The Family Computer, or the NES for the west, is considered to be the most legendary consoles of its time and it made Nintendo, at the time, the king of the video game industry after Atari killed it a couple of years prior. Thanks to Mario, Link, Samus, Little Mac and more starring in games that are deemed instant classics. It took me a while to get an NES but I finally got one…though it still had a blinking red light so I couldn’t play anything. But I decided to risk it and mod the console, just by taking out one pin. And now my console can play the NES games without issues…so far. Of course, Nintendo constantly celebrates their success and that’s not a problem.
But let’s be honest, one or two games haven’t aged well and can sometimes be a little frustrating to play, so in order to revitalise these games, they need to do something to spice up retro classics whether they need the spice or not and that’s where NES Remix comes in (or Famicom Remix), developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo and indieszero, and of course published by Nintendo. The game came in two parts, the first one released in 2013 and the second one being released in 2014. The game was eventually released on a disc in Japan and America…and Europe missed out…are you kidding me? Oh well, download it is then, but I could have gotten the 3DS version but it’s mostly a Greatest Hits than having all the stages.
So what is this? Well NES Remix is a series of NES Classics, NES Remix contains:
• Balloon Fight
• Clu Clu Land
• Donkey Kong
• Donkey Kong Jr.
• Donkey Kong 3
• Ice Climber
• Mario Bros.
• Super Mario Bros.
• The Legend of Zelda
• Urban Champion
• Wrecking Crew
And the second Remix contains:
• Dr. Mario
• Ice Hockey
• Kid Icarus
• Kirby’s Adventure
• NES Open Tournament Golf
• Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels
• Super Mario Bros. 2
• Super Mario Bros. 3
• Wario’s Woods
• Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Now you’re thinking, “So this is a compilation of NES games?” I wish, but they’re pretty much a mini-game compilation, each game has different stages and you’ll do challenges based on the games. The objectives could be snippets from the games, some involving timed tasks, some involving speed running, finishing a level without getting hit or dying, defeating a certain amount of enemies and many more. This is a really fun compilation to play considering that the motivation of playing some of the original games can be quite low for some gamers, especially new gamers who are used to what given to them nowadays, so this gives them a reason to play the classics with new ways to play them.
Speaking of which, the mode where the game comes to life is the Remix Mode, these are a mixture of stages from a number of games and they can get really hard, the graphics can change, controls change, the way you look at the screen, it’s a glorified mess and it’s beautiful. Every time you complete a stage you get stars and a different set of points. Also, depending on how many stars you get, collecting a certain amount of points gets you Bits, which are 8-bit sprite of NES stuff like characters, items, etc. You can use the Bits for Miiverse and make pictures with them. I like this feature as you can create some good stuff with it and share it with people around the world. And don’t forget the fart jokes. The world can’t run without fart jokes.
So I like the collection for giving me the ability to play the classics in new ways. However, just because you change the way some of the games play, doesn’t mean that it makes the game better. Games like Pinball, Golf and Clu Clu Land are kind of clunky with dated gameplay, making some the challenges even more difficult, I guess the games could have changed the gameplay enough so that it can be at least playable, but this is Nintendo, I doubt they would ever do that, nostalgia first, nostalgia later.
NES Remix 2 has two extras; one is the Nintendo World Championships Remix, based on the Nintendo World Championships in 1990, you play three games Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Dr. Mario (I’d rather have Super Mario Bros., Tetris and Rad Racer (though Rad Racer was made by Square, now Square Enix, and Tetris is owned by The Tetris Company…and the entirety of Russia)). Each game consists of three challenges, but you just make sure to beat the record, it’s fun and you want to play again because you have an Online Leaderboard, as in the only Leaderboard and not for the main series of games. The second extra is Super Luigi Bros., which is the entire Super Mario Bros. game, but this time you play as SMB2 Luigi with his high jumping ability and the entire game is now reverse-mirrored from right to left, making a simple game of Mario 1 a little more challenging. Thanks for giving me a full Mario game, shame it wasn’t the full game of the real Super Mario Bros.
Overall, this is a great celebration of the NES and its games, they have great challenges and I continuously get hooked into it whenever I turn on my Wii U. For gamers who grew up with the grey box will have a great time with it as the challenges will prolong the NES experience. For younger gamers or gamers who had never played NES games before will get a kick out of some of the games and maybe take an interest to get the full games. Though I wish there were some more games that they could have added, but what we have is enough.
Having an Online Leaderboard could also increase the amount of competition and get more people into playing it for many years to come because it does have that potential, so it’s a missed opportunity. NES Remix has something for everyone and I’d recommend it, it’s a shame though that Europe will never get a retail disc because Nintendo doesn’t know how to cater to European gamers 30% of the time, especially UK gamers like myself; though that percentage was much higher back in the NES days…thank you Sega for filling the void at the time.
You can get it on the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS.