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Veteran Member - Level 11
So I will admit it. I finally went back to Nintendo Power (in addition to Game Informer) after all these years. When I first started playing games, I remember that somehow, I was able to convince my parents to get a subscription to Nintendo Power (I think that it had something to do with my cousin selling magazines where the proceeds went towards starving African children or something). I remember those magical days of getting a magazine full of wonder, at least a couple of guides, and a poster or two. I remember the vibrant colors and the fact that Nintendo Power spends just as much time on handheld games as it does on console titles.
Back in the day when there were several other gaming magazines, one of the saddest things I have noticed is the lack of coverage for handhelds, as well as cuter games with colorful graphics. While Nintendo tends to have these games, they also tend to do showcases on "baby" games and stuff that is generally considered to be "just for kids." And with a lot of the Wii-motion stuff, they seem to be focusing on a lot of games that basically expect you to look like a wildly gesticulating fool as though this is actually a selling point.
While I understand that gamers come from all walks of life and even the "babies" need games too, I still think that there's a big market for "family" games-games that a very wide variety of people from inexperienced to hardcore would also enjoy. The one thing I have always loved about Nintendo Power is that it often showcases games that a whole range of people love. For example, Okamiden, while a game that I recently enjoyed and finished from start to end, is also a game that my 11 year old female cousin is also simultaneously enjoying. One of the nicest things about a game that is just GOOD without relying on eye-candy and violence as its main selling points, is that the level of graphics and lack of gore don't really MATTER in the face of sheer genius.
One of the main focuses of this Nintendo Power is the 3DS version of Ocarina of Time (which Game Informer completely ignored in their most recent publication). I also learned about a new Tales from the Abyss game, which is largely heralded by many gamers as a top-notch RPG. And there's an entire spread about a new Kirby game, which sounds awesome.
While I'm not too hot on the 3DS (is there a way to just play these games on the DS lite and forgo the 3D? It makes me ill to look at it for more than a matter of minutes.), I'm really happy about the idea that there are actual games that fit my aesthetic desires.
Unfortunately, there's something that BOTH Game Informer *AND* Nintendo Power are woefully quiet about. And that's the PSP.
I love the PSP because of Disgaea 1 and 2 (the port to DS wasn't really that great although the prinny talk on the bottom screen is perhaps the best thing in the whole world), but there are very few PSP games that I enjoy that aren't games that I've only heard of via word of mouth.
While I love the idea about a game magazine in general, I think that it's incredibly important that there's a balance. Nintendo Power, while full of colorful, cute games, also seems to have a lot of really crappy licensed games that it gives more space to than it really ought to. Plus they're well known for over-inflating their review ratings. While I hate to be a cynic, when Nintendo is directly reviewing its own games, it's very much nepotism at its best.
Game Informer, on the other hand, while it does have a couple of "cute games" that it reviews via downloadables (which I'm leery about because I hate using my credit card online for anything that doesn't accept Paypal), largely showcases a very narrow scope of game themes, and I feel that it alienates a lot of the gamers who might not be all that excited about the newest war FPS.
I do enjoy both magazines for their interesting articles and interviews, but I do feel that both seem to be on either end of the spectrum of intended audience. What I really want is a game magazine that caters to the middle-of-the-road gamer. The gamer who likes Peggle and Tetris but who also enjoys Tekken, Etrian Odyssey and Katamari Damacy.
In future blog posts, I'm going to try and be that voice, because I just feel like it's too underrepresented in the blogosphere and in the gaming community in general.
But for now, I'll just leave you with a couple of talking points, if you'd like to lend your opinion to my blog.
What was your first experience with a gaming magazine?
What is your current favorite part of your gaming magazine?
And what would YOU like to see more of in the next edition of Game Informer, either as a one-time article or as a permanent fixture?
In my case, I would LOVE a "cute game corner" to be in Game Informer-even just one page showcasing some of the best games that combine adorable graphics and well-done story.
Please please please pleeeeeease?
Ok, I'm done groveling now.