One of the longest running video game magazines in North America has decided to cease publication after Nintendo announced that it would not be renewing their licensing agreement with publisher Future US. After 24 years and 281 issues, the definitive source for all things Nintendo will soon pass into retro existence with the classic NES games it once featured.
By 1988, Nintendo was simply the biggest thing to happen in the gaming world. In fact, Nintendo dominated the market at that time and many attribute the Nintendo Entertainment System as the console that saved the video game industry in the US. Those who remember the old 8-bit days can attest to the ridiculous difficulty of games back then. What made things worse was there wasn’t a lot that could be done about it. Today it’s easy to hop online and find an answer to any question, but 24 years ago players didn’t have a lot of options.
Plus, games didn’t always play fair. Problems such as poor translation, due to the mostly Japanese developed market, or poor development led to games often being unclear on how it was even supposed to be played (e.g. Top Gun landing controls). Gamers didn’t know if a game sucked before they bought it – there was nothing that informed them. At this time, marketing was predominately visual. If the cover art and screen on the box looked cool, it was good enough reason to buy it. You could read the descriptions on the box, but they were often misleading. The point is, nothing was really around to tell gamers it played like crap.
That is until Nintendo Power hit the scene in 1988 and would change gaming forever.
Super Mario Brothers 2 (Super Mario USA in Japan) and the clay modeled Mario and Wart adorned the first of many memorable and imaginative covers. Inside, gamers would find tricks, hints and insider information to their favorite games as well as a way to finally preview future games. There were comic books, full colored maps and even free foldout posters that blanked the walls of readers. It absolutely changed how games were played.
Now gamers could navigate the second quest in Legend of Zelda. Now they knew that equipping the Red Crystal and kneeling while facing right in a certain spot would summon a tornado to take them to Bodley Mansion in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. Important stuff. Since its first issue, Nintendo Power has saved gamers from countless hours of frustration, offering a balance of entertainment and information together in a beautiful package — often setting standards for future video game magazine publication.
Unfortunately, with the internet existing as the most popular source for information these days, Nintendo is going the way of GamePro in today’s struggling magazine industry. After covering everything through five consoles and several handhelds, Nintendo Power will end its run. No word has been given on when their final issue will be published, but according to Ars Technica, Nintendo Senior Editor Chris Hoffman has been quoted as saying the editorial team was going to “try to make the last issues memorable.” Nintendo Power has had a fantastic run and its many fans, old and new, and current 475,000 monthly readers will want to stay tuned to see what special treats it has in store for the last hurrah.
Nintendo Power has always had nothing but love and respect for its readers and it showed in every page. Nintendo Power holds many precious memories for gamers, a veritable time capsule of the golden age of gaming and beyond. It will continue to inform and entertain long after it ceases publication. It will be sorely missed, but never forgotten. Nintendo Power will always have a save spot on our memory.
Are you sad to see the Nintendo Power go? What are some of your favorite Nintendo Power moments?
Source: Ars Technica
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