Issue 20 is here

Want to air your opinions on the latest issue of Retro Gamer? Step inside...

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martin_f
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Post by martin_f » Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:52 am

Just got my issue 20, here in sydney.

This must be a first for me (in the 20+ years I have been ordering mags from the UK), a subscription mag in Aus, before the official UK release / shelf date. Pretty happy with that.

General comments for the mags (although only skimmed 20 so far, have read 19 though):

PRO
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* Retro gamer is back, bigger and better than ever. The "Imagine" mag definately looks more professional.

* I reckon the "Imagine" version has more varied content, which is cool.

* Still in the "Can't put it down" category. There haven't been too many mags like that for me, in the last 10 years.

* Love reading the profiles of companies, interviews with coders etc.

* No CD ! Thank heavens. Out of the 18 "Live" mags I only have 2 that do not have a broken spine, some well hammered - funnily enough those two - the disc was loose upon delivery !

* Padded delivery parcel .... Australia is a long way away after all.


CON
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* Letter from P Johns in issue 19 - Complaining about too much and too technical coverage of hardware. You gotta be kidding me matey ! A lot of people collect and restore 8/16 bit hardware. Documenting the history and tech specs about the hardware and companies behind the hardware is a big plus in my book. After all, without the hardware - there would be no games !

If anything I reckon coverage of the hardware and companies should be increased - or left as is at a minimum - definately not decreased !

If the mag was all games - it would tend to get a bit boring.

* Whole page blow ups of pixellated screen shots ... bleaugh. Put in some package art or advertisements (or something) instead. I used to like looking at the original replicated ads in the "Live" version (albeit it did seem like like lazy journalism).

* Tomb Raider in issue 20 ??? When the 80s hardware and software has been discussed close to death, then maybe consider talking about stuff from 95 onwards. There are still so many 8/16 bit manufacturers and game developers to talk about. 1996 isn't retro (to me anyway).


On the whole, more than pleased with the mag (and so glad its alive again) .. keep up the great work guys.

Martin

psj3809
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Re:

Post by psj3809 » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:43 am

martin_f wrote:Just got my issue 20, here in sydney.

* Letter from P Johns in issue 19 - Complaining about too much and too technical coverage of hardware. You gotta be kidding me matey ! A lot of people collect and restore 8/16 bit hardware. Documenting the history and tech specs about the hardware and companies behind the hardware is a big plus in my book. After all, without the hardware - there would be no games !
That was from me ! Must admit it was just an email to Darran and i didnt intend for it to go into the magazine but i presume as it was the first comeback issue they needed some letters.

At the end of the day its a difficult one as we all have different views on the old hardware vs software subject.

I got into retro because of the games and emulators, not because of an article about a BBC sound chip or some other techy article.

Some people love the techy stuff some dont, some people love the cover cd some dont.

As the magazine says it should be more to do with Retro Gaming. I had a few number of systems as a kid, not i can get emulators for most of the old machines but i'm not always sure what games i should look for for these systems. You get the obvious titles but theres many other great ones probably i miss.

I do like articles about the machines but sometimes i personally think they go into too much detail.

The Retro scene is huge at the moment because of retro games and emulators, not systems. Of course people who have got into retro games will then move onto the systems but like i say the whole scene is huge because of the games for emulators. People have been using their old machines for years but theres never been a huge retro scene until the last few years with more and more people using emulators and then emulators for different consoles/phones/pocket PC's etc etc. I got into retro because of emulators/roms but now i have bought a few old systems off ebay which are great but for me personally because of my job/lack of freetime/wife and other things i dont have time to wait 5 mins for a game to load. I use 99% of the time roms on emulators which i can have a quick blast of now and then.

I love the new look RG as to me theres much more game orientated stuff rather than a certain processor on the Dragon 32 which i dont give a monkeys about. Theres a retro mag in the marketplace because of games, not because of the machines. Obviously you wouldnt have the games without the machines but theres 10000's of retro games out there i want to discover.

Anyway its just my personal opinion, many people may disagree, some might not. Either way its great that 5 years ago if someone said to me we would be discussing a monthly retro magazine which you could get in Smiths in town i would be stunned and wouldnt believe them. Here we are with a great magazine which i hope goes from strength to strength.

psj3809
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Post by psj3809 » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:46 am

Well i was happy as hell with Issue 19 and even more happier with the latest issue.

I love the look, the way the articles are laid out and the other 'titbits' of info on some of the pages, eg Hero of the month etc.

Love the in depth looks at some of the games, eg Knight Lore and the huge screengrab of Turbo Espirit really took me back.

In the old RG there were some articles i used to flick past but in this one every page i love so far. Will 100% be re-subscribing.

Glad theres no cover cd as 99% of the time i can find the content online.

Would love to see another old magazines reborn for an issue, eg another Zzap/Your Sinclair or anything else.

Happy as hell to see the mag back, cant wait for the next issue. Hope the sales figures are good

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Post by lemon-rev » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:49 pm

ok just recived issue 20 yesterday in australia, had a verry quick flick since i havent had the time even to start reading it as of yet, but i will do soon, i will see what i can put down and see what kind of responce i get to this. The mag looks good layout is verry spread lots of coverage about all types of things, but how do i say this i like the look of old mag's where they tend if doing a article on say a game weather it be a quicky or a over all review i have noticed that the game cover for the game is way way too small even to look at. writing is fine if u have the time to sqeeze your eyes to try and read. its there, now as for other comments made before this one about issue 20 i think most of them are verry correct we need to focus not only on the new consoles that have come out with the old games to try to keep the old school of games back, its a bit of a shame we have to concentrate more on them than the old stuff, bye the way i love techy stuff about old arcades or machines or even the consoles of old. well i said my 2 cents worth for now, i be keeping a keen eye on the forums for a bit. goto go to work now. laterz

OUT Lemon-rev.

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martin_f
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Re:

Post by martin_f » Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:02 pm

psj3809 wrote:
That was from me ! Must admit it was just an email to Darran and i didnt intend for it to go into the magazine but i presume as it was the first comeback issue they needed some letters.

At the end of the day its a difficult one as we all have different views on the old hardware vs software subject.
Had a good read of your response there, and its a pretty constructive post. Apols if I came across the wrong way, I wasn't attempting to sledge a fellow RG reader or anything, just trying to get another opinion across.

At the end of the day you are right, it all depends on the individuals as, one person is into the games, one into the hardware, some into both (like me - to fully appreciate the games, and what the developrs squeezed out of the machines, I need to have an understanding of the hardware capabilities).

Me, I would be happy enough with the mix shown in issues 19 and 20 so far. At the end of the day, just glad the mag is back.

Martin

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Ash
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Post by Ash » Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:44 am

I know it's not out until tomorrow but has anyone spotted this in the shops yet?

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:03 am

Not around these parts (40ish miles WSW of London).
iPhone/iPod/iPad game/app reviews: http://www.iphonetiny.com

psj3809
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Re:

Post by psj3809 » Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:18 am

martin_f wrote: Had a good read of your response there, and its a pretty constructive post. Apols if I came across the wrong way, I wasn't attempting to sledge a fellow RG reader or anything, just trying to get another opinion across.
No worries, not saying i'm right at all. We had the same discussions on the old Retro Gamer, its very very hard to please everyone as the retro scene is a huge one.

What is nice is that many people went down roughly this route - Speccy or C64, Amiga or Atari ST, Megadrive or SNES, Playstation etc

Then discovered emulators and played tons of the old games on their PC, and now its going slightly the reverse, more people are buying old hardware to really try the old girl again !

I dont buy any of these new retro compilations for the latest consoles but i'm pleased to see many released and doing well. Because of those many other different people will get into the retro scene. Same with mobile phones, hate playing games on phones (hate ringtones !) but the more people into retro the better.

If retro keeps getting bigger and bigger you could imagine other retro magazines covering for other tastes, eg more hardware based or more arcade based etc etc.

Either way i'm glad to get a bit of that feeling i had as a kid when Crash came through the door every month. Cant wait for the next RG issue , havent been that excited about a magazine in my later years since some special issues of (cough) Loaded in the heyday ! ;)

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White Demon
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Post by White Demon » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:09 am

Received my copy of issue 20 yesterday, had a quick (90 minute) flick through it. I must say from what I've seen so far I'm thoroughly impressed with. Will invest more time to read it thoroughly soon.

Some points from just looking through it quickly (plus points raised by others here).

First of all, the RetroRated section. I personally don't mind reviews of re-releases and the like, but I can't say I'm fond of full page reviews for new games just because they may have a retro heritage (Battles of PoP) or games that only have a retro-styled look to them but are entirely new games (Alien Homind). Just because they look retro doesn't mean they are retro.

Smaller reviews of such (eg Ninja Cop, Sonic Advance 3) I don't mind though, and maybe some of these GBA remakes (such as Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts and Donkey Kong Country) could do with half page reviews instead of quarter page. In fact, maybe all the reviews could be half a page each? Just a thought/suggestion, of course.

The Retrorevival articles I think are great, and I read all of them straight away. A suggestion: as well as the huge graphic of the game which covers most of the two pages, maybe some other, smaller shots of the game could be put along the bottom of the two page spread, to show some other scenes from the game? I think this would help people who haven't played some of the games covered (for example, I've never played Axelay or Turbo Esprit before) to get a bit better perspective of the game from simply a first look. I also think it could enhance the articles just that little bit more than just a single, blown up shot too.

I agree with martin_f about articles covering hardware (and the companies that made them). Since I've never had the chance to play all computers and consoles that ever existed (and who has), articles about the hardware and the companies behind them really interest me, from the companies I know more about (eg Commodore, Sega) to the ones I know less about (eg, Atari's consoles after the 2600, Neo Geo etc) as well as the generally lesser known systems. I enjoy reader them all just as much as I enjoy reading about the games that they played.

About the 'Classic game' articles. I'll admit I haven't read them yet, but reading other's comments about them in this thread, I would have to say that it is better to focus on one system where necessary (such as changes being made to a game when converted to other formats make differences more than just cosmetic for example). Some quick comments can be made about other version though. This is pretty good, but in addition, how about articles which specifically compare different conversions of specific games, such as the articles about certain Sega games in the RG of old (and on the retro survival CD)? I'm not saying that it should be done ad-nauseum, but once in a awhile would be nice. And a similar thing was done with 8 bit games in most issues of GamesTM (Clash Of The Titans), and I always enjoyed reading those, so a similar thing every once in a while (with as many different versions of the games as possible) wouldn't go astray I think.

Anyway, that’s just my 2c. I'll just say again, great mag, I'm really pleased with it so far. Now I’ll have to go away and read the mag more thoroughly.

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Ash
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Post by Ash » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:47 pm

I took two hours off work to march around Leeds looking for Retro Gamer today. Not a single newsagent had Issue 20 :(

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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:08 pm

It's definately in the shops tomorrow I've been told.
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Quaid
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RG –slightly late

Post by Quaid » Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:24 pm

Hi guys,

Just to let you know that due to a slight delivery-related glitch over the Christmas period, Retro Gamer #20 has not yet gone on sale in the UK. However, you will be able to get it in London and the south tomorrow, and then the entire country by Saturday.

We apologise for the hiccup and hope you'll bear with us.


Thanks
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bounty bob
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Post by bounty bob » Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:45 pm

What about Birmingham, thats a little more south than most?
Atari 800XL thrashes the C64 every time!!!
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markopoloman
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Post by markopoloman » Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:40 pm

Bloody northerners :shock:

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Dudley
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Re:

Post by Dudley » Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:08 pm

bounty bob wrote:What about Birmingham, thats a little more south than most?
I've found that Birmingham is the only place in the UK actually considered the Midlands, rather than being claimed by the north or south.

Why neither of them want it is open to debate ;)
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