Playing With Power

Playing With Power – Nintendo Power #11

Issue 11 of Nintendo Power features the game that would launch Nintendo’s popularity in to the stratosphere…Super Mario Bros. 3.

I really like the cover of this issue as a throwback to the first issue claymation cover of Mario 2, but I personally like this one better and I don’t think this cover gets the recognition it deserves compared to the first issue.  Mario is clearly more defined as the modern Mario and I would love to have any of the 4 characters from the cover sitting on my shelf at home.

This issue announces the addition of 6 bonus strategy guide issues of the magazine per year which essentially turned the magazine in to a monthly magazine compared to the bi-monthly model that had been employed since the days of the Nintendo Fun Club News.  The strategy guide issues would only last for a few months before the magazine became a proper monthly magazine, but the first strategy guide was for Mario 3, and I remember reading that strategy guide many times to unlock all of the secrets of the game.

In the mailbox section there is a letter from someone who had their Nintendo go through a flood and come out still working.  The early years of the magazine saw a big portion of their letters dedicated to stories of how Nintendo systems and especially Game Boy systems would still work after going through some heavy weather related damage.  I guess Nintendo really wanted to sell the full value of their products to parents.  Imagine an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 going through a flood today and I’m betting they wouldn’t have as much luck surviving.  We also get the first piece of reader art in this issue which would become a very popular addition to gaming magazines in the years to follow.  There were some pretty amazing pieces of art submitted over the years but this was the first for Nintendo Power.

After the first few feature games we get our next update from a CES show.  For those who may not remember, the CES show was the big trade show for game developers to show off their new and upcoming releases before the introduction of E3.  I really like looking for references to games that either were never released or were much different than what eventually released, and in the report you will find a brief reference to Street Fighter II being under development.  This would have been the sequel to the NES title Street Fighter:2010 as the Street Fighter II we now know of wouldn’t be released in arcades for over another year and wouldn’t be seen on a home console for more than 2 years.

The Top 30 list gives you an idea of the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  The first TMNT NES game is raked #1 above Mega Man 2, Mario 2 & 3 as well as Zelda 1 & 2.  It’s amazing what a phenomenon the Turtles were but we all bought in to the marketing hype.

The previews section gives us a first glimpse at the next major RPG coming to the NES, Final Fantasy.  Dragon Warrior would have been released by this point and given the fact that Nintendo would later give away thousands of copies of the game due to poor retail sales, they started hyping Final Fantasy as their next chance to bring the RPG craze of Japan to the US.  They even hyped it as bigger and better than Legend of Zelda and Adventures of Link!  Not to leave out the Dragon Warrior fans they did have, this issue includes a ‘Choose your own adventure’ story in the Dragon Warrior universe.  If only gaming magazines had unique features like this once the internet age took over perhaps they would have stuck around a few more years.

There is a lot more in the issue to check out so enjoy this issue and look out for issue 12 coming soon!

Play with power!