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Oh, if only we could’ve talked our parents into buying a second, hands-off copy of Super Mario Bros. back in the day. Who knew, in the early 1980s, that a blocky, bouncing Italian plumber would one day be worth as much as a small condo?
Someone just paid ‘80s Ferrari money for a pristine, unopened copy of the original Super Mario Bros. at auction, ponying down $100,150 for what auctioneers say is the very rarest of a small, already-rare handful of similar unopened Mario cartridges sought by NES-loving collectors.
“Of all the sealed copies of Super Mario Bros., this is the only known ‘sticker sealed’ copy and was certified by Wata Games with a Near Mint grade of 9.4 and a ‘Seal Rating’ of A++,” explained Kenneth Thrower, co-founder of collectible valuation company Wata Games, in a press release.
The landmark buy wasn’t the work of a single fan. Rather, a group of Nintendo fans and collectors — mostly people already working in the industry — pooled their resources to nab what’s probably the most well-preserved Mario game cartridge of the NES era.
The group includes “some of the biggest names in video games and collectibles as a whole,” the auction house said. “The buyers include Jim Halperin, Founder and Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; Zac Gieg, owner of Just Press Play Video Games in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Rich Lecce, renowned coin dealer, pioneering video game collector, and owner of Robert B. Lecce Numismatist Inc. of Boca Raton, Florida.”
As gaming matures into a generational passion, Mario is looking more and more like one of its founding fathers; the kind of icon whose value will endure in much the same way as the oldest of old-school comic book heroes. “This is first appearance of the ‘Superman’ of video games,” Gieg said. “We all knew how hard it is to find an open copy of this version in nice condition, but to find one still sealed is truly something I thought I would never see, even after selling vintage video games for over 20 years.”
The standalone sequel, set only a few years after the (kind-of) cataclysmic ending of Far Cry 5, puts you back in the same environment as before. But this time out, the aftermath of the Eden’s Gate doomsday cult’s nuclear collapse has transformed every corner of the original game map. Check out all the subtle and not-so-subtle changes in Ubisoft’s new launch trailer below:
In addition to tackling the rebuilding effort as a new character, New Dawn introduces two new enemies — twin sisters Lou and Mickey, who lead the opportunistic post-apocalyptic gang called the Highwaymen. Early reviews already have hinted at some pretty big spoilers (like what became of cult leader Joseph Seed after the bombs fell) that carry over from Far Cry 5. But with the game so close to release, we’re perfectly happy to wait a few more hours until we can just dive in and see for ourselves.
Far Cry New Dawn releases Feb. 15 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
If playing through New Dawn doesn’t sate your appetite for the post-apocalypse, never fear: Bethesda is standing by with Rage 2, the followup to id Software’s 2010 franchise-making shooter that’s set to debut in May.
In the best glimpse yet at how the Rage game world’s Borderlands-meets Call of Duty landscape will look on current-gen consoles, Bethesda released a chunk of gameplay footage this week showing off a grab-bag of fun new features, from a deadly dance-off to a hair-raising battle against an overpowered, exo-suited enemy.
In addition to all the first-person mayhem, Rage 2 is back with a heavy emphasis on vehicle-based combat, and folds additional light RPG elements into the way you’ll be able to shape the abilities of player character Walker — the last obstacle between power-hungry mutants and the nanotech they need to take over what’s left of the world.
Developed by id Software and Avalanche Studios, Bethesda releases Rage 2 into the wild on May 14.