|Editor||Neil West |
|Categories||Video game journalism|
|First issue||October 1992|
|Company|| Future Publishing 1992–1994|
Maverick Magazines 1994–1995
Mega, subtitled "100% pure Sega Mega Drive...", was a monthly magazine, published in the United Kingdom, aimed at users of the Sega Mega Drive and its additions, the Mega-CD and 32X. During its time as one of the main Mega Drive publications, Mega covered the golden age of the Sega Mega Drive from 1992 to 1995. The magazine went through many changes including a re-design in content and layout before being sold to a rival publisher.
During the summer of 1992, the then Deputy Editor of Sega Power Neil West was given the position of launch Editor of the new Mega Drive magazine. Amanda Cook was drafted in from Amiga Power to serve as Art Editor. Andy Dyer, who had worked on Nintendo magazine Total! , was appointed as Deputy Editor. Paul Mellerick, ex- Sega Force writer, completed the four person editorial team as Staff Writer.
On 17 September the first issue was released Mega, cover dated October 1992, appeared on newsagent stands priced £1.95. Printed on glossy super A4 and put together with a quality front cover and spine, Mega adopted relatively high production values. The launch issue included much of what was to become the magazine's regular content: 'Mega City', previews, reviews, 'Mega Play', 'Arena', 'Mega Mouth' and the always controversial 'Top 100' games guide.
By the end of 1993 Neil West had crossed the Atlantic to help launch the well respected US magazine Next Generation Magazine , holding the title Chief-in-editor. Andy Dyer took over the editor's position and the magazine continued with success, showing a circulation of over 50,000 for the January – June period. However, for reasons unknown to its readers, Future Publishing decided to sell the magazine. The last Mega issue published under Future Publishing was issue 23, cover date August 1994. The event was listed, at a later date, on Future's website history pages.
In August 1994 Mega was now a Maverick Magazine and their first edition was the September 1994 issue, number 24. Already the publisher of rival Mega Drive title Mega Drive Advanced Gaming , Maverick stated that they wanted to cover the "Mega Drive specific market", having already bought another Mega Drive magazine MegaTech from EMAP. The 'Maverick' Mega had the same style and layout as the Future Mega but as the staff had changed, so had the magazine style. The page count was dwindling down every month and it was not too long before the magazine closed.
The magazine had a typical ABC of 45,000. 
Mega City was the games news section where all the Mega Drive 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 a 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. Mainly because of Bull Durham's first name, Mega used this character to bust PR bluffs and blunders in the Mega Drive marketing world, with hilarious consequences. Busman's Holiday featured a Q&A style interview with people working in the video game industry like musician Rob Hubbard, EA Marketing Manager Simon Jeffrey, Games' Tester Danny Curley, GamesMaster host Dominik Diamond and a familiar games journalist called Andy Dyer.
Mega would feature interviews with people who were involved in the video games scene. Celebrity interviews included Dominik Diamond, Robert Llewellyn (Kryten from Red Dwarf), Pat Sharp, Andy Crane and 'The man with the cyber-razor cut' Jimmy of Sega adverts. Discussions would usually involve what they were doing at the moment and occasionally even Sega related stuff. The Pat Sharp interview focused on the heading 'Is Sonic Killing Rock 'n' Roll?'.
Previews and reviews were informative and the layout was clear. Cover featured games like NHLPA Hockey '93 and Sonic 2 were given massive six-page coverage. Each review had an info panel to the right of the page which included all the game details and ratings. Ratings were given, out of ten, to graphics, sound, gameplay, game size and addiction. The overall score was given as a percentage. Sometimes a second, and third, member of staff would add their 'Not so fast...' box to the review, stating their opinion on the game. Also included in the reviews was a 'Then again..' box, which gave the reader a reminder of previously released games in the same genre.
Mega's tip section was very comprehensive; in total the Tips pages included 'Mega Play' (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 complete guides to popular games.
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. In issue 23 the Top 100 was given an overhaul and was now just the Top 50 games, of which Sensible Soccer was now at the top spot.
|First ||Number||Final |
|John Madden Football 92||1||Sensible Soccer|
|EA Hockey||2||Super Street Fighter II|
|Sonic the Hedgehog||3||John Madden Football|
|Super Monaco GP 2||5||Sonic 3|
|Streets of Rage||6||Landstalker|
|Rainbow Islands||9||Mean Bean Machine|
|PGA Tour Golf||10||Micro Machines|
|Sword of Vermillion||11||FIFA Soccer|
|Phantasy Star 3||12||Aladdin|
|Aero Blasters||13||Jungle Strike|
|Golden Axe 2||14||ToeJam & Earl 2|
|Desert Strike||15||Chaos Engine|
|Speedball 2||16||Sub Terrania|
|Thunder Force 3||17||F1|
|Revenge of Shinobi||18||PGA Tour|
|Taz-Mania||19||Road Rash 2|
|James Pond 2||20||NHL Hockey|
|Castle of Illusion||21||Jungle Book|
|Decap Attack||22||Lost Vikings|
|Lakers versus Celtics||24||Ecco the Dolphin|
|Populous||25||Streets of Rage 3|
|ToeJam & Earl||26||Quackshot|
|Pit Fighter||27||Davis Cup Tennis|
|Shining in the Darkness||28||Cool Spot|
|Phantasy Star 2||29||Hellfire|
|F-22 Interceptor||30||Mortal Kombat|
|Strider||31||Rolo to the Rescue|
|Shadow Dancer||33||Shining Force|
|Kid Chameleon||35||Lethal Enforcers|
|Two Crude Dudes||37||Rainbow Islands|
|After Burner II||38||Desert Strike|
|Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday||39||Incredible Hulk|
|New Zealand Story||40||WWF Royal Rumble|
Issue 1 also included a list of the 10 Worst Mega Drive Games of All Time, which was topped by Altered Beast . 
A Mega CD Top 10 was introduced after the console's launch, with the initial top spot going to Final Fight ,  which was eventually replaced with Thunderhawk by the end of the magazine's run.
'Mega Mouth' was the letters pages which featured letters from readers. The best letter of the month would be given a prize along with the title 'Mega Star' above their letter, whereas the letter that was deemed unintelligible would be titled with 'Mega Moron'. Also included in these pages were other columns such as 'Excerpts From The Diary of a Stunt Mega Drive', 'Blagged' and 'The Curious Letters of Harold S Bloxham', which followed the unsuccessful exploits of imaginary Harold S Bloxham and his crusade against video game nasties and the evil they inflict on our younger generation. His letters were sent out to various celebrities and politicians in the hope that they would agree with his views and join his cause. Letters and replies came back from the likes of Claire Rayner, Blue Peter editor Lewis Bronze, Jason Donovan, Sir Patrick Moore, Magnus Magnusson, Kenny Dalglish and Lloyd Grossman. All correspondence replied back, politely, disagreeing with his views and stating their reasons. Once it was realised to Harold that his efforts were going unheeded he gave up. It was then revealed that Harold S. Bloxham didn't exist after all, it was Neil West and Andy Dyer playing devil's advocate on the game playing scene.
Was the back page where the magazine previewed what was to come in the next issue. Also featured the A's in the Back Page, which was the answers to the Q's in the News.
The NewZealand Story is a platformer arcade game developed and published by Taito in 1988. The game's concept and setting were inspired by a holiday trip in New Zealand by one of the Taito programmers. The player controls Tiki (ティキ), a kiwi who must save his girlfriend Phee Phee (ピューピュー) and several of his other kiwi chick friends who have been kidnapped by a large blue leopard seal. While avoiding enemies, the player has to navigate a scrolling maze-like level, at the end of which they release one of Tiki's kiwi chick friends trapped in a cage. In 2007, the arcade game received a remake for the Nintendo DS under the title, New Zealand Story Revolution.
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a falling block puzzle game developed by Compile and published by Sega. It was released for the Genesis/Mega Drive in North America and Europe in November 1993, and ported to the Game Gear in 1993 and Master System in 1994.
Flashback, released as Flashback: The Quest for Identity in the United States, is a 1992 science fiction cinematic platform game developed by Delphine Software of France and published by U.S. Gold in the United States and Europe, and Sunsoft in Japan.
The Humans is a puzzle-platform video game developed by Imagitec Design in Dewsbury, England and originally published by Mirage Technologies for the Amiga on May 1992. It was later ported to other home computers and consoles. The goal of the game varies per level but usually revolves around bringing at least one of the player-controlled humans to the designated end area marked by a colored tile. Doing this requires players taking advantage of the tribe's ability to build a human ladder and use tools such as spears, torches, wheels, ropes and a witch doctor in later levels.
1992 saw many sequels and prequels in video games, such as Dragon Quest V, Final Fantasy V, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, and Super Mario Kart, along with new titles such as Art of Fighting, Lethal Enforcers, Mortal Kombat and Virtua Racing.
1989 saw many sequels and prequels in video games, such as Phantasy Star II, Super Mario Land, Super Monaco GP, along with new titles such as Big Run, Bonk's Adventure, Final Fight, Golden Axe, Strider, Hard Drivin' and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The year also saw the release of the Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx-16 in North America, and the Game Boy worldwide along with Tetris and Super Mario Land.
Super Hang-On is a motorcycle racing arcade game released by Sega, and the sequel to the acclaimed Hang-On. It uses a fully simulated motorcycle arcade cabinet, like the original game. A version of this game, in the full simulated motorcycle cabinet used by the original Hang-On, was released in 1991 as Limited Edition Hang-On.
Jungle Strike is a video game developed and published by Electronic Arts in 1993 for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. The game was later released on several other consoles such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and an upgraded version was made for DOS computers. The Amiga conversion was the responsibility of Ocean Software while the SNES and PC DOS versions were that of Gremlin Interactive, and the portable console versions were of Black Pearl Software. It is the direct sequel to Desert Strike and is the second installment in the Strike series. The game is a helicopter-based shoot 'em up, mixing action and strategy. The plot concerns two villains intent on destroying Washington, D.C.. The player must use the helicopter and occasionally other vehicles to thwart their plans.
The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive outside North America, is a 16-bit fourth-generation home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis was Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega released it in 1988 in Japan as the Mega Drive, and in 1989 in North America as the Genesis. In 1990, it was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, and Tec Toy in Brazil. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy. In Russia, it was distributed by Forrus.
Total! was a video game magazine published in the United Kingdom by Future plc. It was published monthly for 58 issues, beginning in December 1991, with the last issue bearing the cover-date October 1996. A "1993 Annual" featuring reprint material and a poster magazine were also released during the magazine's lifetime.
Mean Machines was a multi-format video game magazine published between 1990 and 1992 in the United Kingdom.
Europress was a British magazine and software publisher based in Adlington, near Macclesfield, Cheshire. Their magazine publishing business was previously known as Database Publications.
Worms is a 2D artillery tactical video game developed by Team17 and released in 1995. It is the first game in the Worms series of video games. It is a turn based game where a player controls a team of worms against other teams of worms that are controlled by a computer or human opponent. The aim is to use various weapons to kill the worms on the other teams and have the last surviving worm(s).
Micro Machines is a series of video games featuring toy cars, developed by Codemasters and published on several platforms. The series is based on the Micro Machines toy line of miniature vehicles.
Sega Force was an early 1990s publication that covered the Sega console range.
Sega Zone was a Sega orientated publication from Dennis Publishing in the early 1990s. Sega Zone had split off from the former multiformat console title Game Zone, which continued as a Nintendo magazine. Early Dennis Publishing staff members included launch editor Amaya Lopez, deputy editor Vivienne Nagy, and staff writer Martin Pond.
Paragon Publishing Ltd was a magazine publisher in the UK, which published computer games and other entertainment titles from 1991 to 2003.
Putty Squad is a 1994 video game developed by System 3 and published by Maximum Games and Ocean Software. It was originally developed for the Amiga 1200, but that version was not released until the end of 2013; prior to that date the SNES version was the only one to be released. Sega Mega Drive and MS-DOS ports also existed, but were cancelled. It is the sequel to Putty (1992). In December 2013, the Amiga version was released as a Christmas gift on System 3's website. In October 2015, the Mega Drive version was also released by a Sega-16 user who got a hold of a working prototype.
Disney's Aladdin is a platform game based on the 1992 film of the same name developed by Virgin Games USA. The game was released by Sega for the Sega Genesis on November 11, 1993 as one of several games based on the film, including another game that was released in the same month by Capcom for the Super NES.
Micro Machines is a racing video game developed by Codemasters and originally published by Camerica for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1991. Themed around Galoob's Micro Machines toys, players race in miniaturised toy vehicles around various environments. The game is the first installment in the Micro Machines video game series.