June 15, 2011 2:00 AM |
['Game Mag Weaseling' is a weekly column by Kevin Gifford which documents the history of video game magazines, from their birth in the early '80s to the current day. This time -- an analytical look at the latest video game magazines released in the last couple of weeks.]
I know it's post-E3 and few people may care very much about print mags that came out before the event, but if you buy one mag on the shelves right now, I recommend this one:
GamePro July 2011
Cover: Street Fighter X Tekken
I think I'm starting to repeat myself in these descriptions, but I'm starting to think that GamePro, more than any other US mag at the moment, knows how design spreads well.
This is worth pointing out, because while advertising pages have plummeted in game mags over the past five years, a lot of mags are still designed on a page-by-page basis in order to make it easier to insert a page ad without screwing up the design. For most US mags, this (for better or for worse) isn't much of a worry any longer.
GamePro's art folks realize this, and their mag just looks different as a result of it. It's still under 100 pages, but every two-page spread is stimulating enough that it seems like you're getting a lot more out of it. It works to the mag's advantage, making readers stop and look at pretty much any feature, from the cover bit to the preview of Skyrim to the high-end PC hardware guide that'd be pretty boring in nearly any other situation.
I say that even before getting to the "Periodic Table of Computer & Video Games," a look at the "fundamental elements" (the genre pioneers) of gaming. It's a hell of a thing from Julian Rignall, well-researched and well-written. Rock on to him for that.
I'd write more (haven't even gotten to the cover yet, either, which rocks), but I think you get the idea. I love GamePro.