There was some surprising news today when we learned that Nintendo Power magazine was shutting down after 24 years of publication, according to Ars Technica and one of the magazine's senior editors (albeit somewhat cryptically). It was sad for me, personally, because before Sports Illustrated and (yikes) Yahoo! Internet Life, Nintendo Power was the first magazine I subscribed to and read cover to cover, without fail, when I received every issue. I hadn't flipped through an issue in at least 15 years, short of chucking some issues into the recycling bin during a recent trip to see my parents, and I don't even really think I knew that it was still publishing. But hearing that it was scheduled to fold felt bittersweet, remembering how much enjoyment it brought me as a kid.
Sure, Nintendo Power made me want to buy more and more video games, which I suppose was part of Nintendo's great fiscal genius in publishing it every month, but it also taught me about paying attention to details, working a tedious task through from beginning to end, and patience when things didn't go my way. The level-by-level breakdowns gave me a roadmap to where I was going, but it was up to me to do the heavy lifting. I didn't own a lot of games—and most of what I owned were sports games, which I didn't need the magazine to help me with—but it was always incredible to see the sheer breadth of titles available. And of course it had all the Howard and Nester stuff in there, as well, which was entertaining to any 10-year-old.
Nintendo Power was also great because of the promotions. If I recall correctly, I convinced my parents to re-up because the publisher was giving away a free copy of Dragon Warrior for NES, which was a $50 value, so we were actually, you know, getting the magazine for free! It worked, I got my extra year of magazines, and I played the shit out of Dragon Warrior. (That was probably the best RPG I played until Chrono Trigger for SNES some years later, but that's a whole other discussion.) I'm pretty sure there were others, probably involving 100-page strategy guides, but that's the one that stands out.
Anyway, I forget exactly which ones I still have but I know I've still got Issue 50, since A Link to the Past remains one of the top five Nintendo games (regardless of console) of all-time. (If you say otherwise, you are incorrect.) It's still somewhere in my parents' house, with the rest of my childhood stuff. I'll pull it out and flip through when I visit this fall. One last stroll through memories of 20 years ago. (And if you've got time, here's a PDF of Issue #1.) As for the final issue, that should be out in a month or so. I might have to go find myself a copy.
Source: Nintendo Power magazine to cease publication [Ars Technica]