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Gaming Magazines

The Witcher 3 photo
The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 revealed complete with bearded Geralt

Game Informer cover spills the beans
Feb 04
// Jordan Devore
The new issue of Game Informer has apparently gone out to digital subscribers, and on its cover is a brand new game: The Witcher 3. The folks at NeoGAF have uploaded the cover art in full as well as the first details on this ...
Nintendo Force photo
Nintendo Force

Nintendo Force #1 is out, here are my impressions

No subscription option just yet
Jan 12
// Tony Ponce
Nintendo Force magazine, which was only publicly announced a few weeks back, officially launched yesterday, January 11. If you'd like to score yourself a copy of the debut issue, head on over to the Nintendo Force page and cl...
Nintendo Force photo
Jonathan Holmes is one of the founding editors!
So Nintendo Power is over and done with. Tears and all that. Pour one out for our homies. The throne has been abdicated. Time for a new king to rise to power. You've likely heard about a little something called Nintendo Force...

Offbeat Hall of Fame: Nintendo Super Power Supplies

Dec 09 // Tony Ponce
It's easy to forget just how great we have it these days. In the early 90s, aside from the rare Mario or Sonic merch, there was next to nothing on store shelves to feed our gaming appetites when we weren't actually playing games. The Internet has helped to turn the once isolated gaming community into a powerful network linked via cyberspace. Serving such people is as simple as making goods available anywhere. If it exists, we'll find it. This is why digital storefronts like Fangamer and Meat Bun can be so successful. Literally anything you may want in order to express your gaming passion, from toys to music to clothing to the odd bit of paraphernalia, can be yours with a quick Google search and a few mouse clicks. Toss it all in a virtual basket and punch in a credit card number or PayPal password, and within a week your newest gadget or fashion statement will be in your hands. Back in the 90s, ordering anything from the comfort of your home meant suffering the dreaded six-to-eight-week delivery period. If you phoned in your order, you might shave a week or two off that delivery time. Either way, you were waiting at least a full month before anything arrived. By then you probably forgot you had ordered anything at all! On the flip side, coming home to a strange parcel on your doorstep was a little like Christmas. You wondered, what could it be? It's only when you saw the sender's address that you remembered what it was, then you tore open the box like a feverish child. There's nothing quite like being pleasantly surprised by something you forgot was coming in the mail. Nintendo Power's Super Power Supplies catalog was really something out of a young Nintendo child's wildest fantasies. In many ways, it was the precursor to Club Nintendo. Only you spent real money instead of virtual coins. And there was more stuff to buy. And the selection wasn't shit. After launching in 1994, new editions of the catalog would arrive seasonally, swapping out older items with newer ones that ranged from practical to downright strange. I mean, there was a 6.5' Donkey Kong Country inflatable raft shaped like a giant banana! I would love to meet the dude who still has one of those stuffed away in his garage! Of course, there were always items to help with your ever-growing NP library -- plastic protectors, magazine binders and racks, and a full suite of Player's Guides. For your hardware storage needs, you had travel bags for handhelds, organizers for home consoles, and cases to keep the dust out of loose game cartridges. Nintendo gave us the means to fortify our gaming collection against any and all types of damage and degradation. I paid an extra close eye on the available soundtracks. To this day, physical game albums are treated as a pointless novelty by most Western publishers, while Japan gets CDs for even the crappiest of C-grade filth. Nintendo seems especially averse to selling its music -- we're lucky that the Super Mario Galaxy games got the full CD treatment, but it still took a lot of teeth-pulling just to convince Nintendo to bundle the first Galaxy's OST with American Wiis. It wasn't always like that. There was a time when Nintendo happily produced albums for all its biggest software hits and made them available for the NP army. You wanted Killer Cuts, the aptly titled Killer Instinct soundtrack? It was yours! You wanted a trilogy set that included the music from Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, and Mario Kart 64? No problem, son! You wanted Play It Loud!, a compilation CD that pulled tracks from Super Nintendo titles like F-Zero, Super Metroid, A Link to the Past, and more? Ain't no thing but a chicken wing! My very first game soundtrack purchase was DK Jamz, the Donkey Kong Country OST. I bought that sucker on cassette -- remember those things? You had to rewind them and shit? I loved it! I didn't even own an SNES, much less the game itself, but combined with my copy of the DKC Player's Guide, I felt like I knew that game inside and out. But the best were the special goodies brought out to commemorate Nintendo Power's 100th issue. You could score an "NP100"-stamped watch, T-shirt, or set of collector's coins, or you could hold out for the limited-edition gold N64 controller and Game Boy Pocket. I skipped out on the Game Boy (kinda wish I hadn't) but snatched up the controller. When that hotness showed up at my house two months later, I became the god of GoldenEye 007. I was invincible! Suck on THAT, Gold Nunchuk! I never did buy all that much stuff from Super Power Supplies -- there was no way my parents were buying anything over the phone with a credit card, and they saw mail order offers as not quite a scam but close enough to one. I was lucky enough to receive the items that I did; for the rest, I gazed longingly upon those pages. Take usual fare such as shirts, hoodies, jackets, watches, plush dolls, action figures, wall clocks, console decals, hats, and posters, then toss in amazing pieces of gaming memorabilia like Yoshi's Island animation cels or Donkey Kong Country Blockbuster Video competition carts, and you've got Super Power Supplies. And when you consider that this was merely supplementary to the Nintendo Power reading experience, you can understand how it was so easy to get caught up in Nintendo mania. Nintendo Power was a phenomenon, plain and simple. There will never be anything like it ever again, and that makes me incredibly sad. At the same time, I'm thankful that I was able to be part of a movement that literally changed my life and the lives of millions of others. And if I was able to score some sweet gaming swag out of the deal, so much the better!
Super Power Supplies photo
Nintendo Power had awesome merch
[Offbeat Hall of Fame is a showcase of the cool, often bizarre products and media from years past that celebrate videogames and gamer culture.] Have you picked up your copy of the final Nintendo Power yet? Looking through it ...

Nintendo Power's last hurrah leaves me in tears

Dec 08 // Tony Ponce
You already know about the magazine's cover, which pays tribute to the cover of the very first issue. Perhaps even cooler than that is the included poster, which features a spread of every single issue plus variant covers stretching all the way back to 1988, bringing the total count to 300. I can even see the issue that started it all for me: October 1991, with Star Trek on the front. I was a devoted subscriber until early in the GameCube years, when I foolishly dropped it for the more "mature" Game Informer. I even tossed my entire back catalog in the trash because I was running out of room in my closet! I was soooo stupid. I wish I could go back in time 10 years and punch my high school self in the nuts. The mag is split up into four massive sections: NP's top Nintendo games ever, a recap of all 24 years of NP history, farewells from current and past NP editors, and a review blowout for most of the Wii U launch library. And this time around, the letters to the editors don't only include messages from readers but also from industry faces like WayForward's Matt Bozon and Sean Velasco, DreamRift's Peter Ong, and Game|Life's Chris Kohler, among others. The top 285 games -- one for every issue of the magazine's run -- definitely has some odd placements, especially on the lower rungs. I'm slightly disappointed that the Game Boy got as little representation as it did, but just about all the games you'd expect to make the cut have. These are just the editors' opinions, after all, and it's not like you'll be able to write in your objections. The biggest draw, of course, is the year-by-year retrospective of Nintendo Power. Seeing the scans from those decades-old issues and reading about all the promotions running at the time really sent me back to my childhood. They even highlight one of my favorite moments: a 1995 contest in which the winner would get to be an extra on the set of The Mask II! Whoever won that contest got royally fucked over! Ha! Simply seeing the magazine's progression in an abridged format gives you a true sense of how much effort was put in tailoring Nintendo Power to the fans. From free games for subscribers in the form of Dragon Warrior and The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition to full-on monthly comics for Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Star Fox, and more, it was just an avalanche of goodness. Editors from throughout NP's life chime in with their favorite moments and also a couple of their more shameful ones. For instance, I'm glad that Scott Pelland, managing editor from 1988 to 2008, was able to admit that no one on staff was happy to promote the Virtual Boy but were obligated to anyway. And Steve Thomason, editor-in-chief from 2003 to 2012, asks forgiveness for giving Shadow the Hedgehog an 8.0. It's cool, Steve. Nobody's perfect. If there was one thing about this issue I wasn't too pleased by, it was the third-party advertisements. One of the things I admired about Nintendo Power back in the early days was that, unlike competing mags, it was relatively ad-free, and the few ads that were there were for Nintendo's own hardware and software. It wasn't until this past decade that NP started welcoming outside ads. I had hoped that for this big sendoff, the mag would have eschewed any and all ads. I mean, seriously, what's the worst that could have happened? The companies pull support and refuse to print anything in Nintendo Power ever again? Pssssh! The magazine closes with one last surprise: a two-page comic starring Nester and his son Maxwell. Nester was just a spunky kid when he first graced NP alongside "Gamemaster" Howard Phillips. After Nester's Adventures completed its run, he would return sporadically for high-profile events, such as the mag's100th issue. We saw him grow up, go to college, and start a family, but throughout it all, he's still a kid at heart and able to pass that gaming spirit on to his progeny. It was a fun ride, Nintendo Power. You did alright.
Bye bye, Nintendo Power photo
The final issue hits all the right notes
Last night, I noticed that the final issue of Nintendo Power was in stock at Barnes & Noble. Naturally, I bought two copies: one to peruse and one to leave in the shrink wrap FOR. EV. ER. If you've ever been an NP reader ...


The final Nintendo Power cover is perfect

Simply... perfect...
Nov 30
// Tony Ponce
On the left is Nintendo Power #1. On the right is the final issue, #285. Wow. Bravo. We were hoping to wait until the mag hit newsstands on December 11, but since this photo of its cover has been making the rounds all day, we...
Future US puts another game mag out to pasture
Damn, son. Future US is on the warpath as of late. It wasn't enough for the publishing house to pull the plug on Nintendo Power; now its sights are set on PlayStation: The Official Magazine (not to be confused with PlayStatio...

What? WHAT? WHAAAAT!? WHAAAAAAAAAAAT!? Suck it down! That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Hell yeah! The cover of November's Nintendo Power features our half-genie starlet in full pirate garb, teaming up with her archnemesis Risky ...


Nintendo Power sends out farewell letters to subscribers

Sep 26
// Tony Ponce
It's still hard to believe that, after 24 years, Nintendo Power is about to be laid to rest. Even while current and former fans mourn, there are some who are oblivious to the magazine's fate. To bring those folks up to speed,...

The Howard & Nester comic Nintendo Power didn't print

Sep 09
// Tony Ponce
Ever since the announcement of Nintendo Power's cancellation, former Nintendo of America spokesman and official Gamemaster Howard Phillips has decided to start sharing all kinds of Nintendo-related goodies on his Facebook pag...

Virtue's Last Reward is previewed in Nintendo Power

Sep 01
// Tony Ponce
You think I've forgotten about Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward? HELL no! I've merely been trying to keep my distance so that I don't work myself up into a spastic frenzy. I was doing such a good job too, until I learned tha...

Mega Ran's special Nintendo Power farewell rap

Aug 23
// Tony Ponce
Two days ago, we learned the heartbreaking news that Nintendo Power, one of if not the most influential American gaming magazine, would cease publication following the December issue. Maybe you've been a long-time subscriber...

Proof that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a Tetris god

Jul 19
// Tony Ponce
Steve Wozniak, computer wizard and one of the founding fathers of Apple, has boasted about his mad Game Boy Tetris skills on several occasions. According to Steve, he still walks around town armed with a few Game Boy Lights (...

Adventure Time game will take a page out of Zelda II

Jul 03
// Tony Ponce
From Nintendo Power #280, the same issue that revealed Mighty Switch Force HD for Wii U, comes some juicy information regarding WayForward's other upcoming game, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage? As y...

Wii U to receive Mighty Switch Force HD at launch

Jul 02
// Tony Ponce
Mighty Switch Force is an awesome game. The free update on May 24 made it even more awesome. And now its poised to become even more awesome-o than that! According to Nintendo Power, WayForward is planning an HD port of Mighty...

Castlevania: Mirror of Fate is a Belmont family reunion

May 30
// Tony Ponce
I promised more details about the upcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate for 3DS, so here they are. Don't ever say I never did nuthin' nice for you jabronis. Also from the Nintendo Power reveal, we learn that ...

New Castlevania on 3DS and Lords of Shadow 2 confirmed

May 29
// Tony Ponce
Last week, we heard rumor of a new Castlevania on the way for 3DS entitled "Mirror of Fate." The latest issue of Nintendo Power confirms that rumor, yet it also indirectly confirms that Lords of Shadow 2 is coming along as we...

About damn time! Pikmin 2 Wii-make finally coming to NA

Apr 25
// Tony Ponce
[Manly Guys Doing Manly Things by Kelly Turnbull] Aside from Chibi-Robo!, every game in the New Play Control! line of GameCube-to-Wii remakes has been brought over to North America... with the exception of Pikmin 2. For some ...

eShop to get Cave Story, Mighty Switch Force updates

Apr 24
// Tony Ponce
[Cave Story art by glitcher, Mighty Switch Force art by Genzoman] Two of the better games on Nintendo's downloadable service are about to become even more awesome, according to fresh tidbits straight from Nintendo Power. Cave...



Epic Mickey 2 lead platform is Wii, 3DS version confirmed

Mar 25
// Tony Ponce
GamesRadar has uploaded a nearly five-minute walkthrough of the upcoming Epic Mickey 2, demonstrating the 360 build and the new drop-in, drop-out co-op. GR has confirmed suspicions that the Wii version is the lead platform. ...

Club Nintendo peeps and more get free Kid Icarus AR cards

Mar 14
// Tony Ponce
One of the hooks of the upcoming Kid Icarus: Uprising is the use of AR Cards to play special augmented reality minigames. The game itself will come with six cards randomly drawn from a pool of 20, but there are still tons of ...

3DS' eShop file size limit is a whopping 2 GB [Update]

Feb 27
// Tony Ponce
[Update: Tommy Refenes just contacted us to let us know that the source article was taken out of context. He actually doesn't know what the eShop cap is, but if Nintendo wanted to make things easy for developers, he thinks a ...

Good People Die, the sequel to 999, is coming to America

Feb 21
// Tony Ponce
Alright! That's one game crossed off my list! Let's see if the rest follow suit! The latest issue of Nintendo Power has confirmed that Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die, the sequel to the f*ckin' amazing visual novel ...

Offbeat Hall of Fame: A Link to the Past, the comic

Nov 18 // Tony Ponce
Imagine coming home from school and finding the latest Nintendo Power peeking beneath the stack of mail on the counter. Imagine racing to your bedroom with mag in hand, plopping on the bed, and flipping through that glossy tome. Now, imagine stumbling across a full-color, 16-page comic smack in the middle. How's that for a surprise? This was the January 1992 issue of Nintendo Power; the comic was an adaptation of A Link to the Past, obviously meant to promote the upcoming release of the game itself. This was no cheap cash-in, though! It was a year-long adventure by one of Japan's greatest manga artists, Shotaro Ishinomori, creator of Cyborg 009 and the first two seasons of what would become the Super Sentai (Power Rangers) series! Have no doubt in your mind that there was love poured into these pages. Want to the know the best part? The Zelda comic ran concurrently with another serial based on the Mario series. Remember, these were bonuses included on top of regular game coverage. Even if you ignored all the other features, these comics alone made picking up the latest volume worthwhile. Perhaps I'll talk about Super Mario Adventures some other day; for now, it's all about Zelda. The first thing you'll notice about ALttP is the artwork. Ishinomori is a legend from that burgeoning era of manga when the influence of Western animation was still readily apparent. Like Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka, Ishinomori had a style reminiscent of old Disney cartoons -- characters squash and stretch, limbs are bendy and lack joints, and clothing and backgrounds are simple but eye-catching. There's a habit these days in a lot of comics, both Western and Eastern, of artists' obsessing over the minute details and creating an overly complex spectacle. That's fine and all, but sometimes you have to scale back in order to draw the readers' attention more effectively. When the comic first hit, the only characterization of Link we were familiar with was the one from the DiC Entertainment cartoon. Though good at his core, this Link is overly self-confident, incredibly sarcastic, and more than a little bit of a horn dog. These aren't exactly the qualities one would associate with the champion of all the land. ALttP's Link feels much more in line with the character presented in the game -- a mere child who knows little of the world and lacks formal combat training but puts others before himself. During any given battle, he goes from resolute to frightened, to confused, to shocked, to perplexed, and back to resolute. It's all written on his face, which I liken to Wind Waker Link's. That game's exaggerated cartoon style lent itself well to a wide spectrum of expressions that added personality to a previously humorless machine (at least when it comes to Ocarina of Time's Link). Comic Link cycles through those myriad expressions as he struggles to grow in mind, body, and spirit at a rate no other person would be expected to do. Though based on Link's SNES journey, the comic understandably omits a lot of content while introducing elements of its own. Link begins his quest by answering Zelda's telepathic summons and taking up the sword and shield from his fallen uncle, and from there, the story moves along at an incredible clip. Rather than having to navigate though puzzle-laden dungeons, Link merely visits the resting places of the Pendants of Virtue and engages in brief confrontations with the domain guardians. Once he enters the Dark World, you only ever see him rescue three of the seven maidens (I can only assume the others are found during the sporadic time skips). Reading through the entire comic run in one sitting gives the sense that the project was rushed through, and I know that's not the case at all. The story is split into 12 chapters with 16 pages each, spread out across 12 months. When there's a 30-day waiting period before the next episode, you take more time reading each panel, each text bubble. You absorb the content and let it digest, and you are more appreciative of the pacing. The comic might have been better if it was twice as long, but I doubt many kids would have been able to retain interest for another year, especially considering the game would already be several months old by the end of year one. Even with the story's rapid pace, a few original characters were introduced to spice up the mix. In Kakariko Village, Link meets a young boy and the town librarian, both curiously remaining unnamed. They provide Link with modes of flight to get around Hyrule, and once Link enters the Dark World, they continue to offer assistance via a trans-dimensional walkie-talkie of sorts. There's also Epheremelda, a fairy with a jealous streak and an obvious crush on Link -- not unlike Spryte from the cartoon. The most notable addition to the cast is Roam, a dead ringer for Jet Link from Cyborg 009. Like Link, he is descended from the Knights of Hyrule and came to the Dark World to kill Ganon. In their first encounter, Roam challenges Link for the right to wield the Master Sword and is soundly defeated. Then he runs off in search of the Silver Arrow in the hopes that it'll bring about Ganon's downfall. Of all the original characters, I feel that Roam added the least to the story. He is introduced as a rival to Link, but there is no reason for his hostility other than the fact that he's just a stuck-up jerk. His is a role that needed to be given proper motivation and incorporated right from the beginning. Instead, he is introduced very late in the comic and only impacts the story in the penultimate chapter. He doesn't impede Link's journey nor does he do anything of worth off-panel. It's cool that Ishinomori wanted to toss in a reference to his most popular manga, but Roam was a forced inclusion. That particular hiccup aside, the comic succeeds at providing an alternate take on the game's canon. All the stylistic interpretations are a joy to take note of, such as Ganondorf's human form. I'm pretty certain that this is the first depiction of non-beast Ganon prior to Ocarina of Time. Far from being a dark-skinned man with an air of regality about him, the comic's Ganondorf extremely brutish in appearance, much more fitting of a desert bandit. There are wonderful full-page or two-page spreads that can't be done justice by computer scans and have to be appreciated in physical form. In keeping with that "less is more" ethic, these scenes really grab your focus. From Link's battle with the Lanmola to his stare-down against Aghanim, from his extraction of the Master Sword to the sight of the bizarre floating sphere that is Ganon's Tower, each perfectly encapsulates the grandeur of Link's quest. It's a daunting world that would overwhelm weaker men with feelings of insignificance, yet Link never strays from his destined path. ALttP may be a comic intended for the young readers of Nintendo Power, but behind the characters' comical reactions and colorful environments is a tale of discovery, struggle, and loss. Ishinomori had this talent of balancing levity and gravity without letting one overtake the other, very much like an animated Disney film. It's a very subtle technique that only masters of the craft can pull off. In contrast with the game's celebratory finale, the comic ends on a heavy, heartbreaking note. Having saved two worlds and won the affections of the princess, Link assumes the position of Master of the Hyrule Knights under the newly appointed Queen Zelda. Unfortunately, their new roles prevent them from following their hearts' desire. The final image of Link is not of a proud hero with visions of a brighter tomorrow but of a forlorn child who was forced to grow up way too quickly, gained a burden no man should have to bear, and has now lost the only person who could connect with him spiritually. I still fight to hold back the tears. A Link to the Past is a great game, and that greatness is reflected in the pages of this comic. It's a must-read for Zelda fans and people who love simple, effective, powerful art. I have a copy of the standalone compilation published in 1993, but that can be a little tough to come by at decent price nowadays. Thankfully, you can find scans of the comic all over the net, but there really isn't anything like holding the pages in your hand and just soaking in the atmosphere. However, there is another, more recent A Link to the Past manga that can be had on the cheap. Made by the female comic duo Akira Himekawa, it was released to capitalize on the Game Boy Advance port. The artwork is more detailed, though not what I would consider a very distinguishable style. Curiously, most of the events that receive chief focus are the same ones found in Ishinomori's comic. They even play out in a similar fashion -- Link receives the Pendant of Courage directly from Sahasrahla in both, Link turns into a wolfish beast in both Dark Worlds rather than a bunny as in the game, and the depiction of Ganon's Tower as a spiked moon is identical. There's even a female thief name Ghanti who is essentially a combination of Epheremelda and Roam, though a bit more fleshed out than either. It makes me wonder if the comic is a legitimate remake, if Nintendo requires adaptations to follow a shared template, or if Akira Himekawa just copied Ishinomori straight up. In any case, nothing beats the original Nintendo Power comic. Read it and get lost in the adventure.

All this week, Destructoid will be posting Zelda-themed features to celebrate this weekend's release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It's Zelda week! If you were a gamer growing up in the States during the late 80s / e...


GameFan chief says the industry is a sad state of affairs

Oct 23
// Jonathan Holmes
If you're like me, you grew up reading Diehard GameFan. The magazine was as close as we had to a Destructoid back in the 1990's; independent, opinionated, and more focused on the love of games than getting rich. What a l...

Nintendo Power publisher could close magazines

Sep 29
// Dale North
Future, the big ol' publisher behind a bunch of great magazines and websites, is looking at shifting operations as broke-ass Americans aren't buying enough magazines. Or something like that. A note to investors makes it sound...

The most pixel-y Metroid cosplay ever

Aug 27
// Tony Ponce
We've seen some brilliant Metroid cosplay in the past, but I can safely say that the above is the most authentic translation of the characters as they appear in-game. Animator Daniel Cattell, also known as ChozoBoy, construct...

Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype preview in Nintendo Power

Jun 01
// Tony Ponce
Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version might have been delayed from launching alongside the 3DS eShop on June 6, but Nintendo Power isn't making the wait any easier with its preview in the latest issue. It's been said before, ...

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