3 Game Magazines you Should Know About! (if you’re British)

APRIL ISSUE: POST #17

Who doesn’t love words on shiny paper? I know I do. I thoroughly enjoy flipping through each page and checking out the layouts and different topics and articles in front of me. The only reason I don’t buy them now is because they are kind of expensive. Of course, I want to support creators of magazines, but I don’t have the money to do so. If I had it my way, I would stand in a shop for hours just flicking through them all and scanning each page into my brain like a machine. If I was rich, however, I’d take baths in magazines no doubt.

When I was younger I was actually subscribed to quite a lot (Top Gear and The Magical World of Roald Dahl included), and I would get a new and different one every so often if my parents allowed me to. Even though I was a kid who read a lot, magazines inspired me to read even more, and I think they also improved my humour (I’d be so lucky).

But anyway, here are three magazines that shaped me into the nerd that I am today!

Official Nintendo Magazine (ONM)
Editor: Matthew Castle
Company: Future pic

This was a magazine I was subscribed to. I have a huge stack on the bottom of my gaming shelf still, and I really need to pick them up and go through them sometime soon. The best thing about ONM was the little gifts that came with the issues. Those were my favourite, and I remember getting calenders, stickers, and lots of posters (I received so many posters that I actually wanted to request that they send me more wall space).

I remember receiving my first issue years before I was actually subscribed to them. My first issue had Animal Crossing on the cover, which I was very excited about. It was Issue 33 from 2008. I have no idea what made me rediscover them so long after, probably because I realised my love for video gaming, or I just wanted the extra gifts.

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ONM ran from February 2006 to October 2014. They covered all things Nintendo, and I also remember listening to their podcasts from time to time (I certainly remember Editor Chris Scullion and his Scottishness). I really looked forward to receiving my issue every month, and I remember even taking magazines out with me as a measly 12-year-old who tended to skip over lots of articles just to browse through the pictures instead.

Oh, and the coolest thing. If you have a lot of the issues and put them all together, then the Nintendo logo and Marios face appears along the spines to form one long picture. I was fascinated when I realised that this was a thing, and proceded to tell all of my non-gamer family and friends about it.

Before now, I had never looked up any sort of history with the magazine, and it’s actually pretty interesting (to me anyway). A long time ago, a magazine called Mean Machines split into two, meaning that a magazine for Nintendo and a magazine for Sega was made. The first Nintendo magazine, named Nintendo Magazine System was released in October 1992, and went through quite a few name changes before settling on Nintendo Official Magazine UK, just before their publisher changed to Future pic. This is when ONM was born, starting off completely fresh. It would definitely take a while to find all the issues I’m missing, as it reached its 100th issue a year before they discontinued.

Maybe one day I’ll find the issues I’m missing and try to get a complete collection.

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Official UK PlayStation Magazine
Editors: Tim Clark, Ben Wilson, Matthew Pellett, Ian Dean (current)
Company: Future Publishing

I. want. more. of. these. in. my. collection.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, yes, I love this magazine too. Considering that I was into PlayStation just as much as I was into Nintendo, I’m surprised that I didn’t pick up more of these.

This magazine has followed a lot of news and events, the first magazine series containing information about the original PlayStationbefore they moved onto issues about the PlayStation 2 and then, now, it’s all about the PS3 and PS4I currently own only about five magazines in total, three being original PlayStation issues, and the last couple being the more recent, PS3 and PS4 issues. My life goal is certainly to own more, and I do search for them whenever I go to car boots or charity shops. I just hope one day I can be so lucky and someone wants to sell their whole collection for a pound.

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The Official UK PlayStation Magazine released its first issue in November 1995 and ran all the way to March 2004, reaching a grand total of 108 issues. The first game to ever be reviewed was Wipeout, which is coincidentally one of my husband’s favourite games, so hopefully, I can find that first issue one day.

Not surprisingly, this magazine was one of the best selling magazines in the worldIt just makes me sad that I didn’t get as many as I should’ve done. I would love to flip back through and discover hidden gems and look at all those old advertisements. Also, honestly, I LOVE the old magazine style and formats. If I ever make a video game magazine, I’d definitely go for a retro style because come on, those page designs were badass.

Moving on, next was the Official UK PlayStation 2 magazine, which launched in December 2000 as a sequel publication.

However, the best thing about these magazines were the DEMO discs. My Dad kept more of the DEMO discs than the magazines, which shows how much people just get the magazines for the extra stuff, but I’m happy that he did that at least. They were pretty cool, and I remember trying out a bunch of games (more than once. You know, just to really get a feel for them). In conclusion, though, magazines were the bomb back in the day.

Which brings me to the present-day with the PlayStation Magazine, which started in Winter 2006. I think it’s still going pretty strong. It covers all things PlayStation, including the underloved PS VITA. I just hope this magazine will continue on for years to come.

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Nintendo Gamer
Editors: Mark Green, Nick Ellis, Martin Kitts, Charlotte Martyn, Matthew Castle
Company: Future pic

And lastly, back to Nintendo again! Oh look, it’s that name Matthew Castle again too!

Let’s just mention and praise Matthew Castle a bit, he’s written quite a few articles and is currently the editor for the Official Xbox Magazine (apologies for not writing about Xbox much, I don’t hate it I promise.) He’s provided the UK with a lot of gaming content, and I think he deserves to be awarded a Wikipedia page.

Moving on though, I do have a couple of issues of NGamer in my stack, and it really wasn’t too bad of a magazine. It is the successor to the N64 Magazine(which ran from 1997 to 2006) and was first named Super Play back in 1992 to 1996 and then lastly renamed to NGamer from 2006 to 2012.

I didn’t actually realise that the magazine finished that long ago. I didn’t really follow it at all and I remember it being quite less popular than the aforementioned ONM and PlayStation magazines (if my memory serves me correctly), but again, it wasn’t a bad magazine in the slightest, it just had a lot of competition. It naturally covered the world of Nintendofollowing releases on the DS, Gamecube, GBA and later the Wii and the 3DS.

This magazine actually had a few novelty scoring systems and recurring jokes and themes, which I for one think is genius. If I had a whole team of people, I’m sure I’d make them do funny things for the sake of mixing comedy and publishing together.

So, to sum it all up, magazines are awesome. That’s just an insight to what kind of publications you can find in the UK, but there really are lots to choose from. There’s a lot of reading and fun to be had, no matter what your age.

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Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

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