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WWF Wrestlemania 2000 - Nintendo Power #127 [December 1999]
I still can remember peeling off the plastic wrap around my copy of WWF Wrestlemania 2000. THQ/AKI had moved on from making wrestling games based on the WCW license, and this title was their first attempt at creating something using the characters from Vince McMahon’s promotion. I kinda knew what I was in for as the early screenshots resembled their previous wrestling games, but I could have never had imagined all the tweeks and changes made to make the gameplay even better than WCW/nWo: Revenge!
Best part of the game — they finally included the wrestler’s entrance themes!!
Full Wrap-Around Cover for Nintendo Power #88 [September 1996]
I don’t think I ever picked up on this whenever I first laid my eyes upon this cover, but it seems that Nintendo Power introduced their readers to the Nintendo 64 by revealing the method of how to defeat Bowser in the (at-that-time) unreleased Super Mario 64.
“Mortal Kombat II: Unedited. Uncut. Unbelievable” - Nintendo Power #62 [September 1994]
I could have posted a cleaner cut of this cover that somebody else scanned, but this wear and tear is a bit personal as it was due to having this particular issue shuffle around my backpack for months. As a matter of fact, the Mortal Kombat II section was so worn out that I ended up having to laminate the section just to keep everyone’s special moves and fatalities from being lost.
Fun thing about that is the entire Mortal Kombat II part is completely missing now.
Artwork for World 3 - Nintendo Power Strategy Guide for Super Mario Bros. 3 
Let’s be honest here — the Frog Suit desperately needs to make a comeback to get through any and all Mario water levels.
WWF Wrestlemania Artwork - Nintendo Power #4 [Jan/Feb 1989]
I’m not too sure if these photos came from Acclaim Entertainment or Nintendo Power themselves, but I cannot believe that someone of authority looked at these and signed off on them.
No. Not really.
Pak Watch Previews Earth Bound (NES) - Nintendo Power #18 [Nov/Dec 1990]
As someone who absolutely loved playing Earthbound for the SNES, I find it amazing to see how close Nintendo was to releasing an NES Earth Bound in 1991. The game was never released in America but had a successful release in Japan under another name — Mother.
If you look around online, you can find a working version of the game that’s been completely translated into English by a fan translation group that purchased a prototype cartridge online in 1998. It was redubbed EarthBound Zero and was uploaded for the fans in America who never got their chance to play through the quirky title.
“Nintendo Classics Reissued!” - Nintendo Power #18 [Nov/Dec 1990]
It’s funny — I’ve always thought that Nintendo removed Mike Tyson from this classic title due to the boxer facing rape charges.
As it would turn out, this blurb in Nintendo Power was absolutely correct as they removed Tyson and replaced him with Mr. Dream for a limited number of new cartridges. However, Mike Tyson’s arrest and incarceration DID put the breaks on an official Punch-Out!! sequel that was in the works.
Soon after the release of Punch-Out!!, Beam Software began developing an official sequel starring Mike Tyson with manager Don King. Originally titled Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch, the game was supposed to take the series into outer space where Tyson would participate in an intergalactic boxing tournament against various space aliens.
The game’s production ran into immediate trouble, however, following Tyson’s incarceration for the rape of Desiree Washington. Beam changed the Tyson character’s name to Mark Tyler and modified King but did little to change Tyson’s in-game character sprite.
Nintendo saw the game and disliked it, refusing to publish it due to lack of quality. Eventually, American Softworks Corp. published the title, and the game was released on the NES as Power Punch II, despite the fact that it was the first Power Punch title.
If you’re thinking about searching for a Power Punch II ROM, I wouldn’t waste my time. I remember renting it back in the day and thinking it was absolute garbage. I can see why Nintendo didn’t want it published and tied to their boxing franchise.
“Super Mario Bros. 2 Sports Festival” - Nintendo Power #1 [July/August 1988]
More off-model art featuring Mario characters, this time showcasing each person’s unique abilities for Super Mario Bros. 2. To be perfectly honest, you didn’t really need to pick anybody but Princess Toadstool to beat the game. Sure, Toad was faster at picking up turnips, but the Princess could float the entire length of a football field!
Sidenote: I think Nintendo has really dropped the ball by not returning to the weird world of Sub-Con in any Mario title since. Will Wart ever make his return to challenge Mario, Luigi and rest of the the Mushroom Kingdom gang*!?
*spoiler alert: nope.