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A Look Back At Nintendo Power: May 1991 (Vol. 24)

July 10, 2010

By Matt Calamia

For the second installment of our look back at Nintendo Power magazine, we’re going back to May 1991, and volume 24. This month’s issue is a bit thicker than last month’s, and focuses on Vice: Project Doom as the cover story. Also included this month is The Rocketeer, Gauntlet 2 on the Game Boy, and a bonus Battletoads comic that I’m sure isn’t too funny.

This month also has the awards for the top games of 1990. Strange, I’d think that either December 1990 or January 1991 would have this, but what do I know. Maybe May is the best time to award the best games of the previous year.

One of my favorite parts to any magazine is the reader submissions. This month, they show off reader’s art of Mega Man and Mario. They haven’t began to answer questions readers have just yet, but give it time. We’re still very early in the magazine’s lifespan.

The first game is Vice: Project Doom, and we’re given, as always, a walkthrough. The game story focuses on an alien invasion. You play as Quinn Hart, a rugged looking Vice Officer who is fighting off the invasion seemingly single-handed, using a whip, gun and grenades. Not bad.

It appears to be your basic 2-D sidescroller, but also implements some driving gameplay. Project Doom also offers some of the worst boss names of all time, including Rat Man, Kim Ron and Voltron. Yikes. Oddly enough, it gives away the entire game in just four pages. Can someone say spoiler alert?

The next game is The Rocketeer, which seems to be based on either an old movie or comic series. You play as Cliff Secord, who Nintendo Power describes as “a reluctant hero in a tale of pre-war tension.” That’s deep. I think he is the Rocketeer, but it doesn’t make it clear. Basically, you’re a stuntman working on a Disney movie.

The game seems to have an abundance of weapons for a Nintendo game. You can use a pistol, riffle, spray gun, grenade, bazooka or you’re good old fists. It is one of the ugliest looking games I’ve seen in a while. Every stage is either black, grey or brown, all taking place in a factory or building.

Next Nester is going to announce the best games of 1990, broken down into very specific categories. The winner for Best Graphics and Sound was Mega Man 3, beating out Super Mario Bros. 3 and Castlevania 3. Best Theme and Fun went to Super Mario Bros. 3, over Mega Man 3 and Dragon Warrior 2. Best Challenge went to Castelvania 3, and having never played the game, I agree. That beat out Crystalis and Battle of Olympus.

For best play control, the winner was Super Mario Bros. 3, followed by Mega Man 3 and Super C. Wait, Super C wasn’t up for best challenge? Mega Man beat out Mario and Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for best hero, while Shredder won best Bad Guy over Dr. Wily and Koopalings from SMB3.

Most innovative game was Shadowgate, which looks terrible, followed closely by Miracle Keyboard Teaching and Maniac Mansion. Best multiplayer game was TMNT 2, followed by NES Play Action Football and Dr. Mario.

The overall best Nintendo game went to Super Mario Bros. 3, followed by TMNT2: The Arcade Game and Mega Man 3. TMNT2 wasn’t up for anything, yet finished second in the overall game category? I smell a scam. Best Game Boy game went to TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan which is an excellent game. Second place went to Super Mario Land and third Final Fantasy Legend.

Back to games and walkthroughs, we have The Lone Ranger, which was teased in last month’s issue. I spoke too soon: this is the ugliest game. It’s all brown, taking place in the wild west.

Six more gameboy games featured this month, including Mysterium, Gauntlet 2, Battle Unit Zeoth, Nintendo World Cup, Spot and The Chessmaster. I’ve only heard of Gauntlet 2 and Spot, staring the red spot 7Up mascot.

Next up is LoLo 3, which seems to be a puzzle game mixed with some platforming. You travel through a world map much like Super Mario Bros. 3, taking on different enemies. It must be a decent series to have three installments.

The top ten games for the month of May 1991 were Super Mario Bros. 3, TMNT 2: The Arcade Game, Megam Man 3, Final Fantasy, Dr. Mario, Tetris, Crystalis, Dragon Warrior 2, NES Play Action Football and Ultima.

Another funny section of the magazine was the prizes they would give out. This month the grand prize winner would go on a scavenger hunt for a Sony big screen TV. It was somehow tied into the move Hudson Hawk, staring Bruce Willis. Five second prize winners received a Hudson Hawk movie and game pak, while 25 third place winners got a Nintendo Power t-shirt.

Finally, just around the corn is the Super Nintendo, which will be releasing in just a few months. They teased Super R-Type and Hole In One, and that many Super Famicom games were being brought state side.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 10, 2010 8:45 pm

    Hi!
    For some good reading, check out http://www.goodshortbooks.com.

    You might also be interested in following my blog, http://www.lineofserenity.wordpress.com

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