can subscribe to US gaming mags for less than $10 a year by buying the subscriptions on ebay, it is hard
    • For some reason, Future made a deal with Barnes & Noble for exclusive distribution of Edge.
      • That would explain it - although that sucks because I like the Borders near me better. It's still a frustrating mag from the stand point that UK releases lag behind the states making some of the articles FAR behind the products compared to normal pubs which are merely lagging behind the web.

        I never even looked at the subscription cost - holy crap - over 130.00? Haven't the english figured out the value of advertsing metrics tied to a hard-subscription model? That's why pubs are cheap in the US. I used to wo
    • Re:Next-Gen aside (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rayonic ( 462789 )
      One short-lived magazine that I liked was Gamer's Republic. I'd give a link, but there seems to be no decent page to link to anymore.

      Game magazines, more than most other magazines, are really getting killed by the Internet. I mean, by the time news comes out in a monthly magazine, it's at least 1 or 2 months old. Even exclusives are scanned and leaked with regularity.

      What we really need is a gaming weekly. Something with a fast turnaround time and is cheaper to produce. Heck, it wouldn't even have to b
  • Hard Copy (Score:5, Funny)

    by HugePedlar ( 900427 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:26PM (#15691827) Homepage
    Give us back the three-page BASIC code listings that took hours to type in and then didn't work. Bring back the fun.
    • even worse (esp. with Compute! gazette) was the 8 pages of hexadecimal that you had to type in the sepcial assembly code entry program that, was itself, written basic and you had to type in also.

      of course, after 8 pages of hex number, you ran the program it was just another shoot emup/maze game close that just ran faster than basic ;)
      (ok, ok, there was one or two really good programs there ultimately)
      • I felt the same way, until I also added the Automatic Proofreader program. It would print a CRC or some such 2-digit check code for every line you entered, which helped avoid problems quite a bit. (MLX, the hex code program, included the check code as part of the line you were entering.)

        I miss those old BASIC games. My coding career started by figuring out how to default my 3 lives to 255!
      • Re:Hard Copy (Score:2, Informative)

        by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
        Hex? Man you guys got it easy. I've got books that list some games in binary. ASCII encoded binary. That's fun to type in. "Is that a three pixel bar or a four pixel one?"
  • The rise and fall (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:27PM (#15691843) Homepage
    I used to read PC Gamer when I was in high school. Each issue was at least half an inch thick. Now they are a lot smaller, somewhere around 1/4 inch thick. Also, the demos that they include have really started to suck. They used to be quite large, usually the full game without all the maps. Now they usually include cutscenes, or playable demos with only 1 or 2 maps. At least that's the way it was when I stopped buying it. Can't say if the demos have improved, but last time I looked at a copy, the magazine was still pretty small, and still cost just as much as it originally did.
    • PC Accelerator ate PC Gamer for freaking breakfast. Too bad they stopped publishing in what, 2001-2002? RIP PCXL.
    • Re:The rise and fall (Score:3, Informative)

      by Buran ( 150348 )
      I used to subscribe to PC Gamer around 7-10 years or so ago. I want to say I dropped it in 98 or so. It was decent... and then I wrote them a letter to point out an error in a photo caption, a polite letter that included resources that showed why I was correct (saving them some research time before publishing the errata) and the correct information.

      They responded by making fun of me and jeering at me. I felt like I was being mistreated because I had actually caught them at an error and therefore they were l
  • Does anyone here remeber Gamer's Republic? It was a fantastic magazine that catered to the hardcore gamer. It was probably my all time favorite video game magazine, and it makes me sad that it's gone while crap like Game Informer is pushed at Game Stop.
    • Re:Gamer's Republic (Score:3, Interesting)

      by badasscat ( 563442 )
      Does anyone here remeber Gamer's Republic?

      I do. I particularly remember one issue where an in-depth profile of Treasure Games was the cover story. That's hardcore. "Forget about Gran Turismo, forget about whatever the latest movie tie-in is, we're going to put a 2D side-scrolling shooter on our cover and then devote 15 pages to the developer."

      Of course, with editorial decisions like that, it's no wonder their run was so short-lived. They really only lasted in that form for about a year. After that, th
    • I believe the editor of Gamer's Republic (my favorite mag while it existed) is now working for Play. Play is my current favorite now.

      http://www.playmagazine.com/ [playmagazine.com]
  • Given that the old-school Nintendo Power mag listed is nothing like the current one.. it's really sad that out of the five mags listed as "worth subscribing to," only one (PC Gamer) is still possible to subscribe to.
  • Your Spectrum (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:45PM (#15691985)
    No nonsense attitudes. They even used to disassemble the latest games to tell you how well they're coded. Unlike today's reviewers that give everything 90+% ratings for utter tripe.
    • Modern games have orders of magnitude more code in them and would take a lot more effort to determine how well they are coded. I guess you could focuse on core aspects of the engine using a profiler. But would it be worth it? Usually the graphics card is the limiting factor for games to run well currently whereas back then the code really needed to be efficient to take full advantage of the meager CPU power available.

      From my own experience with Half-Life 2, it seems graphic drivers can easily make as big

  • http://www.edge-online.co.uk/ [edge-online.co.uk]

    I'm addicted. It's a gaming magazine that doesn't make me feel stupider for having read it... unlike the trying-too-hard-to-be-cool US mags (*cough* EGM *cough*). Even the binding feels high-quality, like a soft-bound coffee table book.

    Too bad a subscription mailed to the USA costs *more* than the newstand price. ($130 for 13 issues at current exchange rates vs $8 an issue on the stand.)

    Carnage Blender [carnageblender.com]: Meet interesting people. Kill them.
    • You PAY for a subscription? Really...next time, fill out one of those "product registration" cards as a VP for the retail software division of a random big box store and watch what happens...
      • Yeah, I pretty much agree. I currently get EGM, not because it's a great magazine, but because I got a free subscription to it. Before that, I got some X-box mag (free 1yr subscription) that went under before my free year was up. As compensation, they sent me the rest of my year in two magazines. The only reason that I would by PCGamer was when I was on dial-up and didn't want to spend the time d/l'ing a demo game....and since I've been on high speed (if you count ISDN) since 1996, it's been a while sin
    • You can find Edge on newstands in the US? Where'd you go? My options are kind of limited to Borders and Barnes and Nobles (currently located in rural Iowa...) but neither of those appear to have it. However, I go back to Chicago every so often so if you know of a retailer that carries them on the newstands, please let me know.
      • Edge is at most B&N in the SFBay area; I'm sure yours could special order it for you. Also check out RETRO GAMER and GAMEStm if you get a chance. All excellent UK pubs. PLAY is the closest US version. The editor, Dave Halverson is really passionate about his games!
    • It's a shame British magazines are so expensive in the US/Canada: I find they have far better and more intelligent articles. Edge is one of my favourites, so is Computer Arts magazine, but as the parent said, it's a little bit hard to justify the subscription price. The main advantage is that you get the magazines about a month before the newsstand, since they're always late there.
      • It's a shame British magazines are so expensive in the US/Canada: I find they have far better and more intelligent articles.

        It's not just the gaming magazines. The digital photography magazines are the same. I currently subscribe to Digital Photo Pro which has great articles and is printed on high quality paper stock ... but I'm paying out the nose too. I'm not sure what the reason is - shipping maybe?

        Why can't the US publishing houses pick up on this? I remember Final Frontier magazine, a space magazine. W
        • Note that I also mentioned Computer Arts magazine. I think a big issue is that UK magazines are subsidized by UK advertisers, who would only care to pay for the circulation numbers in the UK. All oversea's sales have to come out of the main price of the magazine, hence it's more expensive. What I loved about Computer Arts when I was subscribed is that the front cover had no lettering/headlines, just the high quality image uninterrupted, which was awesome!
  • NextGen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iocat ( 572367 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:50PM (#15692025) Homepage Journal
    I worked for NextGen during its heyday, and I have to say I was very bummed when it died. It was really popular with industry people, but it was a tough ad sell once you had to go through agencies and not just directly to clients. Also, when they cheapened the production values (no more cover laminate) over the apopplexic disagreement of us on the editorial staff, I think it made the mag less sexy to advertisers.

    That all said, I don't think a mag like Next Gen would work today; there was a large element of it that was educating a whole class of gamers about the absolute state of the art as we moved from 2D to 3D (I'm thinking about the features we did on AI and AL, 3D, the NextGen Lexicon, that '98 how to get a job feature, the in-depth technical coverage of the machines, etc.) and in a sense Next Gen readers really did know a lot more than readers of EGM or GamePro at the time. That isn't true today -- your average EGM reader is as well informed about games and the game industry as anyone else, and anything you don't understand (mipmapping or perspective correct texture mapping in the old days, bump mapping or normal mapping today), you can learn about with a four second Google search. I loved NextGen, but there's just not as much of a need for that kind of magazine today in terms of the info it presented.

    Today, I think Game Informer and EGM and Play all do a great job with coverage that well exceeds what we did on NextGen in every area (compare Play's interview with David Jaffee to anything done in NextGen), but they all have their own unique tone, and I do miss NextGen's hardcore tone. I still think our salture to subscribers, where we ran every subscriber's name in a special HARDCORE campaign that lasted months, was one of the coolest things ever.

    • I give kudos to the magazines that took the time to explain technologies to their readers. I keep ALL my game magazines and I love flipping through them years later. I get a little bleary-eyed when I read about the 3DFX revolution and why Windows 95 will change the face of gaming. Google will always be there to fill in the blanks (probably), but nothing beats having it all in print.
    • I picked up (and still have!) the first 15 or so issues of NextGen when it came out. It was the best console game magazine that I could find, since GamePro was already a joke, EGM was circling the drain and DieHard GameFan was just too unpredictable with their reviews.

      I actually stopped getting NextGen when they changed their paper/cover stock. I was also sad when DailyRadar.com went under.

      I was reading the Trip Hawkins interview from 94 or 95 the other day and it's hilarious looking back. Keep on telling y
  • I still have all of my copies of Next-Gen (minus one that I lent out and was never returned). All my other magazines get recycled or thrown out. Next-Gen was unique in that it really made me think about games rather than just inform me about them. It was still grounded in the games though, it never got too pretentious. Any high level concept they discussed, they would continually link back to how it would work in a game. Contrast this with The Escapist [escapistmagazine.com], which often seems to use video games as a jumping off
  • ...but more like reading a PR release from what I have seen.

    A while back I used to read PC Zone and Gamer (im a UK gamer). It was becoming more and more the case that big name / cover games used to automatically get an extra 'few' % points and it came to the point where I just could not rely on them to be impartial anymore.

    If I remember correctly Doom3 recieved a score in the 90's yet its sister mag Edge gave it a modest but deserving 7/10. What was even more peculiar was that the reviewers were usually th
    • by Jett ( 135113 )
      I gave up on game magazines a long time ago. I don't trust their content at all - I'd believe the word of some random anonymous coward on Slashdot over any of the gaming magazines. Sometimes I'll open one up to read things like interviews with developers if I'm in a bookstore or if a friend has a copy, but anything like a game review or even worse, a preview - it's a waste of time to even bother reading them.
    • PC Gamer UK is a great magazine that is mostly objective, yet upfront about any subjectivity. There's some reviews that leave me scratching my head, such as a high score for Far Cry, but like Doom 3 these are games that you either get or you don't.
    • I'm sorry, but Civilization 3 and the last two Gran Turismo games were not better, just longer and harder and tedious. Jak 2 reviews were highway robbery. Why did they screw up a classic? Why is it so boring? Why combine GTA with Jak? Why even call it Jak 2 when it was a totally different game? Why would Sony think combining the two was a good idea. Unfortunately, in movies and games you can become a best-seller just by being a sequel to a brand name (like Matrix 2+3).

      I used to read reviews all the t
  • CGW (Score:3, Insightful)

    by craters ( 720373 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @01:01PM (#15692112)
    I'm surprised Computer Gaming World wasn't mentioned. It predates PC Gamer by several years, heck it was around in the 80's when I started reading it. It has seen better years, just like all the rest, but they still have some of the best articles and writing today.
    • Agreed. It was the first gaming mag I found whose reviews mirrored my own opinions, so I always felt I could trust them. They also had (have?) good writing.
    • I used to buy CGW and I loved it in its heyday. Their writing style was very mature and largely targeted people who were already in-the-know. I was just a kid and could only speculate about a lot of the shop talk they used, but the best way to swim is to jump in the water, right? If I'm not mistaken I switched over to PC Gamer because they had bigger and better screenshots - old CGWs may as well be a newspaper classified section with all the prose in neat columns and especially the comprehensive 2-senten
    • Indeed, CGW was the best in its day. Haven't read it for several years now, so I don't know how good it is anymore, but during the '90s it was infinitely better than PC Gamer.
    • CGW was *the* standard that all others aspired to. Staffed by adults. Well written.

      Not to mention crazy policies like actually waiting until a game was available on store shelves *before* reviewing. Imagine that kiddies, reviewing the same version customers actually play, not some pre-release/demo crap thing.

      I've still got a hundred of these from the early/mid 90's on my shelf I can't bear to part with.

  • I subscribed to Next-Generation from the first issue all the way to the end. When it switched to the MicrosoftBoughtMySoul XBox magazine it was little more then a marketing magazine and I promptly canceled and am glad I did. A few years ago I got rid of all but one, the issue where they showed off Unreal (which back then was suppose to come out before Quake) Here is the wikipedia [wikipedia.org] link and on my website is a photo of most of them that I took a few years back: next-generation [icefox.net]
  • Short Answer: "No." (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sehlat ( 180760 )
    Given that the vicious and intrusive copy-protection of Half-Life 2 has pretty much soured me on buying ANY games, I haven't read a gaming mag in a couple of years.
  • by Pluvius ( 734915 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `3suivulp'> on Monday July 10, 2006 @01:15PM (#15692208) Journal
    As above [nyud.net]

    I loved the hell out of this mag. Besides a few issues after the opening December 1988 edition, I used to have every issue that VG&CE produced from beginning to end. Even after they changed their name to "VideoGames" and did a complete overhaul of the book, I managed to start liking it again after about a year's shakedown period. Unfortunately I don't know where most of my copies went; I was thinking about scanning my entire collection at one point. Along with the pre-N64 era of Nintendo Power, this is the magazine I miss the most.

    • Absolutely. This was the best video game magazine ever published, IMHO. I really enjoyed reading the reviews by Clayton Walnum and the editorials by Andy Eddy. In fact, I still remember one that was written about how he had a dream about Tetris, and how they could've ruined it by adding bombs, better graphics, and many other things that would complicate how it works. In the end, he just turned his plain Tetris back on, but it's ironic how most of the things that he mentioned would ruin it eventually got add
    • I loved this magazine because it was about electronic gaming regardless of the platform. I learned so much about weird systems like 3DO and CD-I and issues with cross-platform programming, plus it gave a good perspective of how the platforms compared. I think this magazine was a great example of the golden age of gaming and was definitely written by and for the uber gaming afficionados.
    • This is the one I was going to point out.... other than EGM during the 16-bit era.

      I remember when VG&CE had some photos of an NES prototype that looked flatter and used phone jacks to connect the controllers... it looked really cool back then to see something like that.
    • I loved VG&CE. They had all kinds of stuff that you'd never see in a gaming magazine today. They even reviewed fanzines. The broad focus on all consoles and computers kept them from becoming a complete marketing tool for a particular system as so many rags are today. At one time you'd see reviews of SNES, PC, and C-64 games in the same issue. I loved reading this mag when I was like 11 years old and noticed how different it was from EGM, GamePro and other "little kid" oriented mags of the day. Bef
  • Did anyone else enjoy PC Attack? It was a fairly short-lived gaming magazine from the UK that came out about ten years ago. What was interesting about it was that all its articles were in the form of comic strips, created by taking screenshots of games. I remember it being very funny, more so than PC Accelerator even.
    • I remember buying the first issue - I really liked the presentation. March 1995, I think. As you say, it was comic book based - Even to the extent that they had the reviewers bursting through holes in the page! Hmm, and Comix Zone had been released shortly before. I seem to recall one of them bragging about her Pentium 90 when explaining the performance recommendations. The IBM PC version of Super Street Fighter II was the cover feature. I was a regular reader of PC Games at the time and stayed loyal
  • I've been buying PC Gamer (USA version) magazines for over 8 years and have subscribed for 3. The writing staff is like a second family to me and it's been really fun growing up with them, seeing who sticks, who bails, and who is promoted. I'm really proud of Greg Vederman who started out as an associate editor and has recently been promoted to Editor In Chief. The writing is consistently excellent, the magazine is respected enough to get lots of exclusive looks, and they're unabashed about stating "wish
    • I used to be a huge fan of PC Gamer, back when each issue were monolithic tomes of gaming goodness. While I still like the editorials and the better-than-average reviewing, the mag has fallen a long way from its heyday. I remember reading the first preview for Deus Ex on PCG, it was a massive page-turner chock full of tantalizing tidbits. Things like this just don't exist these days. When they say "preview", you can realistically only expect a half-page blurb that's more market-speak than real, actual, prev

      • PCG's previews got so bad for a while that I'd just skip them entirely, but they've been greatly remedied. Nowadays they end each preview with "___ and ___ and ___ were still buggy, and I didn't like how ___ feature forced you to ___, but we presume these issues will be resolved in the final release."

        Plus, some of the previews still really grab me. For instance, I found PCG's coverage of The Sims to be a million times more entertaining than the game was. I also enjoyed all the excitement and revelatio
    • I've been a subscriber for at least 8 years. Like you, I don't have much time for reading anymore, so I only do during <too much info censorship>. And as thin as the mags have gotten, I'm still 10 months behind.
  • I don't think I paid for either of them. PCG is still my favorite. I miss the Dreamcast Magazine, I still think that was a good one. The PC Accelerator was fun. I have to admit, some of the more porn side of it, annoyed me at times, but I liked the magazine. The early ones were poor, but it seemed to just be catching its stride, when it ended. :-(

    Another magazine I miss, is Boot. That magazine was really for the hard-core gamer out there, and the hardware porn that he could never afford. :-) Maximum
  • Dreamcast Magazine (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tenchi90 ( 668754 )
    Ah, yes, the Official Dreamcast Magazine. The Mag was worth getting just for the gdroms that came with it, most notibly one of the verry few places you could get the upadated browser and the full online compatible version of Sega swirl! Pry my dreamcast and all of the magazine issues from my dead cold hands!
  • I knew before following the link that ODCM would be on the list. That was an outstanding magazine.

    The high-energy presentation of ODCM paved the way for what Nintendo Power eventually turned into (minus the demo discs).

  • I'm dating myself here but I missed the old Byte Magazines from the early 1980's. It wasn't a gaming magazine but a lot of the ads for the early PC games were drawn pictures that left a lot to the imagination. It would be a good decade later that I would upgrade from my third Commodore 64 to an IBM AT that my roommate brought home to keep my off of his 386. :P
  • I remember those..... I used to get them a lot back in the day. Subscribed to PCXL (PC Accelerator) since it wasn't bland tech/gaming news. Also had a subscription to Nintendo Power for many years since it was only $5 more then a strategy guide I'd get anyways for a year subscription and the guide. PCXL was mainly for game demos though since I was on dial-up then. I really don't see much of a use for magazines in the day of the internet. Sure, it's nice reading a magazine from time to time, but gaming
    • Forgot about Game Players. That was a great mag too. Two editors (I believe Mike and Bill were there names) did work on a couple other things, like the IGN site and PCXL. I theorize one of them gave a lot of character to the magazines they had pull with.
  • Pfft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @02:02PM (#15692554)
    My vote goes to game players. What other magazine covered a design-your-own-game contest with entries like "Fire Dogs" and "Kill your parents?" What other magazine took the risk of publishing the topless screenshots from that Naughty Dog game and the Street Fighter II movie? What other magazine had Gazuga, skullbats, and The Cleansing?

    It wasn't so much a game magazine as a secret, hilarious club.
  • by Maul ( 83993 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @02:15PM (#15692635) Journal
    ... but I used to remember gaming magazines being a lot better than they currently are. I remember thick issues with lots of great information, previews, import info, commentary by reviewers who were real game players (if they thought a game sucked, they would say it), and so forth. The magazines were made by gamers, for gamers, or so it felt. Even Nintendo Power (completely controlled by Nintendo) seemed better back then.

    Nowadays it seems like almost every game gets at least a 7/10 (or numerically similar value... unless it is a total crap title made by a noname publisher that wouldn't advertise anyway), reviewers are wannabe journalists, not gamers, etc. Through no fault of a magazine, new info and tips are available much faster on the web than could ever be put into a monthly magazine. Either way, the magazines just seem to be devoid the feeling of "genuine gamer culture" that I remembered from the 16-bit days.

    Maybe it was the web that killed the magazines of old. Maybe I'm an old fogey now.
  • Websites seem to go out of their way to make accessing their content as difficult as possible. If I just want to see a screen shot of say "Super Mario Galaxy" at IGN, I have to click through a transitional ad followed by digging throught the article (assunming it dosnt have one of those annoying roll over ads that blocks half the screen and wont go away) to get to the sidebar that has a link to the screenshots which then tell me I need to join some "IGN" club to gain access. I dont visit any gaming site e
    • I remember EGM being pretty awesome from like 1990-1994. Then around 1995 they decided to shrink the magazines down to a smaller size, and the suck factor seemed to increase dramatically. Would you say they are as good as they were during the early 90s?
  • I have been a subscriber since issue #2, I bought #1 in the store. I used to love this mag, unfortunately I have found of late, esspecially after a recent revamp, that the mag has gone WAY down hill. The Cover stories are still good, and the general games coverage still seems decent. However in the past they had several excellent monthly columns. The ones from the early days have faded away, they were not really replaced per se. New columns have come along, but they seem mainly like fluff and read like
  • If there's one thing that's brought down PCG's quality standards over the years, it's this thing called Greg Vederman.
  • Die-Hard Game Fan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OoSync ( 444928 ) <wellsed@NosPam.gmail.com> on Monday July 10, 2006 @03:35PM (#15693173)
    I used to be an avid reader of Die-Hard Game Fan (later shortened to just Game Fan). I stopped reading after Dave Halverson left as editor.

    In its heyday, GF had the best quality paper, filled with content and artwork, the best quality pictures, and the the best articles. They had an anime review section and a real funny mailbag.

    Today, Dave Halverson is the editor of Play. Play is a gorgeous magazine, dripping with artwork and high-quality screen captures over every milimeter of its pages.
  • Zzap 64 of course!
  • I can't find good coverage for the 360 that doesn't pander to Microsoft or the game companies, certainly nothing out there like the PC Gamer style of neutral and harsh critique. For us over 30 gamers, we just don't have the time to weed through game bins anymore and I've fallen prey to Xbox Magazine's corporate pandering on more than one occasion already.
  • by Hast ( 24833 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @05:25PM (#15693950)
    The only for sale magazine I read wrt games is Game Developer Magazine [gdmag.com]. Most of the other magazines bore me as they tend to have old news and clueless writers. Besides almost all of them have audio shows / podcasts anyways so I can just listen to them. Generally the inaccuracies in them are enough to quench my interest in picking them up in paper form.

    Eg one of the shows (I think it was Hot Spot, produced by GameSpot / EGM IIRC.) didn't know what languages most games are coded in (C/C++). IMHO that's a bit like a sports commentator not knowing on what kind of surface hockey is played on.

    Anyways, GDM has clue-ful people making interesting comments. They tend to have a couple of articles which focus on deconstructing game design (eg the "Post mortems", these are sometimes linked from Slashdot on the GDM sister-site Gamasutra [gamasutra.com]) and a few on the state of game production. They also have reoccuring articles on the details of game making, such as the column on audio production and in depth algorithms.

    Basically, GDM is the only game oriented magazine which I can put down feeling I have actually learned something. The other magazines I mostly feel like I've lost knowledge (or been filled with disinformation).

    The only other game mag I read is the Scandinavian GameReactor [gamereactor.se]. It's a free magazine and it has slightly less ads than most other magazines. I wouldn't trust the reviews blindly, but they seem to be pretty on the money compared to stuff I read online. And the price is right.
  • I prefer Computer Games Magazine [cgonline.com]. The layout is much cleaner compared to PC Gamer or Computer Gaming World and a lot of the gaming commentary articles are well thought out. They also have a reader submitted article which is usually excellent.
    I find there is a lot less of the self absorbed hipness and juvenile humor than in competing mags.
  • Print is dead.

    While I do enjoy Edge, it's usually a month or more out of date by the time it reaches me. Traditional paper magazines just cannot compete with the speed at which gaming information can be disseminated across the internet.
  • It was only a short-lived publication and, truthfully, it's reviews were often half-baked, but IE was the gaming magazine I remember with the most fondness. Interactive Entertainment's claim to fame was that it was a magazine-on-a-CD, back in the era when CD-ROMs were still new and exciting. That's right, the entire magazine was on the CD-ROM. And it wasn't just a dry collection of written reviews and demos; the reviews were read by a talented collection of voice actors. The reviews themselves were chirpy a
  • I miss Compute! Magazine from the 80s. Aside from the nice reviews, previews, I got a big kick out of the ads. They also listed source code for simple games (in BASIC) you could type in, and this is what actually got me started in coding.

    Fast forward 10-15 years...

    Up until recently, before getting broadband, the only reason I still bought game mags was for the demo disks. Mags these days just don't have the allure of the good old days.
  • Nintendo Power and PC Gamer are still in print!
  • I started subscribing about 6 months before they stopped publishing the magazine. It was definitely one of my favorite gaming mags. The publishing company thought PSM would be a good replacement for the remaining 6 months of my subscription. Unfortunately the only console I had at the time was a Gamecube (which I still have and love). Needless to say I did not renew my subscription. I loved that cool material that the covers were made out of on Next Generation.

    The only gaming mag i still read is PC Gamer.

  • EDGE is my favourite by a long, long way. It's the only really 'grown-up' games magazine that I've found that actually offers a unbiased opinion, and their review scores, while among the harshest out there, are never anything but fair.
  • When I saw this, the first thing that came to my mind is the online only, just over a year old Escapist. It reminds me a great deal of NextGen, with very intellectual articles and outstanding writing throughout. They cover things from consoles to PC, with some very interesting takes on gaming that I thoroughly enjoy.

    The Escapist [escapistmagazine.com]

Air is water with holes in it.