Nintendo Power #16

At first glance, this issue of Nintendo Power doesn’t seem like a particularly special issue.  The feature game highlights a PC game that wouldn’t be a very well known game to the majority of the readers and other than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reference, there isn’t much on the cover to draw a lot of instant interest.  Once you get in to it though, issue 16 of the magazine turns out to be a pretty big issue with big game coverage, crazy contests and the biggest announcement since the launch of the Game Boy.

The first game in the magazine is the conclusion of the feature coverage for Final Fantasy covering the latter portion of the game.  The coverage isn’t very in depth but the next issue is revealed to be a strategy guide for the game so readers were forced to wait another month for all the details of the game.  The unique part of the coverage is the conclusion of the contest and the details about winning a trip to a Caribbean island for a Final Fantasy themed treasure hunt!  A lucky winner essentially went on a 4 day Caribbean cruise to a private island and got to pretend to be a Final Fantasy character!  What a dream for a kid reading the magazine and playing the game at home. Then, there was a bonus contest to get your name in a future Nintendo game by sending a picture of yourself fighting against the WarMech, a secret boss of incredible difficulty that was tough to find. They really went all out with the Final Fantasy contests!  Maybe this is why Final Fantasy became such a major hit in America compared to the limited success of Dragon Quest.

Something that doesn’t come through with scans but was noticeable to me as I was going through the issue is the increase in quality of the physical pages.  The cover and pages seem to have a bit more of a gloss feel to them and the pages seem to have slightly more weight compared to previous issues.  It is a small change but gives the magazine a real quality boost compared to the first 15 issues.

The Game Boy section has expanded once again, bumping up to 13 games featured this issue with an extra 8 previewed at the end of the section.  Also, the GameBoy got its own Top 10 list this issue with Tetris taking the #1 spot and Golf at #2 showing the difference in game tastes between the NES and Game Boy.

In the preview section, we got a look at a couple big games; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game and Dragon Warrior 2.  Turtle fever was still raging at this time and the Turtles arcade game was one of the biggest hits in arcades so the announcement this game was coming to the NES was big news.  And for those RPG fans who were enjoying Final Fantasy or wanted more Dragon Warrior would be excited for another huge adventure to get their hands on.

The big announcement though is tucked away near the back of the magazine next to a celebrity profile on everybody’s favorite geek Wil Wheaton; the announcement of the Super Famicom launching in Japan.  Most of the information wouldn’t have made complete sense to many readers who had never experienced upgrading a system to new hardware but this announcement was the beginning of what many argue is the finest era of Nintendo.  It’s fun looking at the screenshots of what is a beta version of Super Mario World and seeing how much it changed between that and what the game would eventually look like.  Even the hardware isn’t exactly what the final design would look like.

There is so much more in the issue it’s hard to pick what to highlight but this issue that seemed so standard at first turns out to be a meaty issue with lots and lots of great content.  Enjoy reading all the great Nintendo coverage and as always, Play with Power!


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