Issue 20 is here

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

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Retroscrooge
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Re:

Post by Retroscrooge » Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:59 am

White Demon wrote: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.
I have to agree with that, I don't quite get why those two games were covered. It's not like I buy Retro Gamer to read reviews of modern games (whether they're trying to cash in on an old name, like the new Outrun, for instance, or are completely new titles which kind of look retro if you squint, like Battles of PoP and Alien Hominid... or X3 for the PC, for that matter).

Other than that, I can't really comment on the issue as I haven't had time to read it properly yet. It looks great, though.
Retrogaming since 1895.

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Ash
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Post by Ash » Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:50 pm

I only buy two mags these days (Edge and RG). Edge don't cover every release so the reviews are invaluable to me.






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Crunchy
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Re:

Post by Crunchy » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:45 pm

Retroscrooge wrote:
White Demon wrote: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.
I have to agree with that, I don't quite get why those two games were covered. It's not like I buy Retro Gamer to read reviews of modern games (whether they're trying to cash in on an old name, like the new Outrun, for instance, or are completely new titles which kind of look retro if you squint, like Battles of PoP and Alien Hominid... or X3 for the PC, for that matter).
The title of the magazine is Retro Gamer. If all you want is a magazine that just bangs on about the old games you used to play so you can have a nice little nostalgia trip then fair enough. If people want to read about all the old games so they can track them down to buy and then look at them on a handy shelf at home then I don't see a problem with that either. Some of us though, well we actually like to play the games. To us retro gaming isn't just about having a go on Manic Miner now and again. We like the style of those old games. We like games that have that same "pick up and play" immediacy. We like simple game mechanics with simple graphics and nice clear goals to achieve, chiefly Score. We play them on our dodgy Spectrums and Commodore 64s and our lovely emulators, but we also like to play modern iterations of those same games, or entirely new games with that definitely retro feel, on various modern systems. Geometry Wars 2 on the xbox 360 is as retro as they come. I like to see games like this in the mag.

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:50 pm

I totally agree. I like the idea of a Retro Gamer that has this kind of thing in its pages—a magazine for people who like retro games, rather than only for those who like dipping into the past.

Darran seems to be ensuring the magazine has a balance between all the things these various people like, and while you can't please all of the people all of the time, I think the new mag seems to please most of the people most of the time, and that's the best you can hope for, really.
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Post by NorthWay » Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:57 pm

#20 arrived. I need to subscribe now (and find the URL for it). Read some of it.

The "news" part of the mag seems to have calmed down a bit in its design. No more cutting corners of pictures. Good.
"From the forum" looked crap visually. Was that intended, or were you supposed to be able to read it properly? (Yes: fix it, No: scale it down)
The figureheads still does as little for me as they did in Zzap64.
Maclean is a scoop on your part. Don't mind more regulars. (What is Julian Rignall doing these days?)
And I agree, you need to get back the adventure (sorry, I mean Interactive Fiction) column.

Reserving more comments until later.

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Mr. Pointless
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Post by Mr. Pointless » Sat Jan 07, 2006 4:58 pm

Bought my copy yesterday... THANK YOU for reminding me how great Flashback was!
The NGPC feature is interesting, too, as is the Technos Profile, although no offence, but if you're going to mention "altered non-anime style box art", could you at least show the original alongside the western version in future. Sorry. :oops:
Other than that, good read, the only other major complaint has nothing to do with Imagine (just the local newsagent's handling of their stock - my copy has a small rip in the cover)
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Post by Keith S » Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:30 pm

Loving Issue 20, every bit as good as #19 :) .

Looking forward to the Atari 2600 article next issue.

Would love to see some more technical hardware articles, such as Z80 vs 6502 and SID vs AY8192.

Regarding the price listings, I agree with with the comments about the Oric (1 and Atmos). Also, what about the Texas TI99-4A (first computer ever sold by Argos?!), TRS-80, Jupiter Ace and Tatung Einstein?

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Retroscrooge
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Post by Retroscrooge » Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:20 am

The title of the magazine is Retro Gamer. If all you want is a magazine that just bangs on about the old games you used to play so you can have a nice little nostalgia trip then fair enough.
Well, that's not what I said, was it? :)
Some of us though, well we actually like to play the games.
What? Are you serious? Some of you actually like to play the games? Awww, that's so cute! :)

Sorry. But that was a bit of a stupid thing to say, wasn't it? I mean, it's not like the magazine is called Retro GAMER or anything like that... We all like to play games here. That's why we don't buy Retro Accounting. 8)
To us retro gaming isn't just about having a go on Manic Miner now and again. We like the style of those old games.
Which games? I hope you're not saying that Jet Set Willy is more retro than Elite? Or Monkey Island? Or Dune II for that matter?

So how about X3 (which is great, btw). It's like Elite, with a bunch of bells and whistles. Is it retro? Well, I wouldn't say so, but if Alien Hominid or that new Prince of Persia wargame is, then it surely must be too. So that should be reviewed as well, then, shouldn't it? Or how about the latest adventure titles? Typical young gamers tend to call them "old fashioned", so clearly they should be in Retro Gamer.

Ofcourse, I don't really think that, just as I don't really think Alien Hominid should be there. It's not such a big deal, really. I'm not frothing over my keyboard with steam coming out of my ears just because Retro Gamer are reviewing a few games I don't consider "retro". I just have an opinion on the matter. :)

But at least I hope the staff of Retro Gamer are smart enough not to fall for the fake retro-hype that some companies use when trying to cash in on their old brands with modern sequels.

"Oh, hello there Sega, we were just talking about you - you've got a new arcade racer coming this spring, you say?" ;)
We like games that have that same "pick up and play" immediacy. We like simple game mechanics with simple graphics and nice clear goals to achieve, chiefly Score.
You're mentioning one part of the retro scene, but that's just a small piece of it. Those pick up and play games - great stuff! I loved them then, and I love them now. But those aren't always the games that spring to mind first when I remember gaming in the nineties or eighties.

So unless it's "my old favourites are more retro than yours", I don't quite see why a small selection of modern games should be reviewed in Retro Gamer just because they're simple. It's not difficult to find reviews of them elsewhere.

To be fair, I should clarify that this is a response to what you wrote in your post - I do know that the Battles of PoP game is a strategy game, and that RG doesn't neccessarily see things your way (regarding what makes a game "retro"). In fact, I like the general direction the new Retro Gamer has taken with regards to the balance of simple and not so simple retro games.

So there. No flaming allowed, btw! :)
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Post by forestville » Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:04 am

hi there, retrogamer is back and cooler than ever. in the mid to late 1980s i had a spectrum +2 128k, looking though retrogamer and seeing old speccy games and other old 8bit stuff is cool. even to this day the speccy is a cool computer.

8) 8)
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LeeT
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Post by LeeT » Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:31 pm

This is where I get sore fingers from typing such a lengthy post... :)

Radar - Good comprehensive report on the 'Ball. I wasn't really keen on the convention reports in the old RG but Darran made this worth reading.

America Free - I still need convincing about this. It seemed to go on about the DS an awful lot (and I am not against 'modern' gaming) and I would prefer to read a bit more about retro.

Archer - Not that interested in robots to be honest, but I'll take it as a temporary blip!

Global Gaming - Very interesting! Always informative and worthwhile.

Back To The Eighties - Another consistent mainstay that is worth more pages.

Forum - I do think that the 'From The Forum' should be redesigned to fit in more comments.

RetroRevival - Some more nice games included in this issue.

Developer Lookback - A good solid article. To be honest I had read a lot of the actual history before (from the same articles that the quotes were from), but I found the softography and highlighted games to be the best parts.

Cheap As Chips - I'm sure I have that game upstairs. Memo to myself - I must use my Saturn!

Classic Game (Flashback) - Nice to read the article from the game testers point of view. Another game to add to the 'must play' list!

Complete Lowdown - I was never really a fan of the Tomb Raider series of games, but I can see that this might draw some 'casual flick through the mag in Smiths' people in.

RetroInspection - I bought a NGPC shortly after its launch and was very impressed with it. Nice to see all those screenshots and I agree about Puzzle Bobble mini being compelling!

Classic Game (Speedball 2) - Funnily enough I have never played this. I am not really a fan of sports games, so I'll probably leave it. It would be nice to read an interview with The Bitmap Brothers somewhere down the line.

In The Chair With - SIR has produced some great loading screens and this was probably my favourite article in this issue.

Company Profile - Informative and I can say that I have never read this elsewhere.

Classic Game (Knightlore) - Bit of an obvious choice really, but it does tie-in with the Rare/Ultimate feature.

Desert Island Disks - Very funny and interesting, plus Ste has better choices than his brother. Give these two a column!

Rated - I know this has already been mentioned in this thread, but I do think the DS and GBA games should be left out of RG. Compilations are fine but if I want to read about new releases, I can go elsewhere.

Scene - Some great looking games in this section.

Emulation Nation - Excellent! After reading this, I want to get a flashcart for my (borrowed) GBA. How about a feature on XBox emulation?

Bargain Hunt - Seems to be mostly the same as the last issue. Maybe think about putting it in every three issues or so?

Overall - Another great issue. Some of the subjects covered are a bit obvious but I understand that you have to pull in the 'floating voters' as well as keeping the retroheads happy. The standard of writing is excellent (especially with the deadlines for this issue) and the spelling errors seem to have decreased from the last issue. RG seems to be going from strength to strength.

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Ash
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Re:

Post by Ash » Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:12 pm

LeeT wrote:
Classic Game (Speedball 2) - Funnily enough I have never played this. I am not really a fan of sports games, so I'll probably leave it.
Read it! You might want to play it afterwards. I hate sports games but love Speedball and I hope that came across in the feature.

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Re:

Post by andy vaisey » Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:07 pm

LeeT wrote:Back To The Eighties - Another consistent mainstay that is worth more pages.
Quite! I like the the "news" boxout in this article that puts the "era" more in context as well.

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Crunchy
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Re:

Post by Crunchy » Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:29 pm

Retroscrooge wrote:A load of patronising crap
I wrote an equally patronising reply unfortunately so I've deleted it.
I just can't be bothered.

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Sparrowhawk
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Thanks!

Post by Sparrowhawk » Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:59 am

Thanks for issues 19 and 20, I have thoroughly enjoyed them. In particular, I loved the Knight Lore article. That took me straight back to my school years, and the hours upon hours spent trying to finish off KL. I never did manage it!

One small thing, which has probably been mentioned elsewhere - in the computers & consoles section at the back, you appear to have the original Spectrum and the Spectrum+ images the wrong way around. Also, you don't show the QL, which although not the most popular of machines, nonetheless had some great games on it: Psion Chess (3D), Mag Scroll's The Pawn, Fleet Tactical Command, etc. As a published QL software author myself, I demand that this wonderful machine be included! :-)

So anyway - a big thank you once again for a job well done.

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romanista
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Post by romanista » Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:35 am

i for one like the connections with present games, but used in a proper.. perfect would be

- description of outrun in diverse compilations
- history of outrun
- culminating in a little review of out run 2..

- history of point & clicks,
- opinion piece about the genre is dead
- little review of phoenix wright ace attorney, to make us hopeful...

i you put these kind of things in perspective, they have their value, but the alien hominid, might have a bit superflous, although lots of readers might not have known the game, and be happy that 'their' kind of game is still being made..
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