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Nintendo Power Uncovered
Nintendo Power #39: August 1992 - Mario Paint
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on April 15, 2014   |   Episode 39 (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.

If you've been following me on my journey to review all 285 Nintendo Power covers, then you already know that things have taken a turn for the worse. After so much creativity early on, Nintendo's once-mighty art department seems to be sleeping on the job. This has resulted in countless covers that are indistinguishable from the competition, thanks in large part to an unhealthy reliance on PR-provided artwork and still images from movies. It's bad enough that Nintendo Power is stooping to use other people's images, but it's even worse when you see the miserable execution (example: October 1991: Star Trek).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Nintendo Power's covers have been disappointing for a frustratingly long amount of time. So let me tell you, I had high hopes for issue 39. After yesterday's episode of Review Crew, I was eager to dig into this week's Mario Paint-enhanced issue of Nintendo Power. If any cover is going to bring back the creativity found in the early days, then it's going to be Mario Paint. It's a game about being creative, how can Nintendo screw this one up?

Thankfully, the Redmond-based company didn't screw up. This Mario Paint cover is a return to form, marking the first time Nintendo Power has used clay models since August 1991. I'm a sucker for Nintendo's arts and craft covers, so I went in ready to love it. Sadly, I only kind of like it. This cover does a good job drawing a picture, but it's far from a masterpiece.

Here we see Mario inexplicably standing on Nintendo's Super NES mouse accessory. He's holding a paintbrush, which won't help him one bit when playing this 16-bit art simulator. All that's going to do is make a giant mess, potentially ruining the television set and nice new carpet. Mario knows this, which is why he's looking back to make sure we're not paying attention. But he better put down that paintbrush, or I'm going to break him into 16 little bits.

Reckless use of the paintbrush aside, I'm underwhelmed by this design. The model work is only a small part of the cover and somebody thought it would be a good idea to take a picture off the TV screen. The musical notes escaping the screen hint at a much better cover. But alas, this is the best we're going to get. And worst of all, I feel guilty being disappointed, because I'm sure it's back to the usual crap starting next week.

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