Review Context: Seeing this game reminded me of WarioWare for the Game Boy Advance that involves quick mini games with little time and no help on how to play. The 9-Volt character of the game is a huge Nintendo fan and his mode requires you to play classic NES games on a time limit only increasing the pace every time you beat the mission. Most people label me of being like 9-Volt. Before the achievement era of gaming we would do this just for fun. For example beat Super Mario Bros. without dying. So NES Remix sounds like a dream come true for those days.
Date of Playthrough: December 20, 2013
Developer: Nintendo EAD (Indieszero)
The announcement of this came from a decent Nintendo Direct showing the trailer and stating that the game is available to play now. This caught people off guard and wanted to see what this game is all about. For most people they loved how it took classic games and added a twist while others stated Nintendo is playing catch-up to mods that made games like this on PC long ago. Is NES Remix worth reliving those classic days of making up challenges, or should we just move on to something that is fresh and new?
All the NES titles get a nice look for the HD era with its 8-bit look without the grainy filter you get when plugging in a retro console to an HDTV. For special challenges, the game gets updated with a slight 3D look by adding shadow effects or complete change in general. For example, one mission has you speed running a level in Super Mario Bros. covered in ice changing the gameplay and look of the level. These added filters show that this was no copy and paste for Indiezero since this was done by only four people. The visuals may not be groundbreaking, but they still have class.
Since the games played are NES classics which consist of a D-pad and two buttons, it’s a very easy control scheme. However, the Wii U gamepad was your only choice which came in handy for Miiverse posts and Off TV play. A month after release, Nintendo quietly released a patch (v1.10) to include support for Wiimote, Wii U Pro Controller, and Wii Classic Controller. It still doesn’t help that the Mario Bros. Arcade has spotty controls that can infuriate you to no ends. The jumping controls are so bad you will rage quit. The version I remember playing is the one on Super Mario Bros. 3 where they fixed the controls.
The main selling point of the game is to bring back challenges most people made up to make playing the games more fun. The game has a decent list of NES Classics like Zelda, Mario, and Donkey Kong. Why a game like Urban Champion on the list is anyone’s guess.
Each game has over 20 missions, many vary from doing one goal to more challenging ones that require you to do the goal without getting hit or within a time limit. When you beat these goals you level up in bitpoints. The more bitpoints you get a new game is unlocked. The stickers from Super Mario 3D World return to make your Miiverse posts standout. The amount of content for this game is extensive for you to play a little bit and come back later. You would think since the game records your time of beating each mission there would be an online leaderboard of some sort. Nope, instead you post your time on Miiverse which I find surprising. Why is there no online leaderboard for bragging rights? It also didn’t help that before the patch people were cheating to achieve low time scores.
One of my favorite challenges is the one in the Remixes category. These challenges do a 180 on the games you played in the past. One challenge has you playing Donkey Kong as Link. What makes it hard? The fact that Link can’t jump and you have to guess the barrel’s path to beat it. This little twist is what makes the game fun and unique. The ones I have no problems with are the Super Mario Bros. speed run modes. While the collection of games they choose is great, some games such as Urban Champion, Wrecking Crew, and Pinball should not have been on here unless to show not everything Nintendo makes is gold.
For those interested, the following games included are: Balloon Fight, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3, Excitebike, Golf, Ice Climber, Mario Bros., Pinball, Super Mario Bros., Tennis, Legend of Zelda, Urban Champion, and Wrecking Crew.
Once the title menu pops up you will get filled with nostalgia. It starts out with the sound of a VHS being put into a VCR then you see all the NES sprites with the music being catchy with nice usage of the NES sound effects that are iconic to this day. The games themselves are kept the way they are so the music and sound effects are still presented in mono. The music for the game before you play is very fast paced while the level select is very calm.