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View Full Version : How did Gamepro get this bad?


darkessenz
03-03-04, 06:22 PM
I just can't stand this magazine at all---I got it for free, but I don't even know if I want it anymore.

The layout is probably the worst of any magazine I have ever read. I could do better using pagemaker and my printer. Whats with the border around EVERY STINKING PAGE?

The reviews, which is what we really read the magazine for, are small and not well written. I read LAMEPRO this month, and it was NOT funny. The features look terrible, and are hardly ever that interesting. Who produces this shit?

The real question is---why do i keep reading it? The answer is because it just happens to end up on my floor, and the covers actually look somewhat nice. I somehow forget how awful the content is, and open it up again with dismay.

Adam Tyner
03-03-04, 06:43 PM
I said something similar in a previous thread.

I have a free subscription and can't force myself to actively read it. I keep the latest issue in my bathroom to stave off boredom, but that's all it's really good for.

I started reading GamePro extremely early on...issue 3? 4? I'd guess this was 1989...I was definitely in sixth grade at the time. I thought it was brilliant, and I actually was a fan of the "Adventures of GamePro" strip. I even bought all three collections of comics, if that's any indication. I remember being incredibly excited about the debut of GamePro's syndicated JD Roth-hosted TV show. It was such an event that I even spent the night at a friend's house in anticipation. We couldn't find it in the TV listings, but GamePro listed a local station as airing it, so we got up unnecessarily early and checked in every half hour to see. (It never did air that morning, either. Even though I liked GamePro as a magazine back then, I never warmed up to the TV incarnation, from co-host Brennan's grating surfer voice to Roth's chroma-keyed shenanigans.)

I'm not 10 anymore, though, and GamePro holds absolutely no appeal to me anymore whatsoever. The writing is skewed fairly young -- I don't know what their target demographic is, but I'd guess somewhere around 12 to 14.

The emphasis appears to be on its reviews, and they certainly take up a hefty portion of the magazine. (Almost as much as the dozens and dozens of pages of advertisements!) They're entirely insubstantial, though -- it's rare for a title to receive more than a half-page write-up. Even "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" couldn't get a full page, at least not for the review. Screenshots, assorted eye candy, "ProTips" along the lines of "press 'Start' to pause the game!", and graphics/audio/etc. summaries eat up much of that space, leaving very little room for the actual review. I was skimming an issue a few months ago and noticed several reviews -- actual reviews, not previews -- that were four sentences in length. Four long sentences, admittedly, but still... Sports and RPGs have their own sections and enjoy more detailed reviews.

It bugs me too that the writers hide behind cartoonish personalities like "Scary Larry", and at least some of the staff writers use multiple psuedonyms. It's like...I dunno, I can't imagine being 25, flipping through an issue of GamePro, and thinking, "Well, the bullfrog with sunglasses rated this game a red smiley face, so I guess I'll shell out fifty bucks." I guess someone likes 'em -- GamePro makes action figures of some of those editors.

Oh, and if you thought "The Adventures of GamePro" was bad, try their current comic strip, "Hidden Characters". Jesus Christ on a cracker.

cheapskate
03-03-04, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by Adam Tyner
I said something similar in a previous thread.

:lol:

This magazine is awful. Skip the wordy-bits and you may get a few minutes of enjoyment out of the pictures.

Trevor
03-03-04, 07:27 PM
I actually appeared on that TV show. Well, maybe it was just my name and screenshot. I got a high score on some Genesis game and sent it in. A friend called me like a year later and said she saw me on TV.

The thing is, I've never really been that good at video games, and I'm sure that the only reason they used me was that I was the only person that played that particular Genesis game (Target Earth?) and sent in a picture.

But yes, the magazine is lame. I get it for free, but recently renewed for 4 years for $5 on ebay, but I regret spending that much.

flashburn
03-03-04, 07:28 PM
They should just change the actual magazine to 'Lamepro' instead of that just being the title of the April Fools section.

dancinns
03-03-04, 07:51 PM
I use my for bathroom reading material and later on for the guides.

joshd2012
03-03-04, 07:53 PM
I said the exact same thing after getting my free subscription. It is a worthless magazine but I read it anyway.

Trigger
03-03-04, 07:54 PM
I said the same thing as well - sucky magazine. I get it for free too and I don't even want it.

msdmoney
03-03-04, 08:04 PM
I completely agree, but in addition to being hardly readable I don't find they are very objective in their reviews. I get the impression that they buy into the hype for big games. Also many times there reviews seem like they could have been written by reading the back of the box and reciting the features listed there, without much in depth info on the actual game.

I only get gamepro because its free, but I also get EGM free which I consider much better. I remember back in the day enjoying Next Generation magazine much more than gamepro, even at a younger age. I've heard there is a magazine that is a spinoff of NextGen or has the same writers/editor or something like that.

Lethal Nemesis
03-03-04, 08:06 PM
Same here. I get it free, but I don't want it either. I probably flip through the pages a couple times and put it away for good.

jeffdsmith
03-03-04, 08:07 PM
I miss the days of the original Next generation magazines. Unless nostaliga has got ahold of me, those magazine were awesome.

KissyFurNYC
03-03-04, 08:15 PM
Does anyone remember Game Players and Video Games and Computer Entertainment. Both were horribly laid out. VG&CE edited under Andy Eddy, who I think runs GamePro now just is/was a horror. The most BORING lakcluster editorial style. GamePros current problem is that it is schizo: it's caught in the middle of market Maturation, where now the fans skew much older and they still to the frown face/ happy face reviews for GTA..which if they market towards kids...WHY BOTHER REVIEWING IT?!?!?!?! Pure shite!
I loved the car wreck of a mag called DieHard GameFan. The writers (nick rox!!) were on crack, but it was very pretty and full of picks and imports. THAT mag started from ads in EGM back in the day. EGM got better when Ziff Davis took them over. They are obviously try to expand the audience for gaming: their magazine is getting slicker and slicker, moving towards an Entertainment Weekly style layout. The one I looked forward to was Next Generation. But they got crappy toward the end too. Alot of their future-of-gaming predicitions were way off, but it was nice to read something written for adults. Polygon, a new monthly is a Next Gen wannabe, but the content is not great. It had potential.

smirnoffski
03-03-04, 08:34 PM
Ya, I agree all the mainstream gaming magazines have taken a serious plunge. I also get Gamepro for free, I glance at the screenshots of the games and toss it away.

At least with EGM, I spend some time reading but that one too is going down hill.

The only reliable gaming source is IGN and then Gamespot for me.

Gideon68
03-03-04, 08:57 PM
I thought it was always bad. I subscribed for a year in the '90s and never renewed.

I do have the free sub but don't even read it. I was hoping it had gotten better over the years.

indy2029
03-03-04, 10:26 PM
My favorite game magazine was Gamefan. Now that magazine rocked! Too bad there aren't that many hardcore magazines anymore. Next Generation was good too. I read EGM (but that sucks because there are wayyyyyy too many ads and the new review structure sucks) and GMR (a good general game magazine). IGN is my #1 video game source.

Trevor
03-03-04, 10:32 PM
I say this everytime a magazine discussion pops up, but what I really want are in-depth multipage reviews. The little 1 paragraph reviews some of these mags do are a joke.
I could deal without a lot of the fluff previews, old news, and 'features' and buy a magazine that was just 20 or so in-depth reviews (with multi console comparison) each issue.
Can I please get at least one amen?

funkyryno
03-04-04, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by Trevor

Can I please get at least one amen?


I'll give you an eh ...

The only reason I read game magazines is because I got a bunch of free subscriptions from this site. I'd rather just go to the Internet for my reviews.

CreatureX
03-04-04, 01:45 AM
Yeah Gamepro sucks. But I guess their subscribers like the magazine since they are still around while so many other magazines have died.

mr.snowmizer
03-04-04, 01:55 AM
The fake n-gage ad in LamePro this issue, itself, more than justified my annual subscription fee ($0.00, just like the rest of you). :D

GamePro has always been this bad. But every once in a while, like a broken clock which is right twice a day, the magazine stumbles into publishing something worthwhile (Xbox Doom 3 article and pictures, for instance).

darkessenz
03-04-04, 02:27 AM
I personally enjoy GameInformer, seems to be a little less fluff.

NExt is also good for a deeper perspective.

Jackskeleton
03-04-04, 04:21 AM
Amen. it's one of the worse magazines out there. I remember the days when EGM was the size of a phone book because of ad's. It seemed like a worthy five buck cost. Now it also looks like shit. both magazines are a shadow in their former image. they are awful.

Lethal Nemesis
03-04-04, 05:26 AM
For some reason I liked EGM's old review format better, even though it only contained one screenshot and 3 (used to be 4) reviewers. What I really miss are the old school review crew members, like Shawn (forgot his last name) and Sushi-X. During that era, they were, IMO, the multiplatform gaming magazine to beat. I still think they're overall the best right now, but I think it's true that they are slowly going downhill.

Ergyu
03-04-04, 05:52 AM
Back when I was a kid I hated Gamepro and I still do. I get it for free, and just like looking at the pictures. EGM was my magazine of choice when I was younger.

Adam Tyner
03-04-04, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by Jackskeleton
both magazines are a shadow in their former image.

I disagree. I don't think GamePro is substantially worse than it's ever been -- I think its biggest problem is that it's more or less exactly the same magazine it has been for nearly a decade and a half.

Homer Simpson
03-04-04, 10:25 AM
I stopped signing up for the free subscriptions a while back, it's not even worth the space in my recycle bin.

Deftones
03-04-04, 10:30 AM
It's been bad since it's inception. The reviews have always been pitiful and the content always seems to be a month or two behind the great mags like EGM.

DARTH GAMER
03-04-04, 10:45 AM
Have any of you ever read PLAY. IMO this is the best mag for games. Plus it has DVDs and a little Anime section. It's a very well put together mag with good paper stock. Plus, my favorite thing is it's very artsy. (I'm an art teacher) It will have sketches of characters and their development sometimes and every mag will have some sort of poster in the middle of a character, usually one from one of their featured games that month. The screen shots look great and they are not 1 inch big either. Anyway, Great magazine. pick one up if you have'nt yet.

jrutz
03-04-04, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by DARTH GAMER
Have any of you ever read PLAY. IMO this is the best mag for games. Plus it has DVDs and a little Anime section. It's a very well put together mag with good paper stock. Plus, my favorite thing is it's very artsy. (I'm an art teacher) It will have sketches of characters and their development sometimes and every mag will have some sort of poster in the middle of a character, usually one from one of their featured games that month. The screen shots look great and they are not 1 inch big either. Anyway, Great magazine. pick one up if you have'nt yet.

I was drawn to Play initially because of it's design and in-depth interviews, but then I actually read one cover-to-cover and thought it was completely boring. Their stories are pretty much clones of eachother, with the interviewers asking the same questions and developers giving much the same answers across all articles.

Game Informer is my favorite right now, with GMR and XBN right behind. I liked what I saw of Polygon - it looked to be what Next Generation used to be back in the day - but unfortunately it just folded as of the current issue.


Jeremy

young
03-04-04, 11:35 AM
same w/ me for Play. very slick and nice layout but the content is weak - often gratuitously written. halverson seems like he writes most of the articles and while they're facile, they're also pretty superficial.

the dvd section is a waste of space, imo.

their anime section is pretty decent though b/c it has introduced me to new stuff that i didn't really know about. eg Last Exile. last issue raved about Magical Mystery Shopping Abenobashi (?) something like that. based on that, i actually bought it and i'm looking forward to it.

still, that's not enough for me to continue to pay.

there are no game magazines i like anymore... even if they're free. online is pretty much my source of reviews and info.

Josh H
03-04-04, 11:56 AM
It is dreadful. I get it, and OXM, free and rarely read anything in either. I'm not sure which is worse.

Both have terrible writing. Gamepro is skewed toward a younger audience, while OXM is aimed (like all official one console mags) at the featured consoles fanboys. OXM is particulary bad at bashign the competition though.

Gamepro's reviews are ridiculous as well. With no overall score it's tough to judge a game. I see games get perfect 5's on fun factors (which many people treat like an overall score) that were getting 7's and 8's in other mags.

I mainly stick with EGM for my gaming reading. It's not great either, and certainly isn't all that well written. But it is aimed at an older audience than Gamepro, and doesn't have the bias of the console-specific mags. Most of all, I generally agree with their reviews. I'm very critical of games, and they are as well. They don't pass out 9's like candy like many mags do.

Young Vito
03-04-04, 12:27 PM
wow...sounds like EVERYONE hates this mag...ive felt the same way as all of u for a while now...with so many pictures and lame previews which tells us nothing new about a game..seems like its aimed at like 7 yr olds.

maxpower
03-04-04, 12:52 PM
Does anyone actually pay for this mag?

Snow, you have surpassed the use of the "even a broken clock is right twice a day" saying. One use per week please. ;)

balancer
03-04-04, 01:30 PM
Like most, I think Gamepro is garbage.

For anyone who doesn't know, Play magazine is done by Dave Halverson who used to do Diehard Gamefan in the good ol' days. Play isn't perfect, but it is written in a more mature style than any other console gaming mag (they dabble in pc also). I suscribe and pay for that one.

Also I just got my first issue of my free sub. of EGM that I learned of on this board, and it's pretty good too. Thanks, board. ;)

KingSmoth
03-04-04, 03:30 PM
I too have a free sub to Gamepro, and it is utter crap.
My favorite mag is Game Informer, which I started getting about two years ago I believe. I also get GMR, EGM, and Nintendo Power(only got the subscription for the Zelda disk, blah).
My favorite mag of all time was PCXL...

mr.snowmizer
03-04-04, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by maxpower
Snow, you have surpassed the use of the "even a broken clock is right twice a day" saying. One use per week please. ;)

Damn you, maxpower!

That was fresh material in this forum (and completely accurate for my GamePro description), so leave me alone! :D

Gromit
03-04-04, 07:14 PM
I let my free subscription to GamePro lapse and didn't bother trying to renew it (for free). That magazine made me feel guilty about the trees that died for each issue.

OXM bothers me because it could be a really good magazine. There's so much potential. XBN isn't perfect, but I prefer it to OXM.

Dean Kousoulas
03-04-04, 10:50 PM
Since I get them all for free, I tend to read as many video game magazines as I can. I agree with pretty much all of you, Gamepro is CRAP. Mostly because their reviews tell you nothing about the game, and it's very hard to rate the game with their terrible review system.

Play is cool if you enjoy the artsy side of games. Problem with them is, their reviews are VERY short and they all look the same (Tally up the scores of the games they review, about 80% are A's or B's)


EGM is probably my favorite of them all, because they seem to have alittle of everything, and they give honest reviews. A game really has to be good to be recommended and given a silver, gold, or platinum score. Not only that, every game is reviewed by 3 different people. I like getting different opinions and scores.

OXM isn't that bad either, but I really hate how they mention Halo 50 times an issue, and love to bash PS2 and GC alot. Is the magazine run my children, who lived in the day of "Super Nintendo is better then Genisis. Nah nah nahnah nah" Believe it or not, most people own more then 1 system. Hell I bet most of them own PS2's also.

Gromit
03-05-04, 08:15 AM
I renewed the non-disc version of OXM a while back for free. I noticed in the latest issue last night that they have toned down the childish "PS2 sucks" comments. It used to be that they wouldn't mention the PS2 without getting in a stupid comment but I think they are moving away from that though. Good for them.

There's just something about that Mike Salmon guy. His picture alone pisses me off. I don't know anything about him but he just seems like a "check me out ladies, I'm a videogame magazine editor" kind of guy. I guess that's not fair at all, but that's my perception.

J_J
03-05-04, 12:38 PM
Got it for free, threw it out.

Breakfast with Girls
03-05-04, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by darkessenz
How did Gamepro get this bad?

Ha, "get"? It's always been bad, sister.

I got it for a year (for free, natch), but after maybe the first few issues, I just started tossing them directly into the trash and didn't bother to renew the (free) subscription. I really should have called to cancel to save the rainforest, though.

Mr. Cinema
03-29-04, 09:08 PM
So what's the best overall magazine to get excluding the official PS2, Xbox, and GC mags? EGM, Gameinformer, ???

Dean Kousoulas
03-29-04, 11:02 PM
I love EGM magazine. Out of all the magazines, they tend to be the hardest on reviewing games. They grade on a 10 point scale, and VERY Rarely do you see games get a 9.5 or 10. Also 3 people review each game, something no other magazine does. I like getting different opinions.

tidwell
03-30-04, 01:50 PM
I get Gamepro for free (thanks to this forum) and I truly believe that it is completely worthless. Seriously, this month had the worst cover/content ever. Nobody actually pays for this, right?