The Nintendo Fun Club Newsletter is no more and has been replaced with Nintendo Power magazine. This 100-plus page full-color magazine is the official source for NES games straight from Nintendo. The premiere issue has arrived free of charge for most Fun Club members. If you haven’t received your magazine yet, be patient – they’re most likely being sent out in batches.
Given the cost of creating these huge magazines, Nintendo has a new subscription. You can receive 6 issues a year (bi-monthly) for only $14.99. Given the amount of content and the fact that there aren’t that many magazines on the market devoted to Nintendo players, this seems like a great deal. Not only will you get coverage of games currently released, but also first looks at what’s coming soon.
This July/August 1988 edition of Nintendo Power focuses heavily on Nintendo’s upcoming Super Mario Bros. 2. In all fairness the Game Pak was supposed to be available by now, but the microchip shortage has stalled its release until fall. That means we get an extended look at some of the game’s early levels. This new sequel deviates a great deal from the original game with four different playable characters, each with their own special powers. We’re sure this will be one of the biggest hits of the year once it finally ships!
Another great resource included in this issue of Nintendo Power magazine is maps for The Legend of Zelda. We’ve seen some of these before in the Official Nintendo Player’s Guide and past Fun Club Newsletters, but it’s nice to have them on a fold-out poster this time around. Plus, Nintendo goes into detail about the second quest!
Other games covered in this issue include maps and information on Contra and Double Dragon. Plus, the editors go over the benefits of the latest baseball games on the NES: Major League Baseball, R.B.I. Baseball, and Bases Loaded. Which one is your favorite?
There are a lot of really great tips and tricks in Counselor’s Corner – a section of the magazine devoted to answering readers’ questions. They even show a bunch of maps for Metroid, but they’re so tiny you might need to break out your magnifying glass.
Classified Information is sure to be one of the hottest parts of the bi-monthly magazine with the latest codes, tricks, and secrets revealed for your favorite games. The 30-man code for Contra will certainly come in handy!
Owners of the NES always want to know what’s next on the horizon for game releases. Nintendo Power will show these new games off in Pak Watch and Video Shorts. We get some of the first screens of Bionic Commando (Capcom) and 1943 (Capcom). Many games don’t have screens yet, but we hope to learn more in the next issue of Nintendo Power, which will have Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest as the cover story!
Overall we think Nintendo Power is off to an amazing start. We’ve received dribs and drabs of NES information via traditional magazines and newsletters since the system launched in 1985. The expanded coverage and extensive maps are definitely a vast improvement over what we’ve received thus far! If they can continue to keep the quality and quantity up going forward then NES fans are in for a very special treat every other month. We’re definitely subscribing. How about you?
[Scans Courtesy of: Retromags]