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Billed as the UK's best-selling multi-format games magazine, Games Master's content comes from right across the board. Covers PlayStation, N64, Dreamcast, PC, Neo Geo and Game Boy platforms and games. From Future Publishing.

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      30.12.2012 16:33
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      A long-established magazine that is past its sell-by date

      Games Master magazine was originally produced to tie in with the old Dominic Diamond/Patrick Moore TV show on Channel 4. Whilst the show itself might have been cancelled around 15 years ago, the magazine is still, surprisingly, going strong and recently celebrated its 250th issue.

      I say "surprisingly" because I really don't see the appeal of Games Master magazine. I have bought the odd issue over the years, but have found it poor when compared to other titles. Given it had reached a landmark 250 issues, I deliberately bought a few recent issues to see if it had got any better since the last time I read it. The short answer is "no".

      But before I get ahead, Games Master does at least deserve some credit for being a genuinely multi-format publication. Some games magazines claim to be multi-format, but display a clear bias towards either a particular platform (PS3/XBox 360) or a particular company (Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft). From the issues I have seen, Games Master genuinely covers all platforms, including mobile gaming from Apple or Android.

      Despite this plus, I felt curiously let down by the magazine because it appeared to be very light on genuinely exclusive content. Often gaming magazines have interviews with developers that give you the inside track on a particular title or features about gaming that tell you something you don't already know. Games Master mostly appeared to regurgitate information readily available on the internet and left me feeling like I'd paid £3.99 for a bunch of pages printed off the web.

      Production quality is not great either and the whole magazine looks and feels like a really cheap publication. The paper is of shockingly low quality, so thin that I feared I was in serious danger of ripping the magazine every time I turned a page. It also meant that some of the pages didn't look as good as they should have done. The colours were less vibrant than you would expect from a professional publication and some suffered from "bleeding" which made elements of the page difficult to read.

      Games Master magazine certainly makes liberal use of both screenshots and colours - something which should make it very visually appealing. I say "should" because, in actual fact, the reverse is true. The magazine uses far too many screen shots and - whilst this is useful to get an idea of what a game looks like - leaves the pages feeling rather cluttered, which again impedes readability.

      Page layout is a serious weakness of. As well as the over-used of screenshots, the magazine makes use of pretty much every publishing trick known to man. Box-outs, banners, headings (unrelated to the rest of the page), sidebars... you name it, Games Master uses it. This makes it tricky to follow the logical thread of an article. Which bit are you supposed to read next? Is it that bit across the top or bottom of the page? Along the side? Is that box-out related to the story you are currently reading or a brief, separate piece of information about something completely different? Combine this with some seriously small text (and some colour clashing backgrounds) and Games Master seems determined to put off its readers before they even start.

      The articles themselves are a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, all the writers are clearly keen gamers and write about games in a knowledgeable and accessible way. If you know nothing about a specific game, the basic information will give you some idea about the type of game it is; if you already know something about it, the reviews or previews will help you decide whether or not it's likely to be a game for you. Although there is sometimes a rather patronising tone to some of the articles, the magazine is at least reasonably informative about games.

      Unfortunately, the journalists also fancy themselves as comedians. All the reviews, previews and articles are littered with "hilarious", off the wall comments that no doubt had them all rolling around their desks in the editorial office. I've nothing against a bit of humour in a magazine. Indeed, it can make a publication more readable and interesting and help it engage more with its readers. However, the humour in Games Master magazine is pathetic, sixth-form level stuff that is deeply unfunny. It's the journalistic equivalent of saying a rude word, thinking it's the height of sophisticated comedy. Even accepting that I'm probably not the target audience for this mag, I found it all a bit sad. In fact, I'd say that Games Master is actually rather damaging to gaming as a serious hobby and reinforces the stereotypical image of a bunch of lonely teenage boys with no friends and limited social skills. Gaming moved on from that a long, long time ago (if it was ever true).Games Master magazine is still stuck in that time warp.

      Turning specifically to the 250th anniversary issue, I readily expected a lot more from such an impressive landmark. Yet, the magazine was curiously muted about this achievement. OK, there are a few little extras like some nice games-related stickers but for much of the magazine, it was pretty much business as usual, with the same (rather dull) mixture of reviews and previews. When I compared this with the fantastic 100th issue that Retro Gamer magazine had also recently put together, Games Master was shamed.

      From its garish colour scheme and busy, confusing layout; it's puerile sense of humour and patronising writing style, it's clear that Games Master magazine is very much aimed at the younger end of the gaming market. There's nothing wrong with a magazine aimed at younger readers per se, but do you really have to patronise them and assume they are all ADHD? One thing is for certain, if I were a kid today I'd certainly pass over Games Master in favour of some of the less childish, more readable gaming titles that are out there.

      Games Master magazine currently costs £3.99 for an individual issue and based on the quality of both the paper it is produced on and the content of the magazine itself, I'd say it is seriously overpriced. There are far better gaming magazines out there, particularly if you have a mental age of over 14. Congratulations to the magazine on surviving for so long in such a tricky environment, but on the evidence of the various issues I've read, it's hard to understand how it got there.

      (c) Copyright SWSt 2012

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      30.01.2010 17:38
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      A gaming institution

      Games Master first became known to me when I was a child and there was a TV show version with Dominik Diamond, and curiously, Sir Patrick Moore. It was a very fun show that satirically examined the world of games, and it wasn't long before I realised that there was a magazine of the same name, content and tone. It is notable as one of the few major magazines that covers virtually every imaginable gaming platform, including the Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PSP and of course, the PC.

      Like any self-respecting video game magazine, Games Masters covers the very latest games in review form, while also previewing titles that are impending and in development, while documenting the latest news in the games world and devoting a sizable portion to the hilarious letters from readers, which are rebuked in a similarly amusing style. The writing style throughout is a lot more playful and sarcastic than you might be used to, but it gives the magazine a far more prominent identity, and as a result it is one of my favourites.

      Resoundingly, this is so much more honest than most gaming mags, and they don't politely preview games, and instead give an honest view on whether they think they'll be any good. They also have a freebie with each issue, like a cheat or guide book, and given that the mag costs only £3.99, it's quite impressive that they give you this (given that Official PS Magazine costs £5.99), although of course this means there's no demo disc.

      Sure, it's a bit elementary at times, but there's a clever, sardonic wit to the writing, and I'm quite loyal to it as it was a staple of my gaming childhood.

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      19.05.2009 15:28
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      A great mag that covers all of the next generation consoles

      I'm an irregular reader of Games Master - I don't subscribe to the magazine, I probably buy 3 or 4 copies per year for reading whilst on holiday or away from home.

      I'm in my mid twenties and part of me felt quite childish when I first bought this magazine - the design doesn't really appeal to the older generations, but after reading the mag I must admit I'm pretty impressed.

      Rather than focusing on one platform, Games Master delivers news and reviews of all the next generation consoles which is prefect for people who have more than one (ie, a Wii and an Xbox 360).

      The magazine is written in a light-hearted way which makes it a joy to read and sometimes difficult to put down. The game reviews are written honestly and with a simple scoring system that tells you exactly what to expect from a game.

      There's a letters section which unfortunately seems to be dominated by 14 year old kids - I generally avoid that area! There is also a cheats section at the back of the magazine that also includes game walkthroughs... I've never really understood cheating in a game, but hey some people do!

      All-in-all, it's a great mag to keep up with the latest gaming releases. Highly recommended.

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      14.05.2009 23:17
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      Game Guide whatever games machine you have...

      I have been reading Games Master magazine on and off since way back in 1993 when it was developed to accompany the TV show of the same name. Back when I was barely a teenager, it was the show to watch, presented by Dominic Diamond, with Patrick Moore as the Games Master. It was where you would find out all the latest news for your Nintendo NES or SEGA Mega Drive.....

      Luckily the magazine has outlasted the TV show, and computer games are no longer the size of house bricks (okay I exaggerate but not by much). The magazine has continued to evolve with the times and has gone on to become the best selling Multi format games magazine in the UK. As a household that has a variety of games consoles it is great to be able to pick up one magazine and see all the new games available across the board, rather than buying one of the many computer magazines that specialise only in one system. The XBOX 360, PS3, PS", PSP, Wii, DS and PC.

      The Magazine features all the up coming games, new releases, plus tips for your current games. I particularly like the way they rate the future releases on how hotly anticipated they are. I tend to find that I agree with most of their ratings and reviews, which is probably why I have been loyal to them for so many years!! They tend to have a couple of big reviews each month, and then several pages with a couple of reviews to a page.

      Every month you get a free tips book, which features over 5000 tips for several hundred games across all consoles. They are great for keeping in your computer drawer for when you get stuck on a game. Having these books as a free gift instead of a more costly demo DVD means that Games Master magazine is one of the cheapest available.

      I do believe I am getting a bit to old for this magazine, as I find myself reading less and less of it each month!! Looking at the photo staff list the writers seem to be getting younger and younger - although I think it is probably me getting older!! The Style of writing although amusing is quite juvenile, and I tend to just read the bullet points and the score. However this is representative of its audience, which from reading the letters page seem to have an average age of 14 (scarily, the age I was when I started reading) However, if all you want it for is a nosy at future and current games releases then it does the job more than adequately.

      Games Master is published monthly for £3.99, and issue 212 is available now from all good newsagents.

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        11.02.2009 21:15
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        Great value from money

        If you own a number of different consoles or handhelds you can't go far wrong with gamesmaster magazine, now before you prejudge it's not in the same vein as the program from a few years back.
        Now ive been reading the mag for a few years now and i find it be one of the few magazines that gives a game a fair review and not influenced like offfical magazines are.
        The set out of the magazine is always clear and eye catching and the preview information is nine out of ten times spot on.
        It's a magazine that appeals to wide range of ages i'm in my late 20's however reading the letters page you get the sense that there is kids from the age of 10 to people in there 50's reading the mag, how many magazines appeal to that many people?
        The price of the magazine is one of the best as well because they don't give away demos or dvd's each month, however you do get a tips book each month.

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          08.02.2003 01:17
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          Hi There everyone i haven't read a lot of the reviews in this column yet but they look cool i think Games master has to be the best computer system magazine of all time it's packed with stuff from the new Gameboy coming out which will be called GBA SP to the weird but unoficial news thay Sony IBM and Toshiba are all working on th PS3 i only had a pc to begin with but i bought this magazine to begin with because it's so Cheap £2.85 it also has been doing the best reviews and previews before anyone else take GTA VICE for example this has to be the best game of all time when did you first here of it if you want news about games then GM is the one for you i heard of GTA VICE in July 2002 that was just after the HUGE!!! E3 review which they do every year. want to know summit else if you buy GM your in for a chance not a big one probally but chance of winning all the latest consoles (X-Box,PS2,GBA,) plus games for them all. you'll also get a free cheat book every month which is packed full of cheats for all formats. i think if you read this article you should run of your chair or what your sitting on and run to your local news agent and Buy 5 P.s does anyone know where i can get keyboad note for any bands i like sum 41 and busted but i don't mind some of the pop either as long as it's not manufactured pop

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            01.03.2002 08:43
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            Gamesmaster magazine probably the best and most selling games magazine about today, wonder why? Well the reason for this would be the fact that it is a multi-Format magazine so it contains Previews, news, reviews, Tips, and other cool stuff for all consoles! The magazine its self: The magazine is monthly, which means that there will be 12 issues per year, the price of the magazine is £2.85 and is ussually about 120 pages long!Aslo you will ussually get a free gift with the magazine ranging from cheat books worth £10 to sticker albulms. The sections: here is a brief rundown of what each section of the magazine contains. Hot News-This section is the first page of the magazine well this is after the contents page. In this section you will find all the latest gaming news and gossip, this section is ussually no longer than 10 pages! Gaming charts and Release dates- This is directly after the hot news section the top 40 games chart is done by Chart Track and is the monthly sales chart for all consoles.Then you have the release dates section after this where you will find a multi-console release dates list for the next 5 months very handy indeed! Previews-This is one of the main sections of the magazine here you will find previews on all the big upcoming games. They will give you a detailed explanation of what to expect, what the game is actually about also there will be many screenshots from the game. Tips and Cheats-Here you will find a section where there are tips and cheats for all the latest games for all consoles which can be very handy and if yours is not there then you can write in and request tips or cheats for the games you want them for and they may feature in the next issue, very handy. Guides-This section you will find a guide for a featured game ussually a new game which is really popular and well selling eg tomb raider, these ussually last for two issues so you will get say you w
            ill get a 6 level guide in one then you will get the next 6 levels in the next issue the idea ofd this is so you will get the next issue! Your shout- this is a section where you the reader can advertise any consoles you wish to sell. Reviews- this is the main section of the magazine and starts off with reviewing the bigger games and ends up reviewing the not so good games. Here you will find detailed reviews of all the latest games before they are released and as this is a non-biased magazine you will get an accurate review on the game for any console as well as the review you will find a section at the end of the review with all the good and the bad points also an overall percentage rating, this is very handy indeed!Ussually you will get around 30-50 games reviewed in this section! Bring the toyz-This is the last section of the magazine where you will find reviews on all kinds of stuff ranging from britney soears dolls to scooter really just a fun page, can be worth a read. Over all this in ,my view is the best gaming magazine around as it gives you all the stuff you could want reviews, previews tips and cheats

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              22.11.2001 04:49
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              Games Master is one of the more ‘Raw’ magazines out there providing the reader with some of the most honest advice around. The gamesmasters magazine is a magazine that was originally derived from the television program, again not the best of quality of production but again good content. This magazine provides all the current the current News, Previews and review for all the current consoles, it real does provide for a massive, wide range of games players. This magazine has , in my opinion very reliable information and the reviews I find are very honest. The magazine isn’t an official magazines and some will not try and promote a certain console or games. It may not be the thickest console out there, but it makes up for it in the reliability of content it’s sheer quality. The magazine usually comes with a free booklet with tips etc. but it’s usually nothing special.

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                08.09.2001 17:16
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                Gamesmaster magazine probably the best and most selling games magazine about today, wonder why? Well the reason for this would be the fact that it is a multi-Format magazine so it contains Previews, news, reviews, Tips, and other cool stuff for all consoles! The magazine its self: The magazine is monthly, which means that there will be 12 issues per year, the price of the magazine is £2.85 and is ussually about 120 pages long!Aslo you will ussually get a free gift with the magazine ranging from cheat books worth £10 to sticker albulms. The sections: here is a brief rundown of what each section of the magazine contains. Hot News-This section is the first page of the magazine well this is after the contents page. In this section you will find all the latest gaming news and gossip, this section is ussually no longer than 10 pages! Gaming charts and Release dates- This is directly after the hot news section the top 40 games chart is done by Chart Track and is the monthly sales chart for all consoles.Then you have the release dates section after this where you will find a multi-console release dates list for the next 5 months very handy indeed! Previews-This is one of the main sections of the magazine here you will find previews on all the big upcoming games. They will give you a detailed explanation of what to expect, what the game is actually about also there will be many screenshots from the game. Tips and Cheats-Here you will find a section where there are tips and cheats for all the latest games for all consoles which can be very handy and if yours is not there then you can write in and request tips or cheats for the games you want them for and they may feature in the next issue, very handy. Guides-This section you will find a guide for a featured game ussually a new game which is really popular and well selling eg tomb raider, these ussually last for two issues so you will get say you will get
                a 6 level guide in one then you will get the next 6 levels in the next issue the idea ofd this is so you will get the next issue! Your shout- this is a section where you the reader can advertise any consoles you wish to sell. Reviews- this is the main section of the magazine and starts off with reviewing the bigger games and ends up reviewing the not so good games. Here you will find detailed reviews of all the latest games before they are released and as this is a non-biased magazine you will get an accurate review on the game for any console as well as the review you will find a section at the end of the review with all the good and the bad points also an overall percentage rating, this is very handy indeed!Ussually you will get around 30-50 games reviewed in this section! Bring the toyz-This is the last section of the magazine where you will find reviews on all kinds of stuff ranging from britney soears dolls to scooter really just a fun page, can be worth a read. Over all this in ,my view is the best gaming magazine around as it gives you all the stuff you could want reviews, previews tips and cheats, why not give it a go today? ~Airwalk2001

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                  30.04.2001 04:35
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                  When you hear the words 'Games Master' do you think of the long forgotten wrinkled Patrick Moore wielding his eye piece and blabbering on about how to get a billion lives on Sonic The Hedgehoge for the Sega Mega Drive? well forget this cruel stereotype right now and open your eyes to the great magazine that is Games Master. Games Master, 'Britains Biggest Selling Multi-Format Mag!', is a great bargain in any gamers eyes, I mean just £2:80 can buy for you News on all the latest up coming titles and reviews on the present smash hits that are currently on the shelves. I found when reading Games Master it has a sense of involvment with it's readers, which it does through competitions, Reader of the month, info on all the production team (some which is quite funny), Readers letters and pictures and also the occasional poster. The amount of reviews this magazine contains beats the pants of many other magazines for example in just one issue there were over 50 reviews!? is that value for money or is that value for money? Why that's value for money in even Margaret Thatchers Book. I sometimes notice while reading other magazines that the rating systems stink! infact that get you annoyed and feel the need to complain. Not in this mag. Instead of getting a writer who specialises in football games to write a review on Final Fantasy 9 (which unfortunatly has been done in a mag I was reading about 2 months ago, I wont name names but you know who you are, anyway...) Games Master suits the right writer to each review for example they would get 'Mr RPG' to rate Final Fantasy 9 and 'Mr Mush for Brains' To rate a clumsy game like WWF Smackdown. So there you have it, plenty of reasons to buy this corker of a mag, remember also that you get just as much from this £2:80 magazine as you do from a whopping £5:00 magazine (Oh except a cover disc) (no real loss). Thanks for reading. Please com
                  ment to help me lose my amateur appeal.

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                  27.03.2001 16:15
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                  As a gamer, I regularly find myself looking to see what game I should buy next. But what game should I buy? There are so many genres to choose from, and an incredible range of games. The answer is, read magazines. But of course it isn’t entirely straight forward, because guess what, there are a large variety of magazines to choose from. Firstly, you have the magazines devoted to one platform, say the Playstation. The advantage of buying this type of magazine is that you get an entire magazine devoted to that particular platform, which of course means more information or pictures for you. Imagine that one person has just bought a new console and they would like to know what games they should buy. If they bought a multi-format magazine (i.e. one that covers all the different platforms) then there would be a lot of sections that would not concern the person, as the person only has one of the platforms. But, if they purchased a magazine that only covered the platform that the person had bought, then there wouldn’t be any sections in the magazine that weren’t relevant. Games Master is a multi-format magazine, so I believe that the majority of people who buy the magazine, probably own more than one platform. I do think that some people might buy it, because it is a high quality magazine though. But enough of that, you should understand now the difference in magazines now. Games Master Games Master is a multi-format magazine that covers all the different consoles and PCs. The layout of the magazine is very good, as it has a variety of different sections, like news, reviews, and tips. Each section usually has lots of different stories or games, and you can bet that if there is a story, then Games Master has probably got it in the magazine. The magazine obviously has a lot of journalists who work in Japan, as they are quick to find the latest news on new games and new games consoles.
                  News As I said before, Games Master is good at finding stories and I find that when ever I buy the magazine, there is usually a story in there that I haven’t already read or heard of. I think that it is important to have a large section devoted to news, as this is the most exciting part of the games industry. Just remember when Sony first showed the world the Playstation 2. Games Master featured loads of information and pictures from the official unveiling. There were sections that showed pictures from the technical demos and sections that explained the specifications of the hardware itself. All in all, Games Master did pretty well at covering the story. Previews Again, Games Master is usually great at covering previews on games. Unfortunately they don’t always have some games previewed when clearly the game is almost finished, but I would imagine that the magazine couldn’t always have all the games previewed in one edition. As for the previews themselves, they are very well laid out and contain an excellent analysis of the game. The structure goes like this: you have the text that goes through the games development and then explains how the game plays. You then have boxes with pictures and text that explain one particular point about the game. Lastly, there is a bar on the right of the last page that explains the first impressions of the game, with an advantage and disadvantage box at the bottom. This is great as you can read about what it is actually like to play quickly, and you can read what the basic advantage and disadvantage is. Sometimes though, you find that you want to know a bit more, but this could be that you yearn for the game itself! Reviews The reviews section is one of the best sections in the magazine. A typical review of a game (or maybe I should, ‘a good game’) is usually anywhere between three and six pages long. This might so
                  und like a lot, but when you read the magazine, you will see that actually, this is the perfect length. There is a substantial amount of text, which is really what you want, and a good number of pictures from the game. Like the previews section, there are special boxes that contain a picture and a paragraph of text that take you through, or explain, one particular part of the game. For example, say the review is of Final Fantasy 9. There would be several of these boxes, with an example of one of them explaining the ‘card game’. It would show a picture or two of the card game itself, and then a paragraph to explain how it works. This feature is great as there are usually lots of these boxes, and they are a great way of explaining features in the game without losing the reader. At the end of the review, there is a box that gives the game an overall mark. The mark is a percentage, say 94 %. What Games Master used to do, which was great, was to have a bar on the right hand side of the final page that consisted of different features of the game, like graphics, sound, gameplay, lastability etc… Under each title there would be a line or two that described what each one was like. This was great as you could really see what was good and what was bad, quickly. But unfortunately they scrapped this for a smaller box. Overall the reviews section is great, but I think it would have been nice if they had kept the old design. Tips The tips section is usually very big, with an entire section devoted to one or two games. This is usually good as there are usually two or more whole pages of tips, generally a guide/walkthrough. The rest is usually devoted to a letters section where people write in with problems and the Games Master team come up with a solution, and lastly a general section for lots of different games, but covers lots of different cheats. The tips section is great as there i
                  s often a walkthrough for a game like Final Fantasy 9 or something like that. Plus there is usually a cheat for a game you have in the cheats section. Extras In the back of the magazine there are loads of excellent extras. For instance, there is a small review section on handheld games. What is great, is the magazine doesn’t have too much on this section, so you don’t feel annoyed that the magazine is full of handheld games that really don’t matter that much. Also, there is usually a review section for peripherals and other extras like DVDs or music. Another great feature as the Playstation 2 supports DVDs. Finally at the very back there is a ‘next month in Games Master’ section that lets you know what next month’s edition will feature. Design and presentation The magazine looks great, but unfortunately, sometimes the quality of the pictures (of games) in the magazine is terrible. I was looking through one edition and I found a preview of a game on the PS2 called Moto GP. I thought that it would look great, but to my disappointment, it looked awful. Straight away I knew that it had nothing to do with the game. The screen shots looks very fuzzy. What I mean by this, is pixelated, like the game hadn’t been anti aliased (a technique that smoothes edges). But I had already played this game in the arcade and had downloaded a movie from the Internet of the PS2 version, and it was clearly nothing like the Games Master pictures. The game is as smooth as a babies bum! Overall This magazine is clearly very good and has lots of excellent features. I buy this magazine regularly and encourage anyone else who is interested in the games industry to consider buying it too. Games Master is available once a month for about three pounds, and often includes a free tips book or some other freebee. Thanks for reading m
                  y opinion, I appreciate anyone’s comments on the magazine or my opinion. Cheers!

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                    29.10.2000 21:42

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                    The magazine has more lies then a day in court. Most of the cheats do not work so do not waste your time like I did. Most of the release dates are not true; so do not rush out to the shops straight away leave it for a month or two. Also the picture in this magazine I do not know were they get them from. But most of them are not on game. So if you want to be tricked by this magazine. This game is as tacky as my Dad's jokes.

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                    14.09.2000 01:36
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                    GamesMaster has been around a long time, more than 8 years, I believe. In that time it has improved immensely. Whereas before it used to be quite foul-mouthed and of poor graphic design and quality, it is now, quite literally, the "Gamer's Bible". It is much more pleasing to the eye and contains a lot of news, previews and reviews for all the main consoles - PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, N64, Game Boy, NeoGeo Pocket and the PC. There's no real need to bother with a separate magazine for each console you own, this satisfies any console owner. The articles, I find, are written in a very witty and entertaining way, and when they slap a percentage on a game, I practically always agree. The added bonus of a tips book with every issue is also a plus, and every few episodes they might even throw in a poster, some sweets or even trading cards! In two words: Try It.

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                      02.09.2000 19:47

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                      Games Master simply is the best games magazine in the UK at the moment. It considers all formats and has bag fulls of reviews each week. The cheats section is first rate and it has a full page spread dedicated to the dates new games are due out. Although these are sometimes wrong it is impossible for them to know because release dates change constantly. They always have free gifts with the magazine and often a special cheat book.

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