So after the controversy over the cover of issue 2, Nintendo scaled back the cover of issue 3 for one of the most boring covers in the early years of the magazine…a pair of tennis shoes. Sure they are tennis shoes with rockets but shoes none the less.
Not too much changed with the issue, the format is the same and the amount of coverage per game is still pretty expansive. A couple firsts did show up in the issue with the big one being a true introduction to role playing games. At the time, role playing games were either of the tabletop variety or limited to PC gamers which were not the majority of readers of the magazine. Most kids reading the magazine would not have understood the difference in a Japanese RPG compared to an action RPG like the Legend of Zelda. Readers were given an explanation of how they are different than other games as it relates to slower action and longer gameplay and then we get features on Ultima and Legacy of the Wizard, neither which are greatly remembered these days. This early in the life of the NES, RPGs were pretty limited so there weren’t many games to feature at the time but Dragon Warrior would be coming within the next few months so the next few issues dive in to RPGs even more.
I did enjoy looking at the section with gift ideas for the holidays, all those Nintendo themed items would be the highlight of any collection today. For anyone who might remember the cartoon Captain N: The Game Master, the character was introduced in this issue with a short story about the origin of the character. The story isn’t the same as the one from the cartoon but it’s interesting to learn that the character did originate in the pages of this magazine. We also get a spotlight on Jay Leno (before he was the permanent host of the Tonight Show) and the article claims he was an avid Nintendo gamer though I always wondered how accurate these celebrity spotlights were. For the kid actors I could buy it but for someone like Leno I’m really questioning if he even knew what an NES was. In the mailbox section, we see the origin of the story of how Mario got his name and a story of a group who spent over $2,200 just to get an NES and Ice Hockey!
Great memories and fun reading….enjoy issue 3 of Nintendo Power!
Play with power!