NES Remix sounds like the perfect compilation for Nintendo’s Wii U console. Basically it is a mash-up of 16 classic NES titles, broken into smaller, mini-game like challenges. Instead of just re-releasing the original Zelda game for the 117th time, these challenges actually tug at nostalgia, while also presenting them in ways I hadn’t seen before. It is fresh and interesting, giving new life to these games instead of just regurgitating them in the original form.
The structure of Remix is straightforward. The classic games I know and love are broken down into their core ideas and presented in a sort of WarioWare bite-sized fashion. For example, the Super Mario Bros. section had me defeating Bowser with only fireballs or jumping a set number of barrels in Donkey Kong. They take only seconds to complete and are usually timed to give a sense of urgency.
Each stage also has a three-star scoring system ala Angry Birds, that kept me coming back to attempt perfection. Stars unlock new levels and items such as stickers for Miiverse posts, so the addiction of collection is definitely present.
The best parts of Remix though are, well, the ‘remix’ sections. These toss characters into games they don’t belong to. For example, seeing Link in Donkey Kong or adding elements such as slick surfaces to games that didn’t originally have them spice up the action. These are by far the best parts of Remix. Taking elements from the classics I knew and loved and tossing out the rule book entirely are what make this package worth a purchase. The standard challenges are novel, but I wish they had made the entire game based around the remix portions.
Completing challenges and unlocking new ones is addictive, but not all is grand in the land of Remix. For better or worse, all these titles play like they did originally. That means some of the more obscure titles, ones that were not the best in the first place, are still a chore. Tweaking titles like Ice Climbers or Clu Clu Land would have done wonders, but sadly their archaic mechanics make their challenges a chore to play.
It is also sad that there is absolutely no multiplayer to speak of, not even local. Instead I was forced into passing the controller around and keeping manual track of scores; antiquated I know. Players can add Miiverse drawings and posts to each challenge, and they will randomly show up next to each one, but this also just leads to some crudely drawn characters and obvious statements. It isn’t intuitive or even remotely entertaining. The lack of leader boards is however the worst crime of all.
NES Remix is a fun time waster that had me reliving the memories of my childhood once again. For $15 though it feels like a bit overpriced for what I got out of it. Still, with the Wii U library needing a bit more diversity it is a fun purchase and one that will entertain fans of NES era games enough to warrant picking it up. Just don’t expect a lot of modern design to make its way into the experience.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.