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Nintendo Power Uncovered
Nintendo Power #18: November/December 1990 - Dr. Mario
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 08, 2013   |   Episode 18 (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.

After leaning heavily on uninspired covers based on licensed properties, Nintendo has done a good job of righting the ship and getting us back on course. I'm especially happy to see Nintendo Power's arts and crafts department getting some work. Between this and the recent Maniac Mansion cover, there's one bearded hippie that will be able to afford a new pair of Birkenstocks. At this rate he may be able to live out his dream of opening a granola-themed amusement park named Haight-Ashbury Farms.

While many consider it part of Nintendo's long tradition of influential puzzle games, Dr. Mario wasn't well received at the time. Both Electronic Gaming Monthly and GamePro criticized the game for being too derivative, while other magazines complained that it wasn't in the same league as Tetris. Undeterred, Nintendo Power did their part by putting the game front and center in this holiday issue.

The title suggests that Mario used some of his plumbing riches to put himself through eight years of college to become a doctor. I'm not sure I buy into this premise. The guy is constantly busy playing sports and saving kidnapped women. He has never cracked a single book or mentioned going to class, two things that put this whole scenario in serious doubt. Has anybody seen his diploma? I have a buddy who prescribes drugs, but he's never referred to himself as "doctor".

I find Mario's smile creepy. It also concerns me that he's hanging out with a bunch of gremlins. But the most unsettling part of the cover involves that six inch pill he's holding. Does he want me to swallow that thing or are we about to play catch? That pill is so big my One-A-Day vitamin has penis envy. I'm starting to think Dr. Mario is the reason the United States is ranked dead last on health care.

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