Some collectors have paid more than $10,000 to be able to play Nintendo World Championships. Now you can do it for next to nothing. Sort of.
What's considered one of the rarest game to ever appear on a Nintendo system -- if not the entire video game world -- is about to become more widely available, though in a slightly different format.
NES Remix, a downloadable title for the Wii U that features short, arcade versions of classic games, will release its second volume on April 25. If you own the first -- and buy the second – you’ll unlock Championship Mode, which will let you experience elements of the ultra-rare Nintendo World Championships.
Let's back up a bit. First, the reason Nintendo World Championships is so rare is that it was never really a game to begin with. It was a compilation of three games that made up a 1990 competition that took place across 29 cities, based on the revered Fred Savage video game film, “The Wizard.”
Players had 6 minutes and 21 seconds to collect 50 coins in Super Mario Bros., finish a custom race in Rad Racer and then spend the remaining time getting as high a score as possible in Tetris. Winners scored a $10,000 savings bond, a “big-screen” TV (like, old big-screen) and a gold Mario statue. Finalists, however, got to keep one of the 90 game cartridges, with 26 rarer ones being distributed by Nintendo Power magazine. These days, those cartridges are considered collector's items and have sold for up to $18,000.
Sadly, the new version isn't an exact replica of the original Nintendo World Championships. While Super Mario Bros. is the first leg, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Dr. Mario complete the challenge. The time limitations remain the same, though, and people will be able to compete with friends by posting their score to the Miiverse.
It's not quite the same, but on the bright side, you don't have to shell out thousands of dollars to see what all the fuss is about.