It was always a great day when the newest copy of Nintendo Power showed up in the mailbox.
I remember seeing this cover for the first issue and the first thing I picked up on was the odd color of Mario’s coveralls, were they changing the red and green for the brothers Mario for Mario Bros 2?
No time for that though…I had to proceed to read the issue cover to cover. Before Nintendo power all you had to judge a game by was the few screenshots on a box or a friends recommendation.
It’s by LJN, what could go wrong?
Now you had full reviews (biased as they might be: it was a Nintendo sponsored publication after all), screenshots and sneak peaks at new games before they came out, tips, tricks, and walkthroughs for hard missions that before required believing someone who had beat the level before. Yeah, I’m sure nobody would lie about that just to look cool.
I swear I took Tyson down the first round!
Another great feature was the ability to send in pictures of your high scores get your name and score published. Fun story: Steve Wozniak from Apple was published as the top Tetris player so long, he was eventually banned from submitting further scores so he began submitting under a fake name as “Evets Kainzow”.
People often had envelopes they had decorated published as well, there was always mario, zelda, mega man and street fighter 2 themed envelopes. Speaking of mega man, there was a contest held once through Nintendo Power to submit your ideas for new mega man bosses and the winner could see their robot in a future game.
The biggest and most well known contest is obviously the Nintendo World Championships that were held at Powerfest. Competitors from across the country were chosen to compete, for these players they received the grey cart they played on with their names, times and scores printed on them which have since become incredibly collectable.
The gold carts most associated with the NWC were not actually awarded to the winners of the NWC, but handed out via a seperate contest in Nintendo Power. Both grey and gold carts have fetched more than $15,000+ in auctions.
Nintendo Power subscribers also recieved a few perks, there was a huge tip book published for all the NES games currently made at the time, an SNES guide/review of available games at the time, as well as other guidebooks that came out over the year.
Last but not least, my favourite part of Nintendo Power was the posters…every issue had a poster in it that after managing to get it out without completely destroying it because it was attached to the spine of the magazine, you would hang on your wall. All the guys I knew growing up had these hanging on their walls and occasionally you’d have to take one down because a map was on the back (not the best design idea on Nintendo’s part).
I recently came across an anniversary edition of Nintendo Power at a 2nd hand store and it had the story of the rise of Nintendo Power and the history of the systems from the NES to the Wii, and after reading it, I had to do a write up on what was one of the best parts of mine, and numerous other kids childhoods.
“Now you’re playing with POWER!”
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