Gamestyle Wikipedia Page

Thanks to Rogue Soul for the heads up on the Gamestyle Wikipedia page. This was a useful resource to track the history of the website and the team involved – especially the early days. Technically its gone from Wikipedia for whatever reason they want to quote (they’ve lost my pending donation)  and any future support.

However we do have the images of the page and I’ll copy the text beneath as well. That’s what an archive is all about.

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Gamestyle is a UK-based independent computer and video gaming website that was launched in 1999 by Dean Swain, under the name Dreamers128.

Gamestyle covers video game software reviews, previews, news, and other information. After starting out on its own, Gamestyle was linked with a small American media network called FanGen. Later, Gamestyle broke free of FanGen and merged with fellow independent site GameHub.

To date, Gamestyle remains independently operated.

History

Launched in 1999 by Dean Swain, the site focused exclusively on Dreamcast games, under the guise Dreamers128. Approximately a month after launch, the site rebranded to Gamestyle.co.uk, became a multi-format site, and began to cover all console systems – though coverage of other consoles was restricted to previews alone.

With sites of this stature somewhat of a rarity, Gamestyle was quickly tied to a small American media network named FanGen who covered running costs of the website. Under FanGen, Gamestyle turned to become a more humorous, ‘punky’ website which displayed images of semi-nude women on the front page.

The FanGen link remained until Gamestyle merged with another UK independent, GameHub. This merger saw an increase in visitors to the site, due to the popularity of GameHub. With each newer build of the website, Gamestyle progressively lost its attitude and tamed the humour in written articles.

To date, the site runs primarily on gamestyle.com and is now funded by Dean Swain, Dave Carlson, Matthew Cox and Jason Julier.

Main site

Gamestyle’s main page displays the latest news, reviews, previews, and links to areas for the following platforms: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance. Visiting each console section shows a list of the latest articles, the most popular games on that console, and an index method for users to track down games of interest as quickly as possible.

The new version of Gamestyle launched on 11 April 2010. The main page was launched a few days earlier but the final release updated the review and preview hubs, allowing further searches and the highlighting of top scoring articles and random pieces from the archives.

Reviews and rating system

Gamestyle has a strict review policy and they themselves believe their reviews to be trustworthy and unbiased, granting a fair review score. While none of the writing team are professionals, Gamestyle delivers new content daily on weekdays and also at weekends.

Though in articles, Gamestyle refers itself in third person, staff writers are also credited. Reviews are also listed on GameRankings,[2] Metacritic,[3] Rotten Tomatoes,[4] andMobyGames.

Their reviews were considered highly enough to be included alongside IGN and Electronic Gaming Monthly on Nintendo‘s UK marketing print campaign for Metroid Prime. These adverts were printed in numerous gaming magazines, on advertising hoardings across UK towns and cities and also online.[citation needed]

Developments

Gamestyle is constantly looking to evolve and improve the site. In March 2007 a new feature was launched that connected any posted news story, with a related topic in the forum. This allowed users to discuss events and offer opinions on breaking news in the world of videogames.

2008 version

January 2 saw the launch of the latest version of the Gamestyle site. Then new modern, white look was a dramatic change from its predecessor.

Blog

On June 22, 2008 Gamestyle introduced its own blog. The aim of this extension was to attract new regulars to the site and provide an outlet for the whole team to provide extra comments on their reviews or gaming news. The blog is an open forum for staff members to post about anything from films to their latest review.

2010 Version

Arguably the best version of Gamestyle so far. The 2010 edition incorporated comment functions for the first time in years, allowing users of Facebook & Twitter to give their opinions on articles.

2010 Upgrade

As of 1 November 2010, Gamestyle started coverage of mobile phone releases with Fruit Ninja being the first review. This date also marked its arrival on the Opera portal. The front end and forum were matched under the same banner design, allowing greater ease of navigation.

Retro Gamer Magazine Website Of The Month

In issue 60 of the popular Retro Gamer magazine, Gamestyle received their website of the month award.

“Gamestyle has been around now for a staggering ten years and remains one of the most entertaining non-corporate gaming websites around. Featuring a thriving community, Gamestyle prides itself on its well-written and non-biased reviews and covers everything from the latest 360 and PS3 releases to the classics like Metroid and Football Manager.

Indeed, one of Gamestyle’s greatest strengths is that it’s able to offer something for everyone and as a result is a true gamer’s website, with polite and enthusiastic forum members and a small core team of talented writers. Oh and if you fancy a giggle then look for the Project Zero/Fatal Frame review in their massive archive.”

2012 Hack and Rebuild

In 2012 Gamestyle was the victim of an attack and had to rebuild from the very bottom again. Despite losing everything, the current team has pushed on to keep the Gamestyle name running. The focus has shifted somewhat with more reviews based around ‘Indie’ titles and has seen the site build up a solid relationship with indie developers over the months. The team is much smaller now, but by no means any less dedicated.

The reviews are still coming and the site has undergone another redesign.

2013 Back To Social Media

In 2013 Gamestyle decided to get back into the social media space. The Facebook page has become active again along with our Twitter account. All articles will be found on both and the team encourage users to interact.

Gamestyle Offline

Gamestyle also creates and hosts a downloadable PDF magazine. Now published on an infrequent basis, Gamestyle Offline[5] is intended for the visitor to print their own copy for ‘on-the-go’. Gamestyle maintains that download figures of each issue are promising, and are known to have worked with video game publishers such as Vivendi Universal to create special editions.

At the close of 2006 there are eleven issues of the magazine, three of which are special editions. Each issue contained content that one may not typically find on the main site, such as interviews with developers and features on specific subjects. Gamestyle has been known to publish reviews of various titles in Gamestyle Offline, before publishing them online, as a selling point of the PDF magazine.

As of January 9, 2008, Gamestyle began a five-part series called ‘Gamestyle Offline: The Missing Issue’. This brought together the five remaining unpublished features that were intended for Issue 10 which was put together at the end of 2005 with the intention of releasing a new issue in early 2006. Number 10 was meant to represent a new start for the series, with a new look and a new issue editor but unfortunately the project never saw the light of day.

Gamestyle Live podcast

The spirit of the Offline magazine has been carried onto a new format, the podcast. The show covers all the latest news, site developments, reviews, releases and some opinions. It is available via the website or one can subscribe with iTunes.

Community

The Gamestyle forum now has over 1000 members, many who are regular visitors. While this number is smaller than other communities, it enables a more personal level of interaction between members, many of whom take part in meet ups to share their love of video games.

Staff

Owner: Dean Swain

Development: Matthew Cox (design) and Dave Carlson (implementation)

Editor: Jason Julier

PR Contact: Bradley Marsh

Writers: Bradley Marsh, Ben Gleisner-Cooke, Mark Ford, Gareth Chappell, Stef Snell, Adam Gulliver, Simon Farrow

Previous Staff: Andrew Revell, Andy Lucas, Anna Ghislaine, Colin Whiteside, Dan Gill, Daniel James, Gareth Chappell, Garry Webber, Gopinath Chandran, Hanley, Tom Knowles, Usman Zia, Richard Meerman, Drew Middlemas

Other previous staff writers for Gamestyle have gone onto further their career, include Garnett Lee of 1UP.com,[6] Ollie Barder of The Guardian and Darren Jones, retro editor ofgamesTM and Retro Gamer.

Webarchive: http://web.archive.org/web/20151218121356/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamestyle

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Gamestyle Archive update 01

The archive is building up nicely as we approach 200 pieces of restoration later this month – I’m never sure whether to refer to them as reviews, previews, articles or whatever. The main thing is that they are back online where they deserve to be. Recently we’ve had some Archive donations of material from Rogue Soul and Toby – thanks guys! These are just waiting comparison to what we have at the moment.

I wanted to put an update online about what the plan is, or if there was a plan. Regulars will notice we’re releasing PS2 reviews now and this is because we’re onto the largest PS2 spreadsheet and about midway through it as I write this. Afterwards we’re onto the Xbox equivalent. Then I just want to go over the various versions of these spreadsheets for all the formats including GBA and retro. Once that’s all done then we’re ready to start going through documents and making comparisons and hopefully rebuilding previously lost reviews with different sources of material. At this stage this might be when old writers are approached to look in their archives.

To give you an idea of the difficulties we face take a look at this Mike Bather review which was scored an 8 overall and was a PAL release. The only surviving piece of text from the review is one word! And that’s ‘there’, yep that’s your lot! I guess using some clues it’s from around September 2003. Hopefully that’s when these other resources will come into play and we can rebuild these reviews. It’s been successful a couple of times already.

As I look on the internet now it is surprising just how many sites from the era of Gamestyle are no more and their own original and passionate content is lost forever. If you want to find a review from the 32 bit of 64 bit era’s it seems you have to rely on the corporate websites nowadays that tended to have an agenda and cosy relationships. Part of me wants to go back and rediscover the PSone and N64 titles but this Archive is going to be a long term project.

Hopefully it’s a refreshing walk down memory lane as the content reappears and I try to recall my memories of the game. It is good to see that Gamestyle lives on in its current form and is mentioned on the 100th episode of the Retro Asylum podcast where Dean and Darran have a lengthy chat. 2 blokes still involved in gaming after all these years – an episode well worth seeking out and setting aside an afternoon for!

Gamestyle Offline: The Missing Issue

Gamestyle Archive Intro: just looking through some old music discs and have come across a batch of reviews from 2008 and beyond – a nice wee discovery. Here is the intro to the lost Gamestyle Offline issue which dates from January 2008.

After a successful run, the Gamestyle Offline Magazine (otherwise known as GSO) was put to rest, as the demands of producing each issue alongside website content became too much.   Yet the story of GSO did not end with issue nine, as many readers believe.

In late 2005 plans were afoot in Gamestyle Towers to take GSO in a new direction, complete with a new visual design and issue editor.   Unfortunately the design never progressed beyond a few draft pages, pictures of which are shown here for the very first time.   While the design may not have been completed, the issue was practically bursting full of content.   Since then some of this material has been released online at Gamestyle, as ‘the nine lives of games developers’, ‘the cult of thrill kill – and others’ and ‘remake them, we have the technology’ to name but a few.

Today five features remain unpublished amidst our submissions, lurking with no real intent and now outdated by the ravages of time.   Under the series banner ‘Gamestyle Offline: The Missing Issue’ these few remnants will be released and finally close the door on the GSO era.

Gamestyle DVD Issue 1

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After scouring the attic there was only 1 discovery regarding Gamestyle and its pictured above. Sometime in 2003 as GSO was proving successful we were looking around at the next step and DVD’s were new on the market and being used for all sorts of things. A very basic outline was created in this preview build and this is the one and only disc, ever. Expect a separate feature on the issue itself!

The first update

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A week has already passed since the discovery of these two CD-R discs in a box in the back of my garage. Yep folks, these date from a time when DVD burning as a dream/expensive/took 12 hours. The box itself contained some bits and bobs from the early era of Gamestyle. These discs were amidst a couple of spindles of official magazine demo discs and rather than dispense with unknown contents; I decided to take a look.

Pretty much everything I wrote from 2001-2003 for the site is here. If only I took a moment back then to do the same for everyone’s submissions then we’d be laughing right now. Sadly that’s not the case although not all hope is lost. Former members of the team are out there and like me they may have other discs or old hard-drives sitting about. My attic is home to more spindles and such old machines – these might prove fruitful. We’ll keep it one discovery at a time but I’m sure more material will be upstairs.

Why nothing prior to 2001? Well, currently there isn’t anything but that might change. I k now some of my first GS reviews were typed live using the Dreamcast browser so that’s why a hardcopy isn’t kicking about here; hmm I wonder if Sega still have the old email addresses? sonic@dreamcast.com was pretty cool to have!

There is very little in the archive post-2003 currently; an archive takes time so its a start at least what we have.

Gamestyle Archive

How do you revive over a decade of lost content? Some of these articles have been offline for anything from 6-10 years. Frankly there are no rules or even a sense of order. We’re going to create and build this archive one article at a time. Whether its a preview, feature, review or interview they will appear here one by one.

Reviews at Gamestyle normally appeared within a couple of weeks of the release of the said title. There was also a retro and retrospective agenda, as we went back in time and plucked out a few hidden gems. Looking back now, yes, we should have had a central archive and a running list but that doesn’t exist. We do have the original date from the document depending on the format provided by the source.

So if we know the document was created in November 2002, then we’ll place this into the 2002 category and also the format such as Playstation 2. We’ll also categorise by score so if you want to see which games received the highest honour possible with a Gamestyle 10, then use that category.

The archive is never going to be complete but this residence will be a great resource and place to visit.