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.
Who knew that March was so hot in the Mushroom Kingdom? For a springtime issue, this Super Mario Bros. 3 cover burns my hands every time I pick it up. It's so hot that my imitation Oakley sunglasses permanently melted onto my face. This cover is so hot that it occasionally sets off the office sprinklers. It's bright to the point where I've considered selling the energy it generates back to the local power company. It's that hot!
Once your eyes have adjusted to the blinding heat, it's easy to see why this Nintendo Power cover is so hot. The sun (which has mysteriously shrunk to the size of a soccer ball) is right in front of our face at ground level. We're just moments away from seeing this famous Italian plumber burst into flames. At least death will come quick. Unfortunately the rest of the world will freeze to death without the necessary heat provided by the sun.
This is Nintendo Power's second crack at a Super Mario Bros.-themed cover. The first time around was endearing, but not without a few problems. The modeling is better and everything looks right, even if it's washed-out by the heat of a tiny sun. Mario looks great and all of the characters look exactly like they do in the game. My only complaint is how the Nintendo Seal of Quality covers most of the Koopa kid.
While every technical level of this outperforms Super Mario Bros. 2, I can't help but like that cover more. The modeling here is gorgeous, complete with adorable recreations of some of my favorite Mario characters. It's also better laid out, suggesting that Nintendo Power hired somebody who knows a thing or two about setting up professional shots. But as competent as it is, it's not as interesting to my eyes. I like the roughness of that first issue; no amount of polish would have made it any better. This is a good looking cover, but it's not as memorable as what has come before.