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Nintendo Power Uncovered
Nintendo Power #32: January 1992 - Super Castlevania IV
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 21, 2014   |   Episode 32 (Show Archive)  

   
After nearly three hundred issues, Nintendo Power has finally come 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.

With three separate consoles on the market, Nintendo Power has suddenly been forced to learn how to juggle. Even though we're only a few issues into the brand new 16-bit world, I am already noticing a trend. It all started with September's Super Mario World cover, followed two months later by November's Final Fantasy II cover. And now, two months later, here we are with another Super NES cover. Apparently the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy are left to battle it out the rest of the time, because every other month you can expect a Super NES cover.

It's probably not a good sign that we're talking about Nintendo Power's scheduling and not the specific cover art. It's even more troubling when you realize that the cover in question is based on Super Castlevania IV, one of Konami's most beloved action games and the almost-last appearance of Simon Belmont. With such a great game to work with, how could Nintendo Power get this cover so wrong?

For starters, this is yet another one of Nintendo Power's drawn covers. While there have been a couple exceptions over the years (such as this bizarre Tetris cover), the drawn covers tend to rate lower than those starring real people or elaborate models. This looks like the type of design you might see on Video Games & Computer Entertainment, not Nintendo Power.

When it comes to style, this cover completely misses the mark. What you see is what you get, and no amount of studying the artwork is going to uncover any hidden details or messages. It doesn't help that Simon is completely bathed in one color and set against an insanely boring background. The act of swinging on his trusty whip should be interesting enough, but even that is marred by an unflattering angle. If I absolutely have to come up with something nice to say about this lackluster design, it's that it looks a little more professional than Nintendo Power's laughably bad Castlevania II cover. Simon deserves better.

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