28/09/2017

☆ Pang Man Part 31. The Return of Super Play! ☆ #Retrogaming

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A couple of weeks ago I got a text from Rich informing me that a new issue of Super Play was coming out. Needless to say, I was pretty damn excited.
Those who grew up with a SNES, will remember that Super Play was one of the best gaming magazines around. The magazine ran for 47 issues, and ended its run in 1996.

It was superbly written and was one of the 1st magazines to cover the Japanese import scene, culture and anime.
I recently went on eBay to buy the issues missing from my collection and had to pay a hefty price to get them. But it was worth it.


So, after a 21 year delay, we finally got a new special edition issue. Credit to Tony Mott who managed to get the original Super Play team together to once again produce a piece of nostalgic gaming magic.
The new issue came bundled with the latest issue of Retro Gamer which was priced at £5.99.
I bought 2 copies of the magazine. One that I could read and one that I could keep in its original packaging as a collectible.
So here are my thoughts on the 48th Special edition of Super Play:
  1. Wil Overton did the cover artwork for every issue of Super Play and his anime style artwork was/is distinctive and brilliant. This 48th issue was no different and it was a pleasure to see him return to illustrate Fox McCloud from Star fox 2 for the cover.

  1. Love the return of the Super Play staff profiles.  Great to get to know the staff a bit better, even if it is only a few titbits of information.

  1. The Machine and the Magazine is a great article explaining how the SNES and Super Play came about. I find origin stories fascinating and this is no different.

  1. It was appropriate that the Super Play interview focused on the Lead Programmer of Star Fox 2. It was interesting to see the technical limitations they were dealing with at the time and how those were overcome.


  1. The Anime World feature made a welcome return. Helen McCarthy focused on the titles of old which was a nice trip down memory lane.

  1. Though I wish a couple of paragraphs would have been added to say what she thought the best releases over the last 20 years had been. Maybe they could have included a few reviews in a return of the “Irresponsible Pictures” anime review feature.

  1. The reviews are of the games for the new SNES mini. This is clever because it is a throwback to the games of the past you grew up with, which also happen to be being re-released in current times. So, kind of blending the old with the new.

  1. It was interesting to see if the review scores have changed over time. I.e. what games have aged well and which haven’t.


  1. Some of the review scores were a genuine surprise. Secret of Mana and Streetfighter Turbo got surprisingly low scores. I was pleased Super Mario World was still recognised as a top platformer even after all these years.

  1. I was shocked that Mario Kart got only 87%. I played it recently and still think it is an absolutely amazing game, especially battle mode.

  1. I was a little disappointed that Starfox 2 only got a preview rather than a full-on review. It would have been nice to get a review for 1 completely new game.

  1. In typical Super Play fashion, the Japanese import scene is covered too! Great mini reviews of the games exclusive to the Japanese SNES are also included, such as Panel de Pon and Fire Emblem.

  1. I hope we get another issue of Super Play one day.  In time for the N64 Mini perhaps?

  1. Maybe next time I can be greedy and ask for a return of the “Playback” feature, as I’m sure there were many readers’ questions that never got answered.

  1. And how about “Mode 7” the tips and cheats section. It’s been too long since I have seen a modern-day gaming map.

  1. And yes, I know this was a mini issue. But one of my favourite features was “Live from Hell City” which was a feature on Tokyo life. Let’s get that back as well please.

My overall thoughts are that Super Play Issue 48 is a fantastic read and a must buy for any Super Play fans of old. It was a mini issue so I’m always going to be greedy for more, but fingers crossed this isn’t the last we see of the Super Play brand.

(Maybe in future Retro Gamer could come with a new 
Mean Machines magazine issue as well? 😊)













Pang Man