The Mobile Phone Section

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FatTrucker
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The Mobile Phone Section

Post by FatTrucker » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:07 pm

The ongoing debate about having a dedicated spread for mobile phone games was pulling the feedback thread off topic so I've started a dedicated one here.

Below is a copy/paste of the last post I made in that thread. For any of you that may have missed it, following the large iphone feature in the latest issue it appears this is going to be a regular 2 page feature from now on. We've been debating the relative merits, likes, dislikes of its inclusion and having a general whinge as usual really.
CraigGrannell wrote: it's a case of looking at what's out there. If you're a gamer who enjoys exploring new games with a retro feel, the App Store is full of content that should appeal
I feel this is the core part of the argument though Craig. RG already covers this type of stuff in spades across any number of formats for a mag that is generally meant to be about RetroGaming, retro games and retro systems. Why the odd bit of Iphone content can't be included under the current format in the appropriate section seems odd?.

The fact that they are putting in a dedicated 2 page spread for it every issue, would seem less about its relevance in the mag and more about generating advertising and/or a few people invloved with the mag happening to love it as their new toy of choice.

In either instance its just moving the mag further away from the the things we all started buying it for in the first place and more into mainstream games mag territory. Much as I love RG (and I really, really do), if it carries on in that direction and becomes a mag that's just as much about modern gaming as retro gaming then its perhaps something I (and I would imagine a large number of other) subscribers would need to think long and hard about in the future because I don't buy any mainstream games mags, I buy RetroGamer, because I like the games, I like the community and I love the nostalgia that it provokes. If I want to read about the latest 'apps' and other modern releases I'll buy a dedicated games mag or go and listen to a mobile phone salesman talk b*ll*cks at me for half an hour....I'm sorry but I just think you're completely wrong about this.
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by ipmarks » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:13 pm

I agree entirely, and won't write lots because you've said all my feelings perfectly!
Retro Gamer is for old games, not new rewrites of old games, not new platforms running old games.

I do worry that eventually there'll be a PS3 section, an Xbox360 section, a Wii Section, etc. etc.
You may say no that'll never happen, but if you'd asked me a year ago if there'd be an iPhone section I'd have said that'd never happen either.

I hope it isn't the thin end of the wedge, and for now it's another two pages of Retro Gamer I won't be reading every month.

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Opa-Opa » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:14 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
Opa-Opa wrote:The diffence being the Game and Watch systems were GAME machines and the iphone is a [phone] that can play some rubbish games
Are you trying to wind people up now? Lumping iPod touch/iPhone in with a five-year-old Nokias makes you sound ignorant, and we know you're not. The above statement is also rather like saying the DS is a rubbish PC because you can browse the internet using Opera on it. As for 'rubbish games', whatever. You're clearly not going to be convinced otherwise, despite not having use the device or played any of the games..
No I'm not trying to wind people up..
The iphone should be lumped in with the Nokias of this world as they are the same, PHONES!!
The DS would make a rubbish PC, the iphone makes a rubbish games console, who on earth uses Opera on a DS to surf the web..? No-one I have ever met thats for sure..
If you want mobile internet by all means grab an Iphone and use that, a machine designed for just that sort of communication, if you want a games machine then get a PSP or DS..

Your not going to convince me the over priced pap on the apple store is worth buying over a proper release for a PSP or DS, it's just tat designed to get people to part with there cash like the stupid ring tones and "x-ray machine" stuff you can also download for phones, nothing more...
Have you noticed that I'm not the only one who thinks this but your pretty much the only person sticking up for the iphone stuff, and you work for the mag so it's not really a supprise is it..
This whole 2 page every month stuff stinks of advertising, otherwise the DS, PSP, PS3, 360 and the Wii would also have a dedicated space each month.

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by FatTrucker » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:20 pm

ipmarks wrote:I agree entirely, and won't write lots because you've said all my feelings perfectly!
Retro Gamer is for old games, not new rewrites of old games, not new platforms running old games.

I do worry that eventually there'll be a PS3 section, an Xbox360 section, a Wii Section, etc. etc.
You may say no that'll never happen, but if you'd asked me a year ago if there'd be an iPhone section I'd have said that'd never happen either.

I hope it isn't the thin end of the wedge, and for now it's another two pages of Retro Gamer I won't be reading every month.
I think its perfectly ok for inclusion but under the current format that already exists for that type of thing.

Most of us are current as well as retro gamers and they do occasionally make us aware of a little gem we might be missing....but.....that's not the reason we buy RetroGamer, at the moment the section covering retro releases on new hardware is a small addition to the mag, adding a dedicated iphone section is indeed another step towards being a mag about modern games with a retro flavour, not a dedicated retro gaming mag. I still can't see any arguable reason beyond the points I made above for it to have its own dedicated section in a mag like RG when stuff like that is already more than adequately catered to under the current format.
How long will it be before at least half the pages in the mag cover modern games, remakes or releases on new hardware, and adverts?......will the mag still actually qualify as RetroGamer at that point?, the direction it seems to be taking at the moment means the Mag will effectively be like GamesTM albeit with an expanded Retro section.
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by woody.cool » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:22 pm

RG is a retro gaming mag ..... so where the hell does an iPhone fit it ..... it's not retro, is it?

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:26 pm

Remember when everyone complained about the homebrew section being ugly? I changed it. Remember when people said they didn't like having two reader revivals each issue? I changed it.

As I've already said, if enough people complain, then we'll rethink it, but I personally don't think that's going to happen. The main reason why I've chosen a dedicated mobile phone section is for the same reason that we have so many download round-ups, it's because there's enough stuff (which I feel is relevant to readers) to actually justify one. Why do you think we have Wii/DS and PSP ones three-eight months apart.

Some people have also mentioned that they don't even read the reviews section, so why on earth would you care about something you're not even going to read?

When RG came back it had 8 pages dedicated to reviews. It had 8 pages this month and it will have 8 pages next month. Therefore you are not losing any old retro content to new reviews you may or may not read.

As I said in the main thread you just need to trust me, I'm proud of the work I've done on Retro Gamer and I'm not going to be running it into the ground any time soon. The fact is, this is no different to the usual complaints when people say that certain machines are getting far too much coverage than others.

Retro Gamer will always be a mag that's dedicated to old machines first and foremost. The day that ever changes will be the day I'm no longer working on it.
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Opa-Opa » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:27 pm

FatTrucker wrote: How long will it be before at least half the pages in the mag cover modern games, remakes or releases on new hardware, and adverts?......will the mag still actually qualify as RetroGamer at that point?, the direction it seems to be taking at the moment means the Mag will effectively be like GamesTM albeit with an expanded Retro section.
Well this month we have the phones thing, Street fighter 4, another mobile phone thing with the Pac version that only really needed a boxout in the main Pac-man feature.
You also have Castlevania and Bomberman 2 on the DS, thats a lot of moden gaming in a retro mag..

Will we be getting a resident evil 5 review seeing as how that can be traced back to the Playstation/Saturn days..? I hope not because I can read all about that in Gamestm or any number of other places that cover modern gaming..

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by ipmarks » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:31 pm

woody.cool wrote:RG is a retro gaming mag ..... so where the hell does an iPhone fit it ..... it's not retro, is it?
Well put!
If I want to read about modern gaming platforms I'll read GamesTM or god forbid Edge magazine.
I don't care that you can run remakes of old games on a phone... I can do that on my PS3, 360 or Wii but again hopefully not in Retro Gamer.

I'm pretty sure there's a Sony Digital Camera that runs a couple of old MAME games and a ZX Spectrum emulator... shall we give that a dedicated section too?

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:36 pm

Opa-Opa wrote:
FatTrucker wrote: How long will it be before at least half the pages in the mag cover modern games, remakes or releases on new hardware, and adverts?......will the mag still actually qualify as RetroGamer at that point?, the direction it seems to be taking at the moment means the Mag will effectively be like GamesTM albeit with an expanded Retro section.
Well this month we have the phones thing, Street fighter 4, another mobile phone thing with the Pac version that only really needed a boxout in the main Pac-man feature.
You also have Castlevania and Bomberman 2 on the DS, thats a lot of moden gaming in a retro mag..

Will we be getting a resident evil 5 review seeing as how that can be traced back to the Playstation/Saturn days..? I hope not because I can read all about that in Gamestm or any number of other places that cover modern gaming..
LOL none of you are even reading what I've written.
There has always been an 8-page section dedicated to new games, no one had a problem in the early days. This month was a one off with mobile coverage. I wanted to introduce the iPhone because I feel it's a worthwhile machine to play old games on, not because I was told do. No we've said everything there is to say about it there's no need for another feature. So as of next month we'll be back to another 8 pages of new formats with old games on. Just as we've always head.
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by FatTrucker » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:38 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:
Opa-Opa wrote:
FatTrucker wrote: How long will it be before at least half the pages in the mag cover modern games, remakes or releases on new hardware, and adverts?......will the mag still actually qualify as RetroGamer at that point?, the direction it seems to be taking at the moment means the Mag will effectively be like GamesTM albeit with an expanded Retro section.
Well this month we have the phones thing, Street fighter 4, another mobile phone thing with the Pac version that only really needed a boxout in the main Pac-man feature.
You also have Castlevania and Bomberman 2 on the DS, thats a lot of moden gaming in a retro mag..

Will we be getting a resident evil 5 review seeing as how that can be traced back to the Playstation/Saturn days..? I hope not because I can read all about that in Gamestm or any number of other places that cover modern gaming..
LOL none of you are even reading what I've written.
There has always been an 8-page section dedicated to new games, no one had a problem in the early days. This month was a one off with mobile coverage. I wanted to introduce the iPhone because I feel it's a worthwhile machine to play old games on, not because I was told do. No we've said everything there is to say about it there's no need for another feature. So as of next month we'll be back to another 8 pages of new formats with old games on. Just as we've always head.
Glad we got that straight then. :D

Edit: But I still think you're wrong. :wink:
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by CraigGrannell » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:48 pm

Given that I've wasted enough time arguing the iPhone/iPod touch points in the feedback thread, I think I'll post a few times here and then just leave it. However, first up:
FatTrucker wrote:moving the mag further away from the the things we all started buying it for in the first place and more into mainstream games mag territory.
As I stated, that also depends when you started buying it. The Live version of Retro Gamer had plenty of reviews in many of its issues. Also, the mag's consistently putting out making-ofs with increasingly important retro-gaming figures. Hell, it even ditched most of the standing copy (a really brave move as far as budgets to) and added a bunch of extra 'community' bits to make people happy. If anything, it's now less mainstream than it was just a year ago.
ipmarks wrote:but if you'd asked me a year ago if there'd be an iPhone section I'd have said that'd never happen either.
Darran hasn't stated that there's going to be "an iPhone section".
Opa-Opa wrote:The iphone should be lumped in with the Nokias of this world as they are the same, PHONES!!
See, now I know you're purposefully chunks of what I'm saying. The iPhone can make phone calls. But, like a Blackberry, it's not what you'd call a typical phone any more than my PC is a typewriter. It's a multifunction device. And the iPod touch doesn't even have a phone component.
the iphone makes a rubbish games console
Whatever. I'm not going to respond to this point again, so I'm sure you'll happily get the last word in a subsequent post. However, I find it rather depressing that you're happy to write of an entire platform that you've never tried. Is the OS X platform a perfect games platform? Hell, no way. Digital-control games suck on it. SMB on iPhone would be appalling. Is it a rubbish games platform? Hell, no way, because the controls are unique and have force developers to try new things. If anything, it's similar to the likes of the Wii and games like Rhythm Tengoku on GBA.
Your not going to convince me the over priced pap on the apple store is worth buying over a proper release for a PSP or DS, it's just tat designed to get people to part with there cash like the stupid ring tones and "x-ray machine" stuff
Mm. OK, then. Centipede for iPhone is £2.99. It offers three modes, including the original and a version that really wants to be SIE. Is it as good as SIE? Nope. But then it also doesn't cost nearly as much as SIE. Is it "overpriced pap"? Well, I'd consider a pixel-perfect port of Centipede with two additional modes pretty good value at under three quid. At the very least, this kind of thing cost five times that on GBA several years ago (and most of the retro ports for that platform were botched, such as those dreadful double-packs—try Marble Madness on GBA, for example).

Vector Tanks: £1.79. It's Battlezone with the original controls, but better graphics and sound. For £1.79.

God knows, I have a drawers full of DS and other games, but I can't for the life of me see how they're any more 'proper' than the games I've downloaded for my iPhone. Presumably, the MP3s I download from Play.com and Amazon aren't 'proper' music, because I didn't spend over the odds for them in HMV.
Have you noticed that I'm not the only one who thinks this but your pretty much the only person sticking up for the iphone stuff, and you work for the mag so it's not really a supprise is it.
Oh, please, do give me a little credit. I've been plenty critical of Retro Gamer in the past, and I'm hardly sucking up to Darran. I'm standing up for iPhone as a platform because it's good and the games are good. And, as I also mentioned, it's not like I've always been cheerleading for iPhone anyway—I wrote (and got a LOT of sh*t for) Why iPod touch will never be a major gaming platform.

Of the points I made, most of them were along the lines of what you've been saying. They were, in order, 'a lack of controls', 'dumbed-down content', 'expensive hardware', 'not fit-for-purpose' and 'Apple's track record in gaming'. All of those are still accurate to some extent, but certainly not in a definitive manner.
FatTrucker wrote:How long will it be before at least half the pages in the mag cover modern games, remakes or releases on new hardware, and adverts?
You know what? If Retro Gamer suddenly got 20 pages of 'modern' adverts every month, that'd be great. They could add another 20 pages of original content. However, as Darran said, the number of additional pages of 'new' reviews will, according to Darran, be zero. That's not an advance. It's not the slippery slope. It's no change at all.
the direction it seems to be taking at the moment means the Mag will effectively be like GamesTM albeit with an expanded Retro section.
Again, I just don't get this. Ignoring iPhone-related stuff, because that was a one-off feature that could well end up being about 1970s gaming next month, and you've got a dedicated community section (asked for by this very forum), four pages of BTT, six pages of Pac-Man, five pages of Tony Crowther, a DPS of Sonic 2, six pages on the Electric Pencil Co., a page on Blue Lightning, a page on Bowser, a DPS on Flicky, an eight-page Jops interview, a Black Tiger DPS, a Rod-Land DPS, ten pages on the Mega-CD, two pages of 1993 NES import, a DPS on Alien 8, and End/Game.

Relatively 'new' stuff includes the Resi Evil piece (1996, six pages), Jazz Jackrabbit (1994, two pages)

De-facto new stuff includes some of the news, Pac-Man mobile DPS, the reviews section, the homebrew section (which directly came from requests, many from this forum), and that's it.
iPhone/iPod/iPad game/app reviews: http://www.iphonetiny.com

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by clarance » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:54 pm

Cant comment on the content in the latest edition, as I haven't seen it yet , but generally speaking the idea of two pages dedicated to mobile phone games in a retro gaming magazine is rather confusing, and not something that I would look forward to reading.

I mostly ignore the reviews of games on modern systems in the mag as it is. Even though the games themselves are remakes, it holds little interest for me.

I get all the points about making the magazine commercially viable, but it's rather disturbing and sad if a retro magazine can't be sold purely on the basis of retro content.

If it's a sacrifice that has to be made to ensure the success of the mag , then a few pages each month isn't too much of a hardship to bear is it?

On the other hand is there any evidence to suggest that including more current content will increase sales?
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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by AmigaJay » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:57 pm

I'm with you craig, I think people are missing the point here, be it iPhone, xb360, ps3, ds, psp or anything else, people are contradicting themselves saying the above machines are ok but the iPhone is not 'retro' , none of the above are old, but RG covers games on new and old machines and it's only fair it caters for ALL formats like it or not, the mag is called Retro Gamer after all, the iPhone/iPod touch have more 'retro' games than most of the above put together, plus I'd rather pay only £3.49 for pinball dreams on the iPod compared to £30 on the gba. Games are games people, the machines are mere slaves to our dreams!

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by ipmarks » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:00 pm

AmigaJay wrote:I'm with you craig, I think people are missing the point here, be it iPhone, xb360, ps3, ds, psp or anything else, people are contradicting themselves saying the above machines are ok but the iPhone is not 'retro' , none of the above are old, but RG covers games on new and old machines and it's only fair it caters for ALL formats like it or not, the mag is called Retro Gamer after all, the iPhone/iPod touch have more 'retro' games than most of the above put together, plus I'd rather pay only £3.49 for pinball dreams on the iPod compared to £30 on the gba. Games are games people, the machines are mere slaves to our dreams!
I don't think any of those mentioned machines are ok in Retro Gamer... I think the clue is in the title Retro Gamer. I play modern games machines, I buy modern games, but I want to read reviews of them in GamesTM or Edge, not a retro orientated magazine... surely that's for retro.

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Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by clarance » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:04 pm

A huge factor in retro gaming though (for me at least) is the nostalgia that is generated by the games, and the systems that thy are played on, so for that reason i-phones, x-boxes and ps3s and all the rest leave me cold purely in retro gaming terms.
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