I'm posting this here because if anyone can help me with this issue, it's Ross. He's saved games from oblivion before, and my hope is that he can apply that talent to finding any evidence of something that is in fact tangentially (I think that's the right word) related to computer gaming: a magazine that the Internet has utterly forgotten.
It's called Computer & Net Player Magazine.
This isn't a Mandela Effect, or a mis-remembered thing: I know this once existed. I actually had an issue of the damn thing once, from 1997 to whenever it got thrown out for “being in the way” when someone who claimed they knew what they were doing found it in a room other than mine. There have been issues of it on eBay before, but not the one I had. No scans of it (of any issues, including the one I'd owned) exist, to my knowledge. I've Googled the name (and its replacement, which was something generic, like “Online Gaming Review” or whatever), and nothing's come up.
So, yeah. Enough waffle. Time to get to the meat of this.
Back in elementary school, in 1997, there was a program that rewarded students for consecutive weeks of good behavior and such. In my case, I got magazines—video game and computer game-related, mostly, along with stuff like Popular Science. The one that stands out in my mind was an issue of this Computer & Net Player Magazine that had, as its cover story, Daikatana. Now, keep in mind, this was back before the game was ever released, and before people had any idea of how broken the finished product would be; the cover had all three characters on it, with a red background, and behind it (as in, on the inside of the front cover) was a fold-out ad for Shadow Warrior. The centerpiece article, of course, was on Daikatana, with another fold-out discussing the weapons, enemies and items for each of the four time periods of the game. Among the featured reviews were Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Resident Evil and some football game where you could pit then-current teams against those from the leather-helmet days of the sport. I think that issue even had the review for Postal (more on that in a bit).
I remember the ads, too. There was an ad for 7th Legion with the tagline “A good 7th Legion recruit always salutes his victim”, with an armored guy on the back of what appeared to be a mutant velociraptor giving someone the finger as he fired point-blank at them. There was a two-page spread for Black Dahlia, and a series of character sidebars for that VIGILANCE game meant to be the PC's answer to GoldenEye 007. And yes, Postal had a two-page ad spread as well, with a quote from the magazine's own review: “Sure, senseless violence is fun, but it's even more fun when it's directed at marching bands.” There was a section at the back of the magazine that had blurbs about past reviews, with one of the titles that stuck out in my mind being Magic: the Gathering – Battlemage. There were half-page “banners” for the PCDash Graphic Command Pad and Virtual Surgeon: Open Heart. Virus: The Game got a full page ad, too.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. “Duke, you're probably confusing yourself. Computer Gaming World had a '97 issue with Daikatana as the cover story, too!” Well, I already jumped down that rabbit hole. Went to the CGW Archive, downloaded and read every single issue there. Oh, they had the ads I remembered, but CGW wasn't the same as Computer & Net Player Magazine. Hell, some of the ads for other games mentioned Computer & Net Player Magazine in them! There was even an ad for a computer, in Issue 167, that had the “Computer & Net Player Preferred” seal of approval in it (I've included a picture of said ad in this post for reference). The magazine EXISTED at some point, and I KNOW it did...but it seems to have vanished without a trace, even in the age of scans and reselling old issues.
Oh, and the background color of the cover for CGW's Daikatana issue was yellow, not red. Just to clarify.
Trying to locate this one issue of this one magazine has basically propelled me into a quest to obtain other video game literature that may have otherwise been lost to time. I have a small but growing collection of hint books and strategy guides already, the start of which stemmed from that initial search to find that one issue of Computer & Net Player I'd had all those years ago. That one issue continues to elude me to this day; it's kind of my personal white whale, even though I kind of don't like using that cliché. I've searched Archive.org, I've searched RetroMags...nothing.
If Ross, or anyone else here has any information on this—where I can find scans, especially—I'd be eternally grateful.