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Monday, March 25, 2013

Nintendo Power of Old

Over the course of the snowy weekend I resumed my seemingly everlasting unpacking process. Okay, so it's everlasting because I haven't done it... at all. It's been a process though; moving a box a week from the kitchen to the furnace room. One of the boxes, however, that got moved read "Nintendo Powers" so I decided to open it up and relive the memories.

I became a subscriber in 1991. It was absolutely awesome to have a magazine come to my house, at the age of eight, and each month I awaited in anticipation for the arrival of that's month's edition. I mean, my parents had Newsweek and I had Nintendo Power.

In my room I had a cabinet that I would place each month's magazine so I have every issue so as I opened the box that had all the issues I was able to go back to those days in 1991. My first thought was, "wow, gaming has come A LONG WAYS!" as there's a preview for Bill Elliott's NASCAR Challenge. To think racing games went from that to the graphical bliss that Gran Turismo is or the realism and structure of iRacing, back then, would be impossible.

This trip to the past was more than just about the games as it took me back to those places and times. The games that were previewed back then that I got I remember getting. In that first issue there was a review of the game Monopoly for the Nintendo. I remember my parents getting me that game. It wasn't on the most pleasant of occasions as I noticed the game under my dad's seat in the car. I didn't mention anything about it because we were on the way to the hospital and I was about to have my tonsils removed. I treasured that came ever since, up until early 2009 when I sold my NES and the 80 games I had because I needed the money to pay my credit card bill.

Another thing that I remembered was, as I mentioned, the anticipation each month for the issue to come in the mail. As the end of the month approached the last few hours of each school day felt like years as, once we were released, I'd run home (I only lived three blocks from school) to either find utter disappointment of sheer elation. That's one thing that I don't think anyone today can feel. What I mean is, think about information on games or anything. Why wait an entire month for reviews or information on games. One can go to ign.com or metacritic and get as much or as little information as they want when they want it. I don't know if this is good, or bad, or either, but there was something about being able to hold the magazine and feel the materials of the magazine.

As I went forward in time and I got to the time that the Super Nintendo was released I went back to that era. Of all the systems that have been released I was most impressed with the Super Nintendo. From Super Mario World, to F-Zero, to SimCity and Pilotwings, I had seen nothing like it. It also probably didn't hurt that it was a birthday gift, but I felt a strong sense of happiness and sorrow all in one. Happy for the memories that were, but sad in that these memories were from over 20 years ago and yet, for me, it felt as if it were five minutes ago.

I eventually got to the issues of the N64 and that era, for me, is one that I don't fully remember as vividly as the previous. School was getting near impossible for me and no one knew why I was different. There was one issue that I won't forget and that is issue #110. Five months prior there was a challenge for the "highest scores in one round on Wheel of Fortune 64." To do this one would get a high score, take a picture (with film and have it developed. Remember those days?) and then send it in. I came up with a slight "trick" to do this and I ended up with the 2nd highest score with the winner doing the same trick as myself, just a little bit more (I didn't want to make it too obvious, the winner did.)

In the end as I scanned my final issues, which was in the 2002 year (Nintendo Power's last issue was December 2012) and I went back to the beginning and noticed the letters section and that did it for me; I was now overwhelmed. Looking at the names of those that wrote in, and some of the pictures of kids dressed as Mario and, well, I felt a wide array of emotions as I wondered who those people are now, what they're doing, and what type of life they've had. It's an odd feeling, it truly is, to be overwhelmed by such a thought like this for people I've never met, never known, and will probably never meet. Perhaps this all was all due to the fact that I don't like change, I struggle with accepting the passage of time, and what more could possibly show all this than being able to go back and visit the past in the form of a magazine. You see, websites can be updated; heck, I can go back and edit any of my blog posts going back to the beginning. My blog has also had several different looks to it over the years and for many people I'm sure web browsers have changed, monitors have changed, but for those magazines, they are like they were on the days I first got them in the mail. The world has progressed, time has moved on, but for a magazine they are frozen in time, and forever will be, and there's something special about that. This is something that, maybe in 100 years, will be unheard of.

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