Starting in 1988, one of the longest-running video game magazines there is, Nintendo Power is a magazine that focuses solely on games for Nintendo consoles. Starting as a replacement for the Nintendo Fun Club News, the magazine initially contained game strategies for most of its run until its reboot during the late Game Cube era. It also contains news, previews, reviews, fan letters, and "community" sections related to Nintendo games. Originally published by Nintendo of America themselves, it is now currently published by Future US and edited by Chris Slate, and remains one of the most popular in North America.
The magazine is also known for its semi-regular comics and manga advertising new games. These include:
- Howard and Nester / Nester's Adventures (Volume 1-55 & 231)
- Battletoads (Volume 24-25)
- Super Mario Adventures (Volume 32-43)
- The Legend of Zelda a Link To The Past (Volume 32-43)
- Mario VS Wario (Volumes 44 & 56)
- Star FOX (Volume 45-55)
- Super Metroid (Volume 57-61)
- Blast Corps (Volume 97-99)
If you've been out of the loop for a while, by all means subscribe to Nintendo Fun Clu-oops, I mean Nintendo Power, or if you want to see the magazine's roots or re-experience your childhood, allow James Rolfe to inject you with a needle of nostalgia.
- Alien Autopsy: The walkthrough guide for Body Harvest for the N64 includes one level where the Player Character has to rescue a captured Grey from Roswell. One picture caption for the level humorously tries to guilt trip readers into sympathizing with the alien and make them feel bad "for having laughed at that alien autopsy video."
- April Fools' Day: On April issues, they have printed articles on Warp Pipe technology (see Tube Travel below), Pikachu as an unintelligible Y2K expert, the Headless Snowman from Super Mario 64 getting his own game over Luigi, an interview with Donkey Kong, a series of letters complaining about their contest prizes, etc...
- In regards to the Warp Pipe technology one, at least two readers actually thought it was for real, and when their letters were printed asking how it turned out, the magazine made no mention of the fact that it was just a joke.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: Their coverage of Secret of Mana. More giant dragons, less of the cutesy sprites in the actual game.
- Artifact Title: Based on the NES tagline "Now you're playing with power!"
- According to a retrospective in the 50th issue, they were originally going to name the magazine Power Play, but it was already taken.
- Author Avatar: Writer Alan Averill has been represented in photos as a Slime from Dragon Quest. The magazine has jokingly stated that he is, in fact, a slime; the joke was even taken to the point where pictures were published of a Slime plushie wearing a knit cap in front of a GBA SP claiming that the slime was in fact writer Alan Averill. The writers are currently represented by Miis, and Chris Hoffman's part of the letters section is headed by an 8-bit sprite of himself.
- Broke the Rating Scale: Averted. Editor Chris Slate responded once that he had been tempted to give some games a 10.5 out 10, but won't because it will permanently taint the scale by making 10.5 the new standard. (At the time, only Resident Evil 4, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption had received a 10.)
- Brother Chuck: Some writers, and even entire sections, can disappear without explanation.
- Butt Monkey: Chris Shepperd. To a lesser extent, Steve Thomason, and to an even lesser extent, Justin Cheng.
- Media Research Failure: Parodied by Chris Hoffman, who insists that Tails is a mutant squirrel despite being a fox. Played straight in a few other examples.
- From a Certain Point of View: Might not be intentional, but in his Nintendo Power review AVGN pointed out some interesting wording in reviews of bad games.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Probably has something to do with the magazine no longer being published by Nintendo, but rather by Future US. Even when it was published by Nintendo, there was still traces of this.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Some writers, such as Scott Pelland, Casey Loe, Steven Grimm and George Sinfield have previously done work for strategy guides, video game translation, etc. This is often pointed out by fans in the "Pulse" section.
- Loony Fan: Somebody once sent in a collage consisting entirely of Chris Shepperd pictures. After that, he swore he'd try and cut down on the number of times his face appears in the magazine.
- Another claimed to be attracted to writer Andy Myers after seeing a photo of him the previous issue. The photo was of him holding a (fake) severed ear.
- Long Runner: Been running for almost 24 years, 12 issues a year, with bonus holiday issues starting in 2007. Still shows no sign of ending.
- Mascot: Nester. Issues released after the Nintendo 3DS even contain a giant QR code for a Nester Mii at the end of the Pulse section, and this was pointed out in a fan letter in the August 2011 issue.
- Moral Guardians: Despite being developed by Rare (a Nintendo second party and, at that point, industry darling), the magazine did not cover the M-rated Dead Baby Comedy platformer Conker's Bad Fur Day at all (though they did give it a Player's Guide). Recently, they did an article on it in their Playback section.
- Not So Different: Initially they had a rivalry with the now-canceled magazine Sega Visions thanks to the Console Wars. But then the Wii era came and Sega began partnering with Nintendo and rereleasing their old games on its Virtual Console, with many lampshades from the staff about how the magazine was now covering more Sega games than Nintendo games!
- Perverse Sexual Lust: Some of the writers seem to have crushes on Ada from Resident Evil.
- Phony Article: The SNES vs Genesis comparison articles filled with fake stats and testimonials, which started running towards the endpoint in the SNES's life.
- Pigeon Holed Writer: For example, Chris Slate tends to review major releases, Steve Thomason reviews Sega games, Chris Hoffman reviews Capcom games, and Casey Loe reviews RPGs. There are several exceptions, however.
- Planet of Steves: While there is indeed only one "Steve" (presently), there are lots of Chrises. There's even a Christine in there.
- Product Placement
- Promoted Fanboy: Steven Grimm, an Animal Crossing fan, has been spotted in the credits for Animal Crossing: City Folk and Mario Party 8.
- Running Gag: Quite a few.
- Spin-Off: The short-lived Nintendo Power Advance, concentrating on strategies for Game Boy Advance games. Also, one might consider Pokémon Power (a series of mini-magazines detailing Red and Blue versions and including a comic version of the first few episodes of the anime series) to be one.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The magazine is actually a replacement for the Nintendo Fun Club News magazine, which focused only on games developed by Nintendo.
- Take That: To other gaming magazines.
- Tube Travel: Years before Project M the Brawl mod, there was "Project M" the April Fool's joke, a mock article about research toward Super Mario Bros.-inspired pipe travel.
The comics that ran in the magazine contained examples of
Howard & Nester / Nester's Adventures
- But Now I Must Go: Howard's departure from the comic has him making such a speech to Nester, leaving him with his bowtie as a memento. In the first Nester's Adventures comic, Nester reveals that the bowtie was a clip-on.
- Captain Ersatz: One installment has Howard accompanying a duck to the moon. The duck's name is never given, but from the fact that the episode in question was based on the DuckTales (1987) NES game, it can be assumed that he is supposed to be Scrooge McDuck.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Tasmanian Devil's guest appearances.
- Put on a Bus: Howard after his real-life counterpart (Howard Phillips) left the magazine.
- Retool: Into Nester's Adventures following Howard's departure.
- Small Name, Big Ego (Nester)
- 6 until 1990