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PC Zone used to be a brilliant mag back in the mid to late '90s, merging wit, sometimes crude but always sharp comedic observation and a professional journalistic approach to create a monthly magazine owed as much to Viz as it did to serious journalism. It was a joy to read then, not least because of the contributions of the excellent and very funny Charlie Brooker, who now presents BBC programmes such as Screenwipe and Newswipe, but back then used to write hilarious but insightful reviews and also produce crude and surreal comic strips, one of which was so outlandish and over the top that it got the magazine pulled from the shelves of supermarkets one month. Charlie gave the magazine an ascerbic and darkly humorous edge, although the rest of its writers were equally good, with a heavy emphasis on entertainment and readability throughout.
Sadly by around 2000 this all changed- Charlie was increasingly suppressed and eventually either left or was kicked out, and the magazine took on a pompous, overly serious tone and has never really recovered since. It is still a very professional, highly informative and reliable magazine, and contains all the features you would expect in a games magazine- news, reviews, previews, interviews with developers, a letters page, competitions, a cover disk packed with new games and so on- but nowadays its very dry and boring, with none of the funny and risque character it once possessed still remaining. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being serious about gaming- one of the biggest strengths of the PC as a gaming platform is that it tends to cater more towards dedicated gamers than consoles, which tend to be more (but certainly not exclusively) aimed at causal gamers- but PC Zone would do well to lighten up and generate some more comedic appeal and character of its own. PC Gamer, whilst by no means perfect, comes a lot closer to striking this balance, and is a much more appealing and entertaining read as a result. PC Zone is still a decent and reliable gaming magazine though, but only a shadow of its former self.
Boys (and men) are all excitedly rushing to the letter box, peering down the stairs, peeking into the hallway, hoping the postman has visited. I'm thinking that this isnt for the phone bill (unless they've been phoning sexy ladies in Guatamalea), nope today is the drop date for the latest edition of PC Zone. Ladies, you may actually see your men reading something other than the Sun or Daily Sport! As you may have guessed PC Zone is a PC magazine but it concentrates mainly on the gaming side rather then loads of geeky technical nonsense! OF course it is primarily designed for male reading abilities, so its in easy to access sections! First of all we have the bulletins and news. Now girls, dont be upset if you see a tear trickle into his cornflakes. You see, Half Life 2 has had part od its source code illegally hacked and the game illegally released on the internet. This means it wont be released till April 2004 and you have to find another Christmas present, nor are they going to be able to get Breed or Unreal Tournament 2004. Apart from that cheerfulness we have snippets of developing games, emulation games, rumours, and charts. They also have lists of upcoming games, so just to klet you know Pro Evolution Soccor 3 is out next month, so that may go some way to staunching the pain of Half Life. I'm sure many of you are aware that far too many boys want to spend their futures sitting on their backsides developing games. Luckily for them, Zone is currently doing a series of the top game developing companies in Britain, just perfect for blagging some work experience from. The previews are one of the biggest sections of the mag. Each issue they take one major game and preview it to the point of death! Most appropriately the big feature game this month is Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. It has lovely screenshots and tell you exactly what it consists of and how it is SUPPOSED to be, it does this for a fair few gam
es. It doesnt tell you how it plays, when the game is finally released it gets to go to the reviews section. 24 Games are being reviewed in this section, from Hidden & Dangerous 2 to The Simpsons: Hit and Run. I have to say their reviews have swayed my opinions on several occasions. There's no game developer backside licking in this magazine, any money being passed as a bit of a back hander goes straight in the pub landlords pocket! It tells you exactly what its like, from how it looks, how easy the control are and what the game play is really like. After all, how many of you have been stunned by lovely graphics only to finds its the worse game in the world? Daikatana, anyone? We also get lovely percentage scores and some good and bad points. Well after reading this section I'm having Prince of Persia 2 and Alan is getting Pro Evolution Soccer 3. And no one is getting Max Payne 2 as its way too violent! In case you didnt take any notice before, they' let you know what games are being re-released and what readers really thought of the current games. On to the Online section for the entire world of online gaming. Dont tell Alan, but I'm rather pleased that Half-Life 2 and Unreal have been delayed because I'll now get to see him on regular occasions rather than listening to bangs and boomns as he 'frags' another player in Azerbaijan!. We get to see the new and different genres of the games on the net, how the major games like Halo match up on multi-player games. For those who like the more violent of games Zone also runs 'fight clubs', leagues and have lists of different online clubs and guilds. We're way past the middle mark and this is where things start looking a bit techy and geeky. Ooh, Zone have done a huge round up of the best graphics cards around, pages of stats and ratings I care nothing about. I've got a brand new dogs testicles pc and as long as it plays Civ
3 and Dungeon Keeper 2 I'm happy!. Of course the only benefit this has for us ladies is that we now know have superspecial to make his Christmas in hope of reducing the disappointment of having to go to our mothers for Christmas dinner, or we can spout useful knowledge when cousin geek starts going on about his new nVidia 67 million!. Err, best buys, silly people writing in because they dont know where the on button is, people moaning about various companies, BT, Freeserve and dabs seem to feature quite often! There's also readers letters, looks at classic games, a couple of articles on various bit of nonsense and a competition or two. For our £4.99 a month we also get 2 discs packed with goodies, for those hapless enough to still be using CD players they issue them in CD and DVD form. It has previews and playable demo's of all the top games, patches, add-on's, etc. Rarely is a game bought in our house before we've tried a demo from PC Zone. So there you go, everything is to found in this magazine, Aside from being packed with info, the articles are very well written and the standard of journalism high. Though I think some may disagree! There's a huge current of sarcasm within the mag, these chaps dont suffer fools gladly and will gladly tell all when a games crap, companies are behaving like fools, and writers and readers are talking out of their bottoms. Their little ad-libs can also be quite amusing. Although there is one female writer the magazine is geared strongly towards the chaps, beer, footie, curries and how superior they are to DedFul at Counterstrike feature highly.. Online is definately well within the male domain. I'm not sure I'd let young children read it either, revelling in mindless violence as they do, may not be too constructive for young minds. In essence this mag has everything you need in knowing what to buy and start a killing sprees! Life has never be
en good for me since they removed the cheats and walkthrough sections but you cant have everything. Definately THE magazine for all gamers everywhere.
For those of you out there who like computer games then this is the magazine which can be classed as the Rolls-Royce for the gamer. Packed into each issue with the cover disks is a magazine that tells it like it is to the gamers of the PC world. Not to mention the fact that the number of items you get on the cover disk are really useful and not including that indespencable AA map of Watford or what ever. It contains fully playable demos of the most up-todate games due to be released. Whats in the magazine I hear you cry, well inside the contents page leaps to you and gives you information on what you would expect from a top class magazine for the gamer. Previews: Contains all the news on current and soon to be released products on the market. Reviews: If you want to find out what is game is like and what the game players think of the new released then this is place for you with current good and bad games reviewed. Online: Being aware of the fact that there are a large number of online gamers the mag has a section to tell you about the internet gaming world. Bulletin: The most definitive games news section you will ever find telling you not only about new games but the expansions for existing games that are out as well as the PC Zone charts so check them out. Regulars: In this section you have letters to the editor, gadgets, the PC Zone top 100, whats on the CD`s and how to subscribe to the magazine and save money!!!! Troubleshooter: Ever have a hang on the system whilst playing your best game, have you a problem then in this section you will find walkthroughs, help and cheats. End Zone: Back here you will find witty comments, lots of information and whats coming soon to the magazine. Competitions: No magazine would be good with out the usual competition so on every issue there is the normal section. Finally what can I say about this maga
zine, Buy it, subscribe to it but most of all GET IT! (If you like games that is?) Sorted!
PC zone is another on of the pc magazines available in most good retailers. If is a good mag in my opinion, but is not quite the best available. The magazine provides all the reviews, previews and upcoming news of upcoming games on the pc, giving you all you would need to know. A demo CD is acomanied but while not quite as good as PC GAMERS OFFERING is very good, many new games are featured. This is a good magazine for the money (3.50) which is a little cheatper thatn the rest but is still secod ontly to the mighty PC GAMER. Get it if you are short of money, otherwise i would suggest PC GAMER magazine for the PC.
PC ZONE- I regularly buy this magazine, and I thoroughly enjoy reading the detailed reviews, and the comprehensive and vivid previews. The magazine is very well illustrated, not afraid to give plenty of pictures to make it clear what a game is like. For example, the review of Medal of Honour: Allied Assault was full of good screenshots, and it gave all of the different aspects of the game; so it has influenced me to make the very satisfying purchase of the game. Also, the magazine covers all sorts of games. Whether you like FPS or RTS games, you know that they’ll have a specialist analysing the strong and weak points of the new game. In addition to all of the reviews and previews packed into every new issue, they have other sections dedicated to multiplayer games, patches interviews with producers and designers, as well as web sites to check out. The front cover CD is always up to date, with lots of different games and software. Often it includes very big demos, to let you decide for yourself if the games that you read about are the sort of game for you! You definitely won’t get bored of the issue of the magazine by the time the next one comes out! Basically, if you like strategy games more, then get strategy player, but if you like all-around gaming with solid, well illustrated articles then definitely get PC Zone!
Pc Zone the only magazine worth buying these days. It offers loads of previews and reviews, it has stats of the top pc games at the moment and the different genres of games are put in a top five.It includes the regulers like the demos and a chance to subscribe. Subscribing gives you the chance to recieve Pc Zone every month for a reduced price well worth it. Demos are usually the latest demos available and are great fun installing and trying but I feel there just isn't enough of them. Great value for money and you sometimes get a dvd special which offers more demos.
PC Zone been going for over 100 issues now so its well established. It costs £3.50 which is quite good compared to most other PC magazines out there. It is nicely laid out with glossy covers and pages. There editorial is always interesting and the team writing the magazine are given an introduction with pictures and different witty quotes every issue. The mailbox is the usual format, nothing really special but the letters are always interesting and there is quite a good prize for the letter of the month. The bulletin section is very indepth with very good looks at new games. Pictures are especially good and large. There is all the latest game news and information as well as a section on games related hardware (joysticks, graphic cards etc). There is a quite interesting charts sections, certainly more detailed than other magazines, with a chart comment, peoples opinions on the charts and retro charts which will bring back memories. Previews are also very well done, yet again with neat large pictures to capture the atmosphere of the game. There are little boxes giving more detail about important bits as well as a cv on the game designers to see what other things they have done before and a Q&A with one of the people behind it. Reviews section is the most important and in PC Zone is done much better than any other magazine because of its strict policy. Only games that are true classics ae given over 90% but you know a game is still very good if it gets into the eighties. There is an "In Perspective" section which compares the game's mark to others in the genre to see how it compares. Like the previews there is the usual box sections and lots of pictures. Another great feature that isnt found in other magazines is the supertest. Each month the team get together and have a frank discussion to decide whichis the top game in whatever genre they have chosen. This can be very useful as it gives a more person
al look at the games. There is also a feedback section where readers are encouraged to write in and comment an criticise the reviews. The cheats section is also very good as there are some very useful walkthroughs. However, because they are quite in-depth they tend to cover more than one issue and some gamers may not find it useful having to wait a month to find out what they can do next. To go with this there is a tech help section for any hardware and software problems and a watchdog section where you can have your connsumer issues resolved. The Top 100 is another useful feature that is much improved on other magazines efforts. It is split into genres with top ten games put in order of the review marks. These marks are altered to reflect the changing times so that this section gives a very useful reflection on what are the best games around at the moment. This is like a mini magazine of its own, concentrating on online games only. It has the same news, previews and reviews section as the main mag. A recently new section is the large online part which reflects how important online gaming is becoming. There is online orientated news, previews and information as well reviews of mods and maps which are also generally included on the CDs. The CDs are the usual affair with the latest demos, mods, films, patches and add-ons. The main use seems to be for those who have trouble downloading mods and maps for games like Half-Life as there tends to be a lot of these on the CDs. Alongside PC Gamer this is certainly the best PC gaming magazine around. It has good style and good layout with lots of depth. These two magazines are really the only ones you should suggest checking out. I often struggle to decide between them but maybe that cheaper price could swing it for some of you.
God knows why, but the first time I went in to the magazine shop after getting my new PC I decided to buy PC Zone instead of all the other gaming mags. That's quite a bit of chance, given that you could easily fill a small newsagent with the number of PC mags on offer. PC Zone is completely dedicated to the gaming side of PC's which means that you won't find a review of the latest version of Word in here, only games and games related hardware. While magazines like Computer Shopper are good for general PC users, they aren't that good on the gaming side of things. This mag has it all, from new games and previews to joysticks and graphics cards. PC Zone is a monthly publication, and usually comes with two CD's packed with demos, mods and patches. It costs £4 which I think is a little expensive for a magazine, but then most similar mags cost a £5. £1 doesn't make a big difference but I suppose you could buy a can of coke and bar of chocolate and still have a few pennies left over!! The mag itself is shiny and glossy, and recently has contained 146 pages. Unlike a lot of other PC mags it doesn't have pages and pages filled with ads!! The mag is split up in to lots of sections, so I'll go through each one and give details. Bulletin -------- This is the very first section in the mag, and contains news and information. This section usually contains the first look at games, including some great screen shots too. For example the latest issue had shots of the upcoming Unreal 2. It also updates the progress of other games that are in development, as well as general news about the games industry. Within the bulletin section there are a few sub sections too. Tech Head, as the name suggests, gives details on the technical aspects of both hardware and software. The Charts unsurprisingly lists the current charts, as well as retro charts from years ago. Hotshots is basically an early
preview of games that are sure-fire hits. Mailbox ------- The usual letters section that every mag has. Rather than just having ten people saying how much they love the magazine, this is usually a place where hot discussions take place, what’s more if you write your own letter then you stand the chance to win a prize! Previews -------- Pretty self-explanatory this bit!! What you get here are previews of upcoming games, usually a month or two before their release. These just detail the game, how it plays and what it looks like etc. One nice feature is that they have a little box telling you the last few games that the developer made, so if they happened to make Deus Ex then you know that the game could be good, but if they made Super Mud Wrestling 2000 then you might want to leave it alone!! All the previews feature nice large screenshots which show off the game nicely, as well as a quick summary of the game and details about it. Reviews ------- This is one of the biggest sections of the mag, and lets face it; one of the main reasons we buy magazines. What I like about PC Zone is their review policy. Unlike a lot of mags they don't just award 90%+ to any half decent game. If a game gets a score of above 80% then you know it has to be good, and if the game is crap then they say so. This can be proven from their top 10 game lists in each genre, the game at number 10 has on average a score of around 70% showing how they don't award a lot of high scores. They have a team of about 10 reviewers who all have their favourite genres, and they try to ensure that a game is reviewed by a fan of the particular genre. They also test a game on a variety of systems so they can tell you how realistic the specs on the box are. The reviews themselves are well written and presented; there are always a lot of screen shots, but not so many that there isn't
room for any writing. There are always a few side boxes, giving details on particular section of the game. It also lists the minimum and recommended specs, as well as what they think you need to run it well. There is a separate budget zone where all the cheap and slightly older games are re-reviewed at their lower price tag. They also have a feedback section where readers can write in to give their views and comments on a game, and if they agreed or disagreed with the review. Online ------ This is like a mini magazine of its own, concentrating on online games only. It has the same news, previews and reviews section as the main mag. One of my favourite sections of the online part is the Mod Watch. This section reviews mods for games like Unreal Tournament and Half Life, and even better a lot of the mods reviewed are included on the CD's. There is also a section called after hours, which details maps for games like Unreal Tournament and Half Life, all of which are included on the CD. Troubleshooter -------------- This section is split up in to two main parts, cheat and technical help. The cheat section just lists a load of cheats for various games, and also gives a list of helpful web sites. The technical help section features help on PC problems, not only of the hardware side but also a consumer Watchdog that helps people who have been ripped off. The Cd's -------- Like every other PC magazine PC Zone comes with software, in the form of two CD's. These CD's are packed with the latest demos. Basically if a game is made then the chances are that it will be on the CD. However the CD also has some other features. As I mentioned earlier there are maps and mods for games like Unreal Tournament and Half Life. They can all be downloaded from the Internet but this saves you a lot of time and groups them in
one place so you always know where they are. The CD also contains all the latest patches for games. These are often pretty big in size, so can take a long time to download on a 56K modem. The Servers ----------- Out of the kindness of their heart PC Zone have a range of servers available that you can play games on. Currently these games are Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike and Team Fortress Classic. They also run a series of reader challenges where you can play online against the people who write the magazine!! They challenge you to beat them, and if you do you get a prize!! Overall I think this is the best PC games magazine. Its style is good; it is humorous without being written for teenage boys. Some magazines take the politically correct view and are too serious, where others take the toilet humour too far. PC Zone gets it right, I like it!!! While there is certainly no shortage of other PC magazines available in the stores this is definitely one of the better ones. Get it now!!
I bought this magazine randomly once day and ever since then I have been subscribing to it :) The thing that struck me as interesting about the magazine was that the reviewers weren't affraid to write what they really thought. also, the ratings in the magazine are a lot harsher than in other mags making for more competitive scores. I've often gone out and bought a game based on the review given to it by PC Zone and as a rule I won't go out and buy a game until I've read what PC Zone have said about it. Unfortunitely the price of the magazine has gone up slowly over the last year but my advice is to subscribe to the magazine if you like it because it's then only half price, that's £5.25 every 3 issues!
PC Zone. Cheap, Informative, Fantastic. Without doubt, the best PC Games magazine on the market. Each month you get a CD jampacked with the latest demos, along with patches, addons etc. Admittedly this isn't as good as other magazines such as PC Gamer, where you get 2 CDs, but everything has its downside. You get a magazine which, for a cheaper price, gives you more than most other magazines of its type. You get great reviews, an excellent ratings system, and each month, their top 100 games lists. Everything the reader could want to help them decide which games are worth going for, and which are not worth the packaging they come in. Of course, PC Gaming isn't just about the games themselves, you need the machine to run them. PC Zone covers this as well, with hardware reviews, troubleshooting tips, and walkthroughs for many game related procedures eg networking, playing online etc. Throw in cheats, tips, amusing articles, latest news, competitions, and a monthly comparison of top games in each genre, along with budget game reviews for those who don't have quite so much in the piggy bank, and you have the perfect magazine. Great work PC Zone, keep it up logi :)
If your pondering on a magazine to buy, get this. It rocks! It has excellent reviews, which are honest and strict, a great cover cd, and exclusive reviews every month. If you wondering why this is Britains most popular PC magazine, this is why. I as well as so many others have trusted PC zone, as it has reviews, interviews and humor. You WILL enjoy this, and at the mere price of 3 quid 50 what do you have to lose? Also, its now avaliable with a DVD, which has loads of extra stuff, demos and patches etc. Thats priced 4.99.
Quite simply, PC Zone is the best PC mag out there. Oh, darn, 75 words needed, erm... ok how about this? PC Zone always has quality CDs. Over the time I've been collecting it I now have tons of high-quality playable demos. Take this month's special Xmas issue, on the CD it has a full 1/3 of Icewind Dale. I was undecided as to whether or not I would like Baldurs Gate but if it is anything like this then PC Zone have managed to create another customer. Not only does the mag carry high quality demos, they also carry all the latest patches. That may not sound like much but in these days of money, money, money and rushed release dates games are hugely bugged and patches can be 20Mb plus. Not only that but there can be more than one 20Mb patch for a game. These could take ages to download over a 56Kbs modem but that is unnecessary. Thanks to PC Zone I have all the Half-Life patches and all the C&C Tiberian Sun patches, not only is this convenient for me but it also saves me hours on the 'net whenever I re-install any of the above games. The quality of the journalism is high too. Yes the magazine does tend towards machoism and fart jokes but as it's written by males you can't really complain, lighten up! If you disagree with a review you can have your say in the feedback section, okay so the reviewer in question may disagree with you back but at least you'll feel better having gotten that rant off your chest. Add to the above the fact that PC Zone is one of the only paper mags to have quality online games coverage detailing the effects of the latest updates on your games along with their own games servers (check out http://www.pczone.co.uk for more information) and you have the best £3.50 you can spend every month. I don't even spend that, I get a discount based on the fact that I subscribe. Can you get better? **Update 18th April 2001**The magazine also encompesses the now famous Supertest. This is where th
e journalists gather together to pick the best (or most popular) games from a certain genre then have a no holes barred debate in a suitable environment (usually the pub). This is superb as you get a real flavour of the game and the differing opinions of the journos highlight spots the other journalists might have missed. Since Dave Woods became editor the mag has had a re-design and now comes with an expanded Online Mini-magazine for all those intrested in Online Gaming. One of the few mags to embrace online gaming in this way and I heartily follow them. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of giving up socialising at Uni just so I can afford the cash for a Cable Modem connection to the 'net. That's all down to PCZone. Says it all doesn't it?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: PC Zone is STILL the best PC Games magazine there is. I've been reading for about 3 1/2 years now and although it seems that recently maybe the humour content is going down a bit and it's probably not as good as it used to be, a quick read at all the other bland, boring, uninformative games mags tell me that this is the best there is. It has a very cool, clean interface and spot-on reviews as well as many other handy sections such as the 'Supertest' and 'Watchdog'. So overall then, the best quality PC Games magazine - by quite a bit.
I think Pc Zone is the best Pc mag for a number of reasons not least because it is the cheapest and as a result is not too expensive for a young persons wallet. Leaving more money available for more important things such as buying games and going out to party. Also the reviews are good quality with all of the major games getting good coverage in the magazine. Also the cover CD is of good quality and reasonable varaity of programs on it. My only critisms would be that it is a bit too online orrientated with the writers constantly harping on a bout how we must play online. Also the CD doesn't have the latest games until well after they are available in the shops reducing the try before u buy policy this is also true of the reviews.
There are many PC Games magazines on the market which are all basically quite similar, but in my opinion PC Zone is the best. I suppose the reason that I like it is my favourite is becuase is in general I tend to agree with their ratings of games so I usually know that if they say a game is brilliant then it will be worth buying. Many people acuse PC Zone of being biased towards Championship Manager as they give the game a lot of coverage and always give each new version a rating of over 90%. However I agree with them when they say that although a good game such as Half-Life may come along every so often and everyone says it is brilliant, CM is the one game that you find yourself still playing months or year later. PC Zone is full or reviews of all the latest games, contains a good news section and occassional features on hardware or accessories. The demo disc often contains exclusive demos and usually has a wide selection of demos. If you want to buy a PC Games mag, then PC Zone is the best option.