Where I Read – Nintendo Power #31

Cover for Nintendo Power 31The Nintendo Power train continues on to issue #31, for December of 1991. Our cover story is Metroid II for the Game Boy – the first Game Boy game to make it to the cover. The cover art is better than last issue’s art, but not by much.


The theme for this issue is what you’d want your ultimate gaming system to be. As you can imagine when a large chunk of your reader base is kids, basically they want a console that does everything–including their homework.

Batman: Return of The Joker Guide

The Joker is back, and the Batman is waiting. The guide details the new power-ups for this game: a crossbow, homing batarangs, the Sonic Neutralizer, and the Shield Star (which is a spread attack). We get maps for stages 1 through 6. I have to say that the levels look really generic. Levels 1 & 7 are the only ones which really have a look to them that feels different – though the gimmick for 5 is itself generic – it’s a sewer level.

Nester’s Adventures

This issue Nester is playing Kid Icarus. The tip here is to move to the left and shoot up when contending with the tumbling mirrors.

A sample of the art from the Actraiser guide.Actraiser Guide

Enix has put out their combination shooter and strategy game on the SNES in the US. We get basic notes about what you need to do in the various areas in the game to free it from evil influences, while giving info on the power-ups and level maps for the 2 levels in Fillmore, Bloodpool, Kasandora, Aitos, plus a couple notes for the areas of Marahna & Northwall. The art in this feature actually isn’t too bad. They’re not great – but they’re not terrible either.

The Addams Family Guide

So, somehow Morticia got lost in the Addams Family’s mansion, and Gomez needs to find her. This would totally be unrealistic – if it weren’t for the fact that this is probably something like foreplay for Morticia and Gomez–which is fine, they have a healthy and energetic sex life. We get a map of the hub area, as well as some of the side areas of the mansion – the game is fairly non-linear.

Tiny Toon Adventures Guide

An example of some of the "borrowing" in Tiny Toon's art design.
Does this look familiar to you?

As unoriginal as the level enviroments looked for Batman: Return of the Joker, Tiny Toon’s look worse. Take the bricks in stage 1. If I didn’t know better, they took those bricks from Super Mario Bros. For that matter, same with some of the enviroment graphics of Stage 2 (which we get a complete map of). If I didn’t know better, I’d say they’d ripped off Super Mario Bros 3. Anyway, we get maps of stages 1 through 3, and chunks of stages 4 through 6.

Game Boy Coverage

A General map of Metroid 2
Wow, that's big for a barely 8-bit handheld.

First up is our cover story, Metroid II. We get a list of the various weapos you can get, as well as a general map of the area. This game is rather expansive, much more than I thought a Game Boy game could get. We also get a map of some of the various chunks of the game–specifically phases 1, 2, and 3. We also get a guide covering Ninja Gaiden Shadow (otherwise known as Shadow of the Ninja). We get maps of just about all of the game, up to the halfway point of stage 5 (the final stage). Frankly, I do enjoy the Ninja Gaiden series, though I’m not good at it, so I’m willing to give this a try. We also have a mini-guide for the Game Boy version of Hudson’s Adventure Island.

SNES Coverage

We have some coverage of Pilotwings for the SNES. This is definitely one of the first games to really heavily show what Mode 7 could do. We also have a little guide for the SNES port of one of Peter Molineux’s first attempts at a God Game–Populous.

Now Playing

Of note among the also-rans this issue is Tail Spin (based on the Disney animated series), Irem’s Kung Fu 2, Paperboy 2 from Mindscape, and Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball

Top 30

So, this is the last issue of Nintendo Power where the Top 30 is going to be NES Exclusive. They’re not clear how they’ll be adding the SNES and Game Boy titles in, but they will be included.

The Top 30 for issue #31
The Top 30 for issue #31

Celebrity Profile

This issue we have a profile of Mayim Bailik, the star of Blossom. I never watched that show as a kid. Anyway, after Blossom, she did a bunch of voice acting in some animated series, as well as a few guest starring roles, but nothing as long term as Blossom. Anyway, just about everyone one set owns Game Boys, and play them on down-time.

Pak Watch

Of note of things to come, There’s Rampart, Mega Man IV and Bart vs. The World for the NES. For the SNES there’s a port of Smash TV (which I’m not sure how they’ll work on the SNES’s controller.

For my Quality Control pick of this week, I’m going with Ninja Gaiden Shadow for the Game Boy. Next week, we’ll enter Nintendo Power’s 5th year, and we’ll see how that turns out.