Where I Read – Nintendo Power #36


We come now to issue #36 of Nintendo Power for March of 1992. While the cover shows that we have coverage in this issue of Contra III, the game that makes the cover is Darkwing Duck. As much as I like Darkwing Duck (in my opinion it was one of the best early 90s Disney animated TV series), I really think that Contra III would have been a better choice. For this issue’s letters column, the call is for letters asking which Nintendo character you would would want to be.

Darkwing Duck Guide

We get a rundown of the game’s plot – Darkwing must defeat each of the officers of the criminal organization F.O.W.L., at the behest of the top secret police organization S.H.U.S.H. We get a list of the power-ups and what they do, as well as maps of all the levels in the game except for the final battle, and notes for beating each of the bosses.

Hanna Barbara’s Wacky Races Guide

Despite the title, this is not a racing game, which kind of takes some of the fun out of it, actually. Wacky Races would make for a perfect cart racer. This, however, is an platformer, where you play as Muttley, attempting to collect parts to repair Dastardly’s plane. We don’t get maps of the game’s levels, but we do get notes on each of the bosses.

Robocop 3 Guide

Frank Miller’s take on RoboCop is getting a game. To be frank, they haven’t done a single Robocop game that wasn’t bad. Usually, to add difficulty, they heavily tone down Robocop’s impressive ability to soak-up damage in the films. Additionally, in this game you don’t regenerate all your health between levels. Instead, you collect repair items during levels, and use them in between levels to repair the damage you get. However, if you don’t collect enough repair items between levels and take too much damage, you could end up getting stuck in a death spiral. On the bright side, you can jump now, but jumping requires the use of your jump jets, which have limited fuel, so you have to collect fuel power-ups as well. Come to think about it, you if you miss any power-ups in this game, you’re screwed. We get maps of levels 1 through 4.

Legend of Zelda – A Link To The Past Comic

Last issue, Link got the Master Sword. This issue, Aghanim is about to complete the ritual that will open the portal into the Dark World. However, in a daring scheme, Link and his friends build a hot air balloon, and Link uses that to sneak over the wall. However, unfortunately he’s unable to stop the ritual, and is whisked into the Dark World.

Batman: Return of the Joker Guide

Well, the last Batman game did pretty well, good enough to merit a sequel. However, we haven’t gotten a new movie yet, they came up with a new plot. This is the Game Boy release of the game. The Game Boy version now has a wall jump, in addition to being able to swing on the bat line. We also get a run-down on the power ups, and a note that you can take the first 3 stages in any order, and apparently the 3rd level is the easiest. Really? Normally the levels increase in difficulty in a linear fashion. We get maps of the various stages in the game, as well as strategies for the bosses. Surprisingly, very few of them are from Batman’s rogues gallery. It’s not like they didn’t have one around this time. Anyway, we get maps of levels 1  through 3, and we’re on our own for #4, the final stage in the game.

Funpack 4-in-1 Preview & WorkBoy Preview

You can’t really do a strategy guide for this. The Funpack is chess, checkers, Backgammon and Othello. WorkBoy is a productivity suite that turns your Game Boy into a PDA. However, I suspect their currency conversion information is extremely out-dated.

Nintendo Power Awards for 1991

Two Issues ago they gave the nominees, and now they’ve counted and tabulated the votes, and it’s time to give out the winners.

  • Graphics & Sound
    • NES:
      • Winner: Battletoads
      • My Pick: Ninja Gaiden III
      • Analysis: Considering the fast scrolling and other quick graphical processing tricks with Battletoads, I’m not too surprised with this one.
    • Game Boy:
      • Winner & My Pick: Metroid II
    • SNES”
      • Winner: Super Mario World
      • My Pick: Super Castlevania IV
      • Analysis: I’m guessing Mario won this one on popularity. Super Castlevania IV had more overt graphical tricks to it, like several rotating stages.
  • Theme & Fun
    • NES:
      • Winner & My Pick: Battletoads
    • Game Boy:
      • Winner: Mega Man
      • My Pick: Final Fantasy Adventure
      • Analysis: I’ll be frank, Mega Man has a big fan base behind him at this time, bigger than Final Fantasy does. Final Fantasy didn’t really get the giant fan base behind it until Final Fantasy VI/III and VII came out, frankly.
    • SNES:
      • Winner & My Pick: Super Mario World
  • Best Challenge
    • NES:
      • Winner: Ninja Gaiden III
      • My Pick: Battletoads
      • Analysis: Huh. Come to think about it, I’m not too surprised by this. The category is “Best Challenge” not “Most Challenging”.
    • Game Boy:
      • Winner & My Pick: Metroid II
    • SNES:
      • Winner & My Pick: Super Ghouls & Ghosts.
  • Best Play Control
    • NES:
      • Winner: Battletoads
      • My Pick: MetalStorm
      • Analysis: While the brawling segments of Battletoads did okay, I feel that the other segments didn’t do as well. However, Battletoads sold better.
    • Game Boy
      • Winner: Metroid II
      • My Pick: R-Type
      • Analysis: I honestly don’t know what I was thinking now. R-Type is generally good, but the Metroid games also generally have solid controls.
    • SNES:
      • Winner & My Pick: Super Mario World
  • Best Multi-player Similtaneous:
    • Winner: Battletoads (NES)
    • I didn’t have a pick in this category.
  • Best Overall Villain:
    • Winner: Bowser (Super Mario World)
    • My Pick: Dr. Wily
    • Analysis: I stand by my choice. Wily actually makes plans. Bowser’s a one-trick pony.
  • Most Innovative Game:
    • Winner & My Pick: Final Fantasy II
  • Overall Best Games
    • NES:
      • Winner: Battletoads
      • My Pick: Tecmo Super Bowl
      • Analysis: I stand behind my choice, I played both games as kids, and found Tecmo Super Bowl more fun than Battletoads.
    • Game Boy:
      • Winner & My Pick: Metroid II
    • SNES:
      • Winner & My Pick: Super Mario World

My Final Analysis: To be honest, I can’t say I’m surprised that Super Mario World swept every category it was nominated for. However, I still think all my decisions were good ones… except for Battletoads for best challenge. Ninja Gaiden was actually beatable. Battletoads was not (at least, not without cheats).

Super Mario Adventures Comic

The Princess escapes just in time for Mario to break into Koopa’s castle on a Bullet Bill. Mario is captured and held hostage by Bowser in exchange for the Princess. Thinking quickly, Luigi disguises himself as the Princess and plans to trick Bowser.

Xardion Guide

This is the extremely Xtreme 90s looking mecha action game that I saw a while back in EGM. I’m going to make this my Quality Control pick, I think. We get some notes on the 4 different types of robots you can pilot, the power-ups you can collect, and some level notes. We don’t have maps, but we do have some highlights. Since the game has a leveling up system, we also get some notes on places to grind for XP.

Super Hudson’s Adventure Island Guide

Master Higgins is back. We get maps for acts one, two and three, as well as your standard power-up notes, not that there’s much in terms of power ups (they’re all good except for the Eggplant–do not take the eggplant).

Contra III Guide

I’m still surprised that this isn’t on the cover. We get maps of Acts One, Two (the first top-down Mode 7 maze stage), Three (which introduces the hanging mechanic), Four (a driving stage that ends with you leaping from bomb to bomb while shooting at the boss) and Five (another Mode 7 maze stage).

Head-to-Head: Super Soccer and Super Soccer Champ

We get another head-to-head of two competing soccer games. Super Soccer is a first-party game and Super Soccer Champ is from Taito. The coverage for both games is generally favorable, but I feel like I got more information about Super Soccer.

Behind the Scenes at Sculptured Software

They haven’t really done a behind the scenes piece at a developer for some time. They did one for R&D 1 towards the launch of the SNES, and an earlier one at Rare. Sculptured Software became known as Acclaim Studios Salt Lake City after they were bought out by Acclaim, which lead to their getting shuttered when Acclaim went under.

Nester’s Adventures

Link and Nester are attempting to catch the Bee in the Ice Cave with their nets. Apparently Link didn’t check on Howard’s reference.

Now Playing

George & Rob liked Darkwing Duck, but well, it’s a Disney game from Capcom, of course it’s gonna be good. They also liked the puzzle platformer Nail & Scale. They also think Raiden Trad isn’t quite so hot compared to Super R-Type & UN Squadron, though they don’t think it’s bad. They just think there’s much better stuff out there. I’ve played the arcade version of Raiden II and enjoyed it. I haven’t played Raiden Trad. George & Rob also prefer Super Soccer over Super Soccer Champ. Without getting scores from other magazines, my first suggestion would be that there’s bias on the magazine being a house organ. However, I’m willing to cut them some slack on this. We get a run-down of upcoming golf titles which I’m just going to skip.

Top 20

After Metroid II took the top spot for the Game Boy last week, this issue Mario once again regains his firm grip on the top spots for the NES, SNES and Game Boy, with following behind in #2 is (respectively), The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, and Super Mario Land.

Celebrity Player Profile

This issue they’re interviewing Melissa Joan Hart of Clarissa Explains It All on Nickelodeon. After that show, she went on to be in the live-action Sabrina the Teenage Witch series in the title role (among guest starring appearances on other shows, including Law & Order: SVU).

Pak Watch

Of note among upcoming titles is DragonStrike from SSI (a dogfighting game, but with dragons, in the DragonLance universe). We have a couple of Summer Olympic Games from Capcom with Gold Medal Challenge 1992, and Konami with a Game Boy version of Track & Field. Also, in the Japan Watch section, we have notes about Dragon Quest V getting delayed, and Square releasing Romancing Saga.

My Quality Control pick for this issue is going to be Xardion.

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3 thoughts on “Where I Read – Nintendo Power #36

  1. I used to love this magazine. I got every issue but it was after this time and more in to the new SNES system and the nintendo 64. After a while I just stopped ordering it. but I never forgot the joy. Ahh it brings back sweet memories.

    Samuel

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