Friday, May 21, 2010

Scans of old game magazines

Games magazines, with only a few exceptions, do not sell for much on eBay. Often postage is more than the final item value. So during a recent clear-out, I decided to scan (photograph) articles of interest in a bunch of mags which I was going to throw out. Some of these are quite interesting, so here they are for your reading pleasure.

In truth, a lot of the magazines which I photographed I decided to keep, and those which I decided to throw out didn’t have anything work photographing. Launch issues are notoriously awful. All those initial Dreamcast and N64 magazines might still be fun to read, but they all only covered Sonic and Mario, Toy Commander and Star Wars. Only later issues started featuring the really interesting or obscure games. PS2 launch magazines are the worst, seeing as the PS2 had one of the worst launch line-ups ever. PS2M had to resort to covering imported copies of Shogi (two reviews in one issue), plus those perverted cameraman games where you photograph women in bikinis. My brother gave me his collection of Official Nintendo magazines which, being official, are also absolutely worthless.

It also occurs to me, there was no single-format PS1 magazine that catered to the "Japan crowd", or was fun and serious, in the same way Sega Saturn Magazine, Super Play, or N64 Mag were. Most PS1 mags in the UK positioned themselves as halfway lads mags, with photos of scantily clad women, laddish talk, and photos of clubbing and alcohol, with coverage of shmups and Japanese games being very limited, and often criticised. PlayStation Power was sort-of decent, sometimes, with features on disc-swapping and Japan, but it still had a rather loathsome attitude a lot of the time. The only choice for keen PS1 importers it would seem, was Dave Halverson's GameFAN or EGM.

But a lot of old magazines are still interesting. Old issues of Arcade had some amazing features in them, including one where they gave their staff between £1 and £1000, and asked them to buy as much gaming stuff with them as they could. All interesting (one guy nabbed a Saturn for £50 with a second-hand copy of Panzer Dragoon Saga before it shot up in price – he promptly dropped the Saturn on the way to the office, breaking it). Other mags have coverage of unreleased games, or forgotten features with behind the scenes info. All the scans take up about 10mb, and I’ve put them on Megaupload for you. The scans are as small as I could make them while keeping the text legible.

Featured in the ZIP file is the following:

Akira scans – a cover of Game Zone magazine which I was never able to buy claimed to have screenshots of the Game Boy version of Akira. While a copy of Super Gamer, which I did own, had a screenshot of the SNES game.

EGM does 32-bit importing – a detailed feature for importing during the PS1/Saturn era.

Game Zone Japan – a feature on Japan circa 1993, from Game Zone magazine, complete with casual racism.

N64 magazine Japan – a beautiful article from N64 magazine, with a lot of amazing info on the 64DD, plus how to sneak into a Japanese press convention.

PlayStation Power Japan – feature by PlayStation Power, also on Japan. The text isn’t great, but the design is nice.

PS Power MGS – behind the scenes look at Metal Gear Solid.

Rise of the Robots – behind the scenes article from Super Gamer, on Rise of the Robots. Fascinating, if only because of how much they praise it. Sean Hoden looks like a frightened rabbit in this photo.

GameFAN – random scans from GameFAN. Including of Snatcher and Policenauts. These two features are to me, how I would want every single article in a magazine designed. I know people will complain it looks cluttered. But this is, to me, the pinnacle of magazine design. This is why I so badly wanted to play Policenauts. They made an average adventure game look like the greatest game on earth. Just looks at these pages, truly they are a thing of beauty. I want to frame them and put them on my wall. Also included is a 4 page preview of Blue Seed, a Saturn RPG no one remembers.

PS1 expo, 1997 – some interesting info, including photos of the From Software booth.

Glitches in games – article on games testing in the UK, including a history of bugs.

MISC – an interview with David Sheff, obscure Dreamcast games, EGm reviews, Satalaview system, and lots of other random gumph.

Montreaux the clever sheep – between August and February 1994/1995 I stopped buying Super Gamer, and then suddenly in their A-Z of reviews they had a listing for Montreaux the Clever Sheep, on the Game Boy, scoring 99%. Searching the internet reveals nothing. Was this game a hoax, or does it really exist? Apparently by Titus.

Anyway, that’s that, and this lot now has a date with the dustbin. I’d normally donate unwanted items to a charity store, but living in France they won’t accept English magazines. Posting to the UK meanwhile is impossible, since even if I give them away no one wants to cover the postage.



  1. Thank you so much for posting this, and if you ever get the opportunity please scan and post more stuff from gamefan. I've been kicking myself for years for throwing those back issues away.

  2. The issue of Gamefan that included the Policenauts article also had an awesome six page spread for Guardian Heroes (the cover story) and a 4 pager for the arcade version of Street Fighter Alpha 2. Very solid issue.

    Also, I totally agree with your comments regarding that Policenauts layout. It blew my mind when I first saw it.