Issue #2: A Celebration of Sequels – March/April 2013
How do you follow up such a huge success as our debut issue? By making a sequel issue that is itself all about sequels! Rather than just creating one magazine after another defined only by the time of their release, we established the practice of having an overall theme that guided the content of each new issue here with #2 – and the first theme was celebrating all the other #2s out there. We also featured Luigi as our cover star for the first time in “The Year of Luigi” (he’d go on to appear on two more covers before the end of 2013), and this issue was also the first to be offered to subscribers! Issue #1 was a standalone product, existing all by itself. Issue #2 is when subscriptions – both print and digital – first began, so anyone who signed up to join the Force in advance of #2’s release became a true NF Ambassador.
Inside the pages of Issue #2, our content was refined and expanded beyond what Issue #1 had offered – thanks in large part to the addition of four new team members to our Nintendo Force staff. Our first new arrival was Brett Martin of The Video Game Memorabilia Museum, who brought his in-depth expertise of all video game merchandise in to revive Nintendo Power’s “Collector’s Corner” feature. It’s become a recurring feature that’s run in each issue since.
Our second new arrival to the staff starting with Issue #2 was Emily Rogers, one of the Internet’s most well-respected industry analyzers – and who also seems to personally be friends with all developers who’ve ever worked on any game that’s come to Nintendo’s platforms. Emily brought her skills as the eShop Whisperer to our team and immediately contributed an engrossing instructional feature that explained the path new developers should take to get their games published into the Big N’s Wii U and 3DS eShops.
FROM 1 TO 2
In adopting content-guiding themes for each issues, we set the precedent with Issue #2 to present a key, central feature that explores each theme specifically. For “A Celebration of Sequels,” our feature was “From 1 to 2,” which took a look at all the different ways developers have approached the task of designing follow-up games in the wake of great successes. From direct numbered sequels to enhanced remakes, from spin-off stories to prequels, we put the spotlight on them all – and interview four different development teams to get their first-hand accounts of what challenges they’ve faced in making sequels.
THE 30 YEARS OF LUIGI
Luigi’s official 30th birthday didn’t arrive until summer, but we started the celebration of The Year of Luigi a bit early – since he was on the cover of the issue, after all, with the release of the incredible Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Our 30 Years of Luigi feature stepped back in time to the Man in Green’s first days, then walked back forward to present day one year at a time, highlighted his great successes and biggest starring roles in each calendar year along the way.
THEN & NOW
Destructoid’s Tony Ponce was another new addition to the Nintendo Force writing team starting with this issue, and he immediately established a recurring column to call his own by crafting “Then & Now” for our Retro section. Each installment of Then & Now turns the microscope on a different gaming franchise, analyzing what its gameplay mechanics were like years ago when its first games were being released – and then contrasting that with a look at how the series’ most modern sequels play today. Castlevania was the first franchise to be examined, and since then the feature has tackled Mario’s RPGs, the Donkey Kong games, the Pokémon series and more.
Finally, NF Magazine’s Issue #2 restored another important feature from Nintendo Power’s modern era – interviewing game developers to create personal profiles of the impact they’ve had on the gaming industry. Interviewing champion Jonathan Holmes took command of this new, recurring section and called up Sean Velasco of Yacht Club Games to be the first to step into the spotlight. It was good timing, too, as Yacht Club had just announced its existence and launched the Kickstarter campaign to fund its first game, Shovel Knight.