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My favorite video game magazine is now a podcast!?
You might like…
Nintendo Power Podcast
If y’all know me, you know I’m a bit of a Nintendo historian. So let’s have a quick history lesson.
In the late 1980s, Nintendo needed a way to reach kids (and their parents) at scale. Beginning with a tiny newsletter (Fun Club News,) they ultimately released one of the most popular gaming magazines of the time, Nintendo Power!
In the pre-internet days, magazines were a gamers chance to see previews of new games for the first time, read reviews of what’s hot and what’s not, and learn all those sweet tips, tricks, and secrets to help them beat hard-as-nails NES games like Contra and Mike Tyson’s Punchout.
But the internet did happen, and print magazines began to see a slow decline. Nintendo Power magazine shut down in 2012. 😭
But unexpectedly, in 2017, a new challenger approaches…
Nintendo Power returned in podcast form, described as “the official podcast of Nintendo of America, with discussions and commentary from Nintendo staff and special guests.”
There are 21 episodes in the feed, and they typically release monthly (though sometimes the wait between is a bit longer.)
And like anything official by Nintendo, it’s cover art has that glowing gold Official Seal of Quality. Is it quality, though? Let’s see.
Expect the average episode to be between 30 and 60 minutes.
Who hosts it?
Nintendo Power Podcast is hosted by Chris Slate, a former editor-in-chief, and he’s joined by other members of Nintendo’s internal team. It’s a rotating cast of extras. There’s a ton of variety in their roles at the company, the era of games they grew up with, and their preferred genres, which I really enjoy.
What’s the format?
Fans of Nintendo Power magazine will recognize some of their favorite segments in podcast form!
The Feature: Like Nintendo Power, there’s a main feature. Also like the magazine, it’s often very self-promotional and timely. Example: When a new first-party Nintendo game is about to be released, they’ll ship an episode that spends a ton of time pumping up the game.
Pro’s Picks: Chris and whoever is guest hosting run through the various games they’ve been playing! No surprise here, they’re mostly Nintendo titles!
Player’s Pulse: In Nintendo Power magazine, this was commentary and feedback from readers by way of letters. In the podcast, Chris reads similar comments solicited from the web. In the Gameboy 30th Year Anniversary episode, he digs into user-submitted memories of their first portable.
Warp Zone: Chris quizzes the guests on games and stories that were features in previous Nintendo Power issues from previous decades.
What’s so special about this?
Here’s what I dig the most:
😂 It’s so Nintendo…
I’m a Nintendo geek, so I’ll buy all the hardware, watch every Nintendo Direct, listen to every podcast, and if they released a magazine, or book, I’d be all in.This podcast is such a squeaky clean cog in the Nintendo marketing machine. But SO was Nintendo Power magazine. For a while, the magazine was the marketing machine. In that way, this podcast ends up being the perfect homage to the issues I grew up with. It’s delightfully self-aware, polished, and promotional.
🎮 Hey, this is weird…
Last week I gushed about my love for What’s Good Games’ theme music produced by video game composer, Dale North.Dale produced Nintendo Power’s theme song, too! And while not as catchy, it’s a bit more symphonic and epic. I love it, and you might, too.
🤙 Some rad exclusives…
Chris has access to Nintendo of America, Nintendo of Japan, and many third-party partners and indie developers. Most video game podcasts don’t have this power!In episode one, there’s a detailed interview with Breath of the Wild’s producer, Mr. Eiji Aonuma, and director, Mr. Hidemaro Fujibayashi. There were details shared in that episode that weren’t yet shared.It’s awesome to catch that level of exclusivity from time to time.
What do others say about it?
There’s a 4.8 star rating on Apple Podcasts out of 1.2k reviews!
I always forget there’s a generation that didn’t get to experience gaming magazines the way I did.
Here’s a review from “BeatXAiaiXSonic”
I’m new to Nintendo power because when I grew up the magazine ended, but I love this podcast it has everything a life long Nintendo fan could have I just wish they could start making the magazine again. I would be fine even if they just printed out what they said in the podcast and added pictures. Other wise I love this podcast🕹👍
I already cautioned you to accept that this podcast is part of Nintendo’s marketing machine. Here’s a funny review from “fudgestinkler”
⭐⭐ “Fart noise”
Zero honest conversation about video games. The first episode was an insightful interview with the makers of Breath of the Wild and every episode after that is a well produced hour long commercial for whatever games are announced or just released by Nintendo.
I don’t know. I wouldn’t expect sharp criticism from a company trying to sell their games.
Is it kid-friendly?
Definitely! Some games discussed are rated T or M, but the conversations are super PG. I regularly listen to this with my son, who is also a big Nintendo fan. (Note: You might not care about this… I typically don’t, to be honest, but I’m on an epic quest to find podcasts that I can reliably listen to with my kids in the car!)
Nintendo Power is back!
This is a weird one. It’s not a regular podcast if you are looking for a weekly or bi-weekly show to add to your rotation. Like Nintendo Directs, they just kind of drop whenever, though (also like Nintendo Directs) you can expect them to drop when big games are on the way.
I think this is a must-subscribe for Nintendo fans and Switch owners. If you’re neither of those things, skip it!
Where to listen? What’s a good starting point?
That first episode with the Breath of the Wild interview is a great place to start. Otherwise, catch the latest episode to see what’s new with Nintendo.
👇 Here are your links:
- Apple Podcasts
- Spotify (not on there!)
- Google Podcasts
- Stitcher (not on there!)
- Pocket Casts
- …and more!
Do you already listen to Nintendo Power Podcast? Have you checked it out after reading this? Love it? Hate it? Let me know your feedback!