Sorry for multiple post's but i feel i need to say a few things, partly about why H.H has really hit the spot and i guess partly why i've been so vocal so often about various magazines during my time on here:
As Laird will no doubt testify, when it comes to magazines, i've worn my geek hat with pride, since i started gaming on the ZX81 i've bought so many publications and in their hey day, magazines really were fantastic, not perfect, sure, but something that by god i honestly looked forward to buying each and every month.
The likes of Zzap 64, The One, The Games Machine, Zero,ACE, Arcade, C+VG at it's peak, Mean Machines etc all proved to be essential reads, but slowly fell by the wayside.In their place appeared official magazines or format specific things written for the ladz market...something was lost.
Edge for example was worth buying as it did fantastic features and makings of...you (well i did) learned to ignore the up own backside reviews, but now it's a pale shadow of even it's former self, only the occ.glimmer of what once made it great.Gamestm decided to be Edge:lite etc etc....
As a gamer, last 10 years or so, i've never had it so good, but in terms of publications, never had it seemed so barren.Magazines were being read later (would sit unopened for weeks) and cast aside within 30 mins as i'd read the few sections i wanted, everything seemed so...corporate, so must'nt upset the advertisers...articles cobbled together and i ended up correcting articles in my own head, as i knew what was in print was incorrect.
I've basically been looking for so long for a publication that's put together by people who do it for the love of the subject material, who are basically saying:you thought you'd seen all system X had to offer? well have a look at THIS!!!.I wanted to see balance in articles, eye catching art that made me think wow, that looks bloody great, not..here's few generic screens thrown on a page, we had a deadline to meet.
I know H.H did'nt suffer the same pressures of going from design to poblication in under 4 weeks, mainstream mags do, nor did it have the upper management team looking at regional sales curves etc etc, so probably had the far greater luxury of time to plan compared to them, but i did'nt need to think, hmmn, wonder how long this took to put together...
Things just worked, because it was clear from the visual layout and bodies of text, just how much thought, care and attention had gone into 99.9% of the articles.In hindsight sure you could improve on things i've whined about be it the busy cover or poor background on an article etc, but that'd take away from what you have achived here.
I've come away feeling delighted to have read through a magazine, yes R.T is delighted, not mocking, pissing, moaning, pointing out how it's clear magazine written by X aimed at market Y, but delighted to see the Lynx+Jaguar hardware being praised by people still coding on it, delighted to see images jumping out, delighted to bloody learn new stuff on very familar formats to him....
It reads like the best of what RVG does for myself:Passion, skills, knowledge, drive, the best interviews etc etc and i got my copy at a time when i'm in process of removing myself from various things i've been involved in, 1 way or another and it's proof that things can be different, it does'nt have to be every thing cast from same mould.
But saddened that sales have been slow as it reduces chances of a Vol 2.Print material is fighting for it's very life out there, of that there's no dispute, i'm a caveman when it comes to my print media, but if digital only is only way an issue 2 would ever appear, i'd sign up in an instant.
I'm not going to defend past rants at other publications, i've always spoken my mind based on factual evidence found in front of me from publications i've paid for, when they got things right, i'd praise them, when they went south, i'd be just as vocal.I approached H.H with the very same mindset, if it tripped up, i'd have ponced and said come on guys, this was poor, so far...it's delivered more than i hoped for and so deserves to be praised for for doing what i've expected of other publications from various publishers for many a year.
As a customer, at end of the day it's quite simple, i'll be deciding who deserves my time and money based on what it delivers for me, the reader, not buy out of habbit- but to be clear, i'm not expecting a custom made for R.T magazine and H.H managed to get me reading something i've no interest in (the extreme home computing piece) and coming away impressed and we call know how damn hard i am to please.
You got the design right, the content right and by god the balance right-When i read a game or hardware review i knew if i'd like it, what it did well and where it fell short.
Is'nt that what magazines are meant to do?.