Back in August 2012, Nintendo had mentioned that they were putting an end to their nearly 25 year old magazine Nintendo Power. For reasons I don't really know or care to look up, they chose not to renew their license with Future Publishing. Thus making their 285th issue released in December 2012 their final issue. Chris Hoffman, senior editor, had promised to make this final issue memorable, and I will say his staff lived up to the promise.
I'm not what one would call an avid follower of the magazine. It's true I held a membership with them, but through out the years my subscription was off and on. I do not have a very large collection and I never felt the need to have one. This is mainly because I always preferred gaming magazines that covered all companies, since I always owned multiple consoles and portables. However, after reading much of the fan mail, I see that Nintendo Power held a special place in many peoples hearts. Some of those letters may sound weird, but I catch the drift. Hopefully these folks can find another magazine to latch onto.
This volume opens up well, flows well, and ends well. It begins with editor-in-chief Steve Thomason giving his thoughts in a short letter and believing that the magazine went out with a bang. The fan mail comes next and there are some nice letters here. I can feel the genuine disappointment from long time fans. I encourage many people to read that part.
The magazine feels rushed in a way as if they really didn't have much time to make it even more grand. The Nintendo Power crew kicks out a list on their favorite 285 Nintendo only games. Many of these titles I'm not surprised to see here, for example damn near the entire Mario and Zelda line up, and I must say their number one didn't surprise me either. On the other hand, it was cool to see obscure gems like Metal Storm - NES, Kid Niki - NES, Blaster Master - NES make it to the list along with cult classics, Axelay - SNES and Ikaragu - Gamecube. I was a little disappointed to see Iron Sword and Guardian Legend both for the NES left off, and kind of amazed to see G.I.Joe , Strider, & Cybernator all on the NES to make it there. I never thought too highly of those games. They even managed to squeeze in their top 5 heroes and villains. My only gripe with this portion is that more than 85% of the games are added without reasons which gives it that rushed feel.
The book kept me entertained as past and present editors discussed their favorite and worst moments; with Steve Thomason giving his apology for rating Shadow the Hedgehog an 8.0. Yeah, I think an apology was in order for that one. I always thought that rating was way off. They also briefly summarize every year from 1988 to the present which I also enjoyed a lot. I was able to remember some of those issues and moments. Leading towards the end, they hit us with what seems to be a never ending barrage of Wii U video game reviews; with Super Mario Wii U getting an 8.0, Zombi U and Batman: Arkham City both sporting a 9.0, with other notable games getting at least a 7.0 for the most part. There are a bunch of duds there too, but this appears to be a solid enough launch to the point where I can see many people running out and buying the system. The magazine also comes with a poster containing what appears to be the cover art for all past magazines. Plus Nintendo Power promises to reimburse whatever they owe to people who aren't getting their full yearly subscription.
Nintendo Power has been an overall great magazine for me. Even though it didn't play much of a role in my gaming life, I'm not happy to see it go because the more coverage for games, well obviously the better. If you see it on news stands then pick it up because it's still a good read, but don't fall victim to those price gougers already milking it for a $150. No one book will ever be worth that much as far as I'm concerned.
Pros: -An entertaining read throughout
Cons: -Can feel a bit rushed at times
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Serious gamer and hardcore comic reader.
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