Old Magazines: Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1997 Buyer’s Guide

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Just two short years after the 1995 issue of EGM’s year-end Buyer’s Guide was released, the 1997 issue came out.  A LOT changed in those two years.  Whereas the 1995 issue was entirely focused on 16-bit systems, this issue is largely devoted to the 32 bit and 64 bit systems.  With good reason, too—the N64 had just been released, the Saturn hadn’t died off quite yet and was still getting a steady stream of quality games released for it, and the Playstation had an incredible year with a whole slew of awesome games released for it (Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Twisted Metal 2).


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This issue opens up with a really sweet print ad for the original Resident Evil.  That game was SO hyped, and was one of the few games that lived up to the expectations.  A truly incredible, revolutionary game at the time.


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A variety of hokey awards were given out.  Interesting to note that the 3DO was pretty hyped up in the 1995 Buyer’s Guide (even receiving an overall score of 9/10 from one reviewer), and all but declared obsolete by the 1997 issue.  The Playstation basically murdered the 3DO upon release.


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Each major system is reviewed in a full-page spread, accompanied by a picture of someone who works at the magazine superimposed over that system.  Some of them are pretty cheesy.


First up is the brand-new Nintendo 64 machine, which gets stellar reviews despite having been out for only a few months when this issue came out.


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The Playstation.  In barely a year, a ton of killer games were released for it, many of which are shown at the bottom of these pages.


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The Saturn.  The machine hadn’t quite been killed off yet but the Playstation had started to distance itself from the Saturn.  The reviews didn’t blast the machine but they weren’t overly kind, either.


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Reviews of Portable Gaming Systems.  The Virtual Boy with horrendous reviews.


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The Super NES with strong marks.  Surprising that Donkey Kong Country didn’t make the top 10 games list.  I would’ve also had the Contra game higher because I absolutely LOVED that game.  I also would’ve had the Zelda game on here.


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The Saturn had been out for two years and the Genesis was basically dead by this point, and these reviews reflect that.  Also, Howard Grossman looks like the coolest person alive.


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Reviews of a whole bunch of various accessories and controllers for the Saturn and Playstation.


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Lists of the top 10 reviewed games for each system in the previous year.  Surprising that Tomb Raider didn’t make the Playstation list (seeing that Gamefan named Tomb Raider game of the year for this very year).  Can’t really argue with any of the games on the Playstation list, though.  It’s nice to see X-Com UFO Defense getting some love!  Of all the games I owned, I probably devoted more time to X-Com than any other game.  Such a fantastic, underappreciated game.


Also, eight of the top ten Sports games are Playstation games.  That’s the real reason the Playstation won out over the Saturn and N64, in my opinion…so many fantastic sports games, between the EA Sports line and the ones that Sony themselves came out with.


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Once again, this awesome contest/scam is featured in an ad in the back of a gaming magazine.  I’d still give anything to win this.

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