If Nintendo Power was like this nerdy kid in class who collects figurines, and Gamefan was the thick accent foreign exchange student who let you play with his cool toys, EGM was the badass cool kid.
It got personality, it made fun of other people, and it got into troubles with parents and censor people. I used past tense because as of now EGM is no more. This is both unexpected (it was the most popular gaming magazine) and depressing. Before I started reading Times, National Geographic, and Newsweek, EGM was the first magazine I picked up in 1994. I heard that it’s got canceled without even able to release the final farewell issue.
But During Its Last Years, Was It Still Relevance ?
Before online news site, EGM was the best source for news. They have in depth coverage of all the events and happenings that concern the video game industry. The best thing that I like is the fact that it also educates the readers about who’s who in the industry too. I learned who Shigeru Miyamoto is, all the bits and bytes of the system (during the classic Saturn vs PSX vs N64 war), how the companies merged, why Squaresoft left Nintendo, all the good and bad peripherals etc., from EGM.
But now with online news sources like IGN and Gametrailers.com update everyday including screen shots and movie clips, buying a video game magazine for news just don’t make sense anymore.
So take out news and guides, what else can EGM offers?
The most famous part of EGM is the review. They are always amusing. Despite having a rating system that is clearly broken and with several blunders and bias reviews, they are still the most trusted names in the short list of video game critics. That is because they are honest. They are even honest about their bias. People like Dan Hsu are stars because of their blunt honesty. And when they were making smartass remarks or acted immaturely in anyway, we feel that we can relate to them even more. And I think EGM is the only place where you can find editors with differing opinions writing their review next to each other, which were really fun to read. It is also the only place I bother to read the review of the games I don’t care about.
To compete with online competition, EGM tries to be like FHM and Maxim
EGM tried so hard to not be a kid’s magazine. This resonated well with their readers… the kids. Because no kids wanted to think of themselves as kids. So EGM made several attempts at being adult magazine by putting up photos of naked women, fat dude on a toilet, and a lot of other things that made parents write angry letters. They loved these letters because they can respond smartass-ly to them and become the readers’ heroes. You know, the kids.
The truth is, I don’t know for sure why it got canned. Something about a company that bought them just shut them down after the purchasing was final. That’s kind of messed up. It’s like after Microsoft bought Yahoo, it doesn’t do anything with Yahoo name, just shut it down. It’s like saying, you are worthless and even though I own you, I’ll make more money with you gone.
So instead of getting into that, lets celebrate the best and the worst moments of EGM.
The Honorable Moments of EGM
– They give games that are low profile reasonably high score if it deserves them, like Disney’s Hercules and some of the Titus game released during the last days of SNES.
– Some game deserve 4 score of tens, the perfect score, even games you don’t expect, like Mega Man X. It shows that their standards aren’t too high.
– Their April Fools prank are always cool
– They apologize for their mistakes
– Seanbaby’s “The Rest of the Crap” section, where a guy called Seanbaby made fun of bad games no one else would bother to play and review. It becomes my favorite and the first section I read of every issue that has it.
The Bad Moments of EGM
– In the year of Chrono Trigger, Yoshi’s Island, and Tetris Attack, game of the year was Twisted Metal.
– Dan Hsu gave Bust A Groove bad review because he said the idea of music game was first utilized by Parappa the Rapper, and therefore Bust A Groove stole the idea from it. This is just another example of bias and immature reaction that makes the EGM reviewers more human.
– I forgot the month and the year of the issue, but it had the crazy clown from Twisted Metal on the cover. That issue contained so much ads it’s sickening. I had to go through 10+ pages of ads before finding the first page with real content. And that issue was thick.
– EGM’s 100 best games of all time list gave Tetris the top spot. Think about that yourself.
– Goldeneye 007 was game of the year, but during the month it was reviewed, Final Fantasy 7 beat it for game of the month
– Super Mario RPG was deemed too kiddy, and on that month, Resident Evil got game of the month instead.
Despite its up and down, EGM was still the best. I mean, I like Gamefan but it’s not like I will ever get to play half of the games that that magazine featured.
So, thank you EGM. Without you my childhood would have been a lot more boring. Rest in peace. Oh, and if there is a chance you may come back, don’t hesitate to do so.