Every magazine has to start somewhere, and for long-running GamePro that origin point hit in 1989 with an unnatural excitement regarding Nintendo Entertainment System games such as Taboo: The Sixth Sense and the newest releases from industry powerhouses such as Taito and HAL America. The Power Glove was all the way from the distant future of 2001 and an ordinary man-child named Alex West embraced his calling as a superhero in the video dimension. These are things that happened, and if you weren't around in 1989 to enjoy them unironically, then join Scott Sharkey at the modern-day GamePro website to explore the first two issues of the magazine and snark at them like there's no tomorrow. Heed your calling!
When GamePro was first squeezed out into the world all those years ago, it was a very different magazine. It fairly dripped with the foul graphic design of the '80s, and its text scarcely ever strayed from a tone of wide-eyed excitement over some of the worst games and peripherals ever made. It got better over the course of the next few decades, but those early years possess a strange, naive beauty that must be shared. And by shared I mean relentlessly mocked, because really, this was a pretty execrable rag. Don't worry, we'll be nicer when we get to the issues that start being something resembling good. For now, though, we're still trapped in the sucking mire of 1989.
I've seen infinitely worse '80s magazine covers, but this one takes the taco for being both blandly nonspecific and incredibly excited about itself. Every legend has a beginning, and GamePro's starts with these three spectacularly unremarkable gentlemen ripping their way through the front cover. Probably because they just realized that this is supposed to be a videogame magazine and they have more manly and important things to do. They were last seen chairing the How to Kill Men While Having a Mustache panel at Generically Manly Man Con '89.
There were no survivors.
I read GamePro for years as a kid and teenager starting with this issue right here that was given away free at Toys R Us during its debut quarter with purchase of a new video game. As you can imagine, I wound up with three copies of this issue. In hindsight, it wasn't a very good magazine, but to eight-year-old me, it was a revelation. I'd just started to read Nintendo Power around this time, and now here was another magazine devoted to Nintendo-related products. Perhaps there was something to this whole video game thing after all (even if Taboo and the Power Glove were touted as the next big things in that first issue).