It was 1999 when I first picked up N64 Magazine. I was after a magazine which covered the Game Boy Color and the bright yellow issue 27 was advertising its new pocket section. The section was only a small portion of the overall magazine, but the quality of the writing and the sheer enthusiasm from the eclectic cast of writers had me pouring over each page till the front page needed sellotaping back on. It wasn’t just a game magazine, it was a community which has always been there for me each month for the last thirteen years. But this week the final issue of the latest incarnation, Nintendo Gamer, was released to the world.
What made N64, NGC, NGamer and Nintendo Gamer stand out was the fact it wasn’t just a soulless game mag pumping out press release type articles and treating the audience like small stupid children. Each paged was stuffed full of in-jokes, like writer Dr. Kitts and his suspicious activity involving dead bodies, and the sofa each month having the team doing ridiculous things relevant to the big review. There were references to a world outside of games such as the ghost of Geoffrey Chaucer sharing some of his poetry on current games. And pages stuffed full of facts which referenced Einstein to Half Man Half Biscuit. Even when the games coming weren’t the best, the magazine was essential just to see what had been going on in the world of Nintendo Gamer. It was like a monthly soap opera. A world to hide in for a few hours each month when things weren’t going right in the real world. I’m sure even a video game hater would desire to pick up a DS or Wii after reading an issue so they could have an excuse to take part.
And now it’s gone. The end of my education and the end of Nintendo Gamer hit close to each other, meaning I have one less comfort to hold onto while I try to adapt in the real world. There are other magazines out there I could run out and buy, but nothing I’ve read has ever had the passion, love and fun of Nintendo Gamer. It was fun growing up alongside the best magazine in the world and one that shaped my life with a desire to write and the love of play. I still have my replica Hyrulian shield, Wrong Chomp and plastic wheel worth seven pounds to remember you by. Adios.
The Nintendo Gamer website is still beating though it isn’t quite the same as it seems to be a one man operation. Print is now dead to me.