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Not a single topic on GamePro dying? Really?

TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in Games and Technology
In case anybody missed the news, GamePro is dead. The november issue is the last one ever. Despite what you think of the quality of the magazine, it can't be denied that this is definitely the end of an era. GamePro has been such a staple here in the US for decades, it's kinda a shock that it's gone. As a testament to its popularity and influence, the term "protip" has entered the common lexicon even amongst those who don't play video games. Protip: the "pro" in "protip" stems from gamePRO.

It seems that, today, GamePro is mostly known for "terrible" reviews which no one cares about. I put terrible in quotes because, myself, I haven't really read a gamepro in years so I don't know if they're actually terrible or not, that's just what I've heard. But during GamePro's golden years, it was so much more than simply a consumer guide magazine. When I was younger, I didn't read gamepro for reviews - they were useless and full of fluff. The reason I read gamepro was three fold - first: Strategy guides for games which never, ever saw official, full strategy guides released. Back in those days, only the biggest of games got full guides, but luckily gamepro would pump out incredible guides, usually filled with great maps. Their guides really were unrivaled by their peers; EGM and gamefan rarely did guides, and gameplayers didn't really do them either.

Second, SWATpro. Beyond Gamepro's excellent guides, SWATpro (That's SECRET WEAPONS AND TACTICS, yo) was a fucking gift from god. Filled with codes, cheats, and game genie sections, the section proved to be so great that it spawned an entire spin-off magazine (called SWATpro, of course) and a professional imitation: Tricks and Tips (which, admittedly, bested SWATpro and gamepro in just about every way).

Finally, the third reason to read gamepro was for sneaks at upcoming games. Most people say that gamepro was during the time before the internet... not true. I had internet since '88. However, the internet was massively different back then, and while you could get some good info and discussion on games on a BBS, you didn't get the pictures of hype you got from gamepro. I loved winter time because it meant gamepro would do a couple of issues dedicated to CES coverage, and the back 1/4 of their magazine was usually deadicated to quick PR blurbs about upcoming games. It was easily the best way to keep up with what was going to be big soon.

The peak of Gamepro was winter of 1994. That is when the magazine was at it's absolute best, highlighted by 3 particular issues - November 94, December 94, and January 95. For whatever reason, the magazine's size tripled for those three months, as all three issues ditched their usual stapled-style and instead game in thick bound style. Each of those issues averaged at about 300 pages each, when the usual gamepro issue tended to be 100 pages. Also, given the games released during that time, those 3 issues were completely PACKED with content.

I haven't bought an issue of gamepro in... well, over a decade at this point. I stopped buying them basically once they ditched swatpro and the strategy guide section, and once the internet started providing better coverage of upcoming games. At that point, the magazine relied solely on it's weakest element - it's reviews, and it lost my interest. But I'm still definitely sad to see Gamepro go. I had subscriptions to EGM, and EGM2, and Diehard gamefan, and gameplayers, and tips and tricks. But Gamepro was MY magazine, the very first video game magazine I ever picked up, back from the days when they covered NES, SMS, Turbo Grafx, and Sega Genesis. I have tons, and tons of back issues of gamepro still stored away in my closet - I had subscriptions to both Gamepro and, while it ran, Swatpro throughout the 90's. When I'd go to a magazine rack, I'd always, like clock work, pick up the latest GamePro and Mad Magazine.

Though the magazine lost its soul over 10 years ago, it will still always hold a special place to me.

So... does no one really care that one of the oldest gaming mags in the US is dead?

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  • reVersereVerse Never odd or even Registered User regular
    So... does no one really care that one of the oldest gaming mags in the US is dead?

    I don't see why anyone would, what with the Internet and all.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    reVerse wrote:
    So... does no one really care that one of the oldest gaming mags in the US is dead?

    I don't see why anyone would, what with the Internet and all.

    Cold and emotionless, not a hint of nostalgia?

  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    I feel bad for the people who lost their jobs

    But other than that

    I could not give less of a shit

    I was a Nintendo Power man

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Well magazines dying isn't news, it's like an inevitability.

    Though the thing is, GamePro I actually kinda do give a shit about (and thanks to this thread for bringing it to my attention). When EGM died, I knew the impact, but I was never a reader. GamePro is different. I hadn't read it since the 90's but when I was a kid it was where I got pretty much all my video game news, with a look here and there at other sources. I still have a couple of guides hanging around that were printed in issues of GamePro for games, like Breath of Fire 2 and Super Metroid.

    And SWATPro was the shit.

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  • piLpiL Registered User regular
    I used to read Gamepro. Now I wish I didn't throw my issues away. I remember having some 1994 and 1995 issues with ads for Final Fantasies and Gex and covers with Killer Instinct (those are later I think), sitting in the magazine sections of supermarkets.

  • MattieMattie Registered User regular
    That really is a bummer. I used to spend all of my allowance on comics and my Gamepro subscription. It was invaluable for info on what games I'd be wanting come Christmas/Birthday time. In fact I believe their website was the first forum I regularly posted on.

    We'll be seeing much more of this in the future as print media slowly fades away.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Olivaw wrote:
    I was a Nintendo Power man

    My deepest condolences

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo HAPPY WAALUWEEN Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    I never understood why they dropped the avatars. It's like "Hey, let's be like every other magazine."

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  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    Olivaw wrote:
    I was a Nintendo Power man

    My deepest condolences

    Hey that magazine used to mean something, man

    They gave me a CD filled with symphonic renditions of classic game themes! Back when those weren't a dime a dozen!

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I never understood why they dropped the avatars. It's like "Hey, let's be like every other magazine."

    From what I've heard, the shift in tone and style came from Scary Larry, who was pretty much the heart and soul of gamepro, leaving, and taking a bunch of the older guys with him. Once those guys left, the avatars went away, the strategy guides stopped, SWATpro vanished, etc.

    I still have every episode of GamePro TV on VHS somewhere, recorded from early in the morning. I also have both volumes of SWATpro on VHS as well.

    I have very fond memories of sitting down with GamePro at the beginning of the month, with my new selection of 50 games from Sega Channel, trying out whatever game GamePro was doing a guide on that month and making my way through it, magazine in hand. Crazy nostalgia.

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    I vaguely remember GamePro. Gaming magazines haven't really been relevant for, geez, the better part of ten years now? It's not like their writing quality was really any higher than what you find on review websites; it was the same nonsense, you just ended up paying for it. But back when GamePro was useful, there was no real alternative to get that info.

    There's just no logic whatsoever in having something like GamePro these days. The only reason I got magazines like that was for news about new games maybe help with current ones; nowadays I can get a ton more information and help for free. And I'd be nostalgic about it, except that I get nostalgic about the games rather than news about said games. I mean, the first I saw of Metal Gear Solid was in one of those gaming magazines, but what do you think I'd rather do: read the old magazine about it or go dig up the game itself?

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Also: LamePro. I loved that corny shit as a kid. I remember thinking that Bubonic the Blowfrog (and his two-tailed friend, Snails) seemed like a game which I would have actually played haha.

    180px-GamePro_Issue_045_-_April_1993_017.jpg

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    ProTip: No one reads gaming magazines anymore

    I read retro gamer magazine fucking religiously.

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo HAPPY WAALUWEEN Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    I still enjoy President Evil.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I still enjoy President Evil.

    I remember the LamePro where they made fun of the virtual boy. Pretty much the funniest lamepro ever.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Man, I haven't read a GamePro since middle school. I remember reading them at the school's library and trying to memorize as much of the SWATPro info as possible to use when I got home.

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  • stimtokolosstimtokolos Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    Man, I haven't read a GamePro since middle school. I remember reading them at the school's library and trying to memorize as much of the SWATPro info as possible to use when I got home.

    Should've used pen and paper!

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    double post?

    EDIT: Guess not... fuck

    I'm not gonna type all this shit out again. Blah blah blah console wars blah blah reader input blah blah ask the pros.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • UltimanecatUltimanecat Registered User regular
    I recently decided to start putting out old Nintendo Power and GamePro magazines from the early and mid 90s in the reading basket in my bathroom.

    Good god I spend too much time in the bathroom now. I've also had friends stay in there for a while.

    I regret nothing.

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  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo HAPPY WAALUWEEN Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    GamePro's art (Doc Zombie or something) made some ugly covers, but the avatars worked really well with that cartoony style.

    I guess I shouldn't be shocked that the magazine is dead, as there's just no way a magazine can compete with the internet. But it's one of those things I just expected to hang around against all logic.

    eG9gdum.gif
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I recently decided to start putting out old Nintendo Power and GamePro magazines from the early and mid 90s in the reading basket in my bathroom.

    Good god I spend too much time in the bathroom now. I've also had friends stay in there for a while.

    I regret nothing.

    It's fun to flip through an old game magazine today and read about games which eventually got canceled, or hear about features dropped or see screenshots that are radically different. That's the best reason to open an old magazine today.

    Especially during CES time, or, later on when it actually existed, E3 time. Those convention coverages are usually filled to the brim with proto screenshots and info.

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo HAPPY WAALUWEEN Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    They also had a consumer report section (by the guard dog) which showed me that my gen 2 genesis was...not totally safe.

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  • AuburnTigerAuburnTiger Registered User regular
    I've got a ton of Gamepro's boxed up in the closet. They put out a quality magazine for a good stretch.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    GamePro's art (Doc Zombie or something) made some ugly covers, but the avatars worked really well with that cartoony style.

    I guess I shouldn't be shocked that the magazine is dead, as there's just no way a magazine can compete with the internet. But it's one of those things I just expected to hang around against all logic.

    Once they got away from those ugly covers, what they'd usually do is actually commission the best artists who would send in reader art to do covers. A girl I know got her career start that way, doing covers for gamepro and EGM.

  • Fig-DFig-D Registered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I never understood why they dropped the avatars. It's like "Hey, let's be like every other magazine."

    From what I've heard, the shift in tone and style came from Scary Larry, who was pretty much the heart and soul of gamepro, leaving, and taking a bunch of the older guys with him. Once those guys left, the avatars went away, the strategy guides stopped, SWATpro vanished, etc.

    I still have every episode of GamePro TV on VHS somewhere, recorded from early in the morning. I also have both volumes of SWATpro on VHS as well.

    I have very fond memories of sitting down with GamePro at the beginning of the month, with my new selection of 50 games from Sega Channel, trying out whatever game GamePro was doing a guide on that month and making my way through it, magazine in hand. Crazy nostalgia.

    I think you answered why no body cares all that much right here. GamePro was already dead to many of its former readers. The corpse just hadn't shambled over to its grave yet.

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  • ZenitramZenitram Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    I was a Gamepro subscriber for a few years as a kid, and I enjoyed it immensely. I still remember the first issue I got in the mail, it had Doom 64 on the cover and I think was Nov/Dec 96.

    That was a good time to be a game magazine subscriber. I had that and Next Generation and my dad would get Computer Gaming World and PC Accelerator (imagine PC Gamer fused with Maxim).
    Spoiler:

    PC Accelerator also gave Half-Life an 11 (they used a 1-10 rating system)

    Zenitram on
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Fig-D wrote:
    I think you answered why no body cares all that much right here. GamePro was already dead to many of its former readers. The corpse just hadn't shambled over to its grave yet.

    I mean, it's no question WHY it died. I don't think anyone is confused about that.

    But for a magazine like that to die without a peep being mentioned is a bit surprising. Regardless of its most recent state, it is still a major part of 90's gaming in the US.

  • MattieMattie Registered User regular
    They also had the yearly (?) 3rd party peripheral gauntlet which was a great read.

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  • HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    Gamer's Republic and its psuedo-sibling GR.

    That is where it was at. And no one even remembers those poor, lost things anymore!

    But before and after I read those, I was more EGM. I think I just came on the scene of buying magazines and whatnot for games a little too late. I did pick up an issue here and there, though, for guides and previews (before I was an internet regular).

    Protips will be missed.

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo HAPPY WAALUWEEN Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    GamePro died to me once it started being "edgy" with more of the stupid shit you see on a lot of gaming sites today. The avatars changed to a more realistic style (which was stupid), they aged up the review faces (do I even need to say that's stupid?), and the reader mail responses got more acerbic and snarky.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Zenitram wrote:
    I was a Gamepro subscriber for a few years as a kid, and I enjoyed it immensely. I still remember the first issue I got in the mail, it had Doom 64 on the cover and I think was Nov/Dec 96.

    That was a good time to be a game magazine subscriber. I had that and Next Generation and my dad would get Computer Gaming World and PC Accelerator (imagine PC Gamer fused with Maxim).

    From like 93 till about 96, my dad and I were subscribed to so many magazines at the same time, it was pretty awesome. At one point, we had a GamePro subscription, a SWATPro subscription, an EGM subscription, an EGM2 subscription, a GamePlayers subscription, a Diehard GameFan subscription, a Tips and Tricks subscription, a PC Gamer Subscription, and I wanna say a PC World subscription, all at the same time.

    Remember - I also had the internet at that time, and I was a very regular poster on Compuserve's go Sega. That was a pretty cool time, I was very deep into the pulse of video games during an era when that wasn't too common.

  • UltimanecatUltimanecat Registered User regular
    I recently decided to start putting out old Nintendo Power and GamePro magazines from the early and mid 90s in the reading basket in my bathroom.

    Good god I spend too much time in the bathroom now. I've also had friends stay in there for a while.

    I regret nothing.

    It's fun to flip through an old game magazine today and read about games which eventually got canceled, or hear about features dropped or see screenshots that are radically different. That's the best reason to open an old magazine today.

    Especially during CES time, or, later on when it actually existed, E3 time. Those convention coverages are usually filled to the brim with proto screenshots and info.

    It's all a huge nostalgia trip for me. I used to read these magazines and be absolutely pumped. Nowadays, I don't read anything nearly as enthusiastically, but I still get a little pitter-patter in my chest when I see those magazines starting the hype train for what were then upcoming games and consoles.

    Super Mario World! Sonic 2! Everything so colorful and bright and awesome. Shit, even 3D0 and games featuring Kirk Cameron were something to be excited about.

    I basically have my Rosebud moment every time I take a shit now.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Mattie wrote:
    They also had the yearly (?) 3rd party peripheral gauntlet which was a great read.

    I liked the accessories review section, actually. Unlike the game reviews, the accessories reviews actually were useful. I avoided so many bullshit Sega Genesis controllers and I still have a bunch of awesome gamepads from that time based off of Gamepro's recommendations.

    I never ordered any of their premium accessories that got reviewed, though. They were always too rich for my blood... but that didn't stop me from reading every single arcade stick review. I remember thinking, "just how good could this stick be to warrant that $175 price tag?"

    Actually, kinda a funny story - the other day, I ordered a Multi-system arcade stick from innovation that works with the Neo Geo, SNES, Genesis, and Turbo Duo based off of a review I read in gamepro like 16 years ago. I arrived the other day, and, indeed, it blows the shit out of my official Sega 6-button arcade stick. If only I had heeded Gamepro's words back in the day...

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo HAPPY WAALUWEEN Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    I got my parents to resub when I saw the Sonic & Knuckles cover on one issue.

    I think we moved and I forgot to mail in the address change form.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    GamePro died to me once it started being "edgy" with more of the stupid shit you see on a lot of gaming sites today. The avatars changed to a more realistic style (which was stupid), they aged up the review faces (do I even need to say that's stupid?), and the reader mail responses got more acerbic and snarky.

    I stopped reading pretty much when the Dreamcast hit. One of the very last issues I bought was the dreamcast premier issue. I'm almost certain I picked up a few after that, but it couldn't be more than a handful

    The entire pop culture of that time period didn't gel with me. I was never a wrestling fan, for example, and wrestling was huge at that time, and it felt like Gamepro shifted towards the tone that WWF and WCW had at the time. I think that, almost more than the death of game guides and swatpro, turned me off.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I got my parents to resub when I saw the Sonic & Knuckles cover on one issue.

    I think we moved and I forgot to mail in the address change form.

    I remember being fucking pissed when SWATPro died, because I had JUST renewed my subscription. They switched my subscription over to some other non-gaming related magazine... the exact magazine escapes me, but I wasn't interested at all. If it would have been something like Sports Illustrated, I might have not been as pissed, but it wasn't anything like that. It was basically some magazine that wasn't even close the realm of my interests.

    Yeah, I'm still upset haha

  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    This sad news means I can doubly never replace my subscription invoice from 5/23/97 I use as a bookmark. I better triple the tape holding it together!

    Xeddicus on
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  • El FantasticoEl Fantastico Oh myyy Toronto, ONRegistered User regular
    Never was a GamePro reader myself. Like @Olivaw I was a Nintendo Power reader, though I stopped my subscription to that around the 100th issue, when all of the Super NES coverage started being replaced exclusively with GBA and N64 stuff, to which I didn't own either system, or care to. I mainly liked NP for the RPG coverage they started putting in as a regular feature, something not a lot of other mags did because they needed to have variety.

    I do remember watching GamePro on TV a few times, when I could remember it was on. It was both entertaining and frustrating to see and get tips on games that I didn't own because they were on "that other console" (very big on the Nintendo vs. Sega war, back then).

    For nostalgic reasons, I'll just link to an episode of the show now, and marvel at how terribly 90s everything was. Jean jackets over hoodies, frizzle-haired rocker dude saying "bro" and "fyeah" a lot...

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  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    Yeah, when I read about this news yesterday, I did feel a bit of sadness. But I haven't read the magazine in at least 15 years. I am pretty sure I had a subscription at some point. Lots of nostalgia for thumbing through those old Gamepro, EGM, and Nintendo Power magazines.

    I do know some of the podcasters I listen to actually work(ed) for Gamepro, so I feel bad for them. It all kind of makes me worried for certain internet gaming sites too. 1up.com is a shell of what it once was. I rarely actually visit the site, but still listen to two of the podcasts. Games, Damnit!'s format was recently changed where they discuss a specific topic each week, which is cool, and Retronauts is still awesome.

    Er, got kind of off track there. I hope the people who are losing their jobs find more employment, but I think that's getting increasingly difficult for people in the games press.

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