Man, is there anyone out there in the US who has bothered to collect more Japanese magazines than me?

I'm running out of shelf space in the "study," so I finally decided to move the brunt of the Famitsus into the closet, since I refer to them the least these days. So now they lie in storage, waiting patiently for the day when I get a hankering to find out what review score they gave to F-Zero or Terranigma. Someday.

Anyway, we're rapidly approaching the holiday season in magazine-land, and already we're seeing some mags up their page counts rather dramatically. This particular update is a little light after the monster one last week, but it's only going to get more interesting from here on out...

PSM December 2007 (Podcast)


Cover: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

This is the last time I'm going to be talking about PSM on Game Mag Weaseling, because after 130 issues, this is the last one. Ever. Four weeks from now, once Future has completed its "official" trifecta in America much as it has in the UK, I'll get the Holiday '07 issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine in my mailbox instead.

Although Future didn't mention it in their online press release, EIC Rob Smith confirms in his editorial this month that Issue 1 will come with a Blu-ray demo disc, and the same team behind PSM will be handling the new mag. It's not specified whether the Blu-ray disc will be on every issue, though -- it's a regular feature of the UK's official PS mag, but there's a lot of recycled material on the Euro-disc each month, making it not quite the greatest thing ever if you're a subscriber.

Anyhoo, this final issue of PSM has two neat features -- a hot exclusive on Turning Point (which has an alternative-WWII plot that actually sounds pretty neat and promising), and a lighter piece covering the two PSM interns' efforts to get as much money as possible off a given set of PS2 games and try to have enough cash for a PS3 at the end of it. Teresa went with the "no credit card" approach, selling most of 'em off on Craigslist, while Tom used a mixture of eBay, Amazon, and random buyers at his dorm. Both don't get anywhere near the price of a PS3, but it's still neat to read their experiences with the shadier-looking game resale sites on the net. Add in some reviews, TGS coverage, and an interview with Sid Meier on the new PS3 Civilization, and those are the highlights.

One thing I hope to see in P:TOM is a larger page count. You can say this about OXM as well, I suppose, but having an "official" console magazine run only 100 pages each month is a little...oh, I dunno...

Game Informer November 2007


Cover: Brütal Legend

The holidays are good to GI this year, it seems. Only November, and the mag's already at 176 pages and packed with all kinds of game and non-game ads (including the now-ubiquitous full-page Bowflex spot -- still the only exercise-machine outfit ambitious enough to advertise in game media, as far as I can tell).

If you have any kind of decency in your soul, you've likely already read the Brütal Legend article or watched the trailer. It's a brilliant feature, which is mainly thanks to the fact that Tim Schafer is incredibly quotable and can talk your ear off for several weeks at a time about whatever's running through his mind at the moment.

It says a lot about the difference between GI and EGM when GI puts a game like Brütal on the cover instead of Metal Gear Solid 4 or Assassin's Creed, which are the other main features this time around. When it's a good brand-new game, I love all the coverage they give. When it's a not so good one...well, I suppose that's what you get as an editor for trying to gauge games a year or so before they're due out.

Brütal is such a lovely feature, in fact, that I would have put GI at the top of the list this month...if it weren't for their putting Bubsy as top of their "top 10 worst-non-licensed-most-annoying-anthropomorphic-animal-mascots-with-'tude" list in Connect. Come on, he's cute! And Blinx starred in two awesome games, guys! He doesn't deserve to be number two on the list! Man, forget GI! I'm gonna go work for Play where they appreciate my unique tastes in platformers!

Official Xbox Magazine December 2007 (Podcast)


Cover: Call of Duty 4

For the most part this is a holiday-review-blowout issue, with three exclusive scores (including one which OXM scores a 10, I'll give you one guess which) and just review after review after review inside. An HDTV buyer's guide is the only real feature, and I think the Guitar Hero III demo on the disc will be the chief sell more than anything else this time around. (You'd be missing out if you ignored the back page, though, where Denis Dyack discusses the inevitability of a single gaming platform in the future, much as EA was whining about earlier this week.)

Game Developer October 2007


Cover: Top 20 Publishers

The Top 20's already been discussed extensively here and on Gamasutra, so I don't have much to add apart from the fact that I've never met a dissatisfied Nintendo employee (or an EA staffer who didn't have crow's feet) in my entire career.

[Kevin Gifford breeds ferrets and runs Magweasel, a site for collectors and fans of old video-game and computer magazines. He's also an editor at Newtype USA magazine.]