Alright, this week’s issue of Nintendo Power is issue #22 for March of 1991. Our cover story is the mecha action game Metal Storm (which was the poster game last issue), and a lot of the art on the cover is very similar to last issue’s poster (but that’s okay).
Letters: We have a letter from a kid who managed to be a Nintendo Game Counselor for a day thanks to a letter he wrote to the Mickey Mouse Club. So, I guess something good came out of the Mickey Mouse Club (instead of just Brittney Spears and Justin Timberlake). We also have the Nintendo Rap… which I’m just going to tip toe on by.
Metal Storm Guide: We get some notes off the bat about the “reverse gravity” system and some of the weapons and power-ups in the game. We then get some maps of the first 6 levels. On the bright side, the game has a password system (which, frankly, a lot of games on here don’t have). Apparently stage 2, by the way, there have unlimited vertical scrolling on the levels (with the maps wrapping). That could make it easy to get lost in the levels without the map. Anyway, the general visual theme of the levels is pretty industrial, with not a lot of visual variation to it, at least in the the levels we get pictures of. Ratings: Graphics & Sound 3.8, Play Control 3.7, Challenge and Lasting Interest 3.7, Theme & Fun 3.7.
Howard & Nester: This issue Howard & Nester are in StarTropics, trying to fix the Sub-C. They apparently fit in a reference to the Church of the Subgenius in this strip! Anyway, Howard finds the code to allow you to submerge the sub… but Nester already had sunk the sub anyway (by which I mean he’d punched a hole in the hull with a drill).
Startropics Guide Continued: We get dungeon maps for the Miracola portion of the game, all the way to finding Dr. J and boarding the alien spaceship (where it stops there).
Classified Information: We get a very useful table to help you choose what weapons hurt which bosses more in Mega Man III, as well as a bunch of other stuff.
Adventure Island II Guide: Master Higgens is back. Being that this was one of my early Quality Control columns, I’m really tempted to have this be my next Quality Control game. We get maps of the stages for Fern Island, and notes on Lake Island, Desert Island, Ice Island, Cave Island, Cloud Island, Volcano Island, and Dinosaur Island. Ratings: Graphics & Sound 3.6, Play Control 3.6, Challenge & Excitement 3.2, Theme & Fun 3.5
Poster: Our poster for the issue is Battletoads. I’m just going to say outright – if I pick Battletoads for a later Quality Control, I’m gong to use the arcade version of the game.
Game Boy Coverage: We have a portable Contra game in Operation C, with notes on the first 5 levels plus a full map of level 3. We also get notes on the Game Boy port of A Boy And His Blob. We also have the Game Boy Top Ten, but we don’t have point totals, just the ranking.
- Super Mario Land
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Final Fantasy Legend
- Dr. Mario
- Gargoyle’s Quest
- Castlevania: The Adventure
- Play Action Football
The Inside Story: So, do you know how your NES works? Well, thanks to this, now you do. The article goes pretty in-depth, though some of the terminology has changed since then. For example – PPUs (Picture Processing Units) get re-named as GPUs (Game Processing Units). We also get discussions of one-directional scrolling (Mario) vs. 2 directional scrolling (Metroid). We also get a picture of the SNES’s processor.
GI Joe Guide: Taxan has a GI Joe Shooter. They only make one before they lose the rights and Capcom ends making the next game (which is much, much better). We get a look at the power-ups of the game, as well as notes on mission 1 to 5 (though they don’t have maps of every levels). Ratings: Graphics & Sound 3.6, Play Control 3.6, Challenge & Excitement 3.4, Theme & Fun 3.8.
Now Playing: Of note in the upcoming titles is a new Koei strategy game, Bandit Kings of Ancient China (based on Outlaws of the Water Margin), WWF Wrestlemania Challenge, and another roller-derby action game with War on Wheels.
NES Achievers: Normally I ignore this section unless there’s someone interesting here – but we’ve got 2 people who managed to beat Dick Tracy on the list. I have no idea how the hell they managed to do that. I’m not going to out and out call them, say, an F-ing liar, since you have to send in photographic evidence, but I can’t help but wonder about whether they used a password to get to the last case and solved that.
Princess Tomato In The Salad Kingdom: We have another adventure game for the NES. I’m not going to be playing this one. Ratings: Graphics & Sound 3.5, Play Control 3.4, Challenge & Excitement 3.4, Theme & Fun 4.1
Nester Award Nominees: Yay, we have the nominees, so I can make my picks! Note, these picks don’t reflect who I think should win each category, but instead who will win.
- Graphics & Sound: I’m going to pick Super Mario Bros. 3.
- Theme & Fun: Again, I’m going to go with Mario 3.
- Challenge: My pick is Castlevania III.
- Play Control: My pick is Mario 3 (people like Mario, and I’ve noticed the first party games tend to do better).
- Best Hero: Going with the safe bet again with Mario.
- Best Villain: I’m going to go with Dr. Wily this time.
- Most Innovative: Super Glove Ball.
- Best Similtanious Multi-Player: Gauntlet 2 (particularly because of the multi-tap support).
- Best Overall (NES): As much as I want to say Final Fantasy, I suspect that Super Mario III is going to win, so that’s my pick.
- Best Overall (Game Boy): Dr. Mario.
Counselor’s Corner: We get questions about on Mega Man III, Shadow of the Ninja, and Dragon Warrior III, as well as more questions about Maniac Mansion.
Top 30: Here’s the long part, the new installment of the Top 30.
- Super Mario Bros 3 (12,249 pts.) – No Change (9 issues)
- Final Fantasy (6,691 pts.) – No Change (4 issues)
- Crystalis (4,429 pts.) – Up 3 (3 issues)
- Mega Man III (4,053 pts.) – Up 9 (3 issues)
- Mega Man II (4,008 pts.) – Down 1 (14 issues)
- Dr. Mario (3,995 pts.) – Up 1 (2 issues)
- Legend of Zelda (3,782 pts.) – Up 3 (18 issues)
- Dragon Warrior II (3,467 pts.) – Up 9 (3 issues)
- NES Play Action Profile Football (3,466 pts.) – Down 6 (3 issues)
- Castlevania III (3,308 pts.) – Down 5 (3 issues)
- TMNT II: The Arcade Game (3,174 pts.) – Down 3 (3 issues)
- Tetris (2,890 pts.) – Down 3 (8 issues)
- Destiny of an Emperor (2,454 pts.) – Down 1 (3 issues)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2,394 pts.) – Down 3 (13 issues)
- Super Mario Bros. 2 (2,089 pts.) – Up 1 (17 issues)
- Tecmo Bowl (1,985 pts.) – Down 2 (13 issues)
- Maniac Mansion (1,984 pts.) – Up 2 (2 issues)
- Zelda II (1,692 pts.) – Up 3 (16 issues)
- Wheel of Fortune Family Edition (1,532 pts.) – New!
- Punch-Out!! (1,447 pts.) – Returning (3 issues)
- Metroid (1,383 pts.) – Returning (15 issues)
- Battle of Olympus (1,338 pts.) – Up 1 (6 issues)
- Rad Racer (1,269 pts.) – Returning (5 issues)
- Mega Man (1,117 pts.) – Up 2 (15 issues)
- Shadowgate (1,163 pts.) – Up 3 (6 issues)
- Wrestlemania (1,139 pts.) – Down 4 (3 issues)
- Rescue Rangers (1,088 pts.) – Down 2 (2 issues)
- Bases Loaded II (1,062 pts.) – Returning (6 issues)
- Solstice (1,036 pts.) – No Change (2 issues)
- Super Off Road (978 pts.) – New!
Absent From The List: Pinbot (1 issue), Ghostbusters 2 (1 issue), Festers Quest (3 issues), Batman (9 issues).
Celebrity Profile: Our profile is Rain Pryor, Richard Pryor’s daughter and the star of the sitcom “Head of the Class” which I never watched before and, frankly, I won’t be hunting down.
Pak Watch: Of note in upcoming titles is the JVC Star Wars game. We also have coverage of CES, including a picture of a Nintendo Power being read (with Howard Phillips looking over the reader’s shoulder) by The Ultimate Warror! Snorrrk! We also get a glimpse of some of the upcoming SNES games, including Final Fight (which is mis-titled as “Street Fighter”), Actraiser, and Gradius III.
Letter from Howard: This week, Howard is hyped about Battletoads, and he also went on vacation to a guest ranch near Santa Fe, were we got a picture of him riding a horse. No, he doesn’t have his signature bow tie on, and he’s not playing a Game Boy.
Well, my quality control pick of the week is going to be Metal Storm, for some mecha shooting action.