Platform: Wii U
Release Date: April 25, 2014
Hours Played: 7 hours
Favorite Part: Playing Super Luigi Bros.
No more than 6 months ago, we saw the release of NES Remix, a Game and Watch Gallery-style re-imagining of the classics from Nintendo’s NES library. Much like its predecessor, NES Remix 2 targets the heart strings of those who grew up in an era where Nintendo was king.
In spite of this, it doesn’t neglect modern gamers, instead converting the signature elements of the games it represents into consumable portions that can easily be played marathon-style, or in short, casual bursts.
Contrary to the story-heavy games that we’ve come to favor over the years, the strictly gameplay-oriented style of NES Remix 2 is an exciting take on classics like Kirby’s Adventure and Dr. Mario. Instead of giving you the whole game, you’re expected to complete mission-like tasks that operate within the world of that game (such as “defeat all the blue viruses” in Dr. Mario).
As you progress, each new stage becomes more difficult and demanding than the last. But should any stage become too much for you to handle, don’t fret – just play a game from different genre. Super Mario Bros. 3 got you down? Throw down in a few rounds of Punch-Out!. Can’t slug it out in the ring? Drop into Wario’s Woods. When things get too heated in one series, you have plenty of other options to sift through.
Luckily, the challenges aren’t very time-consuming. Most of them run about a minute to a minute-and-a-half in length, giving them the flashy, punchy feel of Warioware matched with the meaty, fleshed-out fun of Mario Party‘s best mini-games. None of the challenges overstay their welcome; they hit you hard and fast with an espresso shot of entertainment.
What really makes the NES Remix series interesting are its “Remix” stages. These stages take elements from two different titles in the Nintendo universe, combining them into one to give players an original twist on something familiar.
One of my favorite examples is the “Whispy Woods” boss fight Remix. A wall of Boos approaches from the left each time Kirby turns to attack Whispy. The Boos act as a visual timer, creating a sense of pressure and intensity during what is typically a simple boss battle.
“Championship Mode” is the latest addition to the NES Remix franchise. Similar to Nintendo World Championships, “Championship Mode” sets a timer at 6’21” and pushes you to get through three challenges as fast as you possibly can. It then keeps your personal best posted on the title screen, pitting your score against all the top scores from players around the world (assuming your console is connected to the Internet).
The main game challenges are ranked a bit differently. As you cut through each stage, you’re ranked on your performance and awarded stars. The more stars you get, the more challenges you unlock. Additionally, doing well in stages earns you “bits” that can then be converted into stamps to use in your Miiverse posts.
Finally, there’s Super Luigi Bros., a mirrored version of the original Super Mario Bros. that’s surprisingly difficult. For almost thirty years, gamers have grown accustomed to playing Super Mario Bros. a certain way. Super Luigi Bros. has you running the opposite direction, and this simple change forces you to relearn everything you thought you knew about Super Mario Bros. The first time I played it, I felt disoriented, despite it being a game that should have been second nature to me.
Refreshing, Nostalgic Challenges – Buy It!
While NES Remix 2 caters specifically to the nostalgia nut, it provides a fine array of challenges to those unfamiliar with Nintendo’s classic NES library and enough unique content to keep video game veterans interested. The only major issue with the game is that some of the earlier challenges feel a bit too much like tutorials when most of them are fairly pick-up-and-play.
At $15, you’re getting the main challenges, Championship Mode, and Super Luigi Bros. (which I consider a full game on its own). NES Remix 2 doesn’t break the bank, and you’re definitely getting a good bang for your buck.