Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Magazine Reviews - Nintendo Fun Club #2

It's been a while since I started with my recaps of back issues of Nintendo Power. It's time to rectify that with a look at the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter's 2nd issue.

Issue #2 - Summer, 1987

Page One
This issue starts off, as with the last, with another major Nintendo title - The Legend of Zelda. We get a very detailed description of the game's plot. The next page of the magazine includes descriptions of Volleyball and Slalom, developed in-house and by Rare, respectively. This makes Slalom the first non-Nintendo developed game to be covered in a Nintendo publication.

There is also a description of Pro Wrestling with some information on the game mechanics, as well as portraits of the characters. I'm presuming the character portraits are from the Japanese version, as they're done in an anime/manga style. Later titles for the NES and SNES, would have character portraits become "western-ized" for their US release. There would be some exceptions for this, but this would remain something of a constant until anime and manga started to become more popular uner the 16-bit generation.

Next up is the Pro's Corner column. We get a bunch of hints and tips for Super Mario Bros. In particular, they repeat the fireworks tip from last issue, as well as the continue code. There's also a trick for phasing through dungeon walls, and getting a small Firey Mario (as opposed to Firey Super Mario). We also get the unlimited lives turtle trick, and a trick for getting 50,000 points in the castles, and, finally, the Minus World cheat. We also get some tricks for Salom and Pro Wrestling, but they're really basic.

We also get a look at the first after-market controller for the NES - the Advantage, which features rapid fire and an arcade stick. What more could you ask for?

It's a nice looking grade-school art project,
but getting a NES for it seems a bit much.
For a human-interest story, we get an article on the Second Annual Recycled Robot contest, which is basically a grade-school art project contest, with the winner receiving an NES (which I presume is the reason why this is getting an article in the newsletter).

We also get a blurb for Metroid, and another for Kid Icarus. There is a list of upcoming third-party NES titles. However, none of these titles have descriptions, which means that unless you're reading this with 20/20 hindsight about what titles are which, it's relatively useless. Further, considering that the purpose of this magazine is to promote upcoming titles for their system, this is rather disappointing. That said, I do know that this does improve in the future.

We get our first high-score rankings in the magazine, for Super Mario Bros. There's also a semi-humorous little sidebar talking about all the travel Howard Phillips does as part of his work with Nintendo. We also get our first order form for official Nintendo Fun Club merchandise, complete with a black-and-white picture of the T-Shirts. I did some checking and currently none of the fun-club shirts are listed on eBay, so I can't give an approximate appraisal over what they're worth now.

In the letters column, we get a lot of requests for information for stuff that is already in this issue (information on Legend of Zelda, etc.). All of this makes the issue slightly less useful than an editorial that reiterates the table of contents - usually said editorial comes before the table of contents so you at least get some hype of the contents. This, on the other hand, gives us nothing. Wrapping up the issue, we get a Super Mario Bros. crossword.

As far as the visual style of this issue goes, the issue still has no screen shots, and all the pictures are in black-and-white. Next issue, on the other hand, is going to have a big change.

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