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When it comes creating digital renditions of classic video game magazines, there's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes than most people realize.
We don't just slap a magazine on a scan-plate and call it a day.
To illustrate what exactly we mean when we talk about restoration and preservation of classic magazines, we've put together this feature.
It's not an easy thing to explain solely with a bunch of text, so inside you will find several examples as we show you how our techniques have evolved over the years we've been doing this.
A lot of care, time and dedication goes into every single magazine that we digitize, in the hope that it reflects our appreciation for the content as well as the people who made these magazines possible in the first place.
We hope you enjoy the peek behind the curtains.

August 16, 2016 (repost) The restoration process

It's surprising what you discover if you take a little time to look around as we did with our videogame magazine collection. It's also even more surprising if you happen to come across a rather rare dummy issue of a Dreamcast Magazine. And we don't mean the issue zero or preview issues that are floating around the web in a pretty poorly scanned fashion. We're talking about the blueprint of a magazine that would come away with the official Sega Dreamcast magazine licence. This was a fascinating discovery and we felt compelled to learn more, so who better to ask than Mark Higham, the editor-in-chief and the man who was brought in to produce the Official Dreamcast Magazine for Dennis Publishing.

From Dummy Issues to Official Dreamcast Magazines May 3, 2013

Few people would ever think that a game was totally perfect in every way. Even the best games off all time have their faults, minor or otherwise, so it would be unthinkable to give a game an overall rating of 100%, for instance.
And yet, it is surprising how many magzine reviews did dish out perfect marks in the past. If anyone did complain about the high marks the response would usually be along the lines of “if you're going to use a scoring system and yet not use it in full then you may as well not bother using it.”
That may be true to some extent, but if you're going by that philosophy then why isn’t the other end of the scoring system used where we would see more 0% games?
The majority of magazines did stick to a more realistc rating scale of 0%-97%, but there were occasions where 100% surprisingly cropped up.

January 31, 2013 Praise Indeed!

To kick-start this new column of features we thought it would be best to go back to where it all started. Everything has a beginning and videogaming magazines are no different. No matter where you are from, you will bound to have read, or at least heard of, Computer & Video Games magazine or its many aliases (C+VG, C&VG, CVG...). C+VG was launched in the middle of October 1981 (cover dated November 1981) by publishing company EMAP and is generally considered among videogaming magazine historians as the world's very first magazine - by a mere couple of weeks, granted - to be totally dedicated to videogaming..

Once Upon A Beginning... December 21, 2012

As we move away from our monthly Back in Time articles, and before we begin any one off articles, we decided to produce a feature that would help bridge the transition. And what better way than a celebratory look back at the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in November 1992?

We scoured high and low to bring together all the known UK reviews of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, whether it be good, bad or ugly. We researched many classic videogaming publications such as Computer & Video Games, Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, MegaTech, Sega Power, Sega Pro and Sega Zone.
So sit back and enjoy the most comprehensive collection of Sonic 2 reviews in the world.

November 23, 2012 Sonic 2s Day - Celebrating 20 years of Sonic 2

Sooner or later all good things come to an end. And sadly this week we bid farewell to the Back in Time features which we have enjoyed bringing to you over the past two and a half years.
As Mean Machines was split up this month, we got two new magazines in it's place: Nintendo Magazine System and Mean Machine Sega. The first review from MMS is Atomic Runner, while in NMS we look at Elite for the NES.
Next up is Putty on the Amiga which can be found in The One issue 49. And finally we take a look at Turtles IV which can be found in issue 36 of Zero.

Back in Time feature - October 1992 October 12, 2012

As summer is coming to an end we see Mean Machines being disbanded and split into Mean Machines Sega and Nintendo Magazine System. Yes it's time to go Back-in-Time to September 1992.
We take a look at how Alien 3 burst onto the Mega Drive, Premiere made its eum premiere... on the Amiga and Prince of Persia arrived on the Super Nintendo.
Then we move onto the feature which sees two Olympic athletes battle each other in Olympic Gold.

September 7, 2012 Back in Time feature - September 1992

Mid-summer is one of those times of the year where the arrival of a new video game magazine was quite an event. While not many exciting things happened during summer vacations when gaming was concerned, the magazines that came out during the time gave usa peek into the upcoming whirlwind of releases in the run-up to Christmas. Keeping this in mind, we jump into the August edition if out monthly Back-in-Time feature.
The first game we look at is Crazy Cars III on the Amiga. Next up is Turbo the Tortoise for the Amstrad CPC.
Moving on to Sega Power 33 with Taz Mania for the Mega Drive. And last but not least we look towards N-Force issue 2 with Pilotwings for the Super Nintendo.

Back in Time feature - August 1992 August 17, 2012

After a quite drastic hardware upgrade, we are back with the latest Back in Time feature.
This month we focus on magazine releases in July 1992.
Our first look goes to Micro Machines on the NES which can be found in Mean Machines issue 22. Then it's on to the Commodore 64 with James Pond 2: Robocod in Commodore Format issue 22.
Moving on to Amiga Power issue 15 with The Secret of Monkey Island 2, and finishing off with Legend of the Mystical Ninja on the Super Nintendo, which can be found in the very first issue of N-Force.

July 27, 2012 Back in Time feature - July 1992

As we are catching up after a hectic couple of months, we back at the video game magazine releases of June 1992 with the latest issue of Back in Time.
As always, we take a look at a wide array of magazines, but also select four articles and make them available on the site.
The first of which is Chuck Rock on the Master System from Mean Machines issue 21. Next up we take a look at Wizards and Warriors III for the NES from Game Zone issue 8.
From here we look at the CPC version of Lemmings which you will find in CPC Attack issue 1.
And finally, we take a look at Sensible Soccer for the Amiga, which can be found in The One issue 45.

Back in Time feature - June 1992 June 30, 2012

This month in Back in Time it's May 1992 and we saw the final issue of the official Amstrad CPC publication hit. Meanwhile, the Super Nintendo finally hit the UK stores with F-Zero as one of the launch titles. On PC, Ultima Underworld, Ultima VII and Cover Girl Poker were making headlines in Zero magazine for completely different reasons, while Titus the Fox and Fire and Ice were keeping aloft the 16-bit computer gaming flag...
We also open our brand new Game Gear review section with the Sega Force review of Spiderman.
As a bonus, we also added Sega Pro reviews of Factory Panic and Ninja Gaiden to the new Game Gear Section.

June 16, 2012 Back in Time feature - May 1992

A bit late with our April feature of Back-in-Time due to Neil moving and having limited internet access for a while. So while we try to get back into the groove let's look at the four highlighted articles from this months Back-in-Time feature.
The first one being D/Generation for the PC which is found in ACE issue 55. The second review jumps to CVG issue 125 and looks at Soccer Brawl for the Neo Geo.
Next up we take a look at the ZX Spectrum game Danny Duster's Dirty Deeds which you will find in Crash issue 98.
Finally we look at Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego for the Mega Drive, which can be found in Sega Force Issue 4.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

Back in Time feature - April 1992 May 25, 2012

We like to start of a new month with a look back at the magazines that lined the shelves 20 years ago, so it's time to look back at March of 1992.
We start of with the Mega Drive game Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday, which you'll find reviewed in Mean Machines issue 18. For our second highlighted review, we take a look at Your Sinclair issue 75 and focus on Space Crusade.
For our next two articles we selected two interviews. The first one talks to Gary Bracey or 'Mister Ocean' who is the Software Director at Ocean.
Our second interview talks to Sega US boss Tom Kalinske about Sonic 2 and Sega's next-gen 'Gigadrive' consoles.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

March 2, 2011 Back in Time feature - March 1992

Back for another healty dose of nostalgia with the February special of Back-in-Time.
And we start of with a bang as wel take a look at Monkey Island 2 for the Amiga in this issue of Ace. For our second highlighted article we look at another major sequel, this time it's Creatures II on the C64 in Zzap!64. Mean Machines takes a look at a Mega Drive classic with their review on Desert Strike, and our final review for this month is for Special Forces on the Amiga, which featured in The One for Amiga. So sit back, relax and enjoy your nostalgic trip back to February 1992...

Back in Time feature - February 1992 February 10, 2012

As we move into 2012 we also start a new year in our Back-in-Time series as we look back onto January of 1992.
Our first article looks at the Amiga version of Another World, wich is reviewed in Zero issue 27.
Sticking with the Amiga, we look at the Celtic Legends in this issue of Amiga Power.
Then we check out the very fist issue of Total! with the review for the NES classis Solstice.
And for our final article, we look at another new magazine with the premier issue of Sega Force and it's review of the Mega Drive game Speedball 2.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

January 13, 2011 Back in Time feature - January 1992

Time sure flies. So fast in fact that it's already time for our December feature of Back in Time.
We begin with a look at the Amiga version of Robocop 3, which strays quite far from the expected run and gun side-scrolling gameplay. Our second Amiga game is First Samurai, which was later ported to the SNES as well.
Then we look at how well Smash TV was adapted to the Commodore 64 from the arcade.
And finally we look at the NES version of Maniac Mansion, and see how it stacks up to the previous versions, with or without a microwaved hamster.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

Back in Time feature - December 1991 December 2, 2011

What better way to begin the winter months than to look back in time and remember how things used to be when we were kids? That means it's time again for our Back in Time feature.
With our first pick we join the celebrations as we re-discover CVG's 10th birthday feature.
We take a look at the launch of the brand new magazine called GameZone with the review for the Sega Master System game Xenon II.
Then we take a look at how closely the Commodore 64 version of Turtles The Coin-Op, done by Imagineworks, resembles the arcade counterpart.
The final review we have for this edition is Mega Twins, also known as Chiki Chiki Boys, for the Amiga.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

November 4, 2011 Back in Time feature - November 1991

The start of a new month always mean that we take the opportunity to look back in time exactly 20 years, and see which magazines were just hitting the shelves.
This time, we take you back to October 1991 and focus on four articles from a variety of magazines.
Our first selection is a review for Marvel Land on the Mega Drive and can be found in Raze 12.
Following on its heels is Ganbare Goemon for the Super Famicom, which you'll find in CVG issue 119. next up we have the top-down shooter for the Amiga: Alien Breed, which features in The One issue 37.
The final highlight for this week is Speedball 2 for the Commodore 64 which can be found in Zzap!64 issue 78.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

Back in Time feature - October 1991 October 6, 2011

When it comes creating digital renditions of classic video game magazines, there's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes than most people realize.
We don't just slap a magazine on a scan-plate and call it a day.
To illustrate what exactly we mean when we talk about restoration and preservation of classic magazines, we've put together this feature.
It's not an easy thing to explain solely with a bunch of text, so inside you will find several examples as we show you how our techniques have evolved over the years we've been doing this.
A lot of care, time and dedication goes into every single magazine that we digitize, in the hope that it reflects our appreciation for the content as well as the people who made these magazines possible in the first place.
We hope you enjoy the peek behind the curtains.

September 23, 2011 The restoration process

August has come and gone, which means it's time for our September feature of Back-in-Time. We take a look at the magazines that were released exactly 10 years ago and have selected four articles to give you a little taste of these fine publications.
The first one is a review for UN Squadron on the SNES and can be found in Mean Machines 12.
Our second review is for the NES game Bart vs The Spacemutants which can be found in Raze 11. From here we move on to one of the famous strategy games of years gone by: Mega Lo Mania, this version being for the Amiga.
For our final selection we have chosen the C64 game Terminator 2 which can be found in YC issue 83.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

Back in Time feature - September 1991 September 9, 2011

Back for another look back to ten years ago this month.
Yes, it's time for Back-in-Time August 1991.
Our first article that we have selected out of a plentitude of magazines this month is Martian Dreams for the PC, from here we go to Zzap!64's review of Turbo Charge on the C64, Amiga Action's review of P.P. Hammer for the Amiga and Mean Machines review of Boulder Dash for the NES. Sit back, relax and enjoy your nostalgic trip back to August 1991...

August 5, 2011 Back in Time feature - August 1991

While we are taking a much needed breather on the magazine restoration and preservation front, our Back in Time feature keeps on trucking. This month is July 1991 as we see a big push towards 16-bit consoles, starting with the original Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive.
From here we zoom towards the Commodore 64 with the arcade adventure game Exile. Sticking with arcade style action we jump into Shadow Dancer for the Amstrad CPC, which is an actual port of the arcade game unlike the Mega Drive version.
Our last article for this month takes a closer look at Warzone on the Amiga. A game that took it inspiration clearly from Capcom's Commando.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

Back in Time feature - July 1991 July 8, 2011

It's time again for our monthly Back-in-Time feature where we look back at the magazines that were hitting the shelves exactly twenty years ago this month.
We also take a closer look at a handful of articles every month and this time we start of with a Sierra classic: Space Quest IV for PC and Mac. We look to the Amiga for another classic adventure game that goes by the name of Cruise for a Corpse, as well as the action platformer Switchblade II.
Our final extract points us towards the excellent conversion of an all-time classic: Prince of Persia for the Amstrad CPC.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

June 10, 2011 Back in Time feature - June 1991

Whenever a new month comes around, that means we will take a trip back in time to exactly 20 years ago, so prepare to enter May 1991 with the latest Back-in-Time feature.
The first game we focus on is the RPG Hero Quest for the Amiga, quickly followed by the arcade adventure gameExile, also on the Amiga.
From there we take a look at a licenced game which is actually brilliant for a change, namely Total Recall on the Amstrad CPC. The final game we put under the spotlight is the classic Lemmings for the Atari ST.
To read about not only these games but the complete selection of featured magazines this month, don't forget to click the link to the full feature below.

Back in Time feature - May 1991 May 7, 2011

Every month we take a trip back in time to exactly 20 years ago, and this month's no exception.
In this Back in Time feature we look at April 1991.
During this month Brat caused quite a stir on the Amiga. Michael Jackson moonwalked his way onto the Mega Drive in the game appropriately titled, eum... Moonwalker.
The space conquering game Supremacy landed on the Commodore 64 and a nerd called Chip tried to get in Melinda's good graces by solving puzzles in the game Chip's Challenge on the Amstrad CPC.

April 8, 2011 Back in Time feature - April 1991

Once again we jump into our videogaming time machine to go 'Back in Time' twenty years to reminisce about the classic videogaming magazines at that time. It was a time of 8-bits and 16-bits, consoles and computers all vying for the gamers' affections. These magazines and games themselves are truly timeless classics. This was a time when C+VG, Mean Machines, Zzap!64, Your Sinclair, Amstrad Action and Amiga Format reigned supreme. A time when Super Mario World made its triumphant appearance on the Super Famicom, Switchblade and North & South surpassed all expectations on the 8-bits and Turrican 2 was still leaving its mark on the home micros. This is March 1991...

Following the recent redesign, the most relevant or interesting magazines from each format from this month have been chosen to focus on (i.e. one magazine from multi-format, C64, Spectrum, etc.). To accompany the main article, four online articles have been chosen from these selected magazines. This month the chosen articles are ACE's review of Rise of the Dragon for the PC, Zzap!64's review of Last Ninja III on the C64, Amstrad Action's review of North And South for the Amstrad CPC and CU Amiga's review of Gods for the Amiga. Sit back, relax and enjoy your nostalgic trip back to March 1991...

Back in Time feature - March 1991 March 11, 2011

It's that time again where we look back exactly 20 years at a selection of magazines that were released this very month.
You might notice that from now on the 'Back in Time' features look a little different. Instead of going over every single magazine, we've decided to highlight certain issues, which allows us to take a closer look at those selected magazines.
This month it's February 1991 when Turrican returned for a second round of platform run ‘n’ gunning on the C64. From there we move on to the very unique Deuteros for the Amiga, followed by Horror Zombies From The Crypt, also for the Amiga.
We take another look at last week's Raze 4 issue with the review for the PC game Crash Course.

February 18, 2011 Back in Time feature - February 1991

We continue our 'Back in Time' monthly feature where we look back at the classic video gaming magazines twenty years ago this month. This month it's January 1991 when Amiga gamers were held 'Captive' with Tony Crowther's latest Amiga release, Navy Seals infiltrated the C64 in cartridge form, the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles impressed with its colourful Speccy version and John Madden began his domination of Football games on the Mega Drive...

From the magazines featured in the article, we have chosen four reviews to read online: the 'C&VG Hit!' review of John Madden Football on the Mega Drive, Your Sinclair's 'Megagame' review of Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles on the Spectrum, Zzap!64's sizzling review of Navy Seals on C64 cartridge and Amiga Action's review of Captive on the Amiga.

Back in Time feature - January 1991 January 21, 2011

This month it's December 1990 when Secret of Monkey Island captured the hearts of a whole generation of PC gamers, while the long awaited Creatures finally saw release on the Commodore 64.
Sci-Fi fans got their fix with Buck Rogers and Zero gave us an in-depth look at Line of Fire for the Amiga.
This is just a small preview of what went down exactly 20 years ago in video game magazine history. For the full story, please click the link below.

December 24, 2010 Back in Time feature - December 1990

Today we take a look at one of the most infuential players in the history of the UK video game magazine sector.
We celebrate their rich past, from the start up till the sad end.
With this feature we would like to give a bit more insight into a publisher that is very dear to our hearts as we grew up with many of their magazines as well as the incredible talent that put them all together.

The Rise and Fall of EMAP's Video Game Magazine Empire December 3, 2010

On the Amiga SWIV shot up the opposing shoot-‘em-ups, Midnight Resistance run-‘n’-gunned its way from the arcades onto the C64, Speedball 2 made for a brutal futuristic sport on the Atari ST and Rick Dangerous began his multi-format domination in his multi-accolade winning sequel. All this and more happened in November 1990 and can be re-lived in 'Back in Time', our monthly feature where we look back at the classic video gaming magazines twenty years ago this month.

November 19, 2010 Back in Time feature - November 1990

"Three brand new magazines were launched, arcade hit Ivan 'Iron Man' Stewart's Super Off Road raced all over the major computer formats, the Commodore 64 re-launched in console form and Wonderland proved a wonderful hit..." That was October 1990 and this is 'Back in Time', our monthly feature where we look back at the classic video gaming magazines twenty years ago this month.
As usual, the feature comes with a selection of articles that were chosen from four of the magazines covered and are available to read online:
Commodore Format's feature on the C64GS, Amstrad Computer User's feature on the new range of Amstrad Plus machines, CU Amiga's review of Wonderland on the Amiga and The One's review of Powermonger on the Amiga.

Back in Time feature - October 1990 October 15, 2010

Vivid Images went back in time with their adventure game Time Machine, The Games Machine magazine bowed out with its last issue, Amstrad launched their new GX4000 games console, and a sleek black 16-bit gaming console was about to hit the UK. That was September 1990 and this is 'Back in Time', our monthly feature where we look back at the classic video gaming magazines twenty years ago this month.
As usual, the feature comes with a selection of articles that were chosen from four of the magazines covered and are available to read online:
CU Amiga's review of Corporation on the Amiga, YC's review of Time Machine on the C64, Zero's review of Operation Stealth on the Atari ST, and S (The Sega mag) special on the Mega Drive.

September 17, 2010 Back in Time feature - September 1990

Smash TV crashed into the arcades, Kick Off 2 kicked the other soccer games in to touch, Midnight Resistance impressed all and Italy 1990 topped the All Formats Top 20 Chart..." That was August 1990 and this is 'Back in Time' where we look at the classic video gaming magazines twenty years ago this month. To accompany our biggest edition of 'Back in Time' yet, with 20 magazine titles covered, we selected a handful of online articles from the magazines: Amiga Action's review of Kick Off II, The Games Machine's review of Venus The Flytrap (Amiga), Computer & Video Game's review of Smash TV (Arcade) and YC's review of Murder (C64).

Back in Time feature - August 1990 August 27, 2010

The second update for this week is none other than the latest of our 'Back in Time' feature, which looks back on what happened exactly 20 years ago in the video game magazine world.
As site keeps on growing, we make room for a brand new Amstrad CPC reviews section. As always, we have chosen four online articles to compliment the main feature itself, including C&VG's review of G-Loc for the Arcade, Zzap!64 Amiga's review of Blood Money on C64, Amstrad Action's review of Bloodwych for the Amstrad CPC and Amiga Action's review of Champions of Krynn on the Amiga. To read the full 'Back in Time' feature documenting even more magazines from July 1990, follow the link below, and enjoy.

July 23, 2010 Back in Time feature - July 1990

Slightly later than usual this time, but we are now able to present our June 1990 edition of our monthly feature 'Back in Time', where we look back at the classic video gaming magazines twenty years ago this month.
Once again, we have expanded the site with new sections for C64 features and PC/Mac reviews. We have chosen four online articles to compliment the main article itself, including C&VG's review of Operation Wolf on the Master System, ACE's review of Ultima VI on PC, Zzap!64 Amiga's making of... diary on the C64 game Creatures and Amiga Format's review of F-29 Retaliator on the Amiga. To read the 'Back in Time' article, as well as the online material, follow the link below, and enjoy.

Back in Time feature - June 1990 june 25, 2009

To celebrate Future Publishing’s 25th anniversary, Out-of-Print Archive traces the birth and rise of one of the world’s most famous and successful magazine publishing companies, along with insights from founder Chris Anderson and former Group Publisher Steve Carey.
From Amstrad Action to Super Play, ST Amiga Format to EDGE, Your Sinclair to N64 Magazine and so many in between. Enjoy the journey of video game magazines through the lens of Future Publishing.

June 4, 2010 Retro Future - Celebrating 25 years of Future Publishing

Not willing to be kept down for too long, even though we are still dealing with technical issues beyond our control, our very own Neil sprung into action and saved the day.
We are extremely proud to present you with our second Back-in-Time feature, which focuses on a large variety of magazines that came out back in May 1990.
This second edition expands the site ones again with several new sections. The first one being the Commodore 64 review section, followed closely by the C64 interview section.
But to do the scope of this feature justice, you'll have to click the link below and see for yourself!

Back in Time feature - May 1990 october 10, 2009

Taking the next step in the evolution of Out-of-Print Archive, we are proud to present you with the very first monthly feature. In which we will look back in time and go over a wide variety of video game magazines that were released exactly 20 years ago. Along with this brand new feature, which was created by our very own Nreive, you will find couple of brand new sections to the site.
The most noticeable is the Vintage & Micro section which will balance out the console & handheld sections of the site.

April 7, 2010 Back in Time feature - April 1990

Today is a very special day for us here at out-of-print archive.
Something that will have a big effect on the site in the coming months and which we would like to share with our readers as well, so you can see a a glimpse of what we have in store for you in the future.
We want to express our utmost gratitude to Richard from the Netherlands, who was so kind to donate his collection of 350+ classic video game magazines to our preservation project.

Mega Donation october 10, 2009

After a lot of testing what would work and what didn't, we can finally launch our brand new site to coincode with the anniversary of a great system that didn't get the chance it very much deserved, the Sega Dreamcast.
We start of with a blast as we open the Dreamcast review archive containing over 90 reviews of some of our all-time favorite games.

September 9 2009 Dreamcast anniversary feature

 

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