I've had this idea for a long, long time. I have a lot of old video game magazines, and I think it might be fun to post up some highlights.
On the cover: Hey! It's... What the hell did they do to Pikachu?
Well, now we know it's Pikachu's unevolved form, Pichu. Only avialable when you get two Pikachus to get busy.
Also on the cover, Shenmue, The Legend of Zelda: Major's Mask, Quake III Arena, and Final Fantasy IX.
On the back cover, an ad for Skies of Arcadia on Dreamcast.
The letters section is full of people asking for various hints and tips, including someone asking how to get Excalibur in FInal Fantasy IX. There are questions about using PS1 memory cards on PS2, what the port on the back of PS1 Gameshark is used for, where to find a PS2, when does Banjo-Tooie come out, questioning Microsoft's tactics, searching for DVD Easter eggs, someone's PS1 catching fire, asking about the existence of switch boxes, Driver 2 strategies, how and where to buy TurboGrafx-16 games, questioning if you're able to play GameBoy Color games on a GameBoy Pocket, Chrono Cross questions about recruiting characters, and blocking kicks in NFL2K1 on Dreamcast.
The letter of the month though, is a real kicker calling the original Xbox useless but the writer of the letter does bring up a point which we are all feeling today regarding the usage of patches on console games as a bad thing.
This issue featured the debut of a new, permanent section of the magazine, which had a few apperences in previous issues, International Gamer. This article mentions a few game genres are aren't popular in America or Europe at the time. Music games have always been big in Japan, not so much here until Guitar Hero exploded. Dating Sims, Horse Racing, job simulators such as Densha De Go or Baseball Manager, and Pachinko and Mahjong.
There's a little footnote about modding your PS2 and how it would be better to wait a few months. Also how arcades in Japan differ from those in the States.
The next page spotlights a few games, Gekisha Boy 2, Klonoa 2, and Mobile Suit Gundam for PS2. The bottom quarter of the page is taken up by the Wonderswan Color and it's Final Fantasy I port. Sidebar of the page is about the PocketStation and DDR dance mats.
Next page is Anime Names You SHould Know, Akira Toriyana, Rumiko Takehasi, Masamune Shirow, Studio Ghibli, and Gainax. Sidebar about the Final Fantasy IX official soundtrack.
Last page of International Gaming is Anime Picks of the Month, Gundam WIng, Slayers, Ruroni Kenshin and Vision of Escaflowne. Botton of the page is about censorship between the Japanese and American anime releases. Sidebar is about Cel Art.
Next section is the Tricks of the Trade, 40 pages worth of PS2, PS1, Gameboy, Dreamcast, and N64 cheat codes, well 34 when you subtract the six page EB at Play holiday gift guide. Some highlight from the gift guide, Dreamcast at $150, PS2 at $300.
The next section was always a favorite of mine, the Coming Soon section. I always loved seeing what was coming up for my favorite systems. This issue's section is four pages, two devoted to the Dreamcast and one each to PS1 and 2.
For the PS2 we have Twisted Metal Black and Red Faction. For the PS1 it's Lunar 2: Eternal Blue and Evil Dead: Hail to the King. On Dreamcast are 3 ports, 18 Wheeler, based on the arcade game, Resident Evil 2 and Dino Crisis. Speed Devils Online is a pseude-sequel to a launch title.
Next is the absolutely massive Pokemon Gold and Silver strategy guide, clocking in at 13 pages. Very handy guide. I've used it several times over the last decade. Pokemon Gold and Silver were awarded Game(s) of the month.
Medal of Honor: Underground, for PS1, strategy guide takes up the next 11 pages. It includes very detailed maps for every stage and tell you all the secrets.
The January 2001 issue features part two of Expert Gamer's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, coming in at a hefty 8 pages, starting from the Water Dungeon through to the end of the game.
The following 10 pages are for the Dreamcast's materpiece, Shenmue. The guide breaks down the fighting system, all the minigames you can indulge in, the major places you can visit, and every little trinket you can collect throughout the game. It details every character as well, and has a spoiler free walk through.
A two page quick guide for NFL Blitz 2001. I have never read these two pages. Who needs strategy for Blitz?
Six pages are used on Quake III Arena strategies and maps. It also details every weapon and power up and gives uses for them.
What follows is character charts for Final Fantasy IX, all the skills and magic each character can learn, lists what is gained by catching frogs for Quina, Ragtime Mouse question answers, locations for every Moogle, how and where to get every summon. The majority of the final four pages of the guide is the bestiary, giving locations, HP, AP awarded, Gil gained, items dropped and stolen of every monster in the game. Basically, a hell of a lot more useful than the official guide.
The Game Over section spoils the ending to older games, and in this issue is the original Medal of Honor.
Well, that's that. A look into an old game magazine. Let me know if you liked it or not, what I can do differently and please don't ask about scanning pages. I pulled the cover art off another site, retromags.com.