One of my favorite parts of old gaming magazines is the advertisements. Granted, that doesn’t mean that I’m particularly fond of all the ads that I see, but if it slaps on relevant artwork from the game, I’m definitely more drawn to it than if it uses something else entirely. That’s part of the reason why I tend to like Japanese magazine ads over North American ones. That’s why I wanted to share a collection of magazine advertisements from Beep! Mega Drive, a Japanese magazine that focused on, you guessed it; Sega’s Mega Drive, Mega CD, and Game Gear. This collection doesn’t contain every single ad that I have gathered together, as some are too visually similar or don’t have anything particularly noteworthy about them compared to other ads for the same game. But you’ll certainly see a variety of familiar titles as well as obscure ones.
Growing up, I had a strange concept of game releases in correlation to where we actually were in time. I was born in the early 90’s and as a result, associated the NES and SNES with most of that decade. Never mind that the console behemoths of the time were the PlayStation, Saturn, and N64. Those consoles weren’t relevant to me until the end of the decade. As far as my little mind was concerned, consoles didn’t come out until I discovered them. Might I have been more aware of what was going on during that time if I had looked through the dozens of gaming magazines that my brother had? Possibly, but they never really caught my eye until the early 2000s, and by that point a lot of the games in those magazines were already a decade old.
But that didn’t stop me from being fascinated by the contents of those pages. As well, I finally started looking at game magazines on store shelves that had news about games that were actually relevant. I went through a short phase around the age of 12 where I collected RPG previews, reviews, and advertisements in a school folder and carried it around with me everywhere. This also meant that I had dissected numerous gaming magazines of my brother’s (which he gave me permission to do), as I just needed to have that information with me at all times. I didn’t care about the stupidly high number of pages about fighting games, or the often lewd or grotesque ads aimed at teenagers. I just wanted that sweet information about RPGs that slipped me by in my youth. Why didn’t I simply use the internet? I did after certain discoveries, which is what ended this phase, but that’s a story for another day.
While there is more to my history with gaming magazines, I’ll cut to the chase by saying I recently stumbled upon hundreds of scans of old magazines, well preserved by passionate fans. Information from the Golden Era of RPGs just waiting to be delved into, to see how these games were received during their time of relevance. And naturally, I wanted to share the findings with those equally as enthusiastic about the subject as myself. So that is where we are now.