Where I Read – Nintendo Power #16
Our Nintendo Power recaps continue with a standard issue of the magazine – Issue #16, for September of 1990. Our cover story is the port of Lucasarts adventure game Maniac Mansion… and I have to admit that I don’t like the cover art for this issue.
Letters: Well, we’ve gotten lots of letters from grandmothers who play NES games, now we’ve got a letter from a mom who plays NES games, though her main game of choice is Tetris. Look, Nintendo, while people have different tastes, and I will admit not everyone will like a Gears of War, adults and senior citizens will play “hardcore” games if you give them a chance, and the game is good. If they don’t like it, that’s okay too, but there will be a percentage of older gamers – moms, dads, seniors, who will play those games, and enjoy them, if they don’t suck. Hopefully, Wii Motion Plus will lead to some innovations in this game space, and lead to these games not sucking. In particular, if we do get a Wii release of Call of Duty 4 (hopefully with Wii Motion Plus support), hopefully it wil be that cross-over game.
Final Fantasy Strategy Guide (Pt. 3): You know, considering their next strategy guide issue is going to be Final Fantasy I, I hope they leave something for the special Final Fantasy Strategy Guide next issue. Anyway, we get some brief notes on the Mirage Tower and the Sky Castle. The guide itself is only 2 issues long. The rest of the “guide” is hyping their “Final Fantasy Treasure Quest” contest, which gets you and 4 friends a vacation.
Maniac Mansion Guide: The first game to feature the Scumm engine has been ported to the NES, and we’ve now got a guide for it. Well… a partial guide anyway. We get your notes on how to play an Adventure Game, for those who haven’t played one (at least one like this) before, as well as letting you know that the game’s got a battery backup in it, so you can save your game instead of having to rely on a password. We also get coverage of some of the possible scenarios on the game, based on what characters you have in your party, though it censors some of the violent and sexual humor from the PC version of the game (such as Nurse Edna being into S&M, and Ted’s porn collection, and I suspect you can’t kill Ed’s hamster in the microwave).
Howard & Nester: This issue, Howard and Nester are playing Golgo 13: The Mafiat Conspiracy, though Nester’s looking a little more like Sam Spade than Duke Togo. And, Howard, well… could you imagine Golgo 13 with a Bow Tie on? I thought not.
Top 30: This is pretty early in the issue. Well, anyway, let’s get started.
- Super Mario Bros 3 (24,964 pts.) – No Change (5 issues)
- Final Fantasy (6,145 pts.) – New!
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (5,008 pts.) – Up 7 (9 issues)
- Ninja Gaiden II (4,190 pts.) – New!
- Super Mario Bros 2 (4,059 pts.) – Down 2 (13 issues)
- Mega Man 2 (3,807 pts.) – Down 2 (10 issues)
- Tetris (3,726 pts.) – Down 1 (4 issues)
- Zelda II (3,503 pts.) – Down 3 (13 issues)
- Batman (3,307 pts.) – Down 7 (6 issues)
- Battle of Olympus (3,228 pts.) – Returning (2 issues)
- Legend of Zelda (3,150 pts.) – Down 4 (14 issues)
- Shadowgate (2,787 pts.) – Down 2 (3 issues)
- Super C (2,329 pts.) – Up 8 (2 issues)
- Ninja Gaiden (2,255 pts.) – Down 3 (8 issues)
- Double Dragon 2 (2,121 pts.) – New!
- Dragon Warrior (1,954 pts.) – Down 2 (6 issues)
- Tecmo Bowl (1,932 pts.) – Down 8 (9 issues)
- The Magic of Scheherazade (1,589 pts.) – Down 3 (3 issues)
- Bionic Commando (1,336 pts.) – Returning (9 issues)
- Baseball Stars (1,309 pts.) – Up 8 (3 issues)
- Metal Gear II (1,286 pts.) – Up 6 (2 issues)
- Metroid (1,231 pts.) – Down 8 (13 issues)
- Adventures of Lolo II (1,181 pts.) – New!
- Punch-Out!! (1,141 pts.) – As this is not Mike Tyson’s Punch Out! and thus has Mr. Dream (who fights differently) instead of Iron Mike, I’m counting this as… New!
- Duck Tales (1,124 pts.) – Down 12 (4 issues)
- Willow (1,066 pts.) – Down 10 (2 issues)
- Blaster Master (1,022 pts.) – Down 4 (10 issues)
- Contra (986 pts.) – Returning (12 issues)
- Nobunaga’s Ambition (857 pts) – Returning (4 issues)
- Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing (827 pts.) – New!
Absent from the list: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out (11 issues), The Guardian Legend (6 issues), Mega Man (12 issues), Ultima (4 issues), Double Dragon (11 issues), Adventures of Lolo (3 issues), Wrath of the Black Manta (1 issue), Fester’s Quest (1 issue).
Rollergames Guide: This is sort of an amalgam of roller-derby and a Double-Dragon style brawler. It’s… different. We get maps for all of stage 1 (which is pretty large), and notes on stages 2, 3, and 4.
NES Play-Action Football: We get some general interface notes for the game, and some gameplay depictions.
Classified Information: We get tips for Captain Skyhawk, Rad Racer II, as well as getting let know that the Konami code works on Nemesis for the Game Boy (it gets you a full power-up gauge).
Snake Rattle, & Roll Guide: Basically, this is a sort of isometric platformer thing. We get maps for levels 1 through 3.
Kickle Cubicle: It’s a Lolo clone. We get notes on the eccentrities of each of the 4 worlds.
Councelor’s Corner: We get questions about finding some of the quest items and characters in Crystalis. We also get notes on beating two of the bosses in Snake’s Revenge, and more general questions on Shadowgate. We also get questions about beating the final boss in Wrath of the Black Manta, and how to easily grind for money in Baseball Stars.
Mission: Impossible Guide: I’ve played this game before, and I could never beat the first level. Anyway, we get maps of all 6 stages in the game, as well as the ending of the game, which is ripped off entirely from Wargames.
Game Boy Coverage: Well, our strategy guides have gotten much shorter thus far. However, the list of Game Boy games getting coverage has increased. I wonder if the quality has increased as well. Well, we get maps and notes on all 5 levels of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall Of The Foot Clan. There’s also the Ikari Warriors style game Cosmotank, the odd puzzle game Qwarth, an Skate or Die action game (?), the boxing game Heavyweight Championship Boxing, puzzle game Cattrap, Serpent (which might as well be Snake or Light Cycle), Balloon Kid, which does not interest me in the slightest. The rest is just short 1-paragraph stuff.
Previews: We start off with a preview of Little Nemo: The Dream Master, which was a rather difficult platformer that I played a lot of back when I got into console gaming for the first time. Anyway, we also get coverage of Dragon Warrior II, the first game in the series to allow you to collect a party. Tradewest has the space salvage game Solar Jetman, and we’ve got our first look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game. We also get a preview of Gauntlet II, which is odd, because at this point Tengen and Nintendo were basically no longer on speaking terms. Gauntlet had already switched to the black cartridges. There’s also the Dick Tracy game, which is incredibly hard, and I think is also unbeatable, action shooter Low G Man, which looks interesting – if it gets coverage when it comes out I may review it. Acclaim’s also got the Wizardry clone Swords & Serpents. We’ve also got Barker Bill’s Trick Shooting, another game to use the Zapper, and Bandai’s Frankenstein game.
Video Shorts: Of note here is a Mad Max licenced game, Hot-B’s sengoku-era strategy game Shingen the Ruler, which I always wanted to get – though I think I was better off by getting Nobunaga’s Ambition instead. There’s also Back To The Future II/II. Oh, and Narc is coming to the NES. I’ve already made my thoughts about the game clear.
NES Journal: The SNES has been announced! Already we have about 4 screen shots of Super Mario World waiting. Our Celebrity profile is of a man whose Twitter I follow and blog and books I read – Wil Wheaton. Having seen some of the older publicity photos that Wil’s put up on his blog, the one for this article isn’t half bad. It’s going for the “Teen Icon” look, but does so decently, without going the “Tiger Beat Cover” route. Notable game shout-outs in the article are “Blades of Glory”. Considering Wil’s involvement in tabletop role-playing, I wonder if Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy (or, for that matter, Koei’s strategy games like Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Nobunaga’s Ambition) caught his interest. We also get coverage of the Super Mario Bros 3 animated series, along with the Maniac Mansion animated series.
Pak Watch: Of note in this issue is the Miracle Piano Teaching System, which is a game pak combined with a Midi keyboard that hooks up to your NES and teaches you to play piano. There’s also the fantasy RPG Magician, a port of Battletank from the PC, Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, a Dragon’s Lair platformer and an Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade action game.
Well then, next issue is the Final Fantasy Strategy Guide. However, before then we have our letter from Howard Phillips. Howard has just earned his Master’s Degree. Congratulations Howard! Oh, and he also hypes the Treasure Quest. Anyway, as for our game of this issue, I’m going to go with a Game Boy game – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall Of The Foot Clan. Hopefully I’ll be able to record video for this. Wish me luck!