I found out this morning that Nintendo Power announced yesterday (on Tuesday August 21st, 2012), that they would not be renewing their contract with their current publishers (Future Publishing) and the final issue's release date will be December 2012. As of this writing, there's still not a whole lot of information out there regarding the final days of Nintendo Power, but this guy will definitely be sad to see them go.
My subscription to Nintendo Power began with the September/October 1989 issue, although "how" that subscription came about, I am not entirely sure. I can guess though that one of those flyers came with either the system that my sisters and I got for Christmas or in a subsequent game that was purchased. My neighbor across the street was actually a member of the Nintendo Fun Club and had those issues as well as the massive tome that predated what we now know as strategy guides. Dr. Potts was also a subscriber for many a year. My subscription ended though with the July 2011 issue as I had just moved up to Portland, was jobless and couldn't justify renewing when I had no income and quickly dwindling funds.
But wow. I was a subscriber for nearly 22 years. 71 percent of my life was spent in wait for the beginning of the month when the mailman would bring me my copy of Nintendo Power. I would read those things from cover-to-cover. I would even bring them to school, up until I lost an issue sometime in 3rd grade when I lent issue #22, the Metal Storm cover issue to a kid in class and he never returned it. I even managed to hold onto most of my issues until I moved and knew that I was just holding onto magazines that I hadn't looked at in about a decade. I did keep a few issues that had some kind of sentimental attachment to or if they had something to do with Mario Paint that I knew I could use for cross stitching.
Nintendo Power was such a large part of my early childhood. Keep in mind, my childhood consisted of the late 1980s through the mid 1990s. The internet wasn't accessible let alone known about by the public at large until the later half of the 1990s. GameFAQs didn't exist until 1995 and even then it was incredibly small compared to what it grown into. The only source of gaming information and questions pertaining to "how to kill that stupid boss enemy" were answered for me by Nintendo Power. I relished that information and would have to occasionally fight with my older sister over who got to read the newest issue first.
Even into my 20's and the year and-a-half I was a subscriber into my 30's, I always got that familiar feeling whenever I picked up my new issue. Granted the intensity of that feeling may have been less and less as I got older, but it was always there. It was like receiving a bound together package of nostalgia that was also full of current gaming information. Even after the magazine was taken over by Future Publishing and the style of writing and articles changed a bit to cater towards older audiences (as articles were now being written by people who had grown up with the magazine as I had), articles, interviews fun to read despite the fact that it was a printed publications with some information which may have been "breaking" during publication but "old hat" by the time issues were delivered.
I don't know how many times I wrote to Nintendo Power's Counselor's Corner department asking questions about how to pass certain areas or for their opinions on games that were never reviewed by Nintendo Power staff, (this was done for Enix's Paladin's Quest among others). Only once did I have to call the hotline for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link because I couldn't locate the new town of Kasuto. I think I paid back my parents the $5 (which was their money to begin with since I earned that doing chores), which went to my grandparent's as it was their phone that I used. I still never was able to kill Shadow Link on my own and ended up becoming so frustrated that I had to use Game Genie.
So now I say farewell, Nintendo Power. Your strategy guides were well coveted and worn out by the end of games. You served us all well. You will be missed, but not forgotten.
Classified Information (manila colored pages)
Howard & Nester Comics
Fold Out Posters & Maps
Power Players Challenge / The Arena
Yes, I Just Wrote A Eulogy For A Gaming Magazine.