In the Mega Drive’s early to mid-90s heyday, my fascination with the console was matched by one other obsession – gaming magazines. From Games Master, Sega Pro to Sega Power and Mean Machines Sega I couldn’t get enough of these publications, their glossy covers, freebies, and not forgetting those all-important cheats sections.
As much as I loved these magazines, they ultimately lived a short life, either damaged by younger siblings, lost through the loan to school friends, or cut up and stuck upon my bedroom wall. Although, as you can tell from the image above, a lucky few managed to make it intact.
Despite my regrettably throw-away attitude to my magazines back in the day, my 10 to 11 year old self was still aware of how treasured the contents of these magazines would be in the months and years to come. This in mind, I began compiling the best (and some of the more obscure) features, reviews and listings from the height of the era.
It began on a summer holiday visit to Italy in 1995, where I picked up a hardback diary from a local market. What was to follow was an entire summer, leafing through my gaming magazines, hand writing and copying out articles related to some of my favourite Mega Drive news and releases. Do not be fooled by the cheesy 90s footballing nature of this book’s cover, contained within its covers is total retrogaming gold, as a glance over its contents page reveals.
Ecco the Dolphin, Shinobi, Lemmings, Sonic & Knuckles, it was all there (semi) neatly written and preserved within my book. From what I can remember, the majority of the articles were copied from Mean Machines Sega and Sega Pro magazine. I recall one notable compilation edition of Sega Pro which featured heavily in this book. I loved that magazine to pieces (quite literally), to the point where its cover came away, leading the the eventual demise and falling apart of the entire magazine. R.I.P. my dear friend.
Let’s continue as we delve deeper into the contents of this console time capsule. (N.B: I apologise in advance for any spelling or grammatical errors in my childhood scribblings. These were the days when the concept of a word processor and autocorrect were about as alien as this little fella.)
Ever wonder who would win in a fight between Balrog, Johnny Cage and Eternal Champions’ Jonathan Blade? Me neither. But that certainly didn’t stop Sega Power magazine (click to enlarge):
‘Ceram odse nto exits’. You heard it here first:
Virtua Fighter £49.99?!! Toughman Boxing for £39.99!!?? Spend all your pocket money with a list of 1995’s upcoming 32X titles and prices:
With these scans representing just the tip of the iceberg, I went on to dedicate well over ninety pages of my book to gaming. Entering my teenage years, other interests soon followed and were incorporated into the book’s pages, including aeroplanes, guitars and terrapins (that’s right, terrapins). But one thing always remained – my fond memories of the countless hours I’d dedicated to archiving my favourite gaming features. Each numbered, listed and bound within a book that has led a life, thankfully, much longer than the average length of an Italian football player’s shorts.