Thoughts on Nintendo Power’s Final Issue

Yesterday, I obtained my copy of Nintendo Power’s final issue. We learned earlier this year that Nintendo was no longer interested in contracting the magazine out to Future publishing, and so the December issue, Volume 285, would be the last for the magazine.

As you can see in the picture above, the final issue pays homage to the first issue by replicating the cover design with a clay-based image. It’s interesting how the first issue talked about Super Mario Bros. 2, and the final issue talks about New Super Mario Bros. 2. Obvious differences aside (the color of Mario’s hat, Bowser instead of Wart), it’s a nice cover.

So I’ve got the final issue here. Let’s give it a look.

Ooh, there’s an advert for Zelda Re-Orchestrated, and their Twilight Symphony project. Also on that page is an advert for Kanto Symphony, orchestral music from Pokemon Red and Blue. That’s neat.

The Pulse section, which I remember as Player’s Pulse, features letters remembering the magazine. Also neat with this Pulse is a section of letters from some well-known names within the gaming industry.

Following that is The Score column, a thing that ultimately replaced the gaming most wanted charts, I guess. “What Nintendo fans think, want, and do”, the column is labeled. This features some interesting statistics, such as “9% of readers have been with NP since the very beginning”, and “what was the coolest free Nintendo Power subscriber incentive/bonus?”, which 63% said “The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition” game disc for GCN (which is how I got my copy of that), 27% said the Super Smash Bros. Smashing Live! music CD, and 10% said the Dragon Warrior game pak for NES. Also, 94% of those polled said they do save and collect issues of Nintendo Power (I’m among that group).

Then the issue has the staff’s All-Time Favorite Games, a top-285 list of the staff writers’ favorite games to appear on a Nintendo platform. The top-ten is a rather obvious list, with the #1 game being an easy guess. It’s interesting that “Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward”, a rather recent 3DS game, is at 103 on the list. Scattered through these pages are some interesting statistics about the list.

Following that is a “Great Moments in Power” article, which details the evolution of the magazine on a yearly basis from 1988 through 2012, including scans of pages from various issues.

Next is “Power Players”, an article featuring thoughts from Nintendo Power editors past and present, concerning their favorite memories of the magazine. I like that, for Alan Averill, they kept the joke going about him being a Dragon Quest slime.

Following this article is an advert from DigiPen Institute of Technology, a programming/game creation college funded in part by Nintendo. They thank Nintendo Power for being around for 285 issues.

The issue carries on with a bunch of reviews for Wii U titles.

Then, right before the last page, we have a nice homage to the origins of Nintendo Power with a Nester comic, titled Nester & Max. For those unfamiliar with the early years of NP, Nester was the magazine’s fictional mascot, and appeared in a series of comics with Howard Phillips, who was then the president of Nintendo’s Fun Club, before moving on to join LucasArts games.

This final Nester comic features Nester and his son Max, as they reminisce about Nintendo Power upon reading the final issue. It’s a tearful farewell to the magazine, and rather nostalgic for people like me who grew up with the magazine.

Then we have the final page, what would normally feature a preview of the next issue, but this time is simply a Game Over page, with the words ” Thank you for reading!”.

And so concludes the final issue of Nintendo Power. Volume 285 really is a great look back at a magazine that a lot of gamers, myself included, grew up with. It is sad that the magazine has ceased publication (and they were so close to the 300th issue milestone), but it’s had a great run, and now I can work on getting 100% completion on my NP collection. I currently have 147 issues in my collection, so only 138 to go until I have them all, meaning I have just over half the total issues of Nintendo Power.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of Nintendo Power, go out, get a copy of this issue. It’s a great conclusion to the magazine’s run.

I’ll end this with a question: back when I was a subscriber to NP, Future had started doing subscriber-exclusive covers. Two questions: (1) did they do this until the end and (2)if so, does this final issue have a subscriber-exclusive cover?


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