Once upon a time, fanzines were huge. Before the internet arrived and gave everyone an easy means to make their voice heard, black-and-white home-made magazines were the only way gamers could truly express themselves and served as a welcome (and passionate) counterpoint to the professionally-published video game mags which lined the shelves of newsagents all over the globe.
Today, the internet has pretty much replaced the printed word, both for grassroots fanzines and 'proper' magazines, but we've seen welcome signs of recovery over the past few years. Magazines like Lock On, Ninty Fresh and Sega Powered have proven that there's still an audience for this kind of project – and now, those magazines are joined by another publication in the form of System Gamer.
This A5 magazine boasts high production values and aims to cover games from the past, present and future. "If you grew up reading magazines from the eighties, and nineties, Western or Asian territories, you're going to feel at home," reads the official site. "We want you to get excited again, about a new gaming magazine arriving through your door." We have to admit, the magazine certainly achieves that aim.
Where else, for example, can you read about the latest retro-themed releases (like Mega Final Fight) alongside in-depth reviews for obscure titles such as Capcom's stunning Slipstream, an arcade F1 racer from the '90s which boasts blistering 2D visuals but was never ported to any home platform?
In this debut issue, you'll also spot a review of the amazing TMNT: Cowabunga Collection, as well as other new titles which are launching on both modern and vintage hardware. It's packed with text, bursting with colour and is surprisingly well-written, too.
At just £2.20 a pop for the digital edition and £5 for the physical, System Gamer also represents good value for money, considering the high quality of the magazine. You can also check out a free sample here.