Nintendo Power

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First issue cover.

Nintendo Power was a video game magazine edited by Howard Phillips and published by Nintendo of America from 1988 to 2012 with a total of 285 printed magazines. Each magazine included in-depth segments on a couple games, but also several recurring segments like "Counselor's Corner," which answered reader's gaming questions, "Classified Information," which included cheats and secrets, "Howard & Nester," a comic which always gave a game hint, "Pak Watch," which talked about the upcoming games, and "Top 30," which ranked the most popular games (Nintendo's own games always made the most appearances).

Nintendo Power was born out of the Nintendo Fun Club, a free newsletter released by Nintendo of America to those NES fans who signed up for it. Due to the amazing popularity of the Nintendo Fun Club after only a few issues, NOA decided to replace it with a magazine that could be sold. Nintendo Power began as a bi-monthy publication, but, due to growing popularity, it switched to monthly releases starting with the May 1990 issue. It is one of the longest running video game magazines in the Western world.

I adored Nintendo Power in the late 1980s and early 1990s because it offered video game information that was otherwise unavailable to us pre-Internet kids. Since my parents would never buy me a video game magazine, I had to rely on reading copies from friends, or viewing them in my school's library. While I would make hand-drawn copies from them, my older brother would just rip out the pages for the games we owned. As Nintendo released the Game Boy and SNES the magazine took up those systems as well, but I stopped caring about Nintendo Power around the time the Nintendo 64 came out, mostly because I was playing video games far less.

Review

Good

  • Each issue contained a wealth of information on dozens of games that you couldn't find anywhere else.
  • The magazine's artists created attractive cartoons, photos, paintings, and dioramas for the each of the primary games in each issue.
  • The Top-30 section was pretty trustworthy, and the top 10 was pretty much always filled with quality games. Certainly a better way of finding a good game than trusting the box art at the store.
  • The magazine also published letters to the editor and player's high scores.
  • To keep things interesting, the magazine talked about other issues popular to kids and teens like celebrities, theme parks, and television shows.

Bad

  • Probably due to the magazine's tight schedule, sometimes terrible games would get several pages devoted to them. This would hype kids up for a huge let down. For example, the third issue spent 14 pages on Track & Field II, which is actually a pretty unimpressive game.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Issue List

Volume Cover Game Release Date
1 Super Mario Bros. 2 1988 July
2 Castlevania II 1988 Sept
3 Track & Field II 1988 Nov
4 Zelda II 1989 Jan
5 Ninja Gaiden 1989 Mar
6 TNMT III: The Manhattan Project 1989 May
7 Mega Man 2 1989 July
8 Duck Tales 1989 Sept
9 Tetris 1989 Nov
10 Batman 1990 Jan
11 Super Mario Bros. 3 1990 Mar
12 Super C 1990 May
13 Super Mario Bros. 3 Strategy Guide 1990 June
14 Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 1990 July
15 Ninja Gaiden II Strategy Guide 1990 Aug
16 Maniac Mansion 1990 Sept
17 Final Fantasy Strategy Guide 1990 Oct
18 Dr Mario 1990 Nov
19 4 Player Extra Strategy Guide 1990 Dec
20 Mega Man III 1991 Jan
21 Star Tropics 1991 Feb
22 Metal Storm 1991 Mar
23 Power Blade 1991 Apr
24 Vice: Project Doom 1991 May
25 Battle Toads 1991 June
26 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 1991 July
27 Mega Man In Dr. Wily's Revenge 1991 Aug
28 Super Mario World 1991 Sept
29 Star Trek 1991 Oct
30 Final Fantasy II 1991 Nov
31 Metroid 1991 Dec
32 Super Castlevania IV 1992 Jan
33 TMNT III: The Manhattan Project 1992 Feb
34 Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 1992 Mar
35 WWF Super Wrestlemania 1992 Apr
36 Darkwing Duck 1992 May
37 Lemmings 1992 June
38 Street Fighter II 1992 July
39 Mario Paint 1992 Aug
40 Felix the Cat 1992 Sept
41 Super Mario Kart 1992 Oct
42 Super Star Wars 1992 Nov
43 Road Runner's Death Valley Rally 1992 Dec
44 Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse 1993 Jan
45 Addam's Family Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt 1993 Feb
46 Tiny Toon Adv. Buster Busts Loose 1993 Mar
47 Star Fox 1993 Apr
48 Batman Returns 1993 May
49 BattleToads and Double Dragon 1993 June
50 Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 1993 July
51 Street Fighter 2: Turbo 1993 Aug
52 Super Mario All-Stars 1993 Sept
53 Super Empire Strikes Back 1993 Oct
54 Secret of Mana 1993 Nov
55 Aladdin 1993 Dec
56 Mega Man X 1994 Jan
57 Bugs Bunny: Rabbit Rampage 1994 Feb
58 Wario Land 1994 Mar
59 Ken Griffey Junior 1994 Apr
60 Super Metroid 1994 May
61 Donkey Kong 1994 June
62 Super Street Fighter 2 1994 July
63 Stunt FX Racing 1994 Aug
64 Mortal Kombat 2 1994 Sept
65 Illusion of Gaia 1994 Oct
66 Donkey Kong Country 1994 Nov
67 Earthworm Jim 1994 Dec
68 Adventures of Batman and Robin 1995 Jan
69 Mega Man X2 1995 Feb
70 NBA Jam Tournament Edition 1995 Mar
71 Stargate 1995 Apr
72 Kirby Dream Land 2 1995 May
73 Weaponlord 1995 June
74 Donkey Kong Land 1995 July
75 Virtual Boy 1995 Aug
76 Killer Instinct 1995 Sept
77 Super Mario World 2 1995 Oct
78 Mortal Kombat 3 1995 Nov
79 Donkey Kong Country 2 1995 Dec
80 New Year Special Cover 1996 Jan
81 Killer Instinct 2 1996 Feb
82 Super Mario RPG 1996 Mar
83 Earthworm Jim 2 1996 Apr
84 Ken Griffey Jr Winning Run 1996 May
85 Super Mario 64 1996 June
86 E3 1996 1996 July
87 Tetris Attack 1996 Aug
88 Super Mario 64 1996 Sept
89 Mortal Kombat Trilogy 1996 Oct
90 Donkey Kong Country 3 1996 Nov
91 Killer Instinct Gold 1996 Dec
92 Shadows of the Empire 1997 Jan
93 Mario Kart 64 1997 Feb
94 Turok 1997 Mar
95 Blast Corp 1997 Apr
96 Doom 64 1997 May
97 Clay Fighter 63 1/3 1997 June
98 Star Fox 64 1997 July
99 Goldeneye 1997 Aug
100 100 Best Games Issue 1997 Sept
101 Extreme G 1997 Oct
102 NFL Quarterback Club 1997 Nov
103 Diddy Kong's Racing 1997 Dec
104 Yoshi's Story 1998 Jan
105 WCW vs NWO 1998 Feb
106 1080 Snowboarding 1998 Mar
107 NBA Courtside 1998 Apr
108 Ken Griffey Jr Baseball 1998 May
109 Banjo Tooie 1998 June
110 WWF War Zone 1998 July
111 Bomberman Hero 1998 Aug
112 F-Zero X 1998 Sept
113 Turok 2 1998 Oct
114 Zelda: Ocarina of Time 1998 Nov
115 Star Wars Rogue Squadron 1998 Dec
116 Castlevania 1999 Jan
117 Mario Party 1999 Feb
118 Tonic Trouble 1999 Mar
119 Beetle Adventure Racing 1999 Apr
120 Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer 1999 May
121 Pokemon Snap 1999 Jun
122 World Driver Championship 1999 Jul
123 Hybrid Heaven 1999 Aug
124 Jet Force Gemini 1999 Sep
125 Pokemon Yellow 1999 Oct
126 Donkey Kong 64 1999 Nov
127 WWF Wrestlemania 2000 1999 Dec
128 Mario Party 2 2000 Jan
129 Disney's Tarzan 2000 Feb
130 Pokemon Stadium 2000 Mar
131 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2000 Apr
132 Excitebike 64 2000 May
133 Army Men Air Combat 2000 Jun
134 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards 2000 Jul
135 Mario Tennis 2000 Aug
136 Pokemon Gold and Silver 2000 Sep
137 Zelda: Majora's Mask 2000 Oct
138 Hey You, Pikachu! 2000 Nov
139 Banjo Tooie 2000 Dec
140 Spiderman 2001 Jan
141 Paper Mario 2001 Feb
142 Pokemon Stadium 2 2001 Mar
143 Gameboy Advance Reveal 2001 Apr
144 Zelda Oracle of Seasons 2001 May
145 Mario Advance 2001 Jun
146 Tony Hawk 2 2001 Jul
147 Pokemon Crystal 2001 Aug
148 Mario Kart Super Circuit 2001 Sep
149 Star Wars Rogue Leader 2001 Oct
150 Luigi's Mansion 2001 Nov
151 Super Smash Bros. Melee 2001 Dec
152 Pikmin 2002 Jan
153 NBA Courside 2002 2002 Feb
154 Sonic Adventure 2: Battle 2002 Mar
155 Agent Under Fire 2002 Apr
156 Spider-Man 2002 May
157 Lost Kingdoms 2002 Jun
158 E3 2002 2002 Jul
159 Magical Mirror starring Mickey Mouse 2002 Aug
160 Super Mario Sunshine 2002 Sep
161 Star Fox Adventures 2002 Oct
162 Metroid Prime 2002 Nov
163 Metroid Fusion 2002 Dec
164 Lord of the Rings: Two Towers 2003 Jan
165 Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker 2003 Feb
166 The Sims 2003 Mar
167 Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire 2003 Apr
168 Golden Sun: Lost Age 2003 May
169 Soul Caliber 2 2003 Jun
170 F-Zero GX 2003 Jul
171 Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2003 Aug
172 Viewtiful Joe 2003 Sep
173 Star Wars Rebel Strike 2003 Oct
174 Fire Emblem 2003 Nov
175 Mario Kart! Double Dash 2004 Jan
176 The Sims: Bustin Out 2004 Feb
177 Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicals 2004 Mar
178 Pokemon Colosseum 2004 Apr
179 Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes 2004 May
180 Tales of Symphonia 2004 Jun
181 Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure 2004 Jul
182 Resident Evil 4 2004 Aug
183 Pikmin 2 2004 Sep
184 Pokemon Fire Red & Leaf Green 2004 Oct
185 Paper Mario: 1000 Year Door 2004 Nov
186 Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2004 Dec
187 Nintendo DS 2005 Jan
188 Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap 2005 Feb
189 Star Fox: Assault 2005 Mar
190 Killer 7 2005 Apr
191 Nintendo DS With Metroid Prime Hunters 2005 May
192 Pokemon Emerald 2005 Jun
193 Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2005 Jul
194 Mario Kart DS 2005 Aug
195 Shadow the Hedgehog 2005 Sep
196 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2005 Oct
197 Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness 2005 Nov
198 Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance 2005 Dec
199 Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection 2005 Jan
200 Resident Evil: Deadly Silence 2006 Feb
201 Chibi-Robo 2006 Mar
202 Metroid Prime Hunters 2006 Apr
203 New Super Mario Bros 2006 May
204 Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin 2006 Jun
205 Zelda: Phantom Hourglass 2006 July
206 E3 2006 2006 Aug
207 Rayman Raving Rabbids 2006 Sep
208 Final Fantasy III 2006 Oct
209 Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2006 Nov
210 Wii Launch 2006 Dec
211 Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2007 Jan
212 WarioWare: Smooth Moves 2007 Feb
213 Sonic and the Secret Rings 2007 Mar
214 My Sims 2007 Apr
215 Pokemon Diamond & Pearl 2007 May
216 Nights: Journey of Dreams 2007 Jun
217 Resident Evils: Umbrella Chronicles 2007 Jul
218 SoulCaliber Legends 2007 Aug
219 Metroid Prime 3: Corruption 2007 Sep
220 Super Mario Galaxy 2007 Oct
221 Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings 2007 Nov
222 Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2007 Dec
223 No More Heroes 2007 Dec
224 Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword 2008 Jan
225 Sonic Chronicles: Dark Brotherhood 2008 Feb
226 Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World 2008 Mar
227 Mario Kart Wii 2008 Apr
228 Final Fantasy IV 2008 May
229 Music Games 2008 Jun
230 Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia 2008 Jul
231 MadWorld 2008 Aug
232 Sonic & The Black Knight 2008 Sep
233 Wario Land: Shake It! 2008 Oct
234 Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars 2008 Nov
235 Animal Crossing: City Folk 2008 Dec
236 Holiday 2008 2008 Dec
237 TMNT 2009 Jan
238 Phantasy Star Zero 2009 Feb
239 Indiana Jones & The Staff of Kings 2009 Mar
240 Pokemon Platinum 2009 Apr
241 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2009 May
242 Red Steel 2 2009 Jun
243 Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days 2009 Jul
244 Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story 2009 Aug
245 Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers 2009 Sep
246 Avatar 2009 Oct
247 Mario & Sonic At the Olympic Winter Games 2009 Nov
248 New Super Mario Bros. Wii 2009 Dec
249 Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 2009 Dec
250 250th Issue 2010 Jan
251 NBA Jam Wii 2010 Feb
252 Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver 2010 Mar
253 Scribblenauts 2 2010 Apr
254 Super Mario Galaxy 2 2010 May
255 Metroid: Other M 2010 Jun
256 Sonic Colors 2010 Jul
257 Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies 2010 Aug
258 Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 2010 Sep
259 Epic Mickey 2010 Oct
260 25 Years of NES 2010 Nov
261 Donkey Kong Country Returns 2010 Dec
262 Kingdom Hearts Re:coded 2010 Dec
263 Mario Sports Mix 2011 Jan
264 Pokemon Black & White 2011 Feb
265 Nintendo 3DS Preview 2011 Mar
266 Pilotwings Resort 2011 Apr
267 Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D 2011 May
268 Sonic Generations 2011 Jun
269 Rayman Origins 2011 Jul
270 Star Fox 64 3D 2011 Aug
271 Kirby Mass Attack 2011 Sep
272 Super Mario 3D Land 2011 Oct
273 Mario Kart 7 2011 Nov
274 Resident Evil: Revelations 2011 Dec
275 Kid Icarus: Uprising 2012 Jan
276 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance 2012 Mar
277 Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two 2012 Apr
278 Pokemon Conquest 2012 May
279 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate 2012 Jun
280 Wii U Preview 2012 Jul
281 Scribblenauts Unlimited 2012 Aug
282 Pokemon Black & White Version 2 2012 Sep
283 Rayman Legends 2012 Oct
284 Wii U Launch 2012 Nov
285 Super Mario Bros. U 2012 Dec

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Secondary Publications

Nintendo created several additional publications which it advertised through Nintendo Power. These either focused on a single game or topic. These publications included:

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