Hands-On Preview: Nintendo World Championships NES Edition

150 challenges across 13 different NES games coalesce into an electric, addicting experience!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 06/27/2024 12:17 Comment on this     ShareThis

Last week I and Senior Editor Angela Marrujo Fornaca had the opportunity to go hands-on with Nintendo World Championship NES Edition (NWC) in downtown San Francisco. It was a sunny day as we made our way into the building where we were greeted and swiftly taken upstairs to give the game a try. We had about an hour to fool around with NWC and we were ready to go.

The team from Nintendo had us taking on different gameplay modes for our demo. The key thing to understand about NWC is that it’s comprised of pieces of gameplay from across 13 different NES games. This includes Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Balloon Fight, Metroid, and others. There are 150 challenges in total to take on, all with scaleable difficulty levels. If you want things light and breezy, the game will accommodate you, and if you want things tough as nails, it can be that for you, as well. Unlike NES Remix, however, which bears some resemblance to NWC, the focus here is on speed.

Indeed, the first mode we got to try was Speedrun Mode. Players take on challenges with the goal of completing them as fast as possible. These challenges can last seconds in some cases, like grabbing a Super Mushroom in level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros., or minutes, like guiding Kirby all the way to the final door in one of his stages. I found myself getting swept up in the experience almost immediately. Despite this being a timed demo, I very much wanted to get the best times I could while playing. The games are their original NES versions, so anyone familiar with the mechanics and feel of them will be right at home.

From Speedrun Mode we transitioned into Survival Mode. Here, the goal is to take on a curated set of three challenges against the ghost data of eight other players. With each round, the roster reduces down from eight to four to two, so the player has to rank as high as possible each time in order to stay in the competition. There’s the Silver Division, which is the less challenging version of the trial, and Gold Division, which is where things get really tough. Players don’t get to choose the order that the challenges appear, so it’s key to stay on your toes. I had a ton of fun taking on other people’s top times.

Here’s a look at the Deluxe Set of Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition.

From there, Angela and I took on a pair of YouTubers: Andre Meadows of Black Nerd Comedy and Katie Wilson. We competed in a couple rounds of Party Mode and it was a fun, taut battle all the way to the end. It was capped off with a run through three stages of the original arcade Donkey Kong. Andre came out on top in that one, but Angela and I otherwise won the other rounds. I legitimately wanted to keep playing before our time was up. I can easily see NWC becoming a party staple for many people. Its gameplay is incredibly addicting yet also very accessible. If you’re a competitive person, this game will get your engine running, for sure.

Speaking of competition, NWC boasts a pretty robust suite of online options. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience them during the demo, but I feel pretty confident that given the nature of NWC, it should hold up well online. We’ll know for sure once it launches on July 18, but if nothing else, know that it ran swimmingly in local co-op. There are even options to modify the game screen so that, for instance, when taking on Survival Mode challenges, the player can single out their own screen to focus on. It was a small quality of life feature that I really appreciated. There’s also support for the Switch’s wireless NES controllers, for those who want a really authentic feeling retro experience.

Evidence of team Nintendojo’s victory!

There are other touches in NWC that really serve to ramp up the charm factor. A lot of inspiration has been taken from the layout of early Nintendo Power issues for some of the UI screens. Players also get to make their own custom avatars by choosing from a range of NES sprites (with plenty to unlock), as well as add what the game called Hype Tags which say things like “Lost My Save Data,” “Read Every Player’s Guide,” “NES Generation,” and much more. The hype is real for NWC. We left the demo with a lot of optimism for this one and we can’t wait to play the final build in a few weeks.

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