With a mini game presentation similar to the Warioware titles, NES Remix puts a creative tweak on classic 8-bit developed Nintendo games. In truth, these challenges are something that gamers have been doing unofficially for years but this exclusive Wii U downloadable title provides a sense of accomplishment as new scores are always earned, new games are periodically unlocked, and speed records are broken.
This is not a compilation but rather a retelling of old games with new short-term objectives. For example, the player is tasked with defeating two enemies with fruit in the Donkey Kong Jr., must land perfectly three times in a row in Excitbike, or finish a stage in Super Mario Bros. as Mario is constantly running at top speed. With a dozen games to choose from, many of which are unlocked as progress is made, there is plenty of content available.
Unfortunately, many of these games have not aged as well as older gamers will remember and some objectives require a frustratingly high amount of perseverance to clear. Mario Bros., the original single-screen 2-player game with the POW box, is particularly unfriendly as play control is much too slippery and floaty for gamers used to pixel perfect analog control today. Even the original Legend of Zelda isn’t as accurate as remembered as simply moving in the standard four directions is more challenging than is desired. Having grown up playing all these classic games, a part of me wants to give the benefit of the doubt due to the significant increase in visual resolution. Thanks to the high def support, these games have never looked better but also now feel like they control a little differently with the increased clarity. But either way, some games and some objectives are more entertaining and more creative than others.
Depending on the game and objective, the player is offered three attempts to complete a specific task. If you fail too many times, the player is given the option to try again but can only achieve one out of three stars, the lowest possible rank. In summary, more stars equal more unlocked content so it is to the player’s benefit to retry until a perfect three star score is achieved. For really fast completion times, a rainbow score is earned and besting all these ridiculous records will take a ton of effort, skill, and patience. It gives the player something to aim for but will only be achieved by a dedicated few.
Besides playing these old games with microgame-like challenges, the Remixed stages are the most creative. Playing an Excitbike stage with only the light coming from your bike’s headlight, having a camera that zooms in or out really far, or controlling two Marios at once put crazy and new twists on these old games. These Remixed stages are by far the most interesting and the cream of the crop thanks to new and interesting mechanics not seen before in these old titles.
Outside of experiencing the inevitable frustration, the library of games is questionable. However, at the time of this review, NES Remix 2 is already released and I obtained this NES Remix for free thanks to the 2014 Club Nintendo Platinum gift. While I definitely don’t mind playing through the Donkey Kong games, the classic Mario titles, Balloon Fight, Excitbike and the Legend of Zelda, I was hoping for some Mario 3, Kid Icarus, or even Metroid mini games. But again, that is what sequels are for. However, I really wish Nintendo would stop trying to revive Urban Champion. Please, that is enough with this game already; stop re-releasing it. Wrecking Crew is another interesting choice and Clu Clu Land also just needs to go away.
NES Remix is a great way to dip into Nintendo’s old library and older gamers should appreciate the new spin put on these titles they grew up with. Just don’t be surprised about the frustration that comes with it.
Not As Good As: playing through each old game in their entirety
Also Try: NES Remix 2
Wait For It: SNES Remix
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com