Nintendo Power #17

Although issue 17 of Nintendo Power is a strategy guide for one of the most famous NES games in the system’s library, this issue of the magazine is unfortunately the most visually simple issues produced so far and my least favorite of the issues I’ve scanned so far.

The strategy guide breaks the game down in to 7 chapters and in each chapter gives you guidance to complete each section.  Where this strategy guide misses the mark is the lack of extra details and life the issue could have brought to the game.  In the Mario strategy guide, there was classic Mario artwork that filled the pages and the Ninja Gaiden 2 strategy guide included a comic dispersed throughout the issue to tell the story of what was happening in the game.  This issue took the most bare bones approach and mainly gave screenshots and text with a few small drawings of a few of the special items you can collect in the game.  On the first page for each section of the game, we get a full page visual but the art is pretty lacking.  Remembering back to the great artwork that earlier issues had for Dragon Quest, these look as though they were drawn by the art intern in his first week on the job.  For wanting to push RPG’s so strongly in America, Nintendo really missed the mark with this issue.  My only thought is when people purchased this game, it came with a booklet called an ‘Explorers Guide’ which was basically a walkthough for the game to explain everything about the game.  With that in hand this would seem redundant to those who had the game but as someone who was just reading the issue, it would be hard to say it did the job of pushing someone to go out and get the game.

On a more positive note though, this is still a strategy guide for one of the best RPG’s on the NES and going though the issue got me really excited about the franchise again.  I’m even now attempting to play though every numbered Final Fantasy because I want to experience the games in the series again after reading this issue.  I’ve been using it to get me started though the game, especially the list of weapons and armor so I can keep track of which party members can equip which gear.

The one thing I do enjoy about going through these issues of Nintendo Power are the new things I’m still learning about the games I’ve enjoyed for so many years.  I never knew there was a hidden mini-game that can be accessed while on the ship but the info is right there in the last few pages of the magazine.  I think the tip is also listed in the Classified Info section of a previous issue but it really stood out to me here as I was going through this one.

While an uninspiring issue of the magazine, one of the classic games of the NES is laid out in detail in these pages so fire up your old system or emulator and experience the game for yourself the way so many did back in the early 90’s.

Until next time, play with power!

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