Friday, April 30, 2010

24. Nintendo Power

Nintendo Staff. (May 2010). Nintendo Power, Issue #254, $19.95 yearly subscription. San Francisco, CA: Future US.

Magazine Information

Nintendo Power magazine has been in publication since its first issue in 1988. This groundbreaking first issue features Super Mario Brothers 2 on the cover, and since this issue Nintendo power has gone on to produce over 200 issues. Many of the early issues also featured strategy guides for upcoming Nintendo titles. The magazine today features reviews and previews of Nintendo games for both console and handheld systems. The magazine also features a section titled "pulse" that allows Nintendo fans to write in to staff members asking all of their Nintendo related questions. New issues feature a "downloads" section that analyzes downloadable content for WiiWare, DSiWare, and the Nintendo Virtual Console. The magazine also reminds readers of its successful history, with a section titled "playback," that features reviews of popular games from Nintendo's classic consoles.

Critical Evaluation
Will user generated content be the future of video games? Will Super Mario Galaxy 2 be the top rated game of the decade? Questions like these, and many more, are explored and answered in the pages of Nintendo's offical magazine Nintendo Power. Nintendo Power features fan letters, reviews and previews of new video games, gaming news, interviews, featured stories, and a preview of upcoming issues. Aside from the wealth of information presented in each issue, the articles and stories are well written, at times humorous, and always informative. The reviews are authoritative and staff writers are not hesitant to be critical. Based on a number system, reviews range from 1-10, with 10 being the highest score and 1 being the lowest score possible. These in depth reviews also feature video game screen grabs that present gaming action relevant to the content discussed in each review. Along with including new reviews, each issue of Nintendo Power features a review archive with abridged versions of reviews from the past magazine year. The comprehensiveness and attention to detail in each issue is not spent solely on current gaming issues and concerns. Nintendo Power pays homage to the history of Nintendo consoles and games through a "playback" section that reviews classic games from Nintendo's past, such as Mega Man 64 in the magazine's most current 2010 issue.

Nintendo Power goes the distance to give video game fans a look into the world of Nintendo beyond the games and systems. Each issue features a "Power Profiles" section that gives a behind the scenes look at what it's like to work in the video game industry. These interviews give advice to teens thinking about video game design as a career, making it an important career tool for library staff and teachers. The magazine also features interviews with Nintendo legends like Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto. These interviews give gaming fans valuable insight into the company and the direction it's headed. Because of the ability of the Nintendo Wii and DS to connect online, Nintendo Power also features an in depth section reviewing new downloadable games and also classic games that have been re-released for the Nintendo Virtual Console. Nintendo embraces the benefits of new technology in each issue by detailing future projects, and they also pay tribute to their fans by answering emails and showcasing fan created content in their "Community" section. As a magazine, Nintendo Power is so much more than a compilation of reviews and articles, it is a guide for the future of gaming.

Reader's Annotation
The Nintendo Company has produced some of the most popular game consoles and characters in video game history. Gamers interested in learning about the latest products for the Nintendo Wii and Handheld DS, and also about Nintendo's past classcs, have to look no further than the pages of Nintendo Power magazine.

Video games

Curriculum Ties

Video game programming

Book Talking Ideas

How has the Nintendo gaming console changed over the years?
Why are Nintendo's characters so popular amongst gamers?

Reading Level

Grades 6+

Challenge Issues

Reason For Selection
With the popularity of the Nintendo Wii and handheld DS amongst teenage gamers, I felt that a review of Nintendo Power magazine was necessary for this blog. Nintendo Power is the essential source for all things Nintendo, from reviews, news, and merchandise to interviews and articles featuring top video game designers and manufacturers. This was a magazine that I read growing up in the early 1990's and it is still relevant for teenagers today because of Nintendo's continued adaptation to new technology and effort to meet gamer expectations and needs.

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