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∞ Vince ∞

Retro Gamer Magazine (UK)

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Yeah so...

This month's Retro Gamer.

 

98 pages. 64 pages if you exclude ads and filler. Hmmm.

 

As a subscriber I don't like these no text covers. I am assuming they think they are doing something creative and arty, but it just comes across as pretentious.

 

So in a couple of years when I want to take out my old RGs and have a good read, like I do with my The Ones, C&VGs and Zapp64s I have to just guess what is in the fucking magazine.

 

Marvellous!

 

I think they want us all to go out and buy a second copy.

 

I'd prefer a copy like the punter in the street has. They are better designed. Now I come to think, they probably do this as it buys time just to bang a one image down over the logo.

 

This month's cover star is a disassembled SNES in all its blueprint 'glory'. Which seems very familiar as they have done that before. Maybe a Megadrive?

 

Bloody pretentiousness.

 

No TMR (Jason Kelk).

 

My favourite section (by far). Home Brew / Public Domain.

 

Well put together and every page packed. Even manages to feature profiles of the developers, jam competitions and all sorts.

 

Sadly TMR has been very sick. Get well Jason!

 

Thankfully rather than just bung in some old bollocks about the Amstrad winning the 8bit war as they did the first month, they have not put anything there.


I miss TMR. I miss him answering my bloody dumb coding questions and I miss his brilliant contribution to this ailing mag.

 

For some reason some time ago Jason got demoted from the  'Loading...' page wall of sketch images.

 

Maybe he told Darran what a cushy number he is on. No wonder he looks so smug.

 

Too many two page filler screenshots with Darran Jones' boat staring out at me.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't not like him. He might be a nice man. A very nice man. A very very nice man.

 

I've never met him, but I tell you this! after 170+ mags and 15+ years of seeing him gazing glassily out at me from the pages of his magazine, I could probably recognise him in any crowd.

 

One issue had so many pictures of him, his family (I assume) and assorted mates and colleagues I thought I had not bought a copy of Retro Gamer magazine at all, but one of his family's photo albums by mistake. 

 

Bloody Ian Lee. I hate him. I don't know why. It is irrational. I have never met or spoken to him.

Got an air of the 'bluffer' / 'chancer' about him. Annoying tv rent-a-nodding-dog.

 

Nick Thorpe seems to still be doing the business. I've not read his SNES piece yet, but I have always enjoyed his stuff in the past.

 

No contribution from Graeme Mason this month, so there is that at least. The man who thought Mayhem in Monsterland was a home-brew.

 

Lure of the Temptress is one I will get stuck into but outside of that and the aforementioned SNES section... ?

 

Also going to read the section on Joe Blade 4. JB was one of my favourites. I know it is very simple but I enjoy it none-the-less.

 

 

David Jones's Knight Tyme gets a feature. I spoke to him once about his work, seems like a very nice bloke so I'll be devouring that section.


Magazine just seems to be drifting...

 

This month there is some stuff for me (4 bits). Last couple of months very little. I don't read them cover to cover like I used to.

 

None of the sections have not been featured in other magazines. I suppose there is nothing more retro than recycling features from old magazines and I don't have a problem with that, but occasionally it feels like they're just 'phoning it in.'

 

I've been a subscriber for many years, on and off, and I got every issue of the original magazine, before it was rebooted, with better layout and better quality paper, granted, so I've earnt my right to say my bit, but maybe I will stop now. Subscribing that is.

 

I don't know.

 

They had that clown Kizza/The Laird/* Insert all known socks here * working on the mag for years. He was getting paid by them. He knows nothing. How can I trust a magazine that published anything that arsehole put together ?

 

Is this a rant ? Am I wrong ? What do others think of Retro Gamer these days?

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Are any USA subscribers actually getting their issues?  I haven't received one in months, and the same is true of Classic Rock Magazine from the same publisher.  And on top of that customer service is non-existant and they don't reply to my emails.  What is going on?

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I used to love reading it. Over time, it started to seem I had already read it all and there were fewer things in the mag that interested me. I'm from USA mind you, and I can only take so much Speccy content since I never even saw that hardware in person. I always picked up the issues that interested me at Barnes & Noble, which I have not visited for about half a year. I have stacks of the magazine and I will likely reread many of those someday soon.  Can't comment on the most recent issues. 

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Check out Old School Gamer magazine.  It's not quite as polished as RG, but the content is good,  especially if you're from the U.S.

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IIRC, Kizza was kicked from the magazine staff not too long ago for throwing a temper tantrum so there's that. I do like certain sections of the magazine, namely the unconverted and the making of sections...

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On 9/16/2020 at 10:59 PM, Sargon said:

Are any USA subscribers actually getting their issues?  I haven't received one in months, and the same is true of Classic Rock Magazine from the same publisher.  And on top of that customer service is non-existant and they don't reply to my emails.  What is going on?

I am in the US. and have been a subscriber since issue 1.
I haven't received any issues since issue 205.  I got an email in July telling me i would

get all the back issues by the end of august but still nothing.

 

I have sent several emails and have gotten nothing back.  Very disappointing.

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Jeez...I wondered if my subscription ran out. Hadn't even considered there might be an issue.

 

I love the mag, mostly because I am UK gaming ignorant, especially PC gaming. Every issue is new stuff to me!

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1 minute ago, GoldenWheels said:

Jeez...I wondered if my subscription ran out. Hadn't even considered there might be an issue.

 

I love the mag, mostly because I am UK gaming ignorant, especially PC gaming. Every issue is new stuff to me!

That's why I love it too, I always learn about something new with each issue.  I don't think a US-based retro gaming magazine would be nearly as interesting, it would just be a NES love-fest.

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On 9/30/2020 at 2:38 PM, TMAN34 said:

I am in the US. and have been a subscriber since issue 1.
I haven't received any issues since issue 205.  I got an email in July telling me i would

get all the back issues by the end of august but still nothing.

 

I have sent several emails and have gotten nothing back.  Very disappointing.

Same here (well, not the 'since issue #1' part, wow!)  But none since March.

 

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I'm also in the US. Hadn't received anything since issue 205, and also got the email in July saying to expect the delayed issues in August, but nothing came. Finally a couple of weeks ago I tried emailing (also no reply).

 

Well, today issues 208 and 209 showed up. Pretty well mangled. 208 has a broken spine and a gouge in the back cover that continues through the last page. 209 is wrinkled up like an accordion. They were still in a plastic bag, but obviously that didn't nearly enough to protect them. No sign of issues 206 and 207 yet.

 

I paid quite a lot up front for this subscription, and this isn't good at all. I love this magazine, but I've got to seriously think about canceling if they can't get come up with a better way of shipping them, on time.

Edited by Zoyous
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I'm really disappointed to hear this. A UK magazine that when it is good is bloody good, and I was hoping that for all you who paid through the nose to get it in The States would be treated better than this, though the damage has to be put down mainly to the US? Post service.

On the Subs front. I got an email telling me they were taking over (Future) distribution of the mags, so. They might pull it together and sort you all out. Fingers crossed.

As much as I may be annoyed by it, I still love it. When it is good it is brilliant. I'll stick with it, because before RG there were no mags like this, so I think maybe they have earned a bit of slack (from me at least).

 

On 9/17/2020 at 5:48 AM, Cafeman said:

I used to love reading it. Over time, it started to seem I had already read it all and there were fewer things in the mag that interested me.

100%.

On 9/17/2020 at 5:48 AM, Cafeman said:

I'm from USA mind you, and I can only take so much Speccy content since I never even saw that hardware in person.

I used to have a Speccy before my c64 and can only stand so much Speccy myself, too. I am a Commodore fan mainly. There are some great Speccy games but they do seem a bit fixated sometimes.

On 9/17/2020 at 5:48 AM, Cafeman said:

I always picked up the issues that interested me at Barnes & Noble, which I have not visited for about half a year. I have stacks of the magazine and I will likely reread many of those someday soon.  Can't comment on the most recent issues. 

One of my problems is, as a subscriber, they give you the 'no text' cover version which makes this kind of thing difficult because aside from the one hint you have no idea to the rest of the contents in that issue! 

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Actually, I don't know why they don't just get it printed in the states and have it distributed internally. The nature of digital files now would make this kind of thing a breeze and a number of major print houses deal with dispatch too ?

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2 hours ago, ∞ Vince ∞ said:

Actually, I don't know why they don't just get it printed in the states and have it distributed internally. The nature of digital files now would make this kind of thing a breeze and a number of major print houses deal with dispatch too ?

If they did that I'd subscribe to it.  I like reading the stuff, even the euro-centric stuff we never got here as it's new history in a way.  But the high price of the magazine shipping it, and equally bad at retail doesn't help.  Retail even before the virus which only got worse due to it had not been keeping up and at times even not getting some issues so I've just entirely written them off unless I get stuck in a Barnes & Noble and want something to flip through if there is one at this rate(mag, not store) anymore on the rack.  I own one, took me MONTHS to find it no less, but the Neo Geo anniversary issue with the added mini-mag and stuff as it's excellent, also doubled in with a very well done GBC anniv/b'day part in the mag too.

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I find the coverage of the systems we didn't get in the states to be fascinating... the only ones I was somewhat aware of previous to reading the magazine are the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC. Other ones like the BBC Micro and Acorn Archimedes, etc. are pretty new to me! I like to look up playthroughs of some of the games on Youtube as I'm reading about them. I'm really impressed with what developers were able to do on those systems! Also, the fact that the UK games industry began like a punk rock scene with games sold on cassettes in plastic bags is really cool. It's right in line with other underground art forms that I like - DIY music, comix and zines made on xerox machines, stuff like that.

 

I subscribed last year and got the per-issue price down to a more reasonable price by combining a coupon with a two-year subscription (IIRC). Up til now it's been a great experience. I've been able to find a few stacks of back issues here and there so I've been tiding myself over by reading old issues!

 

Regarding the delay, I don't think it's solely down to whatever is going on with the USPS (although I'm sure that piece of it doesn't help). It sounds like it was the international leg of the delivery that was initially the problem, at least. This is what they said in the email in April: "With the unprecedented level of strain on delivery services worldwide, we have been unable to secure a viable airfreight slot, meaning there will be a significant delay in receiving your next issue." In the same email they also said: "In order to facilitate social distancing measures, our contact center has temporarily closed. This means that our phone lines and email will be out of action for a short time, while these measures remain in place." So that explains why no one is responding to emails.

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I haven’t received any subscription copies since issue 205 as well. I was sent two replacement issues when I contacted them, and they showed up fine after a couple months. I tried contacting them again last week via their new website, but haven’t heard back yet.

I recently finished my run of Retro Gamer a few weeks ago, so hopefully all my missing issues will show up okay. I did order a few new issue binders which came in just fine, so there’s hope yet.

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7 hours ago, Zoyous said:

Also, the fact that the UK games industry began like a punk rock scene with games sold on cassettes in plastic bags is really cool.

not sure about the 'plastic bags' bit, usually they were in plastic cassette tape cases. but I got the rest and agree- very underground, DIY. to begin with thousands of people making games from home and selling them in mags in little ads. *

then bang became a massive industry... Until the mid 90s when Infogrames Atari  Pacmann'd the fucking lot.

 

We're getting back though...

 

* some joker on AA tried to say the A][ had more games than the C64 but he didn't take into account any of this of course.

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205 was that the one where they were facing the Megadrive off against the Super Nes. Good issue.

 

I tried joining the RG Forum so I could flag this issue and maybe get some kind of answer for you guys but they haven't sent me a confirmation email yet.

 

This is the current issue... Mine hasn't turned up yet, and I am in the UK.

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Ok I have to ask what's the solution here if you're in the states and want this?  Barnes & Noble is the domestic shelf carrier and they don't give a crap about even having it by the month, let alone consistently there either which is a joke.  Yeah there's digital, not a fan of that since there's a print option.

 

Funny I post in this the other day, then today I find one, the 2019 5th edition of the Retro Gamer Book of Arcade Classics and it looks awesome so I grabbed it.

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Oddly enough I just got two issues in the mail this weekend. Alex Kidd, and, hmm, I forget the other. Maybe they are "catching up"?

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i'm subscriber of this magazine since 2004!  I think it was number 6 . I had discover this magazine during one of my trip in the U.S!  I did know it at all!  

 

I felt in love...  at this time there was a Cover DVD!!! ..  it was before IP Publishing get the hand on it.

 

After IP Publishing got it , i have been a little bit disappointed, i liked less the design of the magazine..  too modern layout for me , but the content was still very good but no more DVD.

 

My favorites section was the homebrew section.   Almost all my games have been featured in it , and i have been "homebrew hero" 2  Times! (Thanks Jason!)

 

Until know i was still subscriber mainly only for the Homebrew section.  Because we have a french edition of the magazine. In french, that regroup articles from the Uk mags every 3 month.  But there is no homebrew section in it.

So i read both!... i love read the same article in my native language too!!

 

I have noticed the content changed to be less retro for me.  In fact , it is just because retro time shifted.     In 2004 , retro was the 80 and 90's .    In 2020   retro is also 2000-2010... that is for me not interesting at all.

 

You have just to look the section "The latest news from XXXXX"...   Now we have "the latest news from 2003!!!"  ..  The date this retro magazine is born!   

 

Recently i have noted that the Homebrew section disappeared. :( .. I have contacted Darran , who said me that unfortunately Jason was very sick :(    (i hope you will recover fast Jason... i wish you the best... come back to us in good health!).

 

So this year , i won't renew my subscription.  i will keep reading the french version for now...   But if there is only thing from after 2000... i will stop also.

 

 

 

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On 10/4/2020 at 12:01 PM, ∞ Vince ∞ said:

* some joker on AA tried to say the A][ had more games than the C64 but he didn't take into account any of this of course.

 

For the record, there ARE more games on the Apple than on the Commodore 64, it's just that the vast majority of the software is educational.

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5 hours ago, www.atarimania.com said:

 

For the record, there ARE more games on the Apple than on the Commodore 64, it's just that the vast majority of the software is educational.

Wrong. You're way off the mark, but nevermind. You can't go clumping every configuration of Apple ][ into the same group.

 

+Educational games don't even count.

 

You won't convince me any different. Feel free to keep replying and I will do the same but that's likely to derail the thread and I'd prefer we stick to the topic, how Retro Gamer has nosedived. Thanks

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No, I'm not "clumping every configuration into the same group", just the standard systems.

 

Considering GB64 includes educational programs, why disregard them on the Apple? Whatever... Anyway, what part of "the vast majority of the software is educational" don't you understand? Seems pretty clear I meant there were more non-educational titles on the Commodore 64 so you should be happy...

 

For those who DO want to include educational games, there are 20,000-25,000 titles on the Apple in this category at least. I honestly don't care whether I can convince you but you'll find the programs listed in Software for Schools 1987-88, editions of The Software Encyclopedia (R. R. Bowker) or The Software Catalog - Microcomputers (Elsevier).

 

Otherwise, yeah, I have to agree Retro Gamer has gone downhill...

 

 

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