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Nintendo Power Uncovered
Nintendo Power #1: July/August 1988 - Super Mario 2
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on September 25, 2012   |   Episode 1 (Show Archive)  

   
After nearly three hundred issues, Nintendo Power is finally coming to an end. To send this long-running periodical off in style, the Cover Critic has decided to review every single issue. Join him as he experiences every aspect of Nintendo's journey through their magazine covers.

Generally I would start an article like this with a historical look back at the humble origins of Nintendo Power. I would begin by mentioning that this long-running periodical was a spin-off of Nintendo Fan Club News. And while I'm at it, I would probably find a way to work in a few facts about the initial circulation (3.6 million issues), mascot characters (Howard and Nester), and free centerfold-style posters. But instead of bothering with the rise and fall of Nintendo Power, I can't take my eyes off of how amazing this cover art is.

Who cares if Super Mario Bros. 2 is the weakest of Nintendo's 8-bit Mario trilogy, this cover completely justifies its existence. This is not some quickly slapped together cover using PR assets; it's a fully realized Claymation model of one of Nintendo's most unique platformers. It also sets the bar high for subsequent Nintendo Power covers.

Between the perfectly sculptured vegetables, a jubilant Mario and Wart dressed up like Flavor Flav, there's nothing about this cover I don't like. Even the "Free Poster Inside" advertisement is made of clay, a small addition that shows the dedication of the artist. I'm not entirely sure why Mario is wearing a red shirt and blue overalls (the complete opposite of his patented wardrobe), but my eyes are too busy rolling down the yarn ball-shaped mountains to care. This Nintendo Power cover helped spark an entire generation of artists to draw, design and mold their own Super Mario Bros. masterpieces. When was the last time you could say that about a magazine cover?
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