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Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:43 pm
by RetroEd
Picked the issue up in Smiths today. It is just fantastic to see a SNES gracing the front cover. Excellent stuff.

I shall be subscribing shortly, 6 issues for £15 is not to be sniffed at.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:45 am
by revgiblet
I'm only up the M.U.L.E. article and I already think that this is one of the best issues of RG ever.

It's great to see articles on games like Bloodwych, as I tend to think that I'm the only one who ever liked it.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:43 am
by Frank Chickens
Only read part of the magazine so far and really enjoyed the Ocean article, congrats on that. 8)

The "Making of" games feature is on Bloodwych I ignored as it's not to my taste, but that's the nature of the article. "Batty" must be one of Elite's greatest mistakes, fancy giving a game away of that quality for nothing! :oops:

Looking forward to reading this month's global gaming feature on South Africa, carry on the good work JS!

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:03 pm
by retro mania
All round the best issue yet well done guys.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:20 am
by bolda
Another cracking isue guys! Welll done! Was pleased to see an article on God Games - a favourite genre of mine. If anything, I would like to have seen this go into more depth though. The 16-bit era defined god games in my opinion but there were a lot of classics that didn't get a mention:

- MegaLoMania
- Utopia
- Powermonger
- Millenium 2.2
- Deuteros
- Realms
- Railroad Tycoon

Obviously, article length is an issue but maybe an article covering a whole genre could span a couple of issues?

I guess another question is what defines a "God game"? Back in the day, I would have classed all of the above as God games, yet by today's terminology, Graftgold's "Realms" is more like a RTS game, and "Deuteros", "Millenium 2.2", "Utopia" and "MegaLoMania" are resource management strategy games!

Still, nice to see God games getting a mention! :D

Re:

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:20 am
by revgiblet
bolda wrote:Another cracking isue guys! Welll done! Was pleased to see an article on God Games - a favourite genre of mine. If anything, I would like to have seen this go into more depth though. The 16-bit era defined god games in my opinion but there were a lot of classics that didn't get a mention:

- MegaLoMania
- Utopia
- Powermonger
- Millenium 2.2
- Deuteros
- Realms
- Railroad Tycoon
I agree. I thought it was too big a topic for a couple of pages. It seemed odd to me that Settlers got a mention and so many others didn't.

It was still a good article and it was still a great issue - I just think that it was too ambitious an article for a few pages.

Re: Issue 23 article

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:48 am
by Stellaking
chinnyhill10 wrote:
Stellaking wrote: Speaking of Zenobi... How about a in depth feature in a future issue of the mag ? I believe its warrented, they issued quite a lot of those old skool txt based adventures for the Spectum and others platforms
I think I'm correct in saying that Zenobi was run by the chap who also wrote the adventure column in Amstrad Action under the name of "The Balrog".
Not sure about Amstrad Action... Was more more of a Spectrum mag reader but yeah the Balrog is the guy behind Zenobi.

Lets have a feature in a future issue.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:52 am
by Darran@Retro Gamer
Since when did 6 pages equate to a few...

Anyway, you'll be pleased to hear that a moon on a stick is being given away with issue 24. It's obviously what everyone wants :lol:

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:10 am
by RandySparks
All round a very solid issue, although I agree with the earlier comments that the God Games feature lacked depth.

The old RG used to split some larger features over two issues, which was an good idea IMO. It prevents the mag from getting weighed down with a lengthy article, breaking up the nice snappy flow that the new RG has, and may convince some casual readers to get the next issue to read the second part (similarly, other readers may fork out for a back issue to read the first part).

The Level 9 article was a good example of how to do this. Part 1 concentrated on their origins and their 8-bit games, and part 2 looked at their 16-bit games and their eventual collapse.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:15 am
by hobgoblin
Just got my first subscription issue, and typically for me the price went down this issue :evil: harumph.
Anyway, I finally decided to say my bit about retro gamer. I've been reading for a long time and still love the mag, but I feel like its getting too formulaic. Don't get me wrong, much of it is still a really good read, but many of the regular stuff is too similar. Oviously I know they need to be similar, or they wouldn't be regulars, but some are just too much alike every month. Like Global Gaming- its just the same article every month with different place names. I have to force myself to read it and afterwards I couldn't tell you which country I'd just read about. Its been good in the past, but it feels like its been kept limping along for the sake of filling a coouple of pages every month. Its been done, now its time to move on.
God Games was very good as it was a bit of something different, even though I've only ever played populous, I found I was able to enjoy reading about the other God sims. Gauntlet was another great read because it didn't cover the sam thing that we read about everytime someone mentions the game and gave me a real desire to play it again, but again, be careful not to have this same article rewritten every month, or it'll get stale too.
Sorry to make my first post a bit of a whine, but I love the mag so much I find myself genuinely worried when I see a flaw (in my opinion) and know its a lot to ask by saying "keep it really interesting all the time", but this is a feedback forum, afterall.
Thanks for a great mag and giving me something to look forward to every month. Just ditch the repeats and I'll be even happier! :)

Re: Issue 23 article

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:17 am
by chinnyhill10
Stellaking wrote:
chinnyhill10 wrote:
Stellaking wrote: Not sure about Amstrad Action... Was more more of a Spectrum mag reader but yeah the Balrog is the guy behind Zenobi.

Lets have a feature in a future issue.
IIRC he may have also written an adventure column for YS as well. Not so sure about that though.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:21 am
by merman
I'll hold my hands up and say that yes, I missed out MegaLoMania (partly because it's so long since I played it... which is a situation I must rectify, being a Sensible Software fan).

What happened is this - it started as a feature for (old) RG on evolution in games, and then when I heard about Wil Wright's "Spore" it seemed only natural to include Sim Earth... We also tried to get Wil's input, but he was too busy.

So, having chosen Sim Earth and Sim Life to cover, what was the next step? To look at other games where you control/oversee a whole world. That lead to Civilisation, which lead to Populous and The Settlers - all of which I've played, whereas some of the others mentioned as missing (Utopia for example) I haven't played. So it became a feature about playing God. Anyway, I'm glad people enjoyed it.

Re:

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:30 am
by RandySparks
merman wrote:I'll hold my hands up and say that yes, I missed out MegaLoMania (partly because it's so long since I played it... which is a situation I must rectify, being a Sensible Software fan).

What happened is this - it started as a feature for (old) RG on evolution in games, and then when I heard about Wil Wright's "Spore" it seemed only natural to include Sim Earth... We also tried to get Wil's input, but he was too busy.

So, having chosen Sim Earth and Sim Life to cover, what was the next step? To look at other games where you control/oversee a whole world. That lead to Civilisation, which lead to Populous and The Settlers - all of which I've played, whereas some of the others mentioned as missing (Utopia for example) I haven't played. So it became a feature about playing God. Anyway, I'm glad people enjoyed it.
Did I read that correctly? You only included the games that you have played yourself? :?

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:07 am
by craigritchie
Got my issue over the weekend, and, being South African, read that feature first. Although John Szczepaniak did well to capture the feel of old-school gaming in the country, there were some glaring omissions as well as blatant innaccuracies.

A few things I feel I should mention:

South Africa did have an official Nintendo presence around 1990. They tried to introduce the NES (the one with the large, front loading cartridges - I think it was the same as the UK version) and the Gameboy. The NES was a failed endeavour, though, as the Famiclones (with the Golden China being the most well-known clone) had the market swamped. The government at the time knew nothing about gaming and piracy, and blatanly pirated goods were advertised on TV and in the newspapers for years. Retailers such as Reggies and Dions, especially, had numerous displays of literally hundreds of different titles, from the single games to the multi cart varieties. 4 in ones through to 1000 in ones, although the latter would feature numerous duplicates which would start the player on later levels, or feature hacked difficulty settings.

The Gameboy was a little more successful, possibly as there was no cloned hardware available, plus it was not overly expensive for the real thing. Granted, you had to be in a fairly comfortable-to-good income bracket to afford it, but it was there if you could. Official games were overpriced, so pirate copies and multi-carts were abundant. One downside was that these pirate carts often lacked the battery-backup, and so some of the greatest games available for the system were missed out on. I (or should I say, my parents, after incessant nagging and 'suggestions' as to what my birthday present should be) shelled out a fair amount of cash on an official copy of Metroid II - an exceptionally rewarding experience and one of my handheld gaming highlights.

Nintendo tried hard, even setting up a games hints hotline - something I had seen featured in the imported gaming magazines. I called up once, being stuck in Castlevania for Gameboy, and spoke to a very bored and uninterested sounding woman who was clearly just reading tips from a computer/book. "How do I get past xxxxx?", I asked her. "Sorry, can't help you there, but it says here that when you start the game, don't hit the first candle, you'll get a free life later." Thanks...

Nintendo did not "turn its back on Africa", as John suggests. They tried to have a presence in the country, but failed. Having official NES systems a few feet away from the Famiclones did no good, I expect - why pay about R200 for a single NES game when you could get 100 different titles on one Golden China cartridge, for the same price? A government totally ignorant of the gaming world, plus a police force more focussed on the most recent township necklacing than which gaming corporation might be losing out on profits, meant that Nintendo had no means of stamping out the clones and pirates which ate up so much of their market share.

Also, around the same time, the Mega Drive was exceptionally prominent, being the 'step up' from the Famiclones. They were available in many large department stores, as well as toy stores and specialist video game shops, which, while rare, did crop up here and there. The Mega Drives that we had were all PAL systems, and usually came bundled with Sonic the Hedgehog. The other games commonly available for the system were usually Sega's in-house titles - perhaps something to do with the importing prevented the official sale of third-party software? Because of the limited selection, and the higher price, it was much better to buy a R99 pirate copy. These came in boxes, but with no instruction manuals, and as John mentions in the article, these pirate reproductions were of exceptionally high quality.

(due to space restraints, this post continues on page 5 of this thread)

Re:

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:08 am
by merman
RandySparks wrote:
merman wrote:I'll hold my hands up and say that yes, I missed out MegaLoMania (partly because it's so long since I played it... which is a situation I must rectify, being a Sensible Software fan).

What happened is this - it started as a feature for (old) RG on evolution in games, and then when I heard about Wil Wright's "Spore" it seemed only natural to include Sim Earth... We also tried to get Wil's input, but he was too busy.

So, having chosen Sim Earth and Sim Life to cover, what was the next step? To look at other games where you control/oversee a whole world. That lead to Civilisation, which lead to Populous and The Settlers - all of which I've played, whereas some of the others mentioned as missing (Utopia for example) I haven't played. So it became a feature about playing God. Anyway, I'm glad people enjoyed it.
Did I read that correctly? You only included the games that you have played yourself? :?
Do you see that as a problem with the article then?

Speaking personally, the overwhelming majority of the games/hardware I've mentioned in my RG pieces have been ones I've played/used, however briefly. Writing about what I know is surely going to result in a better article?