The History of the Mean Machines Archive
Picture the scene. A twenty-something social recluse called Damien McFerran is sitting at work, bored to his tiny-tits and wondering why he can't find anything on the net relating to his boyhood heroes - Rignall, Leadbetter, Harrod, etc. He then comes up with a spiffing idea - he would create a Mean Machines site of his very own! Hurrah!
So, in 2003, Damien built the original Mean Machines Archive. It was a fairly low-key and amateur effort hosted on pop-up hell Lycos Tripod, the most notable thing was the spreadsheet of review scores for the first 24 issues and a brief history of the publication. However, things moved up a gear when a mole within EMAP alerted Damien that Angus 'Gus' Swan was still working there, and provided an email address. Contact was made and Gus kindly agreed to answer some questions about this time at MM. Then Richard Leadbetter got in touch. Then Oz Browne. Then...well, you get the picture. The final piece of the puzzle was none other than the mullet-master himself, Jaz Rignall. Emailing in from his US penthouse retreat, the former editor agreed to an interview.
By this time the Archive was getting a modest number of hits and it was featured in leading UK multiformat magazine GamesTM, and later in Retro Gamer - the UK's only dedicated retro magazine. Mentions were also made at leading websites Insert Credit and UK Resistance. The fame was spreading.
The best was yet to come. In 2005, a strapping young man by the name of Daz Calvert got in touch with Damien about a letter his mate had written into the magazine back in the days. Being so impressed that Damien produced this Double Dragon Blooper and a childhood fan of Mean Machines himself he expressed an interest in helping out with the site. Within the space of a few months this painfully talented chap made the Archive database-driven, secured a decent hosting package and a proper domain name for the site. Damien was so chuffed he offered Daz a bag of crisps and a bottle of half-drunk Panda Pop, but Daz drove a hard bargain and was eventually welcomed on board as co-owner of the Archive. The golden age of the Mean Machines Archive had begun.
To coincide with the launch of the Nintendo Wii in late 2006 a spin-off site was launched called the Virtual Console Archive by the enterprising duo. Inspired by their childhood heroes from Mean Machines the pair took on the monikers 'Damo' and 'Daz' and began reviewing the latest Virtual Console releases themselves. Gary Harrod even created the pair their own super deformed manga avatars! in 2009 the site rebranded as Nintendo Life and is now known all over the world for it's awesomeness.
The Mean Machines Archive continues to evolve - the reviews archive is being built up with additional reviews from Mean Machines Sega, Nintendo Magazine System and C+VG. In addition a forum has been added and the media vault continues to expand at a rapid rate with whatever titbits we can find from magazines of yesteryear. We hope you like what you see!