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ASK WHEELS
Nintendo Powered Down
August 31st, 2012

08/31- 12:00PM EST

Oh Nintendo Power, we hardly knew ye! Many gamers grew up on this magazine during its glory days, and I'm sure it created many RPGamers thanks to free copies of Dragon Warrior. The guides for RPGs helped as well, as I'm sure you all know how tough early RPGs could be. Anyway several of you sent in your Nintendo Power memories, and I encourage you all to keep sending them in as the magazine closes in on its final issue. Feel free to write in on any other topics as well!

On to the letters!





The Letters
Platform Specific Coverage

I remember when Nintendo Power pointed me in the direction of a lot of DS games like CV, AA, and Hotel Dusk.

-OnyxOblivion


Wheels

I'm left to puzzle out exactly which games you mean when you say CV and AA. I'm guessing AA is Ace Attorney? Anyway, the DS has a lot of quirky games on it, and I think one of the things the current Nintendo Power did very well was covering a wide range of games that bigger video game magazines don't cover extensively. Actually this is something the magazine did quite well throughout its history. Would many of us have ever given Dragon Warrior a try if they hadn't given it away for free? Or would we have tried Final Fantasy if they didn't cover it extensively? Nintendo Power wasn't afraid to cover the little guy (OK, not sure why fear would be involved here).

Dragon Warrior Guide

Operation Success or Failure

Hmm... I have a strange relationship with NP? I never had a subscription (I think); I inherited all my brother's issues of it.


Wheels

Well that's OK, I'm sure there were a lot of amazing issues there, and I'm guessing you were too young to buy a subscription yourself anyway.

That said, I loved reading through all of them and seeing what games had come out. I also remember 4 strategy guides?


Wheels

Oh yeah, Nintendo Power used to publish all sorts of strategy guides. I assume they came with the subscription. There were a few guides that weren't for one game, but were collections of Game Boy or NES games, which is where I got tips for Final Fantasy Legend.

NES Game Atlas

Like, one of them was just for the first Final Fantasy and another was for Super Mario Bros. 3


Wheels

Yes, the Final Fantasy guide! I never actually owned the original Final Fantasy, but read through the guide multiple times, imagining what it would be like to play the game. Of course, when I finally was able to play the game it was a bit disappointing due to the slowness, but I did eventually get to enjoy it through the remakes. Still, that guide alone made me very interested in the series, and probably got me to beg my parents to buy me Final Fantasy Legend.

Final Fantasy Guide

Oh, well... it's really not much more than that? I mean, I don't remember it too well... ^^;;;


Wheels

That's OK, the glory days were quite a long time ago. Perhaps this will jog some of your memory:

Nester

Nintendo Power had some incredible comics.

Consequently, I still hold on to them and even used the Final Fantasy guide when I finally played the PSX version. :)

(I quickly noticed that the bosses had twice the HP, but that was basically the only difference!) *end*
wwreyes


Wheels

Well, I think the PSX version was a harder version or something, at least harder than the GBA version. Still, their guides were quite good and I wish they'd reprint them in some kind of digital form. Would be nice to have with some of the Virtual Console games!

SaGa SaGa SaGa

Heya Wheels,
long time reader of your Q & A here at rpgamer and I just wrote to say that in one of your more recent letters someone said the Secret of mana was the best Mana game. Well I must say I object to that and say that Seiken Densetsu 3 (what most emulator sites unofficially call Secret of Mana 2), hell I also think that Secret of evermore is a better Mana game then secret of mana, and that's not even part of the series.


Wheels

I can't agree with that, I still prefer Secret of Mana to the other two, but I can understand where you're coming from. Certainly they're all great games, why not just enjoy them all and not waste time squabbling over which is the best? Also don't forget that some people haven't even played Seiken Densetsu 3, so they may not be taking that into consideration.

I would like to know 5 rpgs games that you like that  are generally met with ambivalence to outright disdain among the major gaming populace.


Wheels

Sure, I'll give you my five:

1. Resonance of Fate - A very original and interest RPG from tri-Ace. It ditched the lengthy and annoying narrative of their previous release, and instead focused on the challenging battle mechanics. There is story of course, but it focuses more on developing the personalities of the party rather than the overall narrative. No idea why this game got so much disdain from the press and gamers. It can be hard to get into, but didn't the same people complain about too much hand holding from Final Fantasy XIII?

2. All of the SaGa games - Seriously, people really don't give these games enough credit. I know Unlimited Saga kind of destroyed good will towards the series, but Romancing SaGa is one of the best PS2 games of all time. No one paid it any heed.

3. Nier - Amazing soundtrack, fun gameplay, haunting story, but reviews didn't get it? Sorry, I don't get you reviewers. It isn't the perfect game for sure, but I feel like I played something completely different from what reviewers talked about.

4. Front Mission - I haven't played most of the series, but the series doesn't seem to get any attention in the US, despite the popularity of series like Mechwarrior. I don't really get it. It seems like this should have a decent following.

5. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles - Crystal Bearers - Don't be haters!

My five would be

1. Nier (you either love it or hate it)


Wheels

I loved it, and haven't found many who didn't. I still don't get the majority of negative reviews. I think it managed to sell decently anyway.

2. The Last Remnant (PC version. The Xbox version is an unplayable mess.)


Wheels

This game was leagues better on the PC, but at that point it was probably too late for gamers to care. It's a shame, as it really is an interesting RPG. At the very least it's on Steam so people can still find it easily if they're curious. Heck you can plug in a 360 controller and play it exactly like on console. Highly underrated game.

3. Trinity Universe. (of all the idea factory games that have come out this generation, this is the only one I can think of that doesn't have the Compile Heart logo on it, even thou it's largely billed as being a compile heart game.)


Wheels

I could never get myself to try this one, I was too burned by Cross Edge. I'm just going to have to take your word for it that it isn't utter garbage.

4. Resonance of Fate. (needs a sequel with even more gun types and a Valkyria Chronicles style battle system, although it'll probably never happen)


Wheels

I couldn't agree more. This has quickly become one of my favorite games of all time. The world needs more Resonance of Fate.

5. The SaGa series. Been a fan of Akitoshi Kawazu's creation since SaGa 3, AKA Final Fantasy Legend 3 (first SaGa game I played. Might be why I liked the Last Remnant since its as close as we've gotten to an HD SaGa game this generation.)

Thanks for listening, reading, etc.
-H


Wheels

Well you may be shocked to learn that Kawazu was actually not involved with SaGa 3, which would explain why it is so different from the other games in the series. Thankfully he was in charge of the much better remake of the game. Anyway, the SaGa games are great and more people need to give them a shot. Thanks for this excellent list!

No RPGs No Deal

My biggest memory of Nintendo Power was when I resubbed after a year or so and the RPG segment was gone. I stopped caring after that.

-CoflSilk


Wheels

I suppose it is hard to find good RPG coverage at times, so I can't blame you for being disappointed in the removal of that fine section. Still, Nintendo Power did a fine job covering RPGs even without their own specific section. You know at this point I wish someone would just like, make a website totally devoted to RPGs. That would be rad! You could call it... RPGameplayingperson!

Secret
                                        of Mana

Without NP I never would have beat Super Castlevania IV. Games back then were bear impossible without the mag.
InstaTrent


Wheels

If they intended the games to be impossible without people buying the guides, they certainly succeeded right? Many of the guides they put out were simply invaluable. I know it would have taken me ages to beat Final Fantasy Legend without some Nintendo Power assistance. Nintendo power made us all better gamers, which I suppose isn't needed as much in modern games.

Castlevania
IN CLOSING

That's it for this week folks, feel free to keep sending me Nintendo Power memories!

-Wheels


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