MEGA (A Brief History)Edit
During its life as one of the main three Mega Drive dedicated publications, MEGA covered the golden age of the Sega Mega Drive; from 1992 to 1995 and had seen many changes, to itself, and to the console scene.
100% Pure Sega Megadrive – Summer of 1992Edit
With Mega Drive sales soaring, and the fact that there was only one devoted Mega Drive magazine published at the time, that being Emap's MegaTech, Future Publishing decided it was time for them to launch their own magazine dedicated solely to the Sega console.
During the summer of 1992, publisher Steve Carey began to recruit key staff members to start work on the launch issue. Neil West and Amanda Cook were both drafted in from Sega Power to serve as Editor and Art Editor respectively. Andy Dyer, who had worked on Nintendo magazine Total!, was appointed as Deputy Editor. Paul Mellerick, an ex-Sega Force writer, completed the official four person team.
August 1992 and advertisements for MEGA's iniment arrival began appearing in fellow Future Publishing titles such as Amstrad Action; “MEGA meg (∂-), very big, 100% Sega Mega Drive, comin' at ya on Thursday 17 September (that's soon). Magazine dedicated for all serious games players. a.k.a. The mag with the most, The guide to the Mega Drive and beyond... Slogan: Got a SNES? That's you stuffed then. Philosophy: To be the best. From the makers of Amstrad Action comes the ultimate guide to the 16-bit Sega gamesplaying: essential news, in-depth reviews, gamesplaying guides and dirty cheats. Be part of it.”
A MEGA Launch – September 1992Edit
Thursday 17th September and issue 1 of MEGA, cover dated October 1992, appeared on the newsagent stands priced £1.95. Printed on glossy super A4 and put together with a tough quality front cover and spine, the high production values of MEGA were apparent from the start. The MEGA team introduced themselves in the editorial page.
The familiar format of MEGA was evident even in the launch issue. Content included; MEGA City, Previews, Reviews, MEGA Play, Arena, MEGA Mouth and the, always controversial, Top 100 games guide. Cover feature, NHLPA Hockey '93, was given a huge six page review and gained an impressive 92 percent rating.
MEGA had a huge contribution list in the credits. These usually included work from the likes of Stuart Campbell....
Changes At MEGA – December 1993 to September 1994Edit
By the end of 1993 Neil West had crossed the atlantic to help launch the well respected US magazine Next Generation, holding the title Chief-in-editor. Andy Dyer took over the editor's positon up until the title's sale to Maverick Magazines.
Maverick MEGA – October 1994 to March 1995Edit
In 1994 Future Publishing sold MEGA to Maverick Magazines, already the publisher of rival megadrive title Mega Drive Advanced Gaming. The last MEGA issue published under Future Publishing was September 1994 (#23). Maverick stated in their October 1994 edition that they wanted to cover the Mega Drive specific area, having already bought another megadrive magazine title 'MegaTech' from EMAP, which was subsequently closed out.
MEGA had some excellent content, some normal some unique and interesting, sometimes amusing features. This included Arena, Bull Durham's World Of PR and of course The Top 100.
MEGA City was the games news ection where all the top Mega Drive news, or not so top news, was announced. Also included in this section were features like the Editorial column, 'Q's In The News, 'Bull Durham's World Of PR' and 'Busman's Holiday',
Q's In The News was an amusing list of questions that was printed in the News section. The Mega Drive related questions ranged from easy to hard. There were also five screen grabs from games, which were altered and skewered, from which you had to answer, or guess, what game the shot was from. The A's At The Back column included the answers on the Shutdown page.
Mainly because of Bull Durham's first name, MEGA used this character to bust PR bluffs and blunders in the Mega Drive marketing world, often with humourus results.
Busman's Holiday featured a Q&A style interview with people working in the video games industry.
Starting out as a normal and informative look at the Mega Drive charts, including the UK official and import top 20 plus top 10 lists from Japan and USA, the staff would increasingly use the page as an amusing output for their jokes and stories.
As the title suggest this section previewed games soon to be released.
Reviews were informative and the layout was clear. Cover featured games like NHLPA Hockey '93 and Sonic 2 were given massive six page coverage, including up to three other views from the staff.
MEGAs tip section was very comprehensive; in total the Tips pages included MEGA Play (from 3 to 4 pages of tips, cheats, codes and more), MEGA Medic, where readers wrote in about their gaming problems and MEGA replied with tips or solutions, and the Rip 'n' Tip section featured in-depth 3 to 4 pages of complete guides to popular games.
Arena was a section were 'Weird and Wonderful Happenings' in games were featured. Also in the section was 'Wacky Challenges' where, as the title suggests, crazy challenges were printed to prolong the games life. One particular challenge for PGA Tour Golf; Finish a round using only the driver and be on par or better.
The Top 100 was a buyer's guide to the best Mega Drive games. The Top 100 always caused controversy and confusion among many readers. The idea was to list the best games usually by genre, e.g. Joe Montana Football would be listed lower than usual purely because there was another, better, game in that genre; John Madden Football. Through later issues classic mini reviews and reader's ads were added to the Top 100 section.
‘MEGA Mouth’ was the letters pages which usually featured amusing letters from readers. Also included in these pages were ‘Excerpts From The Diary Of A Stunt Mega Drive’. ‘Blagged’, ‘Consequences’ and ‘The Curious Letters Of Harold S Bloxham’.
The best letter of the month would be given a prize along with the title MEGA Star above their letter, where as the letter that was deemed unintelligible would be titled with MEGA Moron.
‘Excerpts Of A Stunt Mega Drive’ was a small competition column where photos were taken of readers' Mega Drive in weird situations. One example was Issue 1 had a photo of a Mega Drive dangling out of a window by its Gamepad cable.
‘The Curious Letters Of Harold S Bloxham’ followed the exploits of, imaginary, Harold S Bloxham and his crusade against video game nasties the evil they inflict on our younger generation. His letters were sent out to various celebreties where they replied back politely disagreeing with his views.
Maverick Magazines Ltd was a publishing company founded by publisher Hugh Gollner. Their first publication was Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, which was launched at around the same time as MEGA.
Although they published their own magazines, Maverick also bought titles from other publishers. These titles included The One Amiga and MegaTech from EMAP, Sega Zone and, of course, MEGA, from Future Publishing.
SEGA's Review PolicyEdit
During 1993 Sega had changed the way games journalist would get access to their games. For fear of piracy, Sega carts would no longer be sent out to games magazines. If a games journalist wanted to play a Sega game they would have to visit Sega HQ and access the game under supervision from Sega representatives.
MEGA were dead against this new ruling and steadfast refused to give Streets Of Rage 2 a final rating, citing that they did not have enough time to determine the lastability of the game. The final rating would later be given in the news section several issues later.
Following MEGA's, and other magazines, stance on this review policy, Sega decided to let games journalist have the carts sent out to them again.
Street Fighter IIEdit
The game that saved the SNES and long awaited Mega Drive conversion SFII Champion Edition was given an unprecedented 24 page guide in issue 10, including in-depth history of the game, a guide to each character, and a huge preview section.
Neil West - (Oct 1992 - Oct 1993) - 13 Issues
Andy Dyer - (Nov 1993 - Aug 1994) - 10 Issues
Gerry Doak - (Sep 1994 - Oct 1994) - 2 Issues
Lee Brown - (Nov 1994 -
Please see here for a list of writers who are credited with writing articles or reviews in MEGA.
|Issue||Games Reviewed||Average Score||Highest Score||Highest scoring game||Lowest Score||Lowest scoring game|
|1||9||74%||92%||NHLPA Hockey 93||41%||Prince of Persia|
|2||13||60%||94%||Sonic the Hedgehog 2||28%||Predator 2|
|3||11||57%||95%||John Madden Football 93||00%||King Salmon|
|4||11||66%||91%||Road Rash II||14%||Black Hole Assault|
|5||10||77%||92%||Micro Machines||44%||Strider II|
|6||10||62%||93%||Ecco the Dolphin||20%||Outlander|
|8||10||60%||92%||Final Fight||36%||Hit The Ice|
|10||15||53%||81%||Ranger X||9%||Ball Jacks|
|11||15||53%||93%||Ultimate Soccer||15%||The Ninjawarriors|
|12||16||76%||92%||NHL Hockey 94||47%||Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool|
|14||21||69%||95%||John Madden Football '94||25%||Addams Family|
|Issue||Cover Date||Release Date||Pages||Price||Editor||Publisher|
|1||October 1992||17th September 1992||100||£1.95||Neil West||Future|
|2||November 1992||15th October 1992||108||£1.95||Neil West||Future|
|3||December 1992||?? November 1992||108||£1.95||Neil West||Future|
|4||January 1993||17th December 1992||108||£1.95||Neil West||Future|
|5||February 1993||21st January 1993||100||£1.95||Neil West||Future|
|6||March 1993||18th February 1993||100||£1.95||Neil West||Future|
|7||April 1993||18th March 1993||100||£2.25||Neil West||Future|
|8||May 1993||15th April 1993||100||£2.25||Neil West||Future|
|9||June 1993||20th May 1993||100||£2.25||Neil West||Future|
|10||July 1993||17th June 1993||100||£2.25||Neil West||Future|
|11||August 1993||15th July 1993||100||£2.25||Neil West||Future|
|12||September 1993||19th August 1993||108||£2.25||Neil West||Future|
|13||October 1993||16th September 1993||100||£2.25||Neil West||Future|
|14||November 1993||21st October 1993||108||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|15||December 1993||18th November 1993||108||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|16||January 1994||16th December 1993||116||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|17||February 1994||20th January 1994||100||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|18||March 1994||17th February 1994||100||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|19||April 1994||17th March 1994||92||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|20||May 1994||21st April 1994||92||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|21||June 1994||19th May 1994||92||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|22||July 1994||16th June 1994||92||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|23||August 1994||21st July 1994||92||£2.50||Andy Dyer||Future|
|24||September 1994||18th August 1994*||84||£2.50||Gerry Doak||Maverick|
|25||October 1994||29th September 1994||84||£2.50||Gerry Doak||Maverick|
|26||November 1994||27th October 1994||84||£2.50||Lee Brown||Maverick|
|27||December 1994||30th November 1994||84||£2.50||Lee Brown||Maverick|
|28||January 1995||30th December 1994||84||£2.50||Lee Brown||Maverick|
|29||February 1995||84||£2.50||Lee Brown||Maverick|
|30||March 1995||28th February 1995||84||£2.50||Lee Brown||Maverick|
|31||April 1995||30th March 1995||£2.50||Maverick|
'* Expected release date for Future magazine, actual release was delayed due to transfer to Maverick
The Mega magazine catalogue is available at Out-of-Print Archive with certain issues digitally scanned in full.
|Multi-format||Sega Power • Sega Pro • Sega Force • Mean Machines Sega • Sega Zone • Sega Magazine|
|Master System||Sega Master Force|
|Mega Drive||MegaTech • Mega Drive Advanced Gaming • Mega • Sega Force Mega • Mega Action • Mega Power • Mega Machines|
|Saturn||Official Sega Saturn Magazine • Saturn Power • Saturn Plus • Total Saturn|
|Dreamcast||DC-UK • Dreamcast Magazine • Dreamcast Monthly • Official Dreamcast Magazine|
|magazines||1980s||Amstrad Action • ACE • ST Amiga Format • New Computer Express • ST Format • Amiga Format • Sega Power|
|1990s||Commodore Format • Your Sinclair • PC Format • Amiga Power • Amiga Shopper • Total! • Mega • Super Play • GamesMaster • Mac Format • Edge • PC Gamer • Sega Zone • Game Zone • Ultimate Future Games • Official Playstation Magazine • PC Attack • Playstation Power • N64 Magazine • Saturn Power • Arcade • DC-UK|
|2000s||PSM • Video Gamer • NGC Magazine • Official Xbox Magazine • Official Playstation 2 Magazine • PSW • X-Gamer • Xbox World • PC Zone • Official Xbox 360 Magazine • Official Nintendo Magazine • Ngamer • Official Playstation Magazine|
|Notable staff||Chris Anderson • Bob Wade • Steve Jarratt • Matt Bielby • Jonathan Davies|
|magazines||1990s||Mega Drive Advanced Gaming • Control • PC Player • Super Control • MegaTech • Sega Zone • Mega • The One|
|Notable staff||Hugh Gollner • John Davison|