Tuesday, June 12, 2012
#0057: N64 Gamer/Nintendo Gamer
For many years, I have always enjoyed a good magazine. You can’t beat today’s Internet for immediate, live content; always updating and expanding. But there’s still that great, real feeling about holding a magazine in your hands. Particularly back in the days before said Internet, where magazines were our major source of information on particular subjects.
Back in the mid-90s, my mag of choice was Nickelodeon Magazine. Then, it shifted to focus on various video game magazines. Next, it was all about pro wrestling magazines. Then, American football-based magazines. And now, it’s Sports Illustrated, almost exclusively. You can see the very progression I made towards manhood over the years. I’m pretty sure the exact day could be pinpointed to a particularly racy Stacy Keibler cover.
Obviously, jumping continents required my preferred reading material to shift (which is why it’s such a bitch that you can scarcely find Sports Illustrated anywhere here), so it wasn’t until about 1998 that I found the magazine that I would collect most prolifically. That particular magazine was Australian-made N64 Gamer, and later, Nintendo Gamer.
I’m not sure how much I can elaborate on the observational literature of others, but golly, I had a grand old run with these things. In this particular stack here, I have thirty-one editions. That’s a little bit under three years’ worth of publications, spanning almost the entire lifespan of the magazine (March ’98 to June ’01).
I was majorly bummed when I discovered that Nintendo Gamer was going out of print; it had been my #1 source of information for upcoming games, and I would over-analyse each and every picture to try and figure out what to expect. Who was this strange baboon-looking fellow in the upcoming Donkey Kong 64 game? What was going to happen in this next Pokémon title: a fully-fledged console RPG experience? Why was Mario playing tennis, and why was I so damned excited?!
One of the things I love most, looking back on these things, is that most of the screenshots from the old Nintendo 64 games are supremely ugly. Nowadays, each image leaked to the public is so incredibly detailed, so high resolution and lovingly crafted, and people will still go absolutely apeshit over things they don’t like. It's as if they feel personally offended when graphics fail to live up to their expectations.
But here, it’s all just out there in its dreadful, 64-bit glory. It’s like a really hideous nudist; it’s out there, and it’s proud of how it looks, but good lord, do yourself a favour and look away!
Retrospectively, I also enjoy observing how poorly edited early editions were; making frequent spelling errors, and oftentimes reporting completely fabricated data as fact. You might think I'm exaggerating, but they constantly took random images from unreleased games, made some sort of sweeping statement about what was happening, and printed it in the captions. Nobody ever really noticed or cared, because by the time that game had been released, it was several issues later. But it's amusing to spot now. I don't make false statements myself, but I figure that with my position as king of Tunisia, I would probably get in more trouble if I did.
There isn’t really much more that I feel I can say about these magazines, so I leave you now with some particularly pleasing scans…
Some of the captions were top-notch.
Remember when Luigi's Mansion looked revolutionary?
Don't blame me. I voted for Bulbasaur.
Do you remember where you were when you discovered the Wario Stadium shortcut?
What is quite simply the most spectacular piece of fan-art ever: Mario smashing a PlayStation with what appears to be a gigantic turd. Momma must be so proud.