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|Editor||Mark Green (2006–2007)|
Nick Ellis (2007–2010, 2012)
Martin Kitts (2010–2011)
Charlotte Martyn (2011–2012)
Matthew Castle (2012)
|Categories||Computer and video games|
|Circulation||ABC 10,589 January – December 2010|
|First issue||13 July 2006|
|Final issue||7 September 2012|
Nintendo Gamer was a magazine published in the United Kingdom which mainly covered Nintendo video game consoles and software and consoles. It was the successor publication to N64 Magazine, later renamed NGC Magazine (1997–2006) and Super Play (1992–1996), continuing the unique style of those magazines. The publication was originally known as NGamer, with the first issue being released on 13 July 2006. From issue 71 onward, released on 5 January 2012, the magazine was renamed Nintendo Gamer and was significantly reformatted. On 30 August 2012, it was announced that issue 80, which went on sale on 7 September 2012 was to be the final issue.
Upon launch the magazine covered the Nintendo DS, GameCube and Game Boy Advance formats, with pre-release coverage of the Wii. Full Wii and Nintendo 3DS coverage were added over time, as was reports about the then-upcoming Wii U in later issues.
Nintendo Gamer's main staff writers and designers were:
- Editor: Nick Ellis (issue 20 to 47, 54 to 56, 78 to 80)
- Games Editor: Alex Dale (issue 74 to 80)
- Managing Art Editor: Milford Coppock (issue 69 to 80)
- Deputy Art Editor: Phil Haycraft (issue 69 to 80)
- Associate Editor: Matthew Jonathan-Roosevelt Castle (issue 4 to 77)
- Associate Editor: Charlotte Martyn (issue 23 to 74)
- Art Editor: Paul Tysall (issues 1 to 9)
- Editor: Mark Green (issues 1 to 19)
- Production Editor: Chrissy Williams (issues 1 to 22)
- Deputy Editor: Martin Kitts (issue 1 to 68)
- Art Editor: Andy McGregor (issue 10 to 68)
- Deputy Art Editor: Kim Bissix (issue 1 to 68)
These people occasionally contributed game reviews, but were not regular NGamer or Nintendo Gamer staff members.
- Alex Dale
- Mike Gapper
- Richard Stanton
- John Walker
- Tim Weaver
- Matthew Pellett
- Rory Smith
- Geraint Evans
- Tom Sykes
- Chris Schilling
- Wil Overton
Earlier changes to the Editorial role
Nick Ellis "vanished" from NGamer HQ after issue 47, so Martin Kitts stood in as Editor until his return. Several small references to Ellis were made on the 'final word' page. He returned as Editor in issue 54, before leaving for good in issue 56. He made his return to the magazine in issue 78 and stayed until the magazine's sudden demise in issue 80.
Sections during the NGamer era (issues 1 to 70)
NGamer had the following sections or features in its magazine from issues 1 to 70. This was subject to change as new issues were published.
- Welcome!: This was where the editor introduced him/herself to the readers of the magazine. It also featured a mini legend of everything featured on the cover, and the full credits for the magazine.
- Meet the Team: Small biographies for each member of the team, including their answers to select questions that differed every month. This page also showed the guest (freelance) reviewers for that issue, and what they reviewed.
- Contents: Where everything in the magazine was given its corresponding page number for quick browsing.
- NGExpress: A round-up of recent news, rumours, gossip, facts and opinions. Also occasionally included a one-page interview (known as NGamer Interview), and a release schedule for then-upcoming games software.
- News Blast: This section contained a page of pictures, each accompanied by a couple of sentences describing a rumour or news story of the last month. It also usually contained the charts for British game sales for Nintendo console formats, as well as international charts.
- Online Desk: A double-page section dedicated to Nintendo on the Internet, including information on games that used the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, choice websites that could be viewed on the Wii's Internet Channel, and a section on Flash games that were compatible with the Wii Remote.
- Previews: This section gave previews of upcoming games on Nintendo systems, beginning with a contents page detailing which previews appeared in the issue. The major previews varied in length from one to six pages, with a double-page spread at the end in which other games "they didn't have space for" received small pictures and paragraphs each. It also had an NGamer Diary, in which each member of the team wrote a short article about their current favourite upcoming game. Although primarily for comical purposes, it did give away small bits of relevant information about the games.
- Reviews: This section had reviews for games released over during the previous month, or those available between the current and next issues. It had a front page explaining how they score, along with another contents section detailing the pages of the reviews. As well as UK releases, the magazine also reviewed the major Japanese and American releases and had a 'round-up' of other games at the end of the section.
- Feature: A section of the magazine that contained a special feature on a certain subject. These ranged from detailed break-downs into the construction of a certain game or piece of hardware to a chart or case file of significant events. An example of this was "20 Magical Nintendo Moments", a list of the staff's favourite obscure, forgotten or hard-to-reach moments in Nintendo games. In some issues of the magazine, this was integrated into the World of Nintendo section (see below).
- World of Nintendo: Almost a tribute to Nintendo, this section was varied. During issues 1 to 70 it the section contained
- A "20 Nintendo Happenings" feature, usually four pages long, detailed odd Nintendo-related events, websites or objects that the team have discovered or readers had sent in.
- A tips section or walkthrough solution for a specific game, examples included New Super Mario Bros. and Mario Strikers Charged.
- One or two articles that contained anything relating to Nintendo games - examples include a guide to the toughest stages of the Super Monkey Ball series and a double-page spread of pictures showing 100 ways that Mario has been able to die in his series of games.
- A Top Tips section, where readers sent in tips for various games along with NGamer's own, usually for recently released games.
- A section about what people have done Nintendo-wise outside of gaming, for example, getting Nintendo -themedtattoos, modifying an NES, and creating a cardboard Wii.
- An interview with a video game developer, for example Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of the Story of Seasons series.
- Page 89: A selected page designated for random happenings in NGamer. It was no longer called this in later issues of NGamer, as movements in the magazine meant it no longer occupied a selected page.
- Mailbox: The letters section of the magazine, where letters, e-mails and texts from readers were published. The majority of the section comprised several letters sent in by readers, with the editor replying to each one. It also contained many mini-sections (some of which originated in predecessor N64 Magazine), including:
- "Star Letter", where the best letter received was displayed, with the reader who wrote the letter winning a prize, usually a Wii game or some DS games. Past star letters ranged from standard letters to poetry.
- "Correction Corner", where readers pointed out errors in previous issues, including spelling mistakes, inaccurate information, and printing errors. Also occasionally featured alongside it is "Not Correction Corner", where letters are displayed from readers pointing out mistakes that aren't actually mistakes.
- "Bonus Letters", where bizarre excerpts from letters that didn't make the main section were printed, usually with a humorous reply from the editor.
- "So Tell Me This...", a Q&A section where the NGamer team attempted to answer questions that readers sent in.
- A section containing the best text messages received.
- An art section where the best artwork sent in was displayed.
- A section displaying the best messages sent by readers to NGamer's Wii console. Also a few pictures of the best Miis were sent in are displayed, in pictures labelled "From You to Mii".
- A section containing jokes that readers have sent in.
- "Why Haven't They Made...", a section containing a concept, pitch and box art for a new game that a reader has sent in. This section was put in after a post on the NGamer forums.
- World of Pokémon: A section focused on the Pokémon franchise which contained;
- News relating to Pokemon in the first two pages. Rotom became the section's mascot and at one point it would change into a different form each month.
- "Twitter of the Month" had tweets as if they were posted by a particular Pokémon Character, that would change each month. It could be the Pokémon themselves (such as Baltoy) or the human characters (such as Professor Rowan).
- "Facebook group of the Month" A facebook group that had something to do with Pokemon was chosen and shown below the "twitter of the month" column. It would have a description and a sample post.
- "A Pokémonth on the Internet" was where Pokémon findings on the internet were put, with the theme based on one Pokémon or its evolution line.
- "Matthew's Pokémon Diary" Matthew would have a column detailing his humorous journey through a Pokemon game, or any Pokémon related event.
- Download: This section was dedicated to retro gaming and fielded by "R.O.B.'s brother: DR64", as designed by illustrator Wil Overton. It usually contained:
- A "History Lesson" section which looked at the story of a video game company, character, console or game series - examples included the MSX and Mega Drive.
- A Classic Levels series where levels from retro games were looked at in detail. Examples of games that have featured in this section include: GoldenEye 007 and Pilotwings 64
- A column called "The Way We Were", which took a look back at an old issue of N64/NGC Magazine, or occasionally, Super Play.
- A section on the Wii Virtual Console (VC), including announcements and rumours of upcoming games, a list of every VC game released so far, and a challenge section where the staff challenged the readers to beat their high scores or best times on select VC games. Occasionally there was another retro-related article - one of example of this was a two-issue game on how to make an arcade joystick for use with the Wii.
- Meanwhile...: An unusual double-page spread which summarised key new titles and news related to non-Nintendo platforms, usually focusing on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
- Subscribe: A double-page spread describing how to subscribe to NGamer. A free gift was often included in the subscription offer, which changed every few months; sometimes a game, other times a peripheral or a Nintendo-related accessory.
- NGamer Directory: Contained a list of the top 50 Wii games judged by NGamer, along with a summary and review score for each one. The Directory also listed NGamer's Top 50 DS games, and their top five Game Boy Advance games. It also contains a small mini-section where each member of staff lists what they were currently playing, and a mini-section showing the attempt of each member of staff to draw a well-known video game character using the DS's PictoChat.
- Next Month: This was a single page previewing the next issue.
- The Back Pages: In early issues, the last page of the magazine was a quiz that gave readers a chance to win a prize - previous prizes including a Nintendo DS Lite. However, the questions were very hard and could only be answered by someone who had read the magazine cover to cover, as it asked very obscure questions. It also contained a random image, such as an early photograph of Mark Green trying to play professional wrestlers at a wrestling game on Nintendo 64. For issue 12, however, the staff have requested readers to send in Nintendo-related photos of themselves to fill the page. This page also contained "The Very Last Gasp", which contained four or five items that either didn't fit in anywhere else or were only added just before the magazine went to press. On the very last page, there was a Nintendo-related picture. In issue 35, this was a Nintendo DSi and a circle with a smiley face inside saying, 'NGamer'.
Top scoring games
In Issue 1, the magazine printed their revised review scores for GameCube, Game Boy Advance (GBA) and DS games; made by intense negotiation by the staffers. This was because they felt that review scores in NGC Magazine had been too lenient, so they used a stricter scoring system. This stricter system was used for all NGamer/Nintendo Gamer reviews.
Lowest scoring game
The lowest scoring game in NGamer's history was the Nintendo DS game Secret Flirts II, which received a -47, the reviewer stating it to be "A hateful piece of software."
Certain titles have received 'novelty' scores, as opposed to scores that fit in with the scoring system properly. As well as WarioWare D.I.Y. and Secret Flirts II mentioned above, Witch-touching game Doki Doki Majo Shinpan scored 'No', while a DS entry in the Cabela's hunting series scored ':('. Spelling title Mizuiro Blood scored '???' due to its bizarre nature.
NGTV was the name applied to the DVD given away with the first 15 issues of NGamer. Each 'episode' contained footage of both newly released and upcoming games, as well as other footage of interest, for example of little-known or unreleased Mario titles (Episode 2) or retro games that the NGamer staff wanted to appear on the Wii's Virtual Console (Episode 3). Episodes 3 and 4 both featured commentary by then-editor Mark Green, with Episode 4 containing a documentary of some of the NGamer team going to test the Wii. Episode 5 contained a video walkthrough of the first few dungeons and villages in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Episode 6 contained a video walkthrough to the last five dungeons of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, as well as a video guide showing small Easter eggs that can be done on the Wii. Episode 7 showed a detailed Virtual Console review guide, as well as a review for Pokémon Battle Revolution, and a guide to importing Japanese Wii consoles and games. In a post made by Mark Green at the NGamer forums, it was explained why the DVD was discontinued as a monthly gift after issue 16.
There was another Nintendo magazine named NGamer (alternative spelling: [N]Gamer), of Dutch origin with no links whatsoever to the UK magazine. It was published bi-monthly and was the longest running Nintendo-related publication in the Benelux region. This magazine pre-dates the British version by three years; its first issue was released in 2003. Other than the similar name and the shared specialisation, they are wholly unrelated. The very last issue was in December 2012.
In July 2007, a magazine was released about Nintendo with the name NGamer by Editora Europa. It features links with the original NGamer. As well as this, some features from the UK magazine were translated. It is published monthly with a page length of about 100 pages.
On 20 October 2007, the Spanish version of the magazine became available in stores. It was published by Editorial Globus. However, it only lasted 19 issues until it stopped being published in 2009. Most of its content were translated from the UK issues.
Recurring themes and in-jokes
The magazine continues the tradition of including in-jokes and themes that may recur for several issues of more. Here are some notable examples:
- The word "natch" (a shortened slang term for the word 'naturally') appeared on a frequent basis in the magazine and had been attributed to former editor Mark Green's fondness of the word.
- The phrase "that is all" was frequently used.
- The NGamer crew had a hatred of Diddy Kong and Tingle.
- Games editor Matthew Castle was famed (and ridiculed) for his total ineptitude at playing the more difficult games, particularly 2D retro titles.
- There was much uproar from readers after Matthew's import review of Super Smash Bros Brawl awarded the game 93%. Although a high score, it was one of the lowest scores awarded to the game. Readers said that this score was much too low and suggested it should be much higher. In issue 22, NGamer responded via a small article in NGExpress saying "Matthew stands by everything he said," and "Unlike the people sending him internet death threats, he's actually played the game." He called the Internet Death Threats "Fanboy Bile". He also said that if he were to make a WiiWare title, he would call it, "Death To Fanboy Bile". In issue 29, a sheet of stickers were given out free with the magazine. One of the stickers was the number, '95', which the magazine informed readers that they could "simply slap on the sticker over his verdict and you can make it look like he actually knew what he was talking about."
- A powerful and destructive character named Ninja Cat, based on an item from the game Tenchu 4, had appeared in several issues.
- The phrase "Worth Seven Pounds" had appeared many times in the magazine, since a free Wii Wheel-style accessory was given away with an issue of the magazine, and described as such.
- On several occasions, the Welcome! page of the magazine had a section named Thanks To, which was followed by a No Thanks To section.
- In a more recent issue, a beach ball that mimicked Chain Chomp from Super Mario 64 has been dubbed Wrong Chomp and the crew include it in contests, and was frequently mentioned when reviewing extremely poor or awkward non-Game Nintendo merchandise. It later took pride of place in the magazine's Twitter logo, with the remains of the bird from the Twitter logo in its teeth.
- Recent issues have been haunted by the ghost of Charlton Heston, emerging to review light gun peripherals and assorted tat, normally exaggerating his personality.
- The team (Matthew in particular) appeared to have a fondness for cakes, and often encouraged readers to send them in.
- The BBC Four television programme Only Connect had frequently appeared in The Very Last Gasp section. On 22 August 2011, editor Charlotte appeared as part of team "Edwards Family" in the second episode of Series 5.
- "Nintendo Gamer magazine to close | Nintendo Gamer". 2012-09-02. Archived from the original on 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
- “The world of Pokemon”, NGamer, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1, 2BW, Future publishing Ltd., October 2010, access-date: April 4 2019
- “The world of Pokemon”, NGamer, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1, 2BW, Future publishing Ltd., January 2011, access-date: April 4 2019