I recently (April 2023) picked up this early 2005 magazine (before their bigger redesign later in the year) to help fill out my collection. The April 2005 (Vol. 190) magazine features Killer 7 on the cover with leading man Garcian Smith.

The fun starts with Pulse. The magazine had recently redesigned that page (and ditched fan art) but it includes a letter from a young man who bought a copy of Sprung (an abysmal Western dating sim), lamenting his lack of a "boyfriend-free girl" and signed as "Christian C.".

(Sorry for the tiny resolution--sourced from CWCki).

The use of the term "frustrated virgin" might be one of the spicier stuff that Nintendo Power was publishing compared to the more kid-friendly stuff a few years earlier (and also the picture, "YOU BETTER GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE MY BOYFRIEND KICKS YOUR ASS!", but the story of "Christian C.", aka Chris-Chan, is highly detailed and incredibly dark. If you're going to ask the question of "What do you mean, 'silently attract a boyfriend-free girl, mostly with signs'?" you either don't want to know...or I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Pulse also includes a few bits and pieces from the late official Nintendo forums, NSider.

With the GameCube effectively dead at this point, Game Watch shows off more upcoming Nintendo DS titles, which was still young but in the "weird, experimental games" point of the system's lifespan, including Pac-Pix and Another (released as Trace Memory), as well as what would be the first western release of the Gyakuten Saiban series, which would be released later that year as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

All those..."exciting" GameCube games coming soon. Yellow means it was added this month, * means it's a working title.

They had charts, with "Player's Choice" still running though there seemed to be shenanigans afoot. The top game that month was Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament jumping up from #8 to bump off The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap from its #1 position. There's a feature on the M-rated Killer 7, a dual feature on WarioWare: Twisted! and WarioWare: Touched! (Touched! was released first but is chronologically after Twisted!, the latter not yet released).

Compared to the jam-packed with ads magazine it was in later days, there's relatively few ads in this period, and all games (though the magazine's life was suffering at this time). The features continue with TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball, Retro Atari Classics (only one page for that one), Fight Night Round 2 (with a page discussing Super Punch-Out!! for some reason), Yoshi Touch & Go, Pokémon Dash, Mario Party Advance, and some previews for Lost in Blue and would be later known as Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.

There's also strategies for Resident Evil 4 and Star Fox Assault, the latter following up from the last month and starting with the fourth stage.

In addition to the main Player's Poll Sweepstakes contest, there was a contest to win a DVD with three episodes of F-Zero GP (which 4Kids was showing). The main Sweepstakes was focused around Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. As far as contests went, they went with a usual formula: a Grand Prize with something big and the game (maybe a console too), the second prize was just the game, and the third prize was a Nintendo Power t-shirt. In this case, the Grand Prize was Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and a trip to Australia, New Zealand, and the Vanuatu Islands, and the trip-less runner-ups was just the game.

Now Playing, the review section features full reviews for NBA Street V3, WarioWare: Touched! ("Steve" said it was "unequivocally the best DS game available", must not have thought too well about Super Mario 64 DS), and Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament. The mini-reviews follow that, typically with lousier games. Animaniacs: The Great Edgar Hunt and Animaniacs: Lights! Camera! Action! were on there, despite Animaniacs being off the air for several years at that point, three games titled Robots (based after the 2005 film), a different one on each console, as well as Strike Force Bowling, Ace Combat Advance, and Super Army War.

I remember seeing ads like this in magazines, but my cynical side says this is just a money sink and/or you're out of luck if you don't live in northwest Washington.

You can read along with the Archive.org version, which helped with some of the scans.

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