Friday, August 24, 2012

RIP Nintendo Power

I know I'm a little LTTP when it comes to this RIP, but the truth is I wasn't planning to write about this rather sad occasion (Nintendo Power's December 2012 issue will be its last), mainly because I haven't flipped through a copy of the magazine in ages.

Then I came across a photo I took a few years back of Nintendo Power's first issue (below and here), and it brought to mind all sorts of amazingly fond memories.


One of them: If memory serves, the issue above was sent to me and my brother shortly after we acquired our NES. Although we were quite content with the pack-in title (Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt), those first images of Super Mario Bros. 2 blew our young minds.

In fact, I'm pretty sure the timing of Super Mario Bros. 2's announcement and release is solely responsible for Mario's first sequel (in the US) becoming my favorite of all his two-dimensional adventures.


Nintendo Power's second issue (above and here) was only slightly less amazing than its first thanks to features that focused on Bionic Commando and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. (Oh, and more Super Mario Bros. 2, of course.)

And then, in the magazine's fourth issue (below and here), we got both a (somewhat disturbing due to its use of mannequins) cover image devoted to and a review of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, another game that--at the time, at least--completely rocked my world.


(To see an early Nintendo Power cover that I'm much more fond of, check out this photo of the July/August 1989 issue. Claymation Mega Man FTW!)

Will any of you be sad to see Nintendo Power go the way of the Dodo? If so, what are some of your most cherished memories of this nearly 25-year-old publication?

20 comments:

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I'm CRUSHED! I'm more sad about this than anyone should be. I've been getting the magazine since issue #20 in, like, 1994, and I still have ALL OF THEM! So...yeah. I'm pretty bummed about this news...news that caught me completely by surprise when I saw it on Kotaku the other day.

It's a sad day for gaming...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Wow! I can't believe you've been subscribing all this time, Justin -- and that you still have all of your issues! Amazing. Really wish I'd kept more of my early ones. Thankfully, I still have a number of them.

Chalgyr Vokel said...

It's funny, because that was my initial line of thought. I wasn't going to write about it on my blog, but then saw a handful of covers and some serious nostalgia washed over me. All of my older issues got pitched by my parents yeeeears ago unfortunately.

Bryan Ochalla said...

So did you write about it on your blog, too? I'll have to check it out. And, yes, it's funny how such feelings of nostalgia can creep up on you, isn't it?

Chalgyr Vokel said...

Yeah, I looked back at some of my most memorable issues from early on. I admit I let my subscription lapse after a few years, but agreed: I was amazed at how much I started to recall about the publication when I paused to think about it as more than just another gaming headline.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, you and I are in the same boat, then. I actually maintained my subscription for a good number of years -- maybe 5 or 6? -- but then let it lapse. It sure was a thing of beauty in the beginning, though, especially for the time! I think I'll have to flip through the issues shown in this post sometime this weekend...

Adam said...

I didn't really get Nintendo Power until about 2002-2004. I liked the reboot version years back, but it seems like it was inevitable. Online is where people go now.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Reboot version? I must have missed that iteration of the magazine, Adam. Anyway, you're right, of course -- published magazines, especially the ones that are devoted to this industry, are in a tough spot right now. Still, it's too bad NOA couldn't just take Nintendo Power on line. Even making it a part of their online Wii U offerings would be a good idea, IMO. There's no reason it *has* to be a published magazine, after all...

Kaze said...

I'm sooooooo sad! I was crushed too when I heard the news! =[ I have so many amazing memories of Nintendo power! I think I got a subscription around issue 13.

But I remember one of the highlights of my childhood was the Mario, Zelda, Super Metroid, and Star Fox comics in the issues! My best friend (who lived in my neighborhood) and I both had subscriptions and would rush down to each others' houses if we got an issue first so we could read the comics together!

The N64 was a big letdown for me at that time since I was craving everything JRPG related. So, I moved on to PlayStation and my subscription lapsed.

Recently, I've had a sort of Nintendo renaissance and have been getting way back into Nintendo and was actually planning to get a subscription again and even get a subscription for my young nephew who is a Nintendo fan. =[

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello again, Kaze/Marty! Another long-time reader -- who would've thought. You know what's weird? I pretty much always ignored, or at least glossed over the comics in each issue of NP. Maybe I should go back and read some of the ones that are included in the old issues I have, just to see what I was missing.

It's interesting that you fell away from Nintendo around the advent of the N64. Although I absolutely adored the N64, I can understand being disappointed in it from a JRPG standpoint. That's eventually what got me to give the PS1 a go, BTW. In fact, I think it was Final Fantasy Tactics that turned me into a PS1 fan. Anyway, I digress...

It's good to hear you're once again giving Nintendo some love ... not that it benefits me in any way, of course. I'm guessing this means you're enjoying your 3DS? If so, so am I! Absolutely love that machine, despite its flaws...

Kaze said...

Awwww! You should definitely give them a read! ^^ The Mario and Zelda comics were by far the best ones! I found pdf scans of all the Mario ones if you're interested! (http://yoshi.2yr.net/comics.php)

Even if you're not into the humor or story the art is pretty adorable!

Yeah, when the N64 came out I was still a die hard Nintendo fanboy. But aside form the first party titles and the Mystical Ninja series the games just didn't resonate with me. And yeah I was desperate for more RPGs I even played through the terrible Quest 64 because that was my only RPG-like option. lol

Unfortunately, this caused me to skip over the Gamecube too. So recently I've been discovering the world of Gamecube titles! lol

Bryan Ochalla said...

OK, I'll give them a read ASAP. I think I've seen some of them here and there over the years, and I definitely liked their art, so I'm sure I'll at least find them charming and humorous :)

As for Quest 64: Oh, don't remind me of that game! It's sad how desperate us N64-only owners were for an RPG back then, isn't it?

Don't feel bad about initially skipping over the GC. I did the same! I waited all the way until the GC was $99, and then I picked up a silver one a copy of Animal Crossing. Loved both of them to death :)

Daniel said...

Yeah I heard about this. This sucks. I loved Nintendo Power because of the art inside. I only had like 4 issues. That really sucks that this is happening. I guess the internet has ruined yet another thing.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yeah, it definitely sucks, Daniel. At least we had it for a good many years, though!

Joshua said...

The passing of Nintendo Power is certainly a loss, and one I'm glad you've informed me of. It was one of the three whole magazine subscriptions I've ever had (Nat Geo and Heavy Metal, heck yesh), and though I've not been reading the last several years, I've fond memories of the mag.

I was always very fond of the various articles covering anything Zelda-related. And if nothing else, it was good reading for my game-starved mind. Between paying for the subscription and coin-op arcade, my allowance (read: games budget) was terribly thin, y'see.

Oh, and the covers were always damn cool.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello again, Joshua :) Your list of magazine subscriptions is interesting. Quite a range there! Also, it seems a lot of folks are in the same boat as you and I are in: We used to subscribe to the mag, but haven't done so for years. I guess maybe that's why the magazine's shutting down, eh?

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and story. And, yes, the covers were, pretty much without exception, awesome. I mean, the cover of the first issue, for instance, is one I'll likely never forget.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

OMG Kaze! Thanks for the link to the pdf version! I LOVED those comics!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yes, Kaze, thank you! I just started reading through them, BTW. Really love the kind of zany art style used in the Mario comic :)

gsilverfish said...

I loved those old issues! Besides the comics Kaze mentioned (I scored a TPB of the Mario one a while back on ebay--wish I'd grabbed it when it was in print and not so rare!), I also really liked Howard and Nester. In retrospect it's still got some charm (kind of hit or miss) but as an adult I'm kinda blown away by the artwork, it was really something. I'd love to know who did it (before the artist changed).

Those early covers were also really something else, it was especially great how they'd use unconventional media like folded paper (Startropics) or sculpture as seen here (the Super C and Metal Storm covers were also incredible!) I don't think there were any other magazines on the market except maybe Famitsu that put so much effort into their original cover art.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello, gsliverfish! Oh, yes, I remember Howard and Nester, too, although I haven't looked at a panel from that comic in years. I really do need to go though my old issues (or at least one or two of them) again soon. Anyway, yes, you're right, of course, that the artwork really was of a high quality -- as were the early NP covers.

Like you said, when it came to NP's early covers, especially, the mag's designers didn't just use official PR art sent from the parent company; rather, they often came up with their own art, most of which was pretty darn amazing, if you ask me. Sadly, I don't remember the Startropics cover, so I'm going to head to Google now and try to find it :)