Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition Hands-On Preview

Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition Hands-On Preview

I slightly missed the NES. Born in ‘89 and not coming into gaming properly for another 4-5 years meant that I missed the opportunity to get intimate with the console’s library. Sure, I went back and played the original Mario games through Super Mario All-Stars, I did my due diligence by checked out where Zelda began, I also explored the Metroid’s and Duck Hunt’s of the world, but I missed the heyday, and didn’t get to live the dream of being with Nintendo from the very beginning. There is something to be said for just being there, in the zeitgeist, and experiencing everything in the moment, and while I’ve had that with every other Nintendo platform, the NES experience escaped me. It’s because of this history that I was so intrigued by Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition because it’s a fresh, exciting take on those classics, and allows a whole new demographic of gamers to feel like they’re discovering those games for the first time as well. I was invited to Nintendo Australia last week to check out the game, and I came away incredibly impressed from my time with the game.

For those who’ve been out of the loop on this one, which I certainly was as I initially attributed the game to be some ultra bundle of the classics, Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition is a collection of challenges, ripped from the classics. From Super Mario Bros, to Metroid, Kid Icarus, to Balloon Fight, The Legend Of Zelda to Kirby’s Adventure, Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition gives players an enormous line-up of classic Nintendo titles to jump into with a lengthy line-up of challenges to complete. These can be played solo or in groups, going head-to-head in an assortment of challenges like races to the flagpole in Mario, clearing a space of enemies in Zelda, being the quickest to reach an upgrade in Metroid, and much more. 

In solo play you’re racing yourself and trying to best your previous efforts with letter grades from C to S awarded for your accomplishments. When in multiplayer, you’ll not only get the letter grade but the opportunity to for some clout as you best your buddies in classic Donkey Kong and more. There are a range of challenge packs and Silver and Gold DivisionCups available for you to explore, and these are a collection of pre-selected challenges for you to complete. Imagine a Mario Kart Cup with it’s predesignated courses, only the four that you take part in can be wrapped up in the same amount of time as one Mario Kart races. Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition is rapid fire, and as I played against colleagues from other outlets, I found the stress levels building and the competitive juices pumping as I wanted to keep any semblance of momentum I had going, chasing the next victory. Online multiplayer is an option if you cannot get a group of players on the couch together, and player Ghosts are available too if you’re looking to optimise your run to chase a certain result or best a friend’s score.

The challenges have been classified into one of four different difficulty tiers, from Normal to Hard, Master, and Legend, with a currency (coins) that you accrue from completing other challenges being the tool to unlock more and more difficult challenges. Players will have their own preferences in terms of system to unlock challenges, whether that be initially focussing on their favourites and chasing the hardest challenges, or sharing the love across the board, but regardless of the approach, there is a lot of content here to consume. 

Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition draws on the genius of these classic titles and sprinkles atop it the chaos that ensues from a Mario Party of Mario Kart in terms of its delivery. The games won’t be wowing you visually, but the UI is very cleverly designed, the games still play like you remember (warts and all in some cases), and the competitive systems are well-tuned to ensure that players will have a lot of fun with this one when it launches next month. I came in cynical and walked out converted. We’ll see how the online infrastructure and balancing come together in the final product’s full launch, but it’s hard to see this not appealing to retro gamers and a more modern group of gamers as well.

Time Until Launch (July 18, 2024)


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