Well, Internet, I hope you’re happy. You’ve effectively killed off another print publication. While I do enjoy the instant gratification you provide, I’m going to ask you to take a backseat for a few moments so I can talk about the loss of a dear friend.
Last week it was announced that Nintendo Power would cease publication as of the end of 2012. I was pretty shocked when I heard this. The magazine has been around for so long that it was natural to expect an issue every month. I admit that I haven’t picked up an issue of Nintendo Power in a very long time. As I grew older, and somewhat wiser [ and jaded], I began to notice the viewpoint was a tad skewed. As the magazine is a Nintendo-centric magazine, this was to be expected. After a while, I stopped reading the magazine. When I heard that Nintendo Power would cease to exist, I felt a little guilty and like someone decided to snuff out another piece of my childhood.
For those of you who didn’t grow up reading Nintendo Power, you missed out. It was a primary source of gaming news in a time where you only knew about games by going to the store, hearing from friends, or reading a gaming publication. Nintendo Power was always an eye-catching magazine with cover art such as the play-dough-looking Super Mario that graced the first issue, or a fully-geared Simon Belmont. As a kid, I was always checking the mail for those golden letters on the cover. Getting Nintendo Power in the mail was always one of the bigger highlights of each month.
Nintendo Power’s content was equally impressive. Most magazines give the usual previews, reviews, reader letters, and editorials. Nintendo Power gave all of these and more. The magazine would provide comprehensive strategies for certain games. The second quest in the original Legend of Zelda was just one of a number of games to receive this treatment. There was even a giant guidebook for a number of big games. I wish I didn’t let my mom get rid of that book.
There were even comics to read that did a fair job trying to tie in popular games and give subtle hints to games. There were several different comic runs. The first starred Howard, the president of the Nintendo Fun Club, and Nester, a fictional character. I also remember reading comics based on Super Mario and the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. After my time with the magazine, they went to other properties like Pokemon and numerous others.
I’ll keep this pseudo-eulogy short. I know I’m a gaming dinosaur and being a subscriber to Nintendo Power when it first started really dates me in the gaming world. It’s a shame that the newer generations of gamers won’t ever really know, or even care, about Nintendo Power. But we older gamers know. We care. And it is up to us to share our knowledge. If you come across an issue of Nintendo Power, especially the older issues, maybe you’ll understand why the magazine was a pioneer in gaming press and fun to read.
Rest in peace Nintendo Power. Thank you for the memories.
-The 4th Wall is an imaginary barrier that separates a particular medium from its audience. It is also a weekly column on Vagary.tv born from the Just In Bailey column, written by Joey Alesia. Each week, Joey looks at video games and the industry as a whole and works to break the 4th Wall armed with over 25 years of gaming knowledge and a twisted sense of humor. Be sure to follow Joey on Twitter (@wrkngclsswrtr) or email him at Joey.Alesia@Vagary.tv.