[All credit for this idea goes to the powerful Ant of Gaming Hell, and I’d also like to thank him for proving that there are at least two of us on the planet who want to see legendary nineties gaming magazine Super Play in a more Sega-y form]
To say that traditional gaming magazines are having a bit of trouble surviving right now would be something of an understatement – even popular websites providing to-the-second coverage of live streaming events can’t relax for a minute for fear of falling behind and losing those precious revenue-generating clicks so what hope is there for something provided monthly on mushed-up sheets of dead tree?
It wasn’t always this hard though, and for a time in the far too distant past you could stroll into any newsagent in the land and find them stocked with not one, not two, not three, but a whole section of magazines covering everything from the 3DO to other consoles people could actually play without feeling intense buyer’s remorse afterwards. At a time when the internet was at best charged per-minute and came down a telephone line to a creaky beige tower PC these hallowed tomes were quite literally every scrap of gaming news and opinion we had to look forward to, and opening a fresh issue was like being hit by a tidal wave of exciting information and wonderful screenshots from games that might never even see the light of day in the UK at all, never mind end up sitting in your own Mega Drive or SNES.
The single page faux-preview of Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes Mega Drive port below is from an issue of “Mega Play” – a imagined nineties Sega-only magazine skewed towards coverage of Japanese games – and my own attempt at capturing the spirit of that era; that feeling of seeing a completely unknown game for the first time and trying to glean as much as possible from a few screenshots and some tantalising morsels of information. Want to know more? All you could do was wait impatiently for the next issue to turn up on local shelves and hope it offered a double-page review for you to pore over as you silently wondered if £70 would be too much to spend on a pretty import game you couldn’t read or play. As such the text isn’t anywhere near as informative as it would be if I was writing a proper blog post about the game, but I do hope my little slice of pretend nostalgia scratches a particular retro itch of a different sort.
[You’ll need to right click->open image in new tab to read the text, sorry about that]