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Impie

Old Gaming Mags Were Full of Crap Too

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I was curious if anyone knew what the most trustworthy gaming mags of the 80s and 90s were, since most of them were just as likely to give out bullshit and possibly paid-for positive reviews as gaming journalists are today. Anyone old enough and savvy enough to remember? Did any ever exist?

 

Also if you have any fun or interesting tidbits to share about gaming magazines in general, I'd like to hear 'em.

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Don't be mistaken, present day "gaming journalists" are full of crap because they are being paid to sell shit....  Back in the late 80s early 90s, information about a new game or company was not so easy to get or the company just didn't gave you full information... Because of that, sometimes they filled the blank spaces with their own assumptions...

 

Today's "gaming journalist" just want to get free money, the best way to get free money is licking someone ass. Call it Sony,  Intel/Nvidia, Bethesda, etc.

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2 hours ago, HavoX said:

PROTIP: GamePro was NOT full of crap!

FTFY

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I was a subscriber to the original Game Players. Back then, I had total confidence in their reviews. But I was also like, 10 years old.

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4 minutes ago, Avoozl said:

Was PC Gamer full of crap?

Was Metallica Metal?

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I got talked into getting 6 issues of GameInformer in order to qualify for extra store credit for games I turned into game stop

 

Like Kontra Kommando, I had to be like 12 or 13 years old so I didn't even think to read it with the presumption that there might be some bias or hidden agenda behind it. Its seemed fair to me at the time.

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I remember the German GameStar magazine was pretty clueless in the 1990s when it came to FPS games. They described the Tank Jr character from Quake III Arena as "some sort of robotic chicken"! And they where always biased towards Unreal Tournament just because it had more game modes and was more newbie friendly. I hated their magazine.

 

This is what German PC Games wrote about Doom in 1994:

Quote

Mehr als ein Labyrinthspiel ist Doom eigentlich nicht. Oder etwa doch? Vielleicht ist das Spiel auch – wieder einmal – der Vorreiter einer neuen Generation von Computerspielen. Die virtuellen Umgebungsgrafiken geben bereits einen Vorgeschmack auf das, was der oft mißbrauchte Begriff ‚Virtual Reality‘ einmal werden könnte.

 

Translation: "Doom is basicly just another maze game. Or maybe there is more to it? Perhabs the game is – once again – the vanguard of a new generation of video games. The virtual environmental graphics give a foretaste of what the often improperly used term ‚Virtual Reality‘ could mean one day."

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I never put much weight into gaming reviews. By the time a game came out, I already knew if I was interested, so I would just rent the thing to see if it was worth buying.

Anyway, back in those days, I had 4 gaming mags I always kept subscriptions for various reasons:

1) Electronic Gaming Monthly - For the extensive previews section and Quartermann's tabloid section.
2) Edge/Next Generation - For the in depth interviews.
3) Diehard GameFan - For the screenshots.
4) PC Gamer - For PC games, duh.

Occasionally I would subscribe to VideoGames & Computer Entertainment mag as well.

Everything else (GamePro, GamePlayers/Ultra GamePlayers, Nintendo Power, Official PlayStation Magazine, PSM etc) I would only pick up individual issues if I saw something that caught my eye.

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32 minutes ago, Tetzlaff said:

And they where always biased towards Unreal Tournament just because it had more game modes and was more newbie friendly.

Those seem like a perfectly reasonable reasons to prefer a game. A good chunk of people do prefer to play multiplayer games with their friends with little concern for competition - and a variety of ways to play is great for that, as well as making it easier for new players to jump right in.

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7 minutes ago, Arctangent said:

Those seem like a perfectly reasonable reasons to prefer a game. A good chunk of people do prefer to play multiplayer games with their friends with little concern for competition - and a variety of ways to play is great for that, as well as making it easier for new players to jump right in.

My 2017 self can see your point, but not my 1999 self ;)

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My 2004 TAFE class all played Quake III Arena together and they all had fun regardless of them not being competitive.

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Amiga Power was excellent and frequently got into trouble for ignoring hype. I think it had some staff in common with digitiser. Mr Biffo now writes for Retro Gamer.

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8 hours ago, Wild Dog said:

Don't be mistaken, present day "gaming journalists" are full of crap because they are being paid to sell shit....  Back in the late 80s early 90s, information about a new game or company was not so easy to get or the company just didn't gave you full information... Because of that, sometimes they filled the blank spaces with their own assumptions...

 

Today's "gaming journalist" just want to get free money, the best way to get free money is licking someone ass. Call it Sony,  Intel/Nvidia, Bethesda, etc.

But most of the reviews back in the day were basically the same deal: undeservedly positive bullshit and questionable in general.

 

I'm trying to remember the PC gaming magazine I used to have that featured a big-ass preview of Doom II when it came out. They gave the low-down on each map, each monster, and a bunch of different reviews from different staff members. The big reason I kept it for so long was their humorous write-ups on the monsters and tactics to use against them. They described the cacodemons as "Akin to Rush Limbaugh: bloated gasbags with no visible means of support."

 

The same issue featured exposes on Dark Forces, ROTT, and CyClones too. And it was a misprint that had two different versions of the Doom II bestiary article mushed together.

 

EDIT: Aha, the issue was called Meet Thy Doom if I remember right.

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I was subscribed to a Dutch game-zine called Power Unlimited for almost ten years. They had a certain honesty and humour in their articles that you couldn't really find elsewhere. Later on the magazine started switching staff and it became just another tabloid game-zine, save for the odd lame attempts at trying to rekindle their old snarky selves.

Some of their reviews were good, and some of them are outright shit. Especially this guy named Jan Meiroos was the most obvious paid off writer I've seen. I remember him rewarding the game Black & White a score of 98 or 99 out of 100. Even as somebody who really enjoyed Black & White, I thought that score was complete bullshit.

Edited by Agentbromsnor : fucking typos, man

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4 hours ago, fraggle said:

Digitiser was the only reliable source for unbiased game reviews.

I used to read that every day despite having little interest in the covered content (they obviously didn't cover RISC OS games, why would they..?) just because it was hilarious. If you could figure out what Zombie Dave actually said you'd be chuckling for a week.

 

1 hour ago, Jon said:

Amiga Power was excellent and frequently got into trouble for ignoring hype. I think it had some staff in common with digitiser. Mr Biffo now writes for Retro Gamer.

Oh he's back writing about games? Last I heard he'd moved on to writing for Eastenders or something equally terrible.

 

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I used to get PC Gamer in the 90s because it came with a ton of demos and other content. Some issues even came with Doom2 levels. I also got Sega Visions because quite a few games came with a free subscription.

 

Every now and then I'd buy an issue of EGM or some other gaming mag if it featured games that really interested me. I remember buying the Doom64 issue of EGM just to read about the game (also it came with a Doom64 poster, which I might still have somewhere).

 

I also just loved to relax and read about games, many of which I knew I'd probably never get to play.

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I used to read EGM, GamePro and PC Gamer as a teenager. These mags are the kind that I'd rather read than today's "gaming journalists" that only exist to fuel their SJW propaganda.

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Eh.

 

The "product review" school of criticism has not aged well. That whole thing was kind of a fallacy anyway. And I feel like back then there was a lot more "FUCK YEAH VIDEOGAMES" sycophancy, especially in the big magazines.

 

I'll take a Waypoint or Rock Paper Shotgun over that any day of the week.

 

That said, I've always liked the German PC Player back in the 90s. A little sophomoric at times, and their attempts to paint themselves as "serious critics" were kind of amusing, but they were a good bunch.

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The only real difference is that back then someone had to have some journalism credentials and training to be allowed anywhere near a magazine's publishing process, especially as a regular. Today any random-ass rude with a computer and an Internet connection self-proclaims a "journalist", and even attaches a long string of "specializations" behind it. A bit like me calling myself a "socio-political commentator" because of a few DW posts.

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52 minutes ago, Maes said:

The only real difference is that back then someone had to have some journalism credentials and training to be allowed anywhere near a magazine's publishing process, especially as a regular. Today any random-ass rude with a computer and an Internet connection self-proclaims a "journalist", and even attaches a long string of "specializations" behind it. A bit like me calling myself a "socio-political commentator" because of a few DW posts.

 

That reminds me of those Youtubers that try to be funny but aren't. *ehem*Angryjoe&jontron*ehem*

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18 minutes ago, Maes said:

Today any random-ass rude with a computer and an Internet connection self-proclaims a "journalist", and even attaches a long string of "specializations" behind it.

 

4 minutes ago, DoomKnight1984 said:

That reminds me of those Youtubers that try to be funny but aren't. *ehem*Angryjoe&jontron*ehem*

God, I'd hate to deal with assholes like those. The way they behave nowadays is just disrespectful and they totally lack class.

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1 hour ago, HavoX said:

 

God, I'd hate to deal with assholes like those. The way they behave nowadays is just disrespectful and they totally lack class.

I don't know who introduced the "act-like-an-immature-brat-to-be-funny" thing, but now a lot of people online are doing that and it's annoying...plus the fact that those people think too highly of themselves. Thank God for Video Blocker and the fact that I don't plan to meet them in real life.

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16 hours ago, DoomKnight1984 said:

I used to read EGM, GamePro and PC Gamer as a teenager. These mags are the kind that I'd rather read than today's "gaming journalists" that only exist to fuel their SJW propaganda.

Again we really need a "face palm" button 

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6 hours ago, Maes said:

The only real difference is that back then someone had to have some journalism credentials and training to be allowed anywhere near a magazine's publishing process, especially as a regular. Today any random-ass rude with a computer and an Internet connection self-proclaims a "journalist", and even attaches a long string of "specializations" behind it. A bit like me calling myself a "socio-political commentator" because of a few DW posts.

Yeah that's a pretty fair assessment.

 

Also I used to feel the same way about Angry Joe and Jontron too, but they grew on me pretty quickly, and really everyone else still annoys the shit out of me.

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On 07/04/2017 at 8:09 PM, fraggle said:

Digitiser was the only reliable source for unbiased game reviews.

Other than their general bias towards Nintendo, but that's another thread entirely ...

 

I used to read stuff like Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, mainly because of their sheer brutality. They generally didn't stick to the so-called "4 point scale" that a lot of other outlets still do to this day. They gave Night Striker for the Mega CD 3% stating that it was more fun as a frisbee, they gave Chester Cheetah 1% for the mere fact it existed (still deemed as a negative), although they pretty much slammed any football game that wasn't Sensible Soccer and even recommended it as an alternative to Zool because it "isn't a platform game but is still right smart".

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