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Recommend a Magazine!

Last updated on 3 months ago
MarkMark
Newbie
Posted 3 months ago
I would imagine most members here would focus on reading magazines that either they read years ago or had wanted to read when younger but missed issues etc.

So I thought I'd create a thread where we could all share recommended magazines or issues for other members to try out. Obviously we can all randomly download a magazine and try it out for ourselves. But like retro gaming, it's good to have some context about why a magazine or issue is remembered fondly by others before trying for ourselves.

So feel free to recommend something, whether it is a magazine or a particular issue that you enjoyed, and tell us why it is worthwhile for others to check it out. I'll hold off making a recommendation until later as mine are pretty boring and UK centric - NMS, ONM, and PC Gamer! Smile
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 3 months ago
I think it's been well discussed by several people recently in the new releases thread, but since so many of OGM's members are from the UK and mostly familiar with only UK mags, it bears repeating: The 1990s issues of the American edition of PC Gamer produced by GP Publications/Imagine are 100% different from the Future UK edition and are superior in pretty much every conceivable way. So if you've got interests in PC gaming from that era and have only ever read the UK PC Gamer, you're doing yourself a disservice.

Less well-remembered (and probably largely unknown in the UK) are PC Gamer USA's predecessor magazines, which I also remember fondly and recommend to anyone who's a fan of late 80s/early 90s PC Gaming. Game Player's PC Strategy Guide (1988-1991) came first before changing its title to Game Players PC Entertainment (1992-1994) and then once again to PC Gamer in 1994. But they can all be regarded as more or less the same magazine, as they were all published by GP Publications out of North Carolina and featured the same writing staff. Even certain columns by certain writers were carried over from one iteration of the mag to the next.

A longish history of PC Gamer's decline for those who are curious:

In late 1993, Chris Anderson, Future UK's founder, bought out small US publisher GP Publications. Shortly thereafter, GP Publications' Game Players PC Entertainment was canceled and relaunched as the US edition of PC Gamer in early 1994 (though as noted before, staff and even monthly columns carried over intact, making PC Gamer largely a "new and improved" version of GP's previous publications.)

In 1995, Anderson sold Future UK to Pearson PLC, but he retained GP Publications for himself, renaming it Imagine Media and relocating the company from North Carolina to California (beginning with issue 14 of PC Gamer USA). Anderson operated Imagine Media as his sole publishing company and aside from the name and location change, it remained very much a GP publication in essence.

However, a few years later, Future UK bought itself out from Pearson PLC, and at this point, Anderson rejoined Future, bringing Imagine under their umbrella. As of 2002, the Imagine Media name was dropped, and Imagine's titles began being published under the Future Network USA name. At some point in the 2000s (I can't pinpoint an exact issue as I wasn't reading the mag anymore, but it was probably a gradual change), Future took a more controlling interest in their American branch, bringing PC Gamer USA more in line with the UK edition.

It was during this transitional phase that Future UK bought out the US-produced PC Games magazine and shifted much of its staff onto PC Gamer, despite PC Games being a clearly inferior magazine (which I believe also contributed to the decline in quality of PC Gamer USA).

Eventually, PC Gamer USA would virtually cease to exist altogether, becoming nothing but a reprint of the UK edition, which it remains today (again, I can't pinpoint at which issue this occurred as I had long since stopped reading it).
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 3 months ago
Oh hey, and since nobody said anything about recommendations needing to be game-related, here's an interesting mag:

Mangajin

Long before I ever considered making a life in Japan, I remember picking up a few issues of this mag, which uses detailed translation breakdowns of manga samples to teach Japanese and also features various articles about Japanese language and culture. Back issues are somewhat rare and pricey, but someone has uploaded PDFs of the entire run of the magazine. Granted, they are very low quality, but still readable and a great resource for anyone with any interest in learning Japanese.
https://penpal.jp/go/mangajin/
modgeezermodgeezer
Junior Member
Posted 3 months ago
thank you
KiwiKiwi
Super Admin
Posted 3 months ago
I heartily agree with kitsunebi .... the Imagine produced issues of PC Gamer (USA) are amongst the best gaming mags published in my opinion. Also high on my list, as mentioned elsewhere, would have to be Computer Gaming World from about 1990 to 1995. Lovely hand drawn cover art, minimalist and uncluttered styling on high quality paper stock. Really nice!!

Interestingly, both are American magazines. Sacrilege you might say!! But then again I loved Amiga World for precisely those very reasons over any of the mags coming out of the UK like Amiga Format at that time as well.

As far as non-gaming/computing mags go I enjoyed the sci-fi oriented OMNI, and I would love to get more of Naval History, another American magazine. No need to elucidate on what THAT magazine is all about!! Pfft
S
slider1983
Member
Posted 3 months ago
Only ever read PC Gamer UK a couple of times. Wasn't a big fan. Kieron Gillian got on my nerves, probably a few others. It wasn't the worst magazine but not the best.
MarkMark
Newbie
Posted 3 months ago
I read PC Gamer (UK) between maybe 1996 to the early 2000's. I really liked it at that time. Nothing amazing, but it had good features, reviews, and pictures. I remember the print quality being pretty good. Looking back, I suppose part of the reason I liked it was that the time I read it coincided with a great era of PC gaming. They couldn't really mess things up. I'm going to start reading the US edition since everyone is recommending it.

I started getting Nintendo Magazine System (UK) in 1996, and I really liked its art style and the way they laid out their reviews with plenty of detail - cart sizes etc. It changed format a few months into the N64 era, but I'd recommend anyone who didn't grow up with NMS to check it out. It has been a real pleasure over the past decade to experience the earlier issues I missed out on as a kid through this community. A big thank you to Kiwi and Dan in particular.

I've recommended Computer Shopper (UK) before. Sadly it isn't available here, but there are digital copies floating about from 2009 onward. Hopefully the 90's and early 2000's issues will become available someday. They were a treasure trove of knowledge for anyone who loves PC's from that era. It was still a very good magazine up to around 2017 when it started to lose the older writers.
S
slider1983
Member
Posted 3 months ago

Mark wrote:

I've recommended Computer Shopper (UK) before. Sadly it isn't available here, but there are digital copies floating about from 2009 onward. Hopefully the 90's and early 2000's issues will become available someday. They were a treasure trove of knowledge for anyone who loves PC's from that era. It was still a very good magazine up to around 2017 when it started to lose the older writers.
Could never get into Computer Shopper for some reason. I remember it being cheaply printed so maybe that's the reason why.

EDIT: Had no idea PC Gamer also has existed in other countries, some with its own content. Interesting.
Edited by slider1983 on 01/08/2021, 3 months ago
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bigkev
Junior Member
Posted 3 months ago
There was one particular magazine I can remember skimming through in the newsagent but cannot for the life of me remember what it was called. It was a once-off limited edition gaming magazine that focused solely on banned/controversial computer games covering titles such as Manhunt, Postal, Rule of Rose, Thrill Kill etc.

I'd definitely recommend it if I could remember the magazine title. I really wish I bought the mag back when I first saw it but alas.

Other magazines I'd recommend are the earlier editions of GamesMaster. They were fantastic reads! Like
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slider1983
Member
Posted 3 months ago

bigkev wrote:

Other magazines I'd recommend are the earlier editions of GamesMaster. They were fantastic reads! Like
I think up until 2009 it was good definitely.
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