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Review: Sega Mania Magazine

Sega Mania Magazine

Back to the 90's

Back in the 90’s into the early 2000’s, gamers worldwide looked to one place to get all their gaming news, previews and reviews, the gaming magazine.  In a world pre-internet, these magazines were our only place to see shots of upcoming games, reviews of new releases and who can forget the yearly E3 special where each magazine would cram in as many newly announced games as possible to induce squeals of excitement from their readers.  At their peak, I was buying at least 4 or 5 different magazines each month! Gamesmaster was my go-to. I was a committed reader for many years and used to venture into my local newsagent each month excited to see if the new issue was sitting there on the shelf, nestled amongst copies of Mean Machines Sega, CVG and Edge.  Sadly though, not all good things can last and the gaming magazine has largely gone the way of the Dodo, thanks internet! 

For current generation gaming, there just isn’t a need for them anymore.  But what about people like myself who like their gaming in the retro flavour too?  Retro Gamer magazine has been catering to this specific demographic successfully for many years and does a fantastic job of covering all things retro, but what if you grew up as a specific type of kid?  Born in the 80’s, but grew up in the 90’s, raised on Bart Simpson and Ninja Turtles and if it wasn’t cool, you weren’t interested.  Chances are, you were a Sega Kid and I’ve got just the magazine for you!

Enter Sega Mania

Sega Mania, the brainchild of Tim Hugall, is trying to bring back some of that 90’s cool with a brand new magazine focusing on all things Sega!  Created back in 2021, Tim and his gang of writers/contributors have dived head first into making Sega Mania a real 90’s throwback magazine. All the key components are there; the gorgeous cover art, witty writing, lovely colourful features all peppered with just the right amount of humour that all us 90’s kids loved so much back then in our favourite gaming publications.  It really is a joy to behold.  Having released 5 issues so far, it’s clear to see looking back at issue 1 that there have been great strides made in both writing and design.  Page layouts have become sharper, more professionally formatted.  The writing has become more confident with each new issue and it really feels like the people behind the magazine are writing with a freedom that may not be afforded to them with other publications.  It’s clear to see from the first issue that this is a magazine written by Sega fans for Sega fans, a real passion project.

Where Sega Mania differs in its approach is rather than following the usual format: news, previews, a cover feature and reviews, Tim and his team have decided to tackle a specific year in each issue starting at 1990. Now, the early years have all managed to be contained to one issue, but as the magazine has grown this has led to an expansion in the number of pages in each issue and the need to spread years over multiple issues.  This has allowed for a greater breadth of content and will hopefully mean that there won’t be a need to cut any content for a specific year going forward due to a lack of space.  And speaking of space, they’re gonna need it because the Sega Mania boys don’t skimp on content.  The word count is impressive. There is no question you’re getting your money’s worth.  This isn’t the kind of magazine you just sit and flick through picking out small snippets, no, doing that would be a disservice to the awesome content the mania boys are creating. You’re gonna want to take some time with this one. Find a comfy chair, set aside an hour or two and ensconce yourself in some retro Sega goodness. Trust me, it’s well worth it.

Quantity and quality!

Layout wise, Sega Mania has really taken great strides to make the magazine look as good as it can. I don’t think anyone can disagree that the first couple issues were a little rough around the edges. However, as with any new publication, especially one being completely funded and produced by a group of fans with no major publisher backing, this is to be expected. From issue 4 onwards, the magazine takes a massive leap in quality in both layout and design. Fonts have been improved, page layouts refined. Issue 4 features a high quality cover from Duncan Gutteridge, the man behind Sega’s European Sonic 2 promotional art and it’s a joy to behold. Cover art is becoming a real strong point of the mag too with issue 5 and the upcoming issue 6 featuring some exceptional one of a kind designs that any Sega fan weak at the knees!  The quality of earlier issues is also something that the team have looked to address by releasing a remastered version of issue one that has been tidied up a bit and given a new cover for anyone looking to pick up a copy.

CALL ME A SEGA MANIAC!

Sega Mania has become a must read for myself personally. Growing up a massive Sega fan, going back through each copy, reading about all the games I played as a child, it takes me straight back to the 90s and the days when Sega ruled the world (albeit briefly)!  It’s not just about nostalgia though.  The sheer amount of content spread across the first 5 issues is enough to keep any retro gaming fan fully satisfied and the writing is both funny and informative.  I’ve gone back and tried out multiple Megadrive games based on what I have read in the mag.  For me, I think what it comes down to is this; I still want to buy and read gaming magazines, especially Sega ones. Sega Mania manages to both satisfy my need for a physical Sega magazine, but also be a fantastic read that keeps me entertained for hours.  It really is a testament to Tim and his team that they are managing to make this work in 2022 and at such high quality.  If you’re a Sega fan and want to relive the feeling of picking up your favourite gaming mag from back in the 90s, I highly recommend you check out Sega Mania. I promise you won’t regret it.

Where can I buy a copy of Sega Mania Magazine?

For all the latest info on Sega Mania Magazine and to pick up a copy, visit:

https://www.sega-mania.com

What other content can I find on Sega Mania?

Also check out the Sega Mania Podcast:

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Anson (Classic_Console_Wars) – A Sega kid through and through, I grew up in the 90s and loved all things Sega. I love all things gaming but I still hold a deep passion for my Sega consoles and retro gaming. Find me creating awesome content for the Retro Gear Customs website and on my socials below.

Check out my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/classic_console_wars/

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/anson_tom

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