Newest Review: ... So what was the best part of the magazine? Well, it was all good, mostly. The price! Most gaming magazines, aside from being ... more
DC-UK Dreamcast Magazine
Member Name: D1A1
DC-UK Dreamcast Magazine
Date: 22/04/01, updated on 22/04/01 (222 review reads)
Advantages: My review is exactly 1234 words long same amount as the number I had rated until I just rated someone's opinion! As for the advantages? Read the opinion!
Disadvantages: Yep, read opinion!
Still, enough of that, what I should be saying is that with this decision to leave the hardware market, coupled with the financial struggle and staff laying off at Future Publishing (they produce a number of Console/PC magazines), meant that the best Dreamcast magazine out their, DC-UK was to stop. So as from two months ago I have had to endure the insane, demoralising complex language used in EDGE magazine as Future Publishing have now transferred the Subscription, which is fair enough! However, with the only 'decent' Dreamcast magazine left being the Official Dreamcast Magazine (ODM), it looks as though the Dreamcast community is slowly, but surely fading away, but at least the online gaming factor is proving immensely popular still! Anyone for a quick frag? (Quake 3 Arena Online)
Okay, so why is, I mean 'was', DC-UK the best? Well let me tell you! Needless to say, a big hand to the people that made it interesting reading - Keith Stuart (the editor), Lee hart, Claire Howlett, Neil Randall, Karl Jaques, Andrew Hind and Adrian Lawton who all worked for the magazine. So what was the best part of the magazine? Well, it was all good, mostly.
The price! Most gaming magazines, aside from being
bias, uninteresting, written by people on a 'higher level' than us normal people, and generally not very good to read, they are usually very high in price. Edge magazine is £3.80, and half of its just advertisement space! Official PlayStation 2 magazine comes in at a penny under a fiver, although you do get a DVD with a demo or two and some FMV of forthcoming games, but compared with DC-UK they're both expensive! At just £2.99, or £2 per issue if you subscribed (a third off!) you didn't get a GD-rom full of the latest demos; to my knowledge there was only ever one Demo disc of the Bizarre Creations game 'Fur Fighters', but you did get a great magazine that you as a reader had some influence over. So, in terms of value, this was unbeatable!
Layout and presentation wise, DC-UK improved up until it's 20th and final edition and so at the start (although I only subscribed from issue 7) it didn't seem overly professional with really poor quality screen shots, some dodgy printing, and a really messy design in my view, but as I say it got better. The shape of magazine change from being short and fat, to the more traditional shape, like nearly every other Future publishing magazine. The index page was always helpful, with everything in a familiar place, from the reviews down to the letters - the layout stayed roughly the same, with around 100 pages per issue. The latest/last edition still looks a bit frantic and messy in comparison to the official magazines, but as they saying goes 'don't judge a...' You know the rest.
Content! Okay this is the most important part of it all, and there's a lot to write about, but I'll keep it short and snappy, if that's possible.
Previews: Every month, as with most magazines, there was a dedicated previews section full of interesting facts and initial thoughts on forthcoming titles, some still haven’t even made it out yet (for instance I have no idea wher
e Giant Killers – the would-be only Dreamcast football management available, and if anyone has any information on what’s happened to Unreal Tournament then I’d be happy to hear!), but most of the games did make the expected release date. In every preview, they managed to pick out their favourite quote that’d sum up the author’s feelings of the particular game – for those who have little time to read the whole text, but will still act upon someone’s opinion (“rate my opinion very useful!”). Anyway, each preview contained screen shots to whet the appetite, as well as an ‘In a Nutshell’ box with the main details in a brief summary.
Reviews: With some magazines, I get the impression that they’re rating the games too highly, and for example on BBC’s Ceefax pages (535) their reviewer, a certain David Gibbon (if he’s a member on dooyoo, then so be it), tells the viewers in a tiny review how poor a game is and then goes and awards an above average 6/10, which just seems ridiculous, but then OPS2 magazine gave Zone of the Enders 9/10, which is just laughable in my view and shows clearly that they’re either not getting many triple A titles to pit them up against, or are being paid a lot to up their scores. Anyway, I felt DC-UK’s reviewers were being fair, only ever awarding four 10 out of 10s (Shenmue, MSR, Phantasy Star Online and Soul Calibur) and using a wide range of scores, with poor games getting 3 out of 10, I don’t think anything got a ‘1’. So trusty and reliable reviews, with the DC-UK verdict on graphics, sound, gameplay, multiplayer and the overall all bundled in and around screen shots over a few pages.
The readers’ participation: Now this is where DC-UK excelled at being a magazine dedicated to its readers! Every month there were competitions on the most popular games, with various prizes being given away to the best scores rec
eived each month – I’m quite pleased to add that I managed a fairly high placing for the Crazy Taxi competitions (go check, see my name). But there were also letters, tips, questions and answers all from the readers. But the best part - you could review the games. Not in as much as they wouldn’t have to, but just like you can at dooyoo.co.uk you could at DC-UK by submitting your reviews (of no more than 240 words) and hoping that it’d be used and published, giving you instant fame (although I suppose the reader base wasn’t that high) and a prize was given also. I actually had a Quake 3 Arena review printed in the last edition, and won a game and t-shirt! Very nice – but you felt that the magazine included the people for whom it was intended.
Overall? Well, aside from the messy layout from time to time, this was the best Dreamcast magazine you could have bought, shame that I can’t recommend you to buy it now, seeing as you can’t, but I felt I’d submit my review on their magazine. Just to show my appreciation! A full 5 out of 5- may all gaming magazines follow in their style.
Ok, hope you liked the opinion, it’s late, I need some sleep and you probably should too – so read my review, it may just help!