NES Remix (WU) – GameSaga Review



NES Remix is exactly what it what sounds like, classic NES games remade for the modern era. But these aren’t your typical HD remakes like you’d find on other consoles, no these are designed to be quite similar graphically speaking to the original games, but adding in new or refined challenges. For example in some of the Super Mario Bros. stages, you’ll find yourself having to defeat say 15 enemies within a time limit, or get to the end of the stage without the ability to stop running. In one Donkey Kong Jr. stage, Mario turns out the lights on you periodically as you have to make your way to the top while dodging hazards along the way. In a Mario Bros. stage, you have 2 Mario’s, not unlike the Double Cherry power up from Super Mario 3D World and you have to get all the coins within the allotted time limit (15 seconds). It may not sound difficult when you read it, but when actually playing, it is much more difficult given the very floaty mechanics of the original Mario Bros. The remix stages all have a sort of HD makeover look to them and it looks great on a HDTV. This might be what it would’ve been like in the 80′s had modern HD technology existed back then. Pretty cool stuff. Want to get your own copy of NES Remix? You can purchase eShop cards through Amazon by clicking this affiliate link and use it towards the purchase of the game.

The music in the game is mostly the same songs we all remember, though there is some new stuff added in for the menu screens and the like as well. There’s also stamps to collect in NES Remix, which is a feature first seen in Nintendo Land. Perhaps this is something Nintendo is going to keep doing in their games going forward? It works basically the same way the ones in previous games did, but unlike in Super Mario 3D World, you don’t find them in the game world, but rather you earn them when you’ve earned enough “bits” which are essentially points in the game. You earn bits (points) by completing stages, gaining extra for completing the stage without dying or finishing quickly. Each time you fill the bar (usually 500-1,000 bits) you unlock a new stamp you can then post on Miiverse with. Yes, NES Remix has built-in Miiverse support as well, so you can post all about your trials, successes, failures, opinions, and more, all with the use of 8-bit style black & white stamps.

There’s several more games represented in NES Remix, like Balloon Fight, Excitebike, and more. There’s 25 main Remix stages (with additional ones to unlock as you progress through the game) and each game seems to have about 10-15 (on average) of their own stages as well, which each having between 1-4 challenges, similar to what you’d see in a WarioWare game. It’s a lot of fun and some of the challenges Nintendo has come up with are just insane and makes you excited for the future of this new franchise, especially with the sequel, NES Remix 2 just around the corner. It can be frustrating at times (here’s looking at you infinite running SMB stages), but that is just because you have to retrain yourself to playing the old school stages in a different way than you are used to. On these stages you have to alter your jumping to make it to the end, you can’t just spam the jump button repeatedly or you will die, EVERY time. It’s definitely a switch from how you normally would play these levels if it were in classic SMB.

GamePad support is in full effect as well, including Off-TV Play. It’s only $14.99, which is a great price for something like this. If you were to buy each game individually in cart form, you’d probably spend at least that much, if not more. Granted the games within NES Remix are not the full versions of the games, but it’s still a really fun experience and highly recommended for you to check out if you’re a fan at all of retro gaming or old school NES games. The sequel, NES Remix 2 is due out this Friday, the 25th, and will feature more games, some of which are not included in the first game, so that’ll likely be awesome as well.

Each game has between 7-23 stages, with most being around 10 or so. The Remix ones number in at 25 stages. You have to unlock these by earning stars from clearing stages from the included games, with a max of 3 stars per stage. You can also get a rainbow rating, which is a rainbow-colored variation of 3 stars if you do really well. There are unlockable games with more stages as well. These you don’t have access to initially until you’ve cleared enough of the Remix group of stages. NES Remix also features a few “hidden” games which are not separated out into their own set of challenges but rather they appear in the general section of challenges which has a mix of games. The game is a lot of fun especially if you’re an old school NES fan like I am. Though it can quite frustrating at times as well. A lot of the “glitches” found in the old NES games are still present, like the poor collision detection in Ice Climber for example. I lost count with how many times I fell through platforms playing those challenges. Stuff like that makes you really appreciate when you jump on a platform and you actually land on the platform like the graphics indicate that you should. But even with minor issues like that, it’s still a blast to play through.

Nintendo has done a lot of neat stuff with the game like upside-down stages, backwards stages, silhouette stages, “lantern” stages, and much more. Some may find the $14.99 price tag a bit steep, considering these are at their core retro games, but personally I think it’s a reasonable price. You get a lot of gameplay out of it even without multiplayer, which seems to be strangely missing from NES Remix. I’m not sure why they didn’t include a multiplayer option. Maybe it was a time thing? Or maybe they’re saving that for a future title? I’d like to see Nintendo expand this series as we go forward, though not so rapidly that it gets worn out. Imagine what a SNES Remix could be like for example or GB Remix? Games like these are perfect for the true purpose of DLC as well, that is to add in content to expand on the main game that it wouldn’t have had otherwise, that isn’t available on the same day as release. Nintendo could, in theory, add in say 3-5 new games, maybe 1 every month or every other month after release and thus give players even more to do with the game. We shall see if they choose to go this route. Even without a DLC option though, NES Remix is still a worthy purchase for any Nintendo fan or retro gaming fan. You can pick it up on the Wii U eShop for $14.99 right now. If you don’t have a credit card and still want to get NES Remix, you can click this affiliate link to purchase an eShop card on Amazon and use it of the game and still have some credit leftover.

Graphics – Seeing as how this is a retro based title, graphics are not going to be strong point of a game like NES Remix. Even so, the pseudo-HD versions of NES games in the Remix stages looks pretty awesome by 8-bit standards and Nintendo & indieszero even added in brand new sprites, like giant fireballs in some of the Mario levels for example. 6/10

Sound/Music – Well, you either love old school 8-bit music or you don’t. Personally, I’m a fan since I grew up playing the original versions of these games. Much of the classic sounds & music return for NES Remix along with a few new tracks here and there. If you’re a retro fan like me, you’ll find yourself humming along just as you remembered from when we were kids. But there’s not a whole lot of new ground broken here, but again, that’s not the point of a title like NES Remix. 8/10

Gameplay – NES Remix is just a fun game to play. Some of the challenges are efforts in pure frustration, but most are fun and reasonably challenging but not impossible. As I mentioned, glitches present in the original versions of the games still seem to be present in NES Remix, so that can have an effect on your playing ability and it’s important to make note of. The Ice Climbers one is such a glitch along with one which I didn’t remember with Super Mario Bros. In the SMB levels when Hammer Bros., you can die even if you jump the enemy, as apparently there is a sweet spot to it that I wasn’t aware of or just didn’t remember from back in the day. Another issue is learning to control the games, especially if you’ve never played them before or haven’t in a long time. On Tennis for example, I hadn’t played it in probably 20+ years and so I could not for the life of me hit the ball when serving. Finally I learned that you have to wait until it’s about even with your hand before you can hit it. Stuff like that you wouldn’t know initially unless you had played the game extensively. There are how-to-play type videos for each game, but that can only go so far. 9/10

Story – There’s not much of a story in NES Remix as far as I can tell, but this isn’t Zelda, Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, Metal Gear Solid, or Dragon Quest. This is a retro throwback pick-up & play time killer type of game. The story here is what you make of it. N/A

Challenge – Be warned if you’re thinking of playing NES Remix, some of the challenges offered are brutal. The phrase Nintendo Hard came about for a reason back in the day. If you’re not conditioned for retro gaming, you will likely want to slam your controller in frustration. I had several experiences like that myself. Some of the infinite running SMB stages require such precision that you’d swear you’d have to be a computer to pull it off, but they are possible, just very difficult. Fortunately you get infinite continues in NES Remix (though continuing after a game over means you can only earn 1 star on that level unless you exit out and/or restart). Other challenges make you think they’re a joke or just put in as a rest period/breather between the super difficult ones. 8/10

Replay Value – While NES Remix may not offer multiplayer, there’s still quite a lot of things to do in the game. You can collect stamps as I mentioned, earn bits (points), unlock all the challenges/games, & earn rainbow triple star ratings in all challenges. Since some of the challenges are quite difficult, it’s likely you’ll be trying to get the perfect rating for these for quite a while. Even so, the game could’ve benefited from multiplayer of some kind and/or post-release DLC. 6/10

Fun Factor – NES Remix is just plain fun if you’re a classic gaming fan. It’s a fun trip down memory lane with a lot of games we grew up with, though some of them are less memorable than others (Clu Clu Land anyone?). Even so, it’s a title you can just pick-up & play and try to beat your best time or the best time someone else has earned (which is accessible through Miiverse). 8/10

Buy It Or Not? – NES Remix to me is game that could be a full retail title if everything was multiplied by 2. If there were multiplayer & double the number of challenges, games, stamps,  etc., then Nintendo could’ve charged $50-60 for this, easily. But instead it’s a $15 eShop title and as such is a decent price for what you get. Some might find it steep, but I think it’s a good price and well worth the cash if you’re a retro gaming fan. Buy!

Overall (Average)7.5/10

Overall (Non-Average) – Whether or not you like NES Remix is dependent on two main things. Is multiplayer a necessity for you? If so, then you’ll likely be disappointed with NES Remix, as it is not offered. The other factor is, are you a fan of old school games? If so, there’s lots to love in NES Remix, if not, then you might want to pass on it. But for me, it’s a definite must have. As such I bumped up the score to a 9 from 7.5 due to my love of classic gaming and the fact that it’s just plain fun in my opinion. I would give it a 10, but with the glitches not fixed, I have to deduct for that as well as the lack of multiplayer (despite the latter not being that important to me personally).  9/10