My experience at the Nintendo World Championships ‘15 Qualifier Rounds

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Earlier this month, Nintendo announced their E3 plans for 2015 which included the Digital Event on June 16 at 9 a.m., the streaming of games at the Developer Treehouse throughout the show, and the Mario Maker demo events at Best Buy on June 17th and 20th. However, what’s interesting is that they’re bringing back the Nintendo World Championships, a video game competition that took place in 1990.

In order to play in the Championships, players had to visit 1 of the 8 different Best Buy locations on May 30th across the U.S. to play Ultimate NES Remix on the Nintendo 3DS XL. For those who don’t know, NES Remix is a game that revisits portions of classic Nintendo Entertainment System games each with their own objective. To win the qualifiers, you had to collect 50 coins in Super Mario Bros, then 25 in Super Mario Bros 3, and finally rack up the highest score possible in Dr. Mario all within 6 minutes. Owners of NES Remix got the “Championship Mode” on their copies of the game so that they could practice within a few weeks time. My friend and I made the trip to the San Francisco location to compete and this is how it turned out.

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We showed up just before 8 a.m. and there was already a line, unsurprisingly. This is one of those events that people camp out for, but considering they were going to take 750 participants throughout the day there was really no need to. It was cold and we waited outside for 2 and a half hours. Nintendo said the event was going to start at 9 a.m., but when it finally reached that time we were only approached by a few representatives handing out forms and wristbands. They also gave us Best Buy stickers to put on our devices so the company knew it was ours.

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They started to take in groups of around 30 at a time. When we did finally get in, there was a booth that had tables of Nintendo 3DS XLs with Ultimate NES Remix installed on all of them. We were told that when we finish, we were not supposed to press “A” when the final scores were displayed so that they could write them down. Couldn’t they have just gathered the scores by having us upload them online through the game? Seems more convenient to me. We thought the qualifiers would last longer than they actually did, but when it was revealed that our scores weren’t the highest to get into the Championships, there wasn’t much of a point in staying.

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As for my take on the Nintendo World Championship Qualifier Rounds, it was easily the worst Nintendo-related event I’ve ever been to. Of course, it would’ve been more fun if we placed high and possibly won, but we were hoping for a fun experience overall; we weren’t just in it to win it. I haven’t been to many of these events despite how much of a Nintendo fan I am, but my friend that was with me has been to plenty of these and he said it was easily the worst. The majority of it was spent sitting in line out in the cold along with security guards and representatives telling us when to move and where to go to. I also don’t see why Nintendo would even choose Ultimate NES Remix. A lot of people speculated that players would have to compete using montages of modern titles (Mario Kart 8, then Super Smash Bros, then Hyrule Warriors, etc.) but it looks like they’re sticking to NES ones for some reason

What does this mean for the Championships? Will the 8 finalists have to compete using a different NES Remix course? Will they have to play a surprise reveal game like they did in the movie The Wizard? Who knows? All I know is that they couldn’t have picked a worse way to have people enter.

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Joey Ferris
Joey Ferris 260 posts

l love to play games and write stuff about them. I can't play something and not tell anyone how I feel about it. Call it a sickness, because it is.